Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 Saturday, July 15, 2006

Davis Makeover

    "Politicians' obscurity is gone when she's Dunn": "Anita Dunn's next publicity project is to elect Jim Davis."
    Anita Dunn has polished the public images of some of the biggest names in Democratic politics: Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley and Florida's Bob Graham. All three came with obvious assets. Obama has charisma. Bradley brought academic and athletic skills. Graham connected with people in a way that made him one of the state's most popular governors and senators.

    But now Dunn, a veteran political consultant and television ad maker, is taking on a client who poses a different challenge: Jim Davis. The Tampa congressman and candidate for governor has never run statewide, is facing a strong challenge from Democratic rival Rod Smith and may lack the millions needed for a sustained TV campaign. He is also widely perceived as the least dynamic personality in the four-man contest.
    "Selling Jim Davis to the masses".

    Speaking of Style

    "If you took Gov. Jeb Bush and split him in half, you'd have something that looks like the Republican primary to replace him." "Two GOP candidates for governor have different strengths, styles".

    High Fliers

    "Dozens of Florida politicians are attending national meetings of state lawmakers this summer on taxpayer-funded trips, including seven House members who are leaving office just months after the meetings." "Term limits don't stop trips".

    "Jeb!" Backs Dissembling Schiavo Nurse

    "The state health department has asked the Board of Nursing to dismiss a complaint against a nurse who once cared for Terri Schiavo and discussed the brain-damaged woman's medical condition on national TV."

    Carla Sauer-Iyer cared for Schiavo at a Largo nursing home in 1995 and '96. She claimed on CNN last year that Schiavo ate pudding and milkshakes, laughed and uttered such words as "mommy," "help me" and "pain."

    In doing so, she improperly disclosed confidential patient information, violating state code and federal law, the Florida Health Department said in a complaint filed in May that asked the nursing board to revoke Sauer-Iyer's nursing license.

    The health department requested the state's nursing board dismiss that complaint Thursday.
    "State: Dismiss complaint against Schiavo nurse".

    Sorry "Jeb!"

    "55 new judges to be elected, not appointed". See also "High court won't block 55 judges' elections", "Florida's Supreme Court denies block to judicial elections" and "High court clears way for judicial elections to proceed".

    Harris Fumbles Again

    "Katherine Harris gave her campaign more than $3-million to run for Senate, but then took back $100,000 to finish renovating her "historic home in Washington, D.C.," her campaign revealed Friday."

    The decision was immediately questioned.

    "I have never heard of a candidate taking money out of a campaign coffer like it's an ATM. It absolutely boggles my mind," said former Harris campaign manager Jim Dornan.
    "Harris pulls out cash to fix house". See also "Harris used contributions for home improvement".

    Family Man

    "Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher, who is married with one son, seeks to show in this ad that having a family makes him a better candidate for governor. The ad invites comparisons with rival Charlie Crist, who is single and childless." "Ad Watch: Gallagher Focuses On Family".

    Harris on Top

    "It looks less and less likely that Harris stands a chance against Nelson, but she still could be crowned winner in the battle for the Republican nomination for the race." "Harris Is Under Fire, On Top In GOP Race".

    GOoPer Games

    "A major donor to the Republican Party whose company has run into trouble with environmental regulators gave $50,000 to the Florida Democratic Party last month."


    State Sen. Rod Smith says it may be aimed at hurting his campaign for governor. Smith has advocated bills that he says Anderson Columbia founder Joe Anderson thinks target him.
    Although parties are prohibited by law from earmarking or directing soft-money contributions to a political campaign, Smith said he expects that Anderson's money will wind up helping Davis. Not so, said Democratic Party spokesman Mark Bubriski.
    "Donor Crosses Party Lines".

    Carl Hiaasen

    "Inevitably, rigs will go up somewhere off Florida's coast, but only a dithering fool would believe that the price of gasoline will come down." "Political tide favors Big Oil offshore".


    "W.D. Childers asked the Florida Supreme Court on Friday to consider an appeal of his bribery conviction and at the same time filed an emergency application to keep him free on bond beyond the July 31 deadline that would put him behind bars." "Childers files for appeal".

    "Jeb!" Waddles World Stage

    "Bush planned to leave Saturday on a one-week trade mission to England, Scotland and Ireland, with a stop at one of the world's largest airshows." "Gov. Bush headed to UK, Ireland on trade mission".

    Privatization Follies

    "[T]he larger story of the Clark-Crosby scandal is what it says about the Bush administration's zeal for outsourcing, preferably without competitive bids."

    Under Crosby and Bush, the Florida prison system became a privatization laboratory - long on projected cost savings, short on accountability.

    First, Aramark secured control of prison food operations. Then came the outsourcing of pharmaceuticals and pill splitting for inmates' prescriptions, a venture begun on Lawton Chiles' watch as governor but expanded greatly under Crosby.

    Then, Crosby sowed the seeds of his downfall by outsourcing prison canteen operations to Keefe Commissary Network, which hired lobbyist Don Yaeger in 2004.

    As a state audit showed, the Keefe contract generated millions in revenue to the state, but it was another sweetheart deal. Rather than seek competitive bids, Crosby & Co. sought proposals from three firms.
    "Lesson for next governor in Crosby's fall".

    "Mountain of Money"

    "The political battle between Republican incumbent Congressman Clay Shaw and his rival, Ron Klein, has a mountain of money behind it now." "Shaw, Klein coffers expand in campaigns for hotly contested District 22 seat".

    Door Hanger Storm

    "Another hurricane season is bringing another political squall around Democratic state Rep. Irving Slosberg. The nonprofit Area Agency on Aging Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, which plans to distribute 1.2 million brightly colored "Help" signs for seniors to hang on their doors after a hurricane, says Slosberg's state Senate campaign is confusing things by distributing its own post-hurricane door hangers." "Slosberg's door hangers create storm of their own".


    "A U.S. Treasury-led panel that investigates whether U.S. companies with ties to foreign investors compromise national security has contacted the Boca Raton parent company of a voting machine supplier whose top executives once had links to the Venezuelan government." "U.S. panel probes voting machine firm" (GOP "Rep. Maloney echoed the concerns of anti-Chávez critics [questions] whether the company is a tool of the Chávez government to influence U.S. elections.")

    CD 13 Push Poll

    "Democrat Jan Schneider isn’t happy about a National Research Corporation poll being administered in the 13th Congressional District that is loaded with negative questions about her."

    Pollsters ask Democratic voters what they think about a candidate who has tax problems, who has threatened to change parties and who was once an agent for a foreign government - a similar charge that U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, R-Longboat Key, made about Schneider in 2002 during their battle against one another.

    “Whoever is doing it, it sounds like the Katherine Harris-lite campaign,” Schneider said this afternoon.

    The campaign team for Democrat Christine Jennings wouldn’t comment on the poll. Jennings’ campaign manager Angela Barranco said by rule, they do not discuss campaign strategy.
    "Schneider upset with new poll".

    Nelson Crashes Party

    "Domenici looked at Majority Leader Bill Frist, who was already making a face that said, 'Who in the world invited him?' 'You’re joining us?' Domenici asked Nelson, as he approached. Nelson nodded. Martinez, looking half-embarrassed, quickly pulled Nelson into a huddle."

    It was supposed to have been an easy news conference during which he and other Republicans, including Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Orlando, touted their new drilling deal without any skeptics. Getting the deal done was hard enough. They didn’t need any other problems.

    Now, Nelson was crashing his party.
    "Amie Parnes: Nelson rains on GOP's oil-drilling parade". See also "House members not sure they'll back Senate drilling deal".

    Go Figure

    "State Sen. Rod Smith's proposal to protect the news media against an emerging type of lawsuit was largely ignored in this spring's legislative session and ultimately died. But it may have come back to hurt his bid to become Florida governor. Two prominent developers who have filed lawsuits accusing newspapers of casting their character in "false light" have turned their support to Smith's rival in the Democratic primary, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa." "Press protection bill may be costing Smith".

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