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 Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Self-righteous advocates of accountability"

    "Mr. Winn and Gov. Bush just can't admit that the FCAT scores are tainted. These self-righteous advocates of accountability also see no reason to fine the company." "Hooray for FCAT politics". "The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported this week that hundreds of the temporary workers hired to grade the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test have no apparent experience as educators or degrees in a field related to the academic subjects they are grading."
    But Bush indicated Tuesday he thinks the educational background of Florida public school teachers is more important than the school-and-work histories of the FCAT graders.

    "We have science teachers who don't have a science major," Bush said. "And math teachers, the same. I think this is much to do about nothing."

    Campbell, however, said: "Then, the governor should be ashamed of his education record and that we're not employing math teachers with math degrees. That may be why we have a significantly high dropout rate."
    "FCAT scoring is accurate, governor insists". Even FCAT friendly editorial boards see the hypocrisy here. "Since the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test became the arbiter of public-school quality, its defenders have repeatedly emphasized the need for accountability. Yet, an investigation into the hiring practices of the company that administers the test underscored the state's own lack of accountability.".
    DOE's own investigation led to an embarrassing revelation: CTB/McGraw-Hill - which has an $82 million, three-year contract to administer the FCAT- had hired scorers without bachelor's degrees in or related to the fields they graded on the test.

    That blatantly violates DOE's specific requirements for test-scorers, and it can only undermine the public's faith in the integrity of the scoring process. Considering the immense pressure on Florida's public schools to perform well on the FCAT, this 11th-hour revelation is deeply troubling. It suggests that, with regard to the FCAT, Gov. Jeb Bush's administration considers accountability a one-way street.

    Commissioner of Education John Winn said he was “not happy” about the company's hiring practices, and he pledged to apply a strict monitoring system. But Mr. Winn's assurances would be more meaningful if DOE had addressed these concerns from the beginning.

    New Laws

    Bush signs underage drinking, sexual offender bills"".

    "Secret Docket"

    "There are a handful of legitimate reasons why certain court cases deserve to be sealed from the public record so that only the names of the litigants are known. But it defies logic to explain why any court case should be hidden entirely on a secret docket so that its existence is completely unknown. Yet more than 100 cases have been placed in a secret docket in Broward County since 2001, many of them involving well-known local residents' divorces. What gives?" "Abolish secret docket".

    McBride's Problems

    "Political connections, money and a religious right orientation could help Will McBride of Orlando challenge Katherine Harris for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination. But three problems could hurt him."

    First is time - there are only 83 days before the Sept. 5 primary.

    Second is that he's not alone - LeRoy Collins of Tampa and Peter Monroe of Safety Harbor are both competing with him for votes of Republicans who don't want Harris as their nominee for the Senate.

    And third is inexperience.
    "Harris' Main Challenger Has Own Problems".

    There's Something Annoying ...

    about the brother of the person who defines "AWOL" complaining about Davis missing some votes, and then having the GOoPer mouthpieces trumpet it around the State.

    "Jeb Bush brought up his record last week after Davis urged the governor to demand the resignation of Alan Levine, secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, because Levine applied for a job with a hospital district that his agency regulates. 'This is the guy that didn't vote for the reauthorization of the Patriot Act 'cause he had to come down here and do a political stop,' Bush said. "He's on very thin ice as a politician that has been elected to go serve in Washington and misses vote after vote after vote so he can pursue his personal ambitions.'" "Missing Votes Is Losing Strategy".


    "Incumbent U.S. Rep. Ric Keller chides Democrats in the Orlando-area's District 8 congressional race for including him among the GOP's so-called 'culture of corruption,' according to an interview posted by CQPolitics.com." "Keller strikes back". See also "The CQPolitics Interview: Rep. Ric Keller (FL 8)".

    Revenge of the Lobbyists

    "Lobbyists will throw a political fundraiser today with two goals: to help state Rep. Randy Johnson of Celebration become Florida's next chief financial officer and to exact a little revenge on his Republican primary opponent, Senate President Tom Lee." "Lobbyists' fundraiser for Johnson packs one-two punch".

    GOoPer Legislative Agenda

    "It's a rule of thumb in politics that if you want to do something but you don't really want people to notice, you do it late in the day. On a Friday."

    For instance, the list included a measure ensuring Orlando's The Holy Land Experience will not have to pay property taxes. The law was crafted to end an attempt by Orange County Property Appraiser Bill Donegan to classify The Holy Land, which charges visitors $30, as a theme park rather than a church or museum and force it to pay more than $1 million in back taxes.

    Also on the Friday night list: a bill creating a new tax break for companies that distribute advertising materials free of charge. By mail. In an envelope. To 10 or more people. On a monthly, bimonthly or other regular basis. The break, which is expected to cost the state about $700,000 a year, will mostly benefit Valpak, the company that sends out 500 million blue envelopes stuffed with coupons every year.
    "Slipping By".

    Cuba Travel Ban Challenged

    "The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a new Florida law that bans the use of public university funds to pay for travel to Cuba and other nations labeled terrorist states by the U.S. government. A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday on behalf of professors from several universities contends that the law violates their First Amendment rights and impinges on the federal government's powers to regulate foreign commerce." "ACLU challenges law limiting college-paid trips".


    "After more than a year of criticizing proposals by U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw and other Republicans to allow private Social Security accounts, Democratic congressional challenger Ron Klein said Tuesday that he soon will offer a Social Security plan of his own." "Shaw foe Klein to unveil Social Security plan".

    CD 13

    "Sarasota banker Tramm Hudson is resigning as regional director for RBC Centura Bank to focus full time on his campaign for the 13th Congressional District." "Candidate Hudson to leave bank job, focus on campaign".

    Is This News?

    "Gov. Bush surprised by, supports Pres. Bush's Baghdad visit".

    While "Jeb!" Slept

    "[B]anning the sale of Florida citrus in other fruit-producing states could sound the death knell for the state's beleaguered industry." "Partial Ban On Fla. Citrus Sales Stifles Competition, Not Canker".

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