Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


UPDATE: Every morning we review and individually digest Florida political news articles, editorials and punditry. Our sister site, FLA Politics was selected by Campaigns & Elections as one of only ten state blogs in the nation
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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.


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The Blog for Saturday, June 17, 2006

"Jeb!"'s Convenient Curve

    Jebbie's grading "curve" helps explain the recent "amazing" FCAT ratings:
    First came the euphoria: News that a record-breaking number of Broward schools -- 157 campuses -- earned an A this year, according to the state's grading system.

    One campus shot from an F to an A, and three zoomed from a D to an A.

    But on closer examination, people started asking questions. Half of the students at some of those A schools are unable to read or do math well, test scores show. So how are those high grades possible?
    "State’s grading curve helped schools score A".

    Dems Call For Winn's Resignation

    "Florida Education Commissioner John Winn ought to resign and the state should take over scoring standardized tests because most temporary graders working for a private contractor are unqualified, two Democratic state senators said Friday."

    A review of 2,947 employment files showed 1,845, or 64 percent, lacked degrees or teaching experience in subjects they were grading on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test as required by the contract, said Sens. Les Miller and Walter "Skip" Campbell.

    For some of the FCAT graders, their only other work experience was in jobs unrelated to education, including hair styling, pizza delivery, store clerk, janitor and popping corn at a movie theater.
    "2 state senators want Winn fired over FCAT graders". See also "Senators want Winn resignation, state takeover of FCAT grading", "FCAT Scorers Criticized" and "State senators press FCAT scoring issue".

    "The political war over FCAT grading escalated Friday as state officials defended the system used to hire and check the educational background of test graders while Democrats clamored for the resignation of Florida's education commissioner." "State defends FCAT graders' hiring, checks". See also "Selection of FCAT graders defended".

    The Tampa Trib editorial board: "Now that school FCAT scores are out, it's the state's turn to be accountable for ensuring that seasoned examiners - not unskilled janitors - are hired to score the test. So far, Gov. Jeb Bush, Education Commissioner John Winn and CTB/McGraw-Hill are earning a failing grade on this measure." "Failing The Test Of FCAT Accountability".

    Laff Riot

    "Teachers for Tom and Educators for Crist".

    Florida Embarasses Itself

    "Neither Gov. Jeb Bush nor other state legislators stood up to Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, last month as he pushed through a narrow-minded bill that stymies international research at Florida's colleges and universities. Now it's up to the courts to set things straight and overturn the new law that serves no legitimate purpose." "Allow research travel".

    Subsidizing Low Tax Counties

    "Legislation that will provide state money to help "fiscally constrained" rural counties pay for basic government services received Gov. Jeb Bush's signature at a ceremony Friday. Many smaller counties have had trouble making ends meet in part due to low property values and state limits on local taxing powers. ... The qualifying counties are Baker, Bradford, Calhoun, Columbia, Desoto, Dixie, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Okeechobee, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla and Washington." "Counties to get state funds for services".

    Cleland Speaks To Leon Dems

    "'We cannot have people who have never had ... the guts to go to war sending our young men ever again,' he said, drawing loud, prolonged applause from more than 100 donors at the Leon County Democratic Party's fundraising dinner. 'I've had enough of the chicken hawks who, when it came their time to serve, said, 'Don't send me, send somebody else.' " "".

    Desperate GOoPers

    Jim Davis shows spine in response to the House Republican campaign ploy. "Davis on Iraq"

    Then come the Florida Republican party hacks, led by State Senator Cary Baker (R-Eustis), who truly embarasses himself with this: "RPOF Attacks Davis on Iraq".

    New Reefs

    "New reefs discovered off Florida's coast".

    Concealed Weapons

    "Gun owners welcome anonymity".

    Pasco GOP Party

    "The dinner attracted GOP heavyweights such as Senate candidate U.S. Rep Katherine Harris, U.S. Rep. Michael Bilirakis, U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite and a host of others. For many in the crowd, Attorney General Charlie Crist, a gubernatorial candidate, was the main draw."

    "Pasco Reagan Day Dinner Attracts Key GOP Players".

    CFO Race

    "CFO Candidates Find Support".

    Sierra Club Suit

    "A developer warned Friday that legal action by an environmental group to block a new city from being built on the Babcock Ranch could jeopardize the state's deal to purchase 74,000 acres for preservation. Florida's Sierra Club filed an administrative challenge Friday requesting that a judge evaluate whether developer Syd Kitson should be able to build a city designed for 45,000 residents on part of Babcock Ranch." "Group's objection may snarl Babcock Ranch deal". See also "Judge asked to stop Babcock Ranch city".

    Smith Moves South

    "Smith's New Digs".

    Sorta Endorsement

    "Democrat Liz McCallum announced the endorsement of the Pinellas County Council of Firefighters. Maybe that will tamp down talk that former USF St. Pete CEO Bill Heller is a shoe to win the Democratic nomination to succeed Frank Farkas in House District 52." " Firefighters Back McCallum-Sorta".

    Drilling Politics

    "An offshore drilling proposal that Florida lawmakers rejected last year will be revived in committee next week, and many Floridians say they welcome a second chance to support the deal. House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Calif., hopes his committee will pass a bill next week that would allow coastal states, rather than the federal government, to decide whether to allow drilling within 100 or 125 miles of their coasts, lawmakers said Friday. The full House would then vote on the bill the following week, when House Republican leaders have scheduled an "energy week'' to consider legislation on developing alternative fuels and increasing domestic energy production." "Offshore drilling plan is coming back to life".

    "For almost a quarter-century, Florida's congressional delegation has thwarted efforts to allow oil and gas drilling off the state's coast by presenting a near-unanimous front. Now it appears to be fracturing along largely partisan lines."

    On one side, with Gov. Jeb Bush's blessing, are House Republicans who have been negotiating with a key chairman to set specific boundaries in the eastern Gulf of Mexico at roughly 100 to 150 miles from the coastline. They're demanding that any drilling closer to the coast would require the approval of the governor and the legislature.

    On the other side are Democrats and one Republican who want drilling farther from shore. This group opposes a change in the current ban on drilling in most of the eastern gulf, or at least wants to limit drilling to a small area in the gulf more than 150 miles from the coast. The lawmakers also would continue to have the federal government, rather than state officials, set the boundaries.
    "Closer offshore drilling may follow partisan split".

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