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.


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The Blog for Monday, August 21, 2006

"Debates Could Prove Crucial"

    "Republicans Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher square off Tuesday night, and Democrats Jim Davis and Rod Smith will spar Wednesday. The hourlong debates, originating from WEDU-TV in Tampa, will air at 8 p.m. on most public-TV stations statewide, including WMFE-Channel 24 in Orlando. And with the Sept. 5 primaries just two weeks away, the debates could prove crucial." "TV debates raise stakes".

    Another One Bites The Dust

    "Rhyan Metzler, Katherine Harris' political director of three months, left her Senate campaign. The departure came on Thursday, the same day that Harris held an Orlando campaign rally that was attended by only about 30 to 40 people, none of them the expected elected officials." "Harris' political director departs". See also "Harris aide blamed in tree fiasco quits top job".

    The "Jeb!" factor

    "Gubernatorial candidates play Jeb card to suit arguments".

    CD 22

    "Democrats are nationalizing the race in District 22 to take advantage of the president's decreasing popularity and a growing public discontent with the war in Iraq. The strategy is playing out in TV ads and campaign rallies, and behind the scenes, in the bulging campaign accounts of both candidates. Millions of dollars are pouring into this closely watched race, and a large chunk of it is from the political parties themselves, each side motivated by the national significance of the outcome. Democrats could take control of the U.S. House if they win 15 seats in the Nov. 7 mid-term elections. And Shaw's is one of the seats considered possible for a takedown." "Shaw vs. Klein draws nation's eyes".

    Check out who is contributing to Klein and Shaw.

    Did Tom "compare" Bush to Castro?

    "Both Tom Gallagher's ad criticizing Charlie Crist, and Crist's response, contain both truth and questionable claims." "Gallagher And Crist Compare, Clash In Ads".

    Electronic Warfare

    "Susan MacManus, who teaches political science at the University of South Florida, said campaigns in recent years have been strategic in hiring young people."

    By incorporating high school and college-aged students who tend to be at the forefront of technology, campaign tactics get edgier. Blogs used to be the latest thing.

    Now, "It's podcasts and MySpace. We're expecting cell phone ads and PDA ads," MacManus said.
    "Candidates add Web profiles".

    State Employees

    "Will legislators change employee insurance?"


    The Dems are beginning to rip Jebbie's failed education program:

    "Let me tell you the Bush legacy on education: We're 49th in the nation on our SAT scores. For the last four years we've led the nation in our dropout rate. When our students leave high school here with a degree and go to a community college, more than 30 percent of them take remediation," Smith said.

    In the meantime, Smith said, the state is still unable to attract the teachers it needs because salaries remain too low. He gave the example of teachers in Leon County taking jobs in neighboring Georgia because of starting salaries that are $6,000 higher.

    "It is a metaphor for our school system problem that we have a carpool that starts in Tallahassee and drives to Thomasville, Georgia, each day, and the 2005 public school Teacher of the Year is teaching in Atlanta this year. I'll change that," Smith said.
    "Democrat Smith, in Broward, rips Gov. Bush on schools".

    Water Wars

    "Local water wars have spilled over into a race for the Florida House of Representatives. David Pope and Ray Walker are running in the Republican primary for the seat now held by term-limited Rep. Dwight Stansel, D-Live Oak. Each candidate has talked about Pope's experience as the reason they deserve the job.
    Pope said his role as chairman of the Suwannee River Water Management District has taught him about a legislative district that covers much of the same turf. Instead of difficult-to-enforce regulations, he said he favors partnerships and incentives to protect the environment." "Water policy divides GOP candidates".


    "The RNC site selection committee zips into town Sunday for a whirlwind 48-hour tour of Tampa and St. Petersburg, after similar visits to Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota and New York City. Cleveland is the last stop before the committee retires to pick the winning city, which will be announced in January." "Tampa again tries to woo convention". See also "Pulling out the elephants for the GOP", "Selling Tampa: the 2008 Republican National Convertion", "Tampa Rolls Out The Old Red Carpet For RNC Panel" and "Best Foot Foward".

    AG Race

    "Two South Florida trial attorneys are vying for the Democratic nomination to be the state's next attorney general, but one's candidacy seems more an assist than a contest."

    Merrilee Ehrlich, 55, of Fort Lauderdale joined the race on the last day of qualifying and promptly underwent major back surgery. Her campaign has yet to register much publicity.

    Meanwhile, state Sen. Walter "Skip" Campbell, 57, of Coral Springs had been campaigning for almost a year without another Democrat in sight. It was the Republicans who were falling over themselves in a four-way race to be their party's standard-bearer.
    "Democrat dwarfs foe in cash, status in attorney-general race".

    The Orlando Sentinel's editorial board (McCollum's hometown paper) isn't impressed with Campbell: "The attorney general primary" ("Skip Campbell is the best choice in the Democratic race -- but only by default.")

    CD 11

    "The person who takes over for Jim Davis as their representative in Congress will have to understand not only the geography - the district spreads about 50 miles north to south over three counties and three separate urban cores- but also the diverse demographics and resulting diverse needs." "'The Vegetable Soup Of Politics'".

    Trying To Put Lipstick on a Pig

    "Playing ball has opened doors for Martinez - in the Senate and on the field".


    "Papers pick Crist, Smith for primary":

    - "In the Democratic primary, Smith, a former Gainesville-area prosecutor, so far has won endorsements from the St. Petersburg Times, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Daytona News-Journal, Lakeland Ledger, Gainesville Sun and Naples Daily News. U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa has won endorsements from the Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Times-Union and Bradenton Herald."

    - "Crist, as of Sunday, had won recommendations from editorial boards for every major daily Florida newspaper to date, including the St. Petersburg Times, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel and Jacksonville's Florida Times-Union. Republican Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher has yet to receive an endorsement from a major Florida daily paper, though the Miami-Herald, his hometown paper, had not issued endorsements in the governor's race as of Sunday."

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