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 Thursday, June 01, 2006

Making A Race of It

    Daniel Ruth:
    The early line on Smith is that he is a charming, inspirational orator. But maybe he comes across on the stump as Elmer Gantry meets Ron Popeil because his opponent, Tampa Congressman Jim Davis, is more charismatically challenged than an eggplant.

    Still, having all the hustings persona of a stuffed elk hasn't affected Davis' ability to raise money - he's closing in on $2 million - or his lead in the polls, not only over Smith but also the two Republican challengers, state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher or Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist.

    But Smith has tightened the race, too, narrowly trailing Gallagher and Crist. Translation: This is a political junkie's dream come true, a legitimate horse race.

    Although this sort of talk drives candidates in the middle of a tight race absolutely bonkers, should Smith come up short in the primary, you could argue he is delivering a heckuva campaign to become Davis' running mate.

    Yes, that, for Smith, was the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.

    Nevertheless, Smith is one of those rare, virtually extinct political animals: an electable North Florida Democrat.
    "It Seems Smith Is Making This A Real Race". As it heats up, "Vying for union, Davis rips Smith".

    Revolving Door

    "Bush's chief health care regulator, Alan Levine, has applied for a high-paying job managing a group of South Florida hospitals that will be among the first to execute big changes to the Medicaid program in Florida." "Bush aide puts toe in job market". See also "Levine Leaving?"

    Boot Camps

    "Law puts end to boot camps". See also "Bush signs Anderson Act", "Bush launches 'respect' programs to replace youth boot camps", "Bush signs bill to change boot camps" and "Act may prevent other parents' pain".

    But It Isn't A "Tax"

    "Floridians will pay a 1 percent assessment on property and casualty insurance policies for a decade to repay a bond sale of up to $1.5 billion that was approved Wednesday to replenish the state's Hurricane Insurance Catastrophe Fund." "Prepare to shell out more". See also "Insurance rates to see one-percent increase".

    Class Warfare


    "The proposed sales tax deduction," notes a Washington outfit called the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "would primarily benefit higher-income taxpayers rather than help the lower-income taxpayers who most need relief from the burden of the tax."
    "Class warfare or not, treat Florida like other states".

    Battle of Riviera Beach

    "The battle between Riviera Beach and the state over the city's proposed $2.4 billion redevelopment escalated Wednesday when Gov. Jeb Bush questioned the validity of the city's contract with its master developer. Riviera Beach believes it can use eminent domain proceedings against dozens of property owners because the city signed an agreement with its master developer a day before Bush signed into law a bill that makes such takings illegal." "Bush fires salvo in state battle with Riviera".

    "What's Gov. Bush Got Against Tampa?"

    "[T]o sink Tampa's Riverwalk while sending another $4 million to a St. Pete museum shows the governor either is disingenuous, is playing politics or just doesn't like Tampa." "What's Gov. Bush Got Against Tampa?"

    No No Fault

    "Gov. Jeb Bush vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have extended the life of the state's no-fault auto insurance beyond a 2007 deadline because it lacks sufficient protections against fraud. The legislation would have continued no-fault, also known as personal injury protection, or PIP, until Jan. 1, 2009. With the veto it will automatically expire on Oct. 1, 2007, but Bush pointed out that the Legislature will have another chance to deal with the issue before then." "Governor vetoes bill extending no-fault auto insurance in '07".


    The wingnuts at Frontpage Florida are aghast that "Moveon.org Activists Behind Smith Party ".

    "Weeding Out" Illegal Teens

    "The state of Florida will begin screening thousands of teenagers arrested every year to weed out those who are in the United States illegally." "Arrested teens to face state check of immigration status". In the meantime, Foley plays to his base: "Florida's shores vulnerable to more immigration, Foley warns".


    "Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher today announced a statewide coalition of more than 100 teachers, administrators and home-schoolers who have agreed to serve on his “Teachers for Tom” statewide leadership team." "Teachers for Gallagher".

    This primary race may be over.


    "Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne accepted an undisclosed $20,000 loan from a prominent South Florida real estate developer who did business with his agency, sources familiar with ongoing investigations of Jenne said Wednesday." "Investigators take look at $20,000 loan from developer to Broward sheriff".


    "State tries to avoid federal purse strings".

    HD 52

    The Buzz: "Former USF St Pete CEO Bill Heller jumped into the House District 52 race today, immediately winning the endorsements of most leading Pinellas Democrats. ... Heller, who faces Democrat Liz McCallum in the primary, received endorsements from state Reps. Frank Peterman and Charlie Justice; St Pete city council members James Bennett, Rick Kriseman, Rene Flowers and Leslie Curran; School board member Linda Lerner; and former Education Commissioner and USF President Betty Castor. The seat being vacated by Republican Frank Farkas is probably the single most competive House seat in Florida. In '04 Bush won it with 52 percent and Betty Castor won it with 55 percent. Heller made it clear he's no rigid partisan when we asked him about having donated to Charlie Crist's gubernatorial campaign." "Heller's In HD 52".

    McBride Making The Rounds

    "Will McBride, the little-known but well-connected Central Florida attorney who some Republicans hope will emerge as a legitimate challenger to Katherine Harris in the GOP U.S. Senate primary, is beginning to make the rounds." "McBride Begins to Move".

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