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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

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The Blog for Thursday, July 20, 2006

Charlie Wants It Both Ways

    "President Bush's veto of legislation Wednesday to increase funding of stem-cell research divided Florida's Republican candidates for governor, with Tom Gallagher hailing the first veto of Bush's presidency and Charlie Crist opposing the action." "Stem Cell Divisions".

    Crist is trying to have it both ways, one one hand saying he is with the wingnuts ("Crist, Gallagher court right-wing vote in their race for governor"), and on the other saying he supports stem cell research. See "Crist says he was for stem cell bill" and "GOP rivals differ on stem-cell veto" ("The two main Republican candidates for governor sharply diverged Wednesday on the emotionally charged issue of stem-cell research, a move that comes at a time both candidates claim to be the conservative heirs to Gov. Jeb Bush.")

    "Cash Cows" Splintered

    "Florida's Republican fundraising machine has been splintered by the divisive governor's race but backers vow to piece together another united front after the primary."

    The two-way split in the Republican race for Florida governor has separated the monolithic money machine of the friends and fundraisers of Gov. Jeb Bush, effectively dividing the fundraising base that served the governor and the president for years.

    Florida's big-name donors, whom President Bush named his Rangers and Pioneers because they collected $100,000 or more in his campaigns, have lined up against one another as Attorney General Charlie Crist and Chief Financial Tom Gallagher battle it out in the Republican primary.
    "Dollar duel splits Bush's cash cows".

    Harris Probe Widens

    "The former head of Katherine Harris' congressional office staff expects to speak to federal investigators soon concerning the investigation of a congressional bribery scandal, a former Harris aide said Wednesday." And, instead of flat out denying that Harris is a target (as had been the case until yesterday ("Harris: I'm Not Under Investigation")),

    in a statement issued late Wednesday, the Harris campaign declined to provide specifics about the investigation.

    Fred Asbell, who quit in June as chief of staff of Harris' congressional office, says he will speak voluntarily to Department of Justice investigators soon, said Ed Rollins, former consultant to Harris' U.S. Senate campaign.
    "Former Harris Adviser To Talk To Authorities". See also "Probe moves closer to Harris". See also "Harris rebuts rumors she's target of probe".

    Smith on Wheels

    "Smith Takes Message To Voters With Bus Tour". See also "Smith's speedy tour is all about the wheels".

    "Floridians face insurance crisis"

    "The news didn't come out of the blue, but it undoubtedly left more than a million Florida homeowners red in the face and fuming. State Farm, Florida's largest private home insurer, will be allowed to impose a statewide average rate increase of 53 percent for new and existing policyholders, effective Aug. 15 and Nov. 15, respectively." "Rate revolt".

    Even Republicans Don't Like "Jeb!"

    "A new Gallup poll asking Americans theirs views of 25 leading candidates for president in 2008 found that one of the Republican frontrunners, Sen. John McCain, is judged "unacceptable" by 41% of those in his own party. Interestingly, the Republicans with the highest "unacceptable" ratings are Vice President Cheney (61%) and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (52%)." "Gallup: 4 in 10 Republicans Find McCain 'Unacceptable'".

    Gallagher To "Protect the American Dream"?

    "Just hours before Republican Charlie Crist filed his candidacy papers for governor Wednesday, a political advocacy group supporting rival Tom Gallagher urged that he run as a Democrat because of his support for the state's class-size amendment. 'Charlie Crist has been either weak or missing in action on property insurance reform and tort reform and he has embraced the Democrats' plan for class-size reform but refuses to specify how he would pay for the $25 billion price tag,' Mike Hanna of the Coalition to Protect the American Dream said in a statement." "527 Alert!".

    Irv Loses It

    "During his candidate interview with the Voters Coalition, state Rep. Irv Slosberg waved his checkbook in the air and declared that his money would win him the District 30 state Senate seat, several board members said. Turned off by the display, the Voters Coalition on Wednesday handed its endorsement to Slosberg's Democratic primary opponent, Ted Deutch." "Voting Coalition endorses candidate on merit, not money". See also "Knock, knock. Who's there? Politics." ("Slosberg and the Area Agency on Aging are fighting about door hangers.")

    "Ted Kennedy Republican"

    "Filing his candidacy papers in Tallahassee, Republican Randall Terry took aim at incumbent Sen. Jim King on paper and in person Wednesday. Terry, founder of the anti-abortion group, Operation Rescue and a central figure in the Legislature's 2005 fight over Terri Schiavo, described himself as a 'Ronald Reagan Republican,' while calling King a 'Ted Kennedy Republican.'" "King-Size Opponent". See also "Candidate Randall Terry pins Senate campaign on Web videos".


    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board:

    An extraordinary alliance of development and conservation interests came together this year on an equally extraordinary purchase plan to preserve nearly 74,000 pristine acres in Southwest Florida.

    The plan and the remarkable ecosystems comprising the area known as Babcock Ranch could crumble, however, if another conservation interest, the Sierra Club, stubbornly and wrongheadedly persists in contesting it.

    Fed Cash

    "Bill OKs $1.2 billion for Indian River, Lake O projects".

    Villalobos Opponent Pulls Fast One

    This has Bushco written all over it:

    In one of the state's most closely watched political races, the conservative challenger to moderate Miami Sen. Alex Villalobos just received a prized campaign gift from a supporter: a legal maneuver ensuring that only Republican voters will decide the election.

    On Wednesday, a school assistant principal named Alejandro Rizo filed to run as a write-in candidate in the general election in November -- after the Sept. 5 primary pitting Miami-Dade School Board member Frank Bolaños against Villalobos.

    As long as no Democrat -- or anyone else outside the GOP -- was running for the seat, Democrats and independents would have been allowed to vote in the Republican primary, opening the election to all the 209,000 registered voters in the West Miami-Dade district.

    But now that there is a write-in candidate -- whose name won't even appear on the ballot -- only the 98,000 registered Republicans will have a say in a closed primary.

    Rizo is such a supporter of Bolaños that he gave Bolaños a campaign check and sent an e-mail Wednesday to his Republican friends boasting of "my humble contribution."
    "Only Republicans can vote in heated state Senate race".

    A Little Late

    "Bush appointed a 15-member committee Wednesday to make recommendations on how to curtail increases and remove inequities in Florida's property taxes." "Governor's panel to study inequities in property taxes".

    Day Two

    "Day two of the Smith bus tour means day two of the Jim Davis attack campaign. Today, Davis' campaign calls the state senator a flip flopper on the Rodman Dam, saying he sponsored a bill creating a state reserve around the dam but pointing out he is now against that." "Davis hits Smith on Rodman Dam".

    "State lax on treatment for troubled girls"

    "State leaders have acknowledged the need to help girls. Making good on their promises will require a bigger immediate investment -- but over time will save Florida money and, more importantly, lives." "Quick with lockup".

    Crist Files

    "Crist files papers in governor's race". See also "Crist officially throws his hat in".

    Candidate Probed

    "Kelly Skidmore, the lone woman vying to replace term-limited state Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, has come under scrutiny by state officials months after the House Rules and Calendar chairman punished six Democratic state legislators who lent their names to her Tallahassee fund-raiser." "Candidate for Slosberg seat under probe".

    Harris "Back on the Job"

    "U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, R-Longboat Key, was back on the job Tuesday, just a day after having surgery to remove a mass on her ovaries. Harris was one of 236 members of Congress to vote on Tuesday for a constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage. The amendment failed, because it didn’t get the required two-thirds vote needed for a constitutional amendment. Among those that voted against the measure were the other two members of Congress from this region. Rep. Jim Davis, a Democrat who represents much of Palmetto and central Bradenton, voted against the measure. So too did Rep. Mark Foley, a Republican who represents most of Charlotte County." "Permalink">Harris supports marriage amendment; Foley, Davis oppose it".

    Orange Grower Tax

    "Tax on orange growers raised 19 percent to pay for advertising".

    Secret Docket

    "If it was annoying to learn about a secret court docket in Palm Beach County, it is encouraging to learn that the system is doing something about it. On June 25, The Post reported that 42 cases had not merely been sealed but had been closed off from public record. This wasn't the usual practice of keeping certain information within a court file private. This was failing to disclose even that cases had happened. Earlier, The Miami Herald had reported on a similar docket in Broward County that included judges' divorce cases." "Too hidden, too long".


    "Johnson: Public needs more input in premium hikes". See also "Johnson riding insurance issue in race for CFO".

    Guilty Plea

    "A former campaign worker admitted Wednesday that he emptied congressional candidate [for the GOP nomination in the 13th Congressional District] Nancy Detert's campaign account and fled to South America." "Ex-worker admits he stole from Detert's fund".

    Smith and Sugar

    "Big Sugar has helped Rod Smith's bid for governor in a big way. But the industry's largess may prove to be a headache. A political group formed to promote Smith's candidacy received $295,000 from U.S. Sugar Corp. of Clewiston and its subsidiaries, according to federal tax records. But the money could damage his already shaky standing with some environmentalists, loyal primary voters who deride the sugar industry as a major polluter of the Everglades." "Sugar dollars pour into pro-Smith group".

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