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 Thursday, August 24, 2006

"Attack Dogs"

    "The Democrats vying to be Florida's next governor traded jabs over insurance, education and track records in a debate."
    In the first debate televised statewide between the Democratic contenders for governor, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis slammed state Sen. Rod Smith as a candidate bought and paid for by corporate interests.

    At least I go to work, Smith shot back, defending his independence and leadership and pointing to Davis' second-worst attendance record in the U.S. House of Representatives. Smith also knocked Davis for once voting against compensating two wrongfully convicted black men.
    "Davis, Smith trade volleys during debate". More coverage:

    - "Voters who know little about the two Democrats running for governor were introduced to two attack dogs during Wednesday's televised debate." "Davis Vs. Smith".

    - "The two leading Democratic candidates for governor introduced themselves to a statewide audience Wednesday night by going hard after each other on everything from property insurance to the Everglades in an hourlong debate laced with venom." "Davis, Smith turn up heat in TV showdown".

    - "The Democratic contenders to become Florida's next governor squared off Wednesday night, trading jabs about votes that happened and votes that didn't." "Democratic candidates go after voting records in debate".

    - "Still unknown to most of the voters they hope to woo, Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jim Davis and Rod Smith combatively hit the statewide airwaves together, spending as much time criticizing each other as they did talking about themselves." "Sparring seems like partnership as both have similar positions, but they land jabs" .

    - "In an often bruising debate Wednesday night, Jim Davis cast his opponent as a pawn of Big Sugar, the insurance industry and other special interests while Rod Smith decried Davis as a do-nothing congressman who has 'not earned the promotion to governor.'" "Davis vs. Smith gets a bit testy".

    - "State Sen. Rod Smith called U.S. Rep. Jim Davis as "an ineffective congressman" who misses too many votes in Washington while Davis said Wednesday that Smith has caved in to lobbyists in Tallahassee on hurricane insurance, utility bills and pollution." "Democrats pick apart each other's records".

    - "The candidates showed only brief spurts of passion during the hour-long debate and gave Floridians few new details on how they would govern alongside a Legislature that is likely to be dominated for some time by Republicans." "No knockout lines, missteps as Democrats debate".

    - Troxler: "Holy cow! Who knew that Jim Davis could throw a punch? For Rod Smith, it must have been kind of like getting socked in the jaw by a smirking Opie. Davis and Smith, the two Democrats running for governor, debated Wednesday night on statewide public television. Davis seemed to be the aggressor against Smith, a state senator from Gainesville, accusing him of being too close to special interests while serving in the Florida Legislature." "Pow! Bam! Debates spirited but informative".

    - Scott Maxwell: "Davis kept throwing punches, and Smith kept getting hit. An uppercut accusation about sucking up to Big Sugar. A left-jab reminder about the time Smith sided with telephone companies. And instead of providing easy-to-understand, legitimate-sounding defenses, Smith would offer some gobbledygook about a magistrate's report or state House subcommittee meeting. If Smith had been delivering a college lecture, his audience might've appreciated his points. But he's trying to get votes in a state where Bithlo's Crash-a-rama is considered high times." "Debate winners: Crist and Davis".

    To the extent anyone cares: "'Listening to the doom and gloom tone of this debate and the Democrats’ constant sniping, you would think that we’ve gone back to 1998, which, not coincidentally, was the last time a Democrat was in the Governor’s Mansion. It was at that point that Florida was only graduating 60% of its students. It was at that point that taxes were skyrocketing out of control. It was at that point that our tourism industry was concerned that our out-of-control crime was hurting Florida’s economy...'" "Carole Jean: Dems Blow It".

    - Here's an interesting tactic: "A Davis backer greeted those arriving at the studios of WEDU-TV in Tampa -- site of tonight's Democratic gubernatorial debate -- dressed in a large version of the Sugar Daddy candy wrapper." "Not So Sweet".

    - Good Point: "Before the cameras started rolling, he warned the audience of largely Democratic Party stalwarts to keep quiet, adding: 'I don't think we'll have the problem with all the rattling jewelry we had last night.'" "Warming Up the Crowd".

    - Guest list: "Rod Smith and Jim Davis brought a host of family members, friends and associates to the debate Wednesday - among them Michael Schiavo." "Schiavo Stops By".

    Political Safari reviews some of the Florida blog coverage here. More at the Florida Progressive Coalition blog.

    In the "Whatever" category, we have this: "Gov. Jeb Bush is ready to hit back at Democrats after tonight's debate." "Jeb to strike back".

    GOP Accusations

    "A day after his primary challenger ripped Charlie Crist on statewide television as an abortion and gay-rights supporter, Arizona Sen. John McCain began calling thousands of registered Florida voters." "GOP gubernatorial candidates let accusations fly in final days of race". See also "Charlie and friends".

    CD 13

    "Congressional candidates Tramm Hudson and Vern Buchanan have been mean to each other in person for weeks, but recently released TV attack ads bring a new level of ferocity to the District 13 race." "Candidates use risky attack ads to 'get through the noise'". In the meantime, "Detert hoping to sneak past rivals".

    Sugar Ties

    "Bankrolled by a group tied to U.S. Sugar and other agricultural interests, a new television ad is attacking Congressman Jim Davis, accusing him of having a bad attendance record in Congress and voting against the minimum wage." "Smith's allies attack Davis with U.S. Sugar money".

    Harris "Defective"?

    "'Everybody knows who Katherine Harris is, and a lot of those reasons are the wrong reasons,' said Collins, one of three candidates running against Harris in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate nomination." "Collins calls Harris 'defective,' touts Navy, business experience".

    On The Road Again

    "In the aftermath of a contentious debate Tuesday night, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist campaigned in six cities Wednesday, while opponent Tom Gallagher stayed out of public view. Gallagher spokesman Alberto Martinez said the state's chief financial officer was working the phones and having meetings Wednesday and would be back on the campaign trail today with a stop in Ocala." "Crist tours six cities; Gallagher back on trail today".

    Going Aftr Keller

    "In one of a handful of races nationwide where Democrats think they can win seats from Republicans and possibly reclaim the U.S. House, three candidates are vying to be the party's choice in the Sept. 5 primary. Those candidates are attorney Alan Grayson, Orange County Commissioner Homer Hartage and marketing consultant Charlie Stuart. The winner will most likely face incumbent Ric Keller, R-Orlando, for the U.S. House District 8 seat in the Nov. 7 general election." "".

    Christian Coalition

    "Christian Coalition losing chapters".


    "After the accusations, rebuttals and nitpicking were over, viewers of Tuesday's debate between Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher, the Republican candidates for governor, could be excused for being confused." "Crist, Gallagher Stances Require Close Looks".


    "The governor's campaign of Congressman Jim Davis announced a victory today in its battle to pull down an attack ad financed by U.S. Sugar."

    The camp's press-release headline: "Fox Affiliate Pulls Down False Special Interest Attack Ad." Download Letter.doc

    The problem: That's not accurate, according to Molly Pauker, lawyer for WTVT in Tampa.

    "It’s a little premature to say we pulled the ad.... We're vetting it for accuracy, doing our due diligence," Pauker said.
    "Bitter truth for Davis' camp?"

    HD 10

    "Florida's soaring homeowners insurance rates are a priority for all four Senate candidates from District 10, Republican and Democrat. Read what Sandra Murman, Ronda Storms, Ray Young and Stephen Gorham have to say about the issues." "Dist. 10 Candidates Speak Out". See also "Tampa station pulls ad ripping Davis".

    Lee Ad

    "Tom Lee has released a pair of TV spots in his campaign for chief financial officer. In one, he touts his accomplishments; in the other, he brings out the big gun, popular Gov. Jeb Bush, to do so." "Add Watch: Tom Lee".

    Special Session Ploy

    "Democrats also have cast a special session as a ploy by Republicans. 'I think they're looking for a quick fix that gets you through the November election,' House Minority Leader Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, told Gannett News Service. 'Republicans created this mess, and they shouldn't wait for consensus to fix it.'" "Special session on home insurance? Maybe See also "Politricks of insurance".

    Crist Ant-Choice

    "Sen. Paula Dockery, one of the names floated as a possible running mate for Attorney General Charlie Crist, sharply defended Crist at a campaign stop at the Rising Sun Cafe in Brooksville. She praised Crist and told the crowd he was 'pro-life' and that she worked with Crist's office when she helped sponsor a parental notification abortion bill that was passed by the Florida Legislature in 2005. 'Is Charlie pro-life? You bet,' said Dockery" "Dockery defends Crist".

    Bought and Paid For

    "Republican attorney general candidate Bill McCollum will be the latest in a growing series of Republican candidates to bask in the governor's shadow, with Bush scheduled to attend a fund-raiser for the former Longwood congressman Sept. 19 in Orlando." "Jeb!=$$".

    Good Luck

    "Mahoney presses Foley for debates in eight counties".

    The "My Pet Goat" Moment

    "Five years ago, Tyler Radkey was one of 16 second-graders at Emma E. Booker Elementary School reading the book, 'My Pet Goat,' to the president of the United States." "Sarasota students recall being with president in school library".

    Tougher Rules

    "The Florida Building Commission was wrong to continue to exempt the Panhandle from the tough building codes required elsewhere in coastal regions of the state. The decision is unsupported by evidence. Moreover, it is politically divisive and financially damaging both to Panhandle residents and everyone else with an insurance policy in this state." "Tougher rules needed".

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