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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Thursday, August 10, 2006

Gallagher Stays In Race

    "Tom Gallagher will announce today that he has rejected suggestions from some supporters that he drop out of the governor's race and that he is in the Republican primary to stay, three close advisors to the campaign said Wednesday. The announcement comes on the heels of a report in The Miami Herald that Gallagher had seriously considered dropping out of the race to reserve Republican resources and allow his supporters to make peace with his front-running GOP rival, Charlie Crist." "Gallagher not quitting, advisors say". See also "Gallagher dismisses thoughts of quitting race", "Tom Gallagher: I'm not quitting", "Gallagher says he'll stay in governor's race", "Gallagher still in to win" and "He's down in polls but not out of race" ("If Tom Gallagher is considering whether to drop out of the governor's race, nothing that happened Wednesday argued against it.")

    Cretin Unmasked

    Kudos to the Miami Herald for tracking down the GOPer cretin who attempted to inject racisim into the GOP Senate primary:

    "Eddie," the Katherine Harris staffer who allegedly planted a racially loaded question about whether candidate Will McBride’s real name was Rodriguez, apparently made two mistakes at Friday candidate forum:

    1) Failing to tell supporter/plant Jackie Brownhill to hush up about the Harris campaign as the source of the question.

    2) Passing out a business card with the name A. Edward Mehnert III to people at the event. The card was shared with the Miami Herald.
    Much more here: "Mysterious Harris staffer revealed!"

    Lee's Slush Fund

    "Tom Lee is sitting on $1.18-million. And everybody seems to have an idea about what he should do with it. The money, tucked away with a committee known as FLUST (Floridians Uniting for a Stronger Tomorrow) was raised as a part of his bid to become state Senate president. The Valrico Republican is now running a competitive primary race against Rep. Randy Johnson of Celebration to be the state's next chief financial officer. He could use FLUST money in his CFO race, but has said he won't. It's common for senators to use their political committee money to help fellow incumbent senators win competitive races. And Sen. Nancy Argenziano, R-Dunnellon, sent Lee a letter asking him to do just that." "Give up the money, Tom Lee's peers say".

    Housing Crisis

    "Working class can't afford housing in Charlotte County".

    Low Turnout Expected

    "Florida Secretary of State Sue Cobb said Wednesday that she's worried voters aren't paying much attention to the Sept. 5 primary election when they can choose nominees for governor as well as a Republican Senate contender." "Secretary of State concerned about poor turnout". See also "Low voter turnout for September primary a concern".

    Kids Insurance

    "The percentage of uninsured children dropped 20.5 percent nationally and 13.3 percent in Florida, according to the study. The nation still has about 8 million uninsured children, however, including more than 600,000 in Florida." "In Florida, more kids' health is insured".


    "So does that mean Bolanos would be in favor of a piece of legislation pushed by State Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla this past spring? The Miami Republican sponsored a measure that would have blocked retailers from renting or selling to a minor any video game that depicts killing, maiming or sexually assaulting another human being if the violence was depicted in a heinous, cruel or depraved fashion."

    Interestingly enough, guess who led the charge to help kill Diaz de la Portilla's bill? That would be the Florida Retail Federation, which said that such overregulation wasn't needed and said the bill would be unconstitutional. The federation this past month donated more than $100,000 to Florida's Mainstreet Merchants, which then gave $93,500 to Citizens for Conservative Values, one of the third party groups dedicated to electing Bolanos and defeating incumbent Sen. Alex Villalobos.
    "Bolanos: Whack violent video games".

    More Charlie

    "The commercial starts with Crist talking, then flashes to a photo of Crist and Gov. Jeb Bush, followed by a montage of Crist talking to sheriff's deputies and police officers, then a jail door slams shut. The ad finishes with Crist surrounded by a crowd of people, including children." "Adwatch: Charlie Crist's race for governor".

    About Tom

    "Tom Gallagher has prowled the halls of Florida government for 32 years, tackling more bureaucracies and delving into more issues than almost anyone." "Calculating His Choices".

    Money for Nothing

    "State Senate candidate Randall Terry earned $10,000 last year for roughly two months of work as the spokesman for Terri Schiavo's family, according to a financial-disclosure form filed with the state Division of Elections." "Activist got $10,000 for Schiavo work". See also "Terry was paid spokesman".

    Note The Proximity To Election Season

    "Florida Republican Party leaders will converge in Orlando today for what GOP officials are billing as a 'statewide policy summit.'" "GOP brings 'policy summit' to Orlando".

    Smith Ad

    "Rod Smith focuses on homeowners insurance in his second advertisement. Like his first ad, this one tries to create a real-time effect, showing the candidate jog from a helicopter, its blades still twirling, toward a gaggle of supposed reporters. He has to speak above the engine's din as the wind whips his hair." "Ad Watch: Rod Smith".


    "Shaw, Klein trade jabs in Social Security ring". See also "Shaw starts TV campaign focused on Social Security" and "Shaw ad moves him away from Bush on Social Security".

    Stumblin' Charlie

    "Charlie Crist campaigns for governor saying that he will continue to use the FCAT if he is elected because it is a vital measure of student and school performance. But Florida's attorney general, a former education commissioner, was unable to answer basic questions Wednesday about the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, including when it is given and what it takes to pass." "Crist trips on knowing FCAT dates and scoring".


    "Should a candidate seeking to govern a county with 1-million people, a billion-dollar budget and the power to seize a person's property need to be told not to use campaign contributions to buy himself Italian suits?" "Preening on campaign's tab".

    Insurance Becoming Key Issue

    "Forget about the orange. In this election year, the symbol for Florida is a blue tarp." "Political Insurance Policies". See also "What voters want is policy on insurers" ("Of all the crises in Florida, none can make candidates squirm more than being asked about homeowners insurance.")

    Surely a Mistake

    "Not quite. But King's opponent Randall Terry does a pretty good imitation of the former president in a recorded campaign phone call that is going out to 43,000 homes on Thursday." "Clinton supports Sen. Jim King?".

    "Bumbling Harris"

    "It's gotten so that weird Harris tales are hardly news anymore. They're the proverbial plane-lands-safely story. I mean, if she started running a strong and competent campaign, now that would be unusual and newsworthy. So to put this in perspective, how about a quick game? In each instance, see if you can identify the one thing that Harris has not done in this campaign."

    According to a recent chronicling of her former staffers' horror stories, Katherine Harris did all of the following:

    A. Throw a stack of papers at a campaign manager.

    B. Become so obsessed with Starbucks coffee that she insisted the coffeehouses' locations be mapped out along her campaign route.

    C. In response to arriving late to a campaign rally, screamed, cried and told another campaign manager that he'd "ruined her life."

    D. On two separate occasions was forced into "Come to Jesus" meetings by top advisers, who insisted that she stop berating her staff.

    The false one: D -- The Palm Beach Post, which collected the vignettes, said Harris' top advisers forced her to attend at least three such meetings.
    "Let's play 'bumbling Harris' game".

    Harris presses on: "Sun-Sentinel: Harris confident despite troubles".

    Futures Not Bright

    "Without more of a commitment from the Legislature, the 11 public universities have little option beyond tuition and fees for meeting their growing staffing, technology and enrollment needs. The Legislature financed only $55 million of the Board of Governors' $88 million request to cover enrollment growth this year, for example, when student numbers will surpass 300,000. Each tuition increase, however, means more pressure on Bright Futures, which pays tuition for students who attend state universities." "Bright Futures at risk if budget future is bleak".

    McBride Financial Picture Still A Mystery

    "McBride's staff said the Republican candidate's campaign had been granted an extension until Aug. 4 but could not explain why the Senate office did not have a document indicating that. Late Wednesday, the campaign offered a copy of the financial disclosure and a certified mail receipt showing it had been sent." "Senate hopeful's report overdue".

    Hillsborough County

    "Political candidate Joe Redner wants to reunite with the man who threw a chair at him on a local TV show - this time in a boxing ring."

    Republican and Internet talk show host Tony Katz declined Wednesday, but he said he would participate in a chair-throwing contest with Redner.

    Katz chucked a high stool at Redner on Saturday during "The Bleepin Truth," a political debate show that airs on Tampa Bay Community Network. The chair hit Redner on the back, forearm and head.
    "'Bleepin' Brouhaha Revisited".

    Meanwhile, Hillsborough County "Students might be required to have written permission to join any school club. Critics say the proposal is aimed at gay clubs." "Hillsborough will debate parental consent policy".

    Exposing The Chamber

    Now here is a politician (chairman of the Leon County Commission) who recognizes that the Chamber of Commerce is little more than a right-wing pressure group:

    Bill Proctor is asking the county to re-evaluate its relationship with the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce because of its opposition to the county's proposed health-care plan for the uninsured.
    "Proctor asks county to sever ties to Chamber".

    Of course the local rag, no doubt a member of the Chamber, is outraged that an elected official would expose the precious institution: "Leadership?"

    Stolen Laptop

    "A laptop computer used by the Department of Transportation to combat fraud was stolen in Doral last month, putting the sensitive personal information of almost 133,000 Florida residents at risk." "Theft of government laptop in Doral puts 133,000 Florida residents at risk". See also "Stolen laptop had data on 133,000".

    Hispanic College Enrollment

    "Colleges gaining Hispanic flavor". See also "State campuses swell with Hispanics" and "Hispanic student numbers grow".

    "Nothing Noble"

    "It has long been the general rule of thumb for the state's judicial candidates that they should keep their opinions to themselves. That is a policy that has largely served the public well - but it is about to change."

    [S]pecial interest groups, particularly those such as the Christian Coalition that are looking to remake the judiciary into a force for conservative politics, have been hectoring judicial candidates to share their views on such sensitive matters as gay adoption and slot machine gambling. There is nothing noble in this effort. It is an attempt to inject the same kind of acrimonious partisanship into our local judicial races that exists in nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judicial candidates should not take the bait.

    An opinion released Monday by the Florida Supreme Court's Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee expressed the view that it would not be a violation of the state's Judicial Canons for candidates to participate in issue-oriented voter surveys. But that doesn't mean they should.
    "Judging the judges".


    "Bush is about to climb back onto the campaign stump." "Bush Hits the Trail". See also "Bush campaigns to preserve agenda as vote to replace him nears".

    CD 11

    "Democrats running for the District 11 congressional seat being vacated by Jim Davis appealed for the backing of gay and lesbian voters Wednesday in a forum held by a group seeking to advance rights for those groups." "Candidates lobby gays for support".

    Smith Team

    "Democratic candidate for governor Rod Smith announced campaign teams in a pair of Central Florida counties [Wednesday]. Among the more well-known names on his Volusia and Polk steering committees are state Rep. Joyce Cusack, D-DeLand, and Daytona Beach Mayor Yvonne Scarlett Golden (Volusia), and former Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Rick Dantzler (Polk). " "Smith Supporters from Volusia to Polk".

    Nelson Stays Out of It

    "Democrats in the Senate Wednesday called on their colleagues to back Ned Lamont, the Greenwich, CT. millionaire who defeated Sen. Joseph Lieberman in the primary - a win that Democrats say underscores voter unrest with the war in Iraq."

    But Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, himself up for re-election and eager to hew to the center, is staying out of the fray. A spokesman for Nelson said he's focused on his own campaign in Florida.
    "Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued a statement backing Lamont."
    That brought a retort from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which sent out press releases asking whether Democratic Senate incumbents and candidates would "support fringe candidate Ned Lamont or the 2000 VP nominee, Joe Lieberman."

    But left out of the stream of press releases from the committee - at least as of mid afternoon - was Nelson, whose chief Republican opponent, Rep. Katherine Harris, is running 30 points behind and has encountered resistance from her own party.
    "Not taking sides".

    Daily Slosberg

    "The race to replace state Rep. Irv Slosberg in District 90 has turned sour, filled with name-calling, an ethics complaint and accusations of dirty campaign tricks. Slosberg is running for state Senate, and the five contenders for his seat are all Democrats, including a write-in candidate whose place on the ballot blocks non-Democrats from voting in the primary." "Name-calling, ethics complaint mark District 90 race, now for Democrats only".

    NRA Hearts King

    "The National Rifle Association gave another Republican some protection on his right flank today by endorsing Sen. Jim King of Jacksonville. King, like previous NRA-endorsee Charlie Crist, is facing a primary challenger who is campaigning to the right of him. In King's case, it's anti-abortion activist Randall Terry. " "NRA Comes to King's Defense".

<< Home