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 Friday, July 14, 2006

It Has "Only Just Begun"

    The GOP race for Guv is heating up:
    Supporters of the Republican contenders for governor dueled Thursday, an exchange started when 10 Charlie Crist-backers sent letters to Tom Gallagher urging he drop out of the race to avoid leaving a divided party.

    The 10 lawmakers, led by Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said Gallagher should take his sluggish poll numbers as a signal that it's time to fold his cards. But Gallagher's staff quickly fired back, mustering a lineup of 12 supporters who effectively say the Sept. 5 primary contest has only just begun.
    "Sharks and Jets, Republican-style". See also "Lawmakers ask Gallagher to drop out of race", "Some Republicans want Gallagher to step aside", " Legislators to Gallagher: Get Out", "Gallagher Asked To Leave Race" and " Gallager Supporters to Legislators: Don't Be Unpatriotic".

    "Joe's dead intern"

    Katherine Harris' floundering U.S. Senate campaign lost its high-level staff again this week and is groping for a message -- which doesn't surprise Republican insiders who trace the seeds of her trouble to the story of "Joe's dead intern."

    This wasn't any old Joe.

    It was Joe Scarborough, host of the prime-time MSNBC show Scarborough Country and a former Pensacola Republican congressman who was courted last summer by national Republicans to run against Harris. But before he could announce he wouldn't, Harris called major donors and suggested Scarborough would have to answer questions about the strange death of a former staff member in 2001, according to two former high-level Harris staff members, a GOP donor and Scarborough.
    "Story of 'Joe's dead intern' began Harris' slide, insiders say".

    Another Ethics Issue

    "The wife of Florida's top highway safety official lobbied for a company that landed a lucrative contract from his agency. State auditors said Thursday the public should have been told about it. The review focuses on Fred Dickinson, the executive director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. His agency last year awarded a five-year contract to a private company, National Safety Commission, to distribute the Official Florida Driver's Handbook." "Drivers' book deal flunks audit".

    Harris In Trouble

    "Campaign manager Glenn Hodas - the third to work for Harris - confirmed Thursday that he and four other key staffers are leaving this week, including communications director Chris Ingram, who announced his exit Wednesday. Hodas said field director Pat Thomas and two of her assistants are leaving. Others are rumored about to walk." "More staffers leaving Harris' Senate campaign".

    "[T]he description of working for the Republican congresswoman plays like a scene out of 'Mommie Dearest.'" "Deja vu for Harris: Key Senate campaign staff leaves".

    Hodas said he left for the same reasons as his predecessors. Harris "hasn't kept any of her promises" regarding her behavior, including promises "not to have tantrums, not to berate staff, not to micromanage and nitpick and not to get flustered on inconsequential details," he said.

    "It's all the same old stuff," he said. "None of it has changed. If anything, it's gotten worse."
    "Harris 'tantrums' cited in second staff exodus". See also "Five staffers leave Harris campaign".

    The chattering begins anew - "Some ask if Harris campaign can survive" - as Harris tries to rebuild:
    After six top aides walked out on her campaign in two days, Katherine Harris announced she has hired three new staffers.

    In a news release, Harris announced that "Daphne Ricobene will be assuming the role of director of field operations. Eddy Mehnert will be taking on the job of southwest field director, and Jason Wetherington will be the campaign’s new southeast field director. The campaign will soon announce senior level campaign staff."
    "Harris Hires Staff".

    Latino Vote

    "Just over one-third of those surveyed said Democrats have offered the best policy suggestions in the immigration debate. Meanwhile, 16 percent of Latinos said Republicans had a better handle on immigration reform." "Latinos more unified, poll finds".


    "Jenne to be questioned in Trump lawsuit over Seminole casino".


    "An ongoing look at the candidates' campaign ads".

    Will "Jeb!" Get To Appoint?

    "The chief judge of the Jacksonville judicial circuit has asked the Florida Supreme Court to quicken its pace in deciding a lawsuit that challenges the election of 55 new state judges." "Judge seeks quick action on judicial elections". See also "Legal dispute over judgeships heats up".


    "Gov. Jeb Bush on Thursday sided with a nurse who could lose her license because she discussed Terri Schiavo's medical condition on national TV." Carla Sauer-Iyer "provided an affidavit for the governor's legal team in its defense of Terri's Law, which was ruled unconstitutional. In her affidavit, Sauer-Iyer, who worked for Palm Garden of Largo as a licensed practical nurse while Schiavo was there, claimed Schiavo said 'Mommy' and 'Help me,' told nurses she was in pain and chuckled when Sauer-Iyer told her humorous stories."

    Michael Schiavo said Thursday that Bush is trying to protect someone he used.

    "This is America. The governor is entitled to be wrong again," he said. "What Carla did is wrong and what the governor is doing to protect her is wrong. Why does he want to help people who lie?"
    "Governor sides with nurse in trouble for Schiavo remarks".

    E Voting

    "Electronic voting machines come under legal attack from activists".

    Shaw Bucks

    "Clay Shaw raised nearly $1.3 million during the past three months, an amount his campaign says tops any Republican running for the House." "Shaw Claims Record".

    Too Slow

    "The state just classified this former species of "special concern" to a species threatened with extinction. New rules the state will impose to help perpetuate the species likely won't be adopted for a year or more, however." "Setting an example".

    Nobody Came

    "After only eight people showed up in Orlando for a hearing on State Farm Florida's 79 percent rate hike, the state's insurance regulators decided their public rate hike hearings had to change." "Format revamp set for hearings on insurance rate hikes".

    Drilling Deal "Disappointing"

    The Sun-Sentinel contends that "It's disappointing that Florida couldn't get a better deal than this one, brokered by the state's junior senator, Republican Mel Martinez." "Energy Bill". The Orlando Seninel, however, thinks Mel can do no wrong: "Unite on good deal". See also "Not one more inch".

    And what why was Nelson "left out of brokering" the deal? "Drilling drama".

    Family Man

    "In a new campaign ad featuring his wife Laura and son Charlie, Tom Gallagher portrays himself as the changed family man." "TG’s Family - Will They Help Him Win?".


    The Miami Herald: "The Rev. Dozier's re marks ill-serve the African-American community that he purports to represent -- and the good people of that community should let the reverend and his supporters know that they don't condone his brand of religious bigotry any more than they would support racial bigotry." "Bias against Islam".

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