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 Thursday, August 03, 2006

Gallagher Grasping

    "A group of religious conservative leaders renewed their support for Florida Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher in the Republican primary for governor." However,
    The conference call smacks of desperation from the Gallagher campaign, University of South Florida political scientist Darryl Paulson said.

    "Why hold a news conference announcing you've got the same people supporting you throughout the campaign supporting you again?" Paulson said.
    "Gallagher Receives Renewed Support". See also "Social conservatives say Crist waffles; they tout Gallagher" and "As campaign lags, Gallagher courts social conservatives". But see "Will Gallagher Quit The Governor's Race?"

    Gallagher is getting some 527 support, though, as the Miami Herald's Naked Politics reports, "the First pitch from shadow group is a softball". See also "Campaign adwatch: Tom Gallagher for governor".

    Harris Problems Continue

    It never ends: FBI's interest in Harris latest bad news for campaign. See also "Subpoena prompted exodus from Harris campaign", "Law firm's bill tipped Harris' staff to subpoena, ex-aide says" and "Harris campaign refuses to verify subpoena".

    The campaign's response?

    Four more staffers have left Katherine Harris' troubled U.S. Senate campaign, which is putting an upbeat face on the reams of bad publicity that have rolled in with renewed force this week.

    "We're excited," said spokeswoman Jennifer Marks, touting the endorsement of Florida Right to Life on Wednesday.
    "Struggling Harris loses four more campaign staff". See also "More troops leaving Harris".

    Meanwhile, "McBride wants to be GOP's 'relief pitcher'".

    Push Poll

    "Florida Chief Financial Officer hopeful Randy Johnson accused GOP opponent Tom Lee of hitting below the belt Wednesday after learning that someone had conducted a survey aimed at alienating Republican voters by accusing Johnson of misspending campaign money. Lee, the state Senate president who has won an endorsement from term-limited Gov. Jeb Bush, denied that his campaign was involved in the survey conducted by a Texas firm that has done work for President Bush." "Johnson says foe ran shady survey". See also "Johnson Says Lee is Behind Push Poll" and "Lee's Campaign: We're not Push-Polling".

    Chain Gang Charlie

    "Attorney General Charlie Crist, who first earned attention for his crime-fighting proposals in the state Senate, invokes the names of three dead girls regularly on the campaign trail." "Crist's campaign focus: fighting crime".

    New Smith Ad

    "State Sen. Rod Smith began airing his second television ad Wednesday, probably giving him a week and a half jump on his Democratic opponent with just over a month to go before the Sept. 5 primary election. The new 30-second spot about Smith's plan to fix property insurance is using the remainder of Smith's first $700,000 television advertising purchase that started late last week in markets all over the state except for Pensacola and Fort Myers, including expensive but Democratic-voter-rich South Florida." "Smith gets the jump on Davis with ads on insurance plan". See also "Smith unveils second TV ad", "Campaign adwatch: Rod Smith for governor" and "Smith's Soft-Money Ad".

    Scott Maxwell

    "Brace yourselves: Candidate ads are invading your living rooms".

    Medicaid Fraud

    "Results of the state's dental HMO experiment for children on Medicaid are in, but they don't show if the new approach is better than the old. That's unacceptable."

    Now, a University of Florida study reports disturbing results for the pilot's first year, which ended in June 2005. It found the number of poor children seeing a dentist dropped 40 percent. Only 27,000 children got dental care, a drop of 35,500 from the previous year under the old program.
    Not everyone went without:
    Also, children received only $2.1 million in dental services while the state paid $15.3 million to Atlantic Dental, the HMO running the pilot.
    "Kids' dental care".

    From The "Values" Crowd

    "In 2004, the issue of gay marriage was used as ballot bait in 11 states, drawing religious conservatives to the polls -- and the tactic worked. A gay marriage ballot question likely will be on the ballot in Florida for the 2008 elections, and candidates already are featuring the divisive issue in their ads." "Convenient target".

    Broward County

    "There is probable cause to believe Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin broke state law by voting on grant applications for Southwest Ranches written by her husband, the state Ethics Commission said Wednesday." "Broward commissioner official faces ethics hearing over grants linked to husband".

    C. F. What?

    "Candidates vying to be Florida's next chief financial officer have discovered that they have some explaining to do." "Contest for state CFO (whatever that is) is a first".

    Davis Takes On Tally

    "The central theme of Davis' campaign is that Republican-led Tallahassee is out of touch with the state. Davis delivers that message in pungent verbal jabs, while criticizing Gov. Jeb Bush and lawmakers for not doing enough on property insurance, environmental protection and growth management. He also slams lobbyists for having too much influence on the lawmaking process." "Boasting a sharpened campaign style, Davis takes on Tallahassee".

    Daniel Ruth on Smith

    "Candidates Face Each Other And Anonymity".

    A Cuban Preference?

    "Experts say any tinkering with the "wet foot-dry foot policy" - which allows Cubans fleeing the island to stay in the U.S. only if they reach dry land - would likely destabilize an already fragile Cuban society, enrage other immigrants in the U.S., or both." "Cuban refugee policy in works". See also "Cuba after Castro", "One last Castro threat: A new wave of rafters" and "Cuban-American lawmakers voice cautious hopes".

    This somehow is not particularly comforting: "U.S. ready for whatever happens, Martinez says".

    Yipes! Mike Thomas will be receiving death threats after penning these words:

    Unfortunately, Cuba's socialized health care is quite good. Life spans on the island equal those here. And Cuba's literacy rate tops what you'll find in Orange County high schools.

    Maybe that has been Castro's secret to longevity. Yes, he's a narcissistic, ruthless dictator. But he spreads the wealth a bit more than the typical, narcissistic, ruthless dictator backed by the United States.
    "Failed policy helps Castro keep control". See also "Hatred of Fidel Castro shaped South Florida's culture and politics". A case in point: "Rep. sees bill as keeping oil money out of Cuba's pockets".

    You Don't Think ...

    "State runs prisons better than companies, chief says".


    "The 71-25 vote, with support from both of Florida's senators, was anticlimactic given sure signs over the last week that the bill would prevail. But it signaled the beginning of difficult negotiations with the House if leaders in both chambers remain at odds over the measure's scope." "Senate passes drilling bill amid promises, threats".

    The Commies Are Coming!

    Jebbie's surrogate sure knows how to embarass himself: "Frank Bolaños' campaign is warning Republicans in West Miami-Dade of an AFL-CIO 'cabal' that's "organizing a raiding party" to support his GOP primary opponent, state Sen. Alex Villalobos. The labor union has a more bland term for the month-long plan to walk the district and make calls: getting out the vote in the Sept. 5 Republican primary. But Bolaños spokesman Michael Caputo (no relation to this reporter) said an AFL-CIO email to members about the effort shows that Villalobos' support is more fitting for a Democrat than a Republican. He also bashes Villalobos for getting trial-lawyer and teacher-union support." "Bolaños: The blue collars are coming!"

    Klein Cleared

    "The Florida Commission on Ethics has dismissed a complaint against Democratic state senator and congressional candidate Ron Klein, saying the allegations by a Republican activist wouldn't constitute ethics violations if proved true." "Ethics board dismisses complaint against Klein". See also "State board dismisses Klein ethics charge".

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