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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

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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, July 05, 2006

Dade Disaster

    This is a real eye opener. "The Miami-Dade Democratic Party is nearly broke -- and desperate for new members. Party leaders are trying to revitalize the organization in time for Election Day." "Dade party seeks return to glory".

    "Annual Shame for Florida"

    "The Casey Foundation's rankings have become an annual shame for Florida."

    The numbers show where the state is slipping: The state's teen death rate increased from 2002 to 2003, a time period when the national rate was declining, indicating that Florida's missing opportunities to save young lives. The number of low birth-weight babies increased as well, meaning that more children enter their lives with increased risk of developmental delays and health problems. And the number of teenagers who aren't in school, but don't have a job, remains above the national average. ...

    Education would provide the key to solving many of the problems. Yet the Legislature fought, nearly every step of the way, against a voter-approved constitutional mandate to reduce class sizes. Another voter demand to create a high-quality prekindergarten program stumbled badly, with lawmakers approving only enough funding for a program that offers too little instruction time and doesn't require qualified teachers.

    Florida's leaders haven't been ignoring education -- but they have been putting far too much emphasis on high-stakes testing and artificial grading measures. The result could be a continued increase in the number of children who get discouraged and quit school before graduation. Dropout rates are currently holding steady; they should be going down. ...

    Meanwhile, lawmakers have all but abandoned any attempt to help Floridians caught in crushing poverty -- a vise that tightens as housing costs rise. Forty-two percent of Florida's children live in low-income families, with 18 percent subsisting below the poverty line. Both numbers could grow as cuts to supportive services like job-training and subsidized care have their effect on Florida's large class of working poor.
    "Florida's future". See also "Child welfare looking worse".

    Florida A&M dispute

    "Bush asked to intervene in Florida A&M dispute".

    Looming Problems

    "Less than two months before early voting begins, many county elections supervisors are worried about a voter registration system that never has been used in a statewide election, as well as a new state attitude regarding the scrubbing of felons from voter rolls." "County election chiefs worry about state control of voter list".

    "Pruitt, under oath"

    "State Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, says he has no reason to duck testimony in a lawsuit brought by a legislator who says the senator's friends defamed him. Yet the incoming Senate president first delayed his testimony, scheduled for April during the legislative session, then tried to escape it. ... As The Post has reported, more than $1 million Sen. Pruitt has helped to raise has gone to secretive political committees. He has accepted money for ill-defined real estate consulting services, including work for a company run by Mr. Nielsen's partner. The deposition offers the public a chance to see how Sen. Pruitt gained the power he will assume in November." "Pruitt, under oath".


    "Bush recently signed a bill that would allow men to end their child-support obligation if a DNA test proves someone else is the father." "Men relieved by child-support bill".

    Running Government Like A Business

    "After nearly three years of federal and state investigations into the Florida Department of Corrections, major arrests were expected to be announced today, according to sources.

    Sources close to the case said the arrests were directly related to the operation and management of Florida’s $2.6 billion prison system." "Probe into state's prison system may yield major arrests today".


    "GOP Senate candidate Will McBride has an uphill battle to raise funds and distinguish himself from another McBride, a Democrat, who ran for governor." "McBride seeks traction in primary race against Harris".


    "Bilirakis asks for investigation of VA hiring practices".

    "The lunatic fringe"

    Sun-Sentinel columnist Stephen L. Goldstein speaks with Michael Schiavo about his book and gives a retrospective on the Schiavo affair

    Michael cured me of post-headline lethargy. I was disgusted when he told me that Terri's parents sold the videotape of her in the hospice for $100 a copy and that he invited the brothers Bush to visit Terri and evaluate her condition themselves, but neither did, of course. (He even said Jeb was once just 20 minutes away from the hospice, visiting a home featured on Extreme Makeover Home Edition.)

    I was incensed when Michael described the posturing of people who weren't "there" for 15 years while he was caring for his wife: the protesters who raised their signs for the TV cameras to make the evening news or publicity-hound Jesse Jackson, who thought he alone was entitled to pull his limo up to the front of the building. Michael says that Terri's father, brother and sister were never around -- only Mrs. Schindler, who "knew" what Terri wanted, but bit her tongue under family pressure.

    Don't let the lessons of the Schiavo story die. Read Terri: The Truth. You'll be reminded of how low some people could go for political advantage.

    For example, the Schindlers' attorneys filed a motion stating that Terri -- who, an autopsy later confirmed, was in a persistent vegetative state -- had "changed her mind and no longer wanted to die" after "hearing" a speech by the pope. Jeb Bush, a lapdog for the radical right, believed the diagnosis of "a phony Nobel Prize nominee and a radiologist giving neurological opinions." U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez sent "a memo suggesting to Republicans that they could politically exploit the Schiavo case for votes." A lawyer for the Schindlers claimed that, in her final days, Terri "said" she wanted to live.

    The lunatic fringe made a shy, young woman larger than life. But, if Republicans and the radical right had had their way, Terri Schiavo would have been consigned to a living death -- and forgotten, after serving their political agenda.
    "Drum the culprits out".

    Public Records

    "State agencies do a good job of looking out for the little guy, but consumer protection would improve if departments receiving citizen complaints did a better job of sharing information, according to the Legislature's fiscal watchdogs." "When agencies share information, consumers benefit, watchdogs say".

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