"The Democratic candidates for governor have been gunning for labor endorsements across Florida, but the largest statewide unions have declined to take sides." "Unions slow to embrace Democrats Davis, Smith". See also "Davis versus Smith on Labor Issues" and "Davis or Smith? 'Yes!' says AFSCME".
"Stealth Smith Support"
"Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rod Smith may have found a way to overcome the narrow fundraising lead of Democratic rival Jim Davis of Tampa: benefactors pumping money into a virtually anonymous separately operating political committee. A slick flier touting Smith's "Experience, Vision, Guts" hit Democratic households across the state. The flier, which stresses Smith's legislative successes including fighting Republican efforts to weaken the class size amendment, came not from the Smith campaign, but from a group called Floridians for Responsible Government. It was created in February by Michael Spellman of Ocala, a longtime family friend of Smith's and former top fundraiser for 1998 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Buddy MacKay." "Stealth Smith Support".
"Poor FCAT reading scores for 10th-graders confound teachers".
Nickle and Dime
"Here's another of those situations in which it's smart to pay a little more now to avoid much higher costs later. But Florida state government, which has taken over financing of the state's judicial system, doesn't seem to understand that. ... In a nutshell, lawyers are leaving state attorneys' and public defenders' offices in droves. The reason? They don't get paid enough to cover the high cost of living, especially in South Florida, plus payments on their law school loans, which can run as high as $700 a month." "Courts".
"Election advisers say it's best to drive voters batty".
"Onerous Rules" Challenged
"Filing a lawsuit is usually not the optimal remedy to a problem, but the League of Women Voters of Florida was right to challenge the constitutionality of a truly objectionable provision in an election law approved by the Legislature in 2005." "Voter registration drives targeted".
"Democratic state Rep. Irving Slosberg's tenure on the Palm Beach County Health Care District board has roughly paralleled his fortunes with the local Democratic establishment. Both are in jeopardy." "Controversies open Slosberg to attack".
Former Senator Bob
Graham can't resist a quick analysis of Florida politics. He predicts Democrats will do well, aided by GOP infighting and the "stunning development" of Gov. Jeb Bush and other top Republicans unsuccessfully trying to force Katherine Harris out of the Senate race."Graham finds there's life, but less clout, after Senate". See also "Bob Graham to chair Davis run for governor".
"My goodness," says Graham with mock seriousness. "Republicans have been acting -- dare I say it -- like Democrats."
"How many lawmakers would openly file a bill to help a single lobbyist dock his boat at his house? Or reverse a whistle-blower's lawsuit to help a major bank? Or rewrite bidding rules to enrich a single business? This past legislative session, the answer was none. But during the closing weeks of the session, lawmakers quietly pushed amendments onto other legislation that would have accomplished exactly those goals and many others that probably never would have been filed as stand-alone bills." "Last-minute legislative amendments face scrutiny as fair play or foul ploy".
"Insurance worries create opportunity for change".
Moffett: "Gov. Bush continues to deny the story that he will become commissioner of the National Football League when he leaves office next year, but I think we all know that denial is always the first affirmation in matters of personal ambition. Jeb calls play, but ready for audibleAn intersection of sports and politics only guarantees that there will be no straight answers".
"[A] recent survey finds that, at least in Florida, public opinion matches the broad scientific consensus: Anglers and hunters, a conservative constituency, overwhelmingly agree that global warming is an urgent problem requiring immediate attention. The survey, a scientific, nonpartisan poll commissioned by the Florida Wildlife Federation, finds that nearly three out of four hunters and anglers want immediate action on global warming. Another 63 percent say the country is on the "wrong track" in meeting America's energy needs." "Global warming is too big for politics".
Watering Down Manatee Protection
"The state wildlife commission will decide this week whether to revise the legal status of gopher tortoises and manatees, two species that have suffered over the past few decades as people crowded into Florida." "State agency to consider whether to move manatees off endangered list". See also "State should keep manatee status, fix listing rules".
"Higher-ups are paying as little as $150 a month for housing on prison grounds. Some say those officials shouldn't be getting such discounts." "Prison bosses' cheap rent: perk or fair practice?".
Crist Strong In Tampa Bay
"With the September primary election less than 95 days away, Tampa Bay Republicans have given home town candidate Charlie Crist, the front runner for governor, a strong show of support, according to a poll of voters in the six-county area." "Tampa Bay Favorite: It’s Crist By 20 In GOP Primary".
George Bennett notes that the "latest potential 2008 White House seeker to come through Palm Beach County: 2004 Democratic Veep nominee and "Two Americas" riffmaster John Edwards, who visited about 50 party activists Thursday at the Gunster Yoakley law firm in West Palm Beach.". "Commentary: Known names in both parties shun Masilotti commission seat".