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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 Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gallagher Pounds Crist

    "Gallagher saved his best for last. In the final debate before the Sept. 5 primary, he launched one of his strongest assaults against Charlie Crist in the Republican race for governor, pounding him for supporting costly new classrooms, same-sex civil unions and some abortion rights." Fortunately for Crist, "Miami-Dade and Broward voters did not get to watch the second and last televised debate Monday" "Debate climax largely missed". See also "Crist, Gallagher spar over abortion, honesty", "Debate [was] not airing live in Miami", "In final debate, Gallagher, Crist accuse each other of flip-flopping", "Tame start, lively finish at Republican primary debate", "GOP candidates trade barbs in final debate", "Crist, Gallagher Sharpen Debate Jabs", "Crist, Gallagher Sharpen Debate Jabs", "Gloves off in the GOP debate", "The Battle in West Palm" and "Crist, Gallagher fire away in last TV debate before primary".

    "The Democrats Respond": "'Tonight, as usual, Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher focused on shifting their positions to sound more like Jeb Bush, even though both of them have been all over the place on numerous issues. You can’t pin either of these guys down on the issues that matter, and you can’t trust anything either of them says. Their credibility is shot, and the voters saw that front and center tonight.'"

    In the meantime, it looks like the "Democratic Debate Bagged" (it has "apparently been called off because of Tropical Storm Ernesto") and "Ernesto deals blow to Dems' gubernatorial debate". See also "Davis suspends commercials because of Ernesto", "Hurricane politics" and "Ernesto doesn't cancel politics".

    "Jeb, the 'dictator'"

    Naked Politics breaks down the current GOP implosion over Jebbie's attempt to takedown Villalobos; a comedy in three acts:

    Act 1.
    "State Sen. Nancy Argenziano, outraged over the governor's recent letter supporting the opponent of fellow Republican Sen. Alex Villalobos of Miami, just issued this scorcher, addressed to challenger Frank Bolanos:"
    "Governor Bush’s suggestion that Villalobos caters to special interest, while you accept millions of dollars from de facto special interest groups, is hypocritical and bizarre. The Governor has a history reflecting accommodation of special interests as evidenced by his agencies’ contracts, and his flexible Republicanism is at odds with both America and actual Republican principles. In his heart of hearts, the Governor prefers dictatorship to democracy."
    "Jeb, the 'dictator'". See also Bill Cotterell's "State sen. blasts Bush in e-mail" ("'I am appalled by the governor's disingenuous letter, an unusually public gubernatorial tantrum occasioned because he couldn't intimidate a member of the Senate,' wrote Argenziano") and "An angry GOP legislator has words for 'King Jeb'".

    Act 2.
    In response, "State GOP chair Carole Jean Jordan [protested] Sen. Nancy Argenziano's recent letter suggesting the governor is a dictator." "Jordan: senator crossed line". Jebbie stays above the fray: "Bush reticent to respond to senator".

    Act 3.
    To which Argenziano responded, pointing out that Jordan, the "Jeb!" shill running the RPOF, is an abject hypocrite. This "Looks like a Republican Party rift is widening over the Villalobos-Bolaños race. "Argenziano to Jordan: back off". See also "Argenziano (again)".

    GOP Anti-Registration Law Tossed

    "Third-party groups such as the Florida League of Women Voters, which had stopped voter registration drives because of stiff fines for violations, are back in business, thanks to a federal judge in Miami." "Ruling helps voter registration groups". See also "U.S. judge blocks new Florida voter law", "Judge rejects 'chilling' voter registration law".

    The South Florida Turnout Factor

    "'A statewide poll... reveals a nine-point difference between gubernatorial candidates U.S. Rep. Jim Davis (36 percent) and state Sen. Rod Smith (27 percent), with eight percent choosing “some other candidate” and the undecided voters at 28 percent. These poll results are the first to be released since the August 23 Democratic gubernatorial candidate debate.'" However,

    "this race could go either way, especially if voter turnout in South Florida is affected by the hurricane. This could possibly help Rod Smith."
    "Davis in lead. Will Ernesto change that?" See also "Poll: Davis 36, Smith 27", "Poll: Davis Extends Lead but Smith Within Single Digits".

    Smith Takes Heat

    "Democratic gubernatorial candidate Smith vows he won't be influenced by the estimated $1.7 million in ads attacking his opponent, which were purchased by groups funded by U.S. Sugar and a subsidiary. But it is naive to think that Mr. Smith -- with just $75,000 in his campaign account entering the final week of the primary -- won't be beholden to sugar growers after their attacks on his opponent, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis." "Not so sweet" See also "Cleland Lambastes Anti-Davis Messages", "Davis rips Smith over U.S. Sugar's donations", "Davis: No Sale For Primary" and "Phone Calls Target Davis, Too" ("Looks like Florida's Working Families, the political group financed largely by U.S. Sugar Corp., isn't just paying for TV ads and mailers attacking Jim Davis. A reader reported receiving a phone call from the group over the weekend accusing Davis of opposing a higher minimum wage.")

    How Green the Dems?

    "Neither's record doused in green".

    Class Size

    "Jim Davis and Rod Smith: The patron saints of class size."

    At least, that's how each of the two Democrats running for the nomination for governor describes himself: A driving force behind the state's efforts to have fewer children in public school classrooms.

    Last week, during their first televised debate, Davis, now a congressman from Tampa, boasted that as a state House member, he actually pushed class size before class size was cool.

    "I fought for it in 1996," he said. "Created a $100 million simple, powerful program."

    And Smith told viewers — as he tells most campaign speech audiences — that without him, Gov. Jeb Bush and his Republican allies likely would have succeeded in repealing or dramatically scaling back the amendment voters approved over Bush's objections in 2002. "I put together the coalition that preserved class-size," said Smith, a state senator from Alachua.

    In reality, both men are stretching the historical record.
    "On class size, Davis, Smith, inflate their grades".

    Chamber = "Jeb!" = RPOF

    The "Jeb!" hacks at the Chamber of Commerce will spend a million bucks attacking Villalobos. "The Florida Chamber of Commerce's political organization, Partnership for Florida's Future, has made a number of television ad buys opposing state Sen. Alex Villalobos that began cranking up in full this week and that, by the end of the Sept. 5, could cost at least $1 million." "$1m-plus ad buys in Villalobos-Bolanos".

    Gallagher Attack Ad

    "Three days after Crist hit Gallagher with a negative ad, Gallagher fires back with his own -- sometimes misleading -- ad." "Adwatch: A Miami Herald look at candidates' campaign ads this political season.". See also "Another Gallagher Ad Goes After Crist", and "Gallagher launches a new attack ad". See generally "Gubernatorial hopefuls turn up heat in TV ads".

    King, Terry

    "Endorsement Roundup: King 3, Terry 0".

    CFO Debate

    "CFO rivals trade jabs on insurance ties". See also "Candidates Share Some Ideas On Problems Plaguing State".

    "Tin Ear"

    "People in private business who serve on public boards have an easy way to avoid embarrassing themselves and the agencies they represent - by showing a broad appreciation for Florida's conflict-of-interest laws." "A tin ear on conflicts of interest".

    Dark Horses

    "Dark horses aim to help schools, homeowners".

    Special Session Politics

    The Palm Beach Post argues that "unless the governor is open to ideas beyond the failed private market, Floridians can believe that all he wants is a plan that won't fail (Republicans) by Election Day." "A session on insurance? Not if it's just for show".

    CD 13

    Flanagan: "District 13 hopeful runs against odds". Meanwhile, "Buchanan chips in another $300,000 to make District 13 race the costliest in the U.S." "District 13: Congress race sets spending record".

    "Harris, God and government"

    "More on Harris, God and government". In the meantime, "Harris' rivals in primary fight for visibility". See also "Harris embraced in Manatee" ("congresswoman evokes mostly positive reactions from commuters") "Ernesto's impact".

    As Ernesto Approaches

    "Make dike flaws public".

    GOP Thug Embarasses Herself

    "RPOF's Carole Jean Jordan issued a statement denouncing the stances of Georgia's former Senator and the local Democrats he campaigned with this weekend. Max Cleland is a veteran who lost both of his legs and his right arm in Vietnam and was awarded a Silver Star." "Cleland Visit Sparks Biting Exchange".

    Perhaps Dems and at least one Republican can agree on something:

    "Carole Jean Jordan can kiss my ass," Argenziano said.
    "Have Some More Republican Unity".

    CD 9

    "In the race for U.S. Congress District 9, Republican frontrunner Gus Bilirakis raised three times as much money than Democratic candidate Physllis Busansky between July 1 to Aug. 16 and finished the cycle with four as much cash on hand, according to new Federal Elections Commission campaign finance reports." "Bilirakis Widens Fundraising Gap with Busansky". See also "Bilirakis has huge lead in money".

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