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 Monday, August 14, 2006

Jebbie's Way or the Highway

    "Confirming what everybody pretty much knew, Jeb Bush comes out in support of Miami-Dade school board member Frank Bolanos unseating Republican state Sen. Alex Villalobos, who lost his leadership position after bucking party leaders on vouchers and repealing the class size mandate". "Jeb Backs Bolanos". See also "Bush Plays Favorites", "Jeb endorses Bolaños, cuts ad" and "Bush endorses Bolaños in closely-watched race".

    Gallagher Wants To Debate

    "Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher wrote Attorney General Charlie Crist a letter Monday (delivered simultaneously to the Crist campaign, Republican Party officials and the Florida press corps) asking Crist to reconsider participating in a pair of candidate forums this week in Orlando and West Palm Beach." "Gallagher to Crist: Debate Me". See also "Opponents say Crist's single status is an issue".

    Just Say No

    "Tom Gallagher presumably wanted the endorsement of The Palm Beach Post and other 'liberal' media when he appeared at the newspapers’ editorial boards. But now, after The Palm Beach Post, The St. Petersburg Times and others endorsed Charlie Crist to be the GOP nominee for governor Sunday, Gallagher apparently has a different view." "Gallagher - Just Say No To The 'Liberal' Media". See also "Papering Over the Endorsements", "That 'Liberal' St. Pete Times" and "Gallagher: Crist can have the newspaper endorsements". See generally "Crist, Smith Win First Round of Newspaper Endorsements".

    Well, there's always this: "Dobson Endorses Gallagher".

    Getting Desperate

    "On the campaign trail, U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris says Democrat Bill Nelson is so liberal that even his own family is turning on him."

    Proof, she says, came at the Wausau Possum Festival two weeks ago in rural Washington County in the Florida Panhandle, where Nelson's family roots lie. That's the county where his mother, Nanny Myrle Nelson, grew up.

    "I even had Bill Nelson's relatives coming up saying: We love him but, hey, he's not voting and doesn't vote our conscience in Washington, D.C., and we are going to support you," Harris said during a speech to the Collier County Republican Party last week.

    Not so, says Farrell Nelson, Bill's 94-year-old uncle, who lives on a farm 7 miles "as a crow flies" from Chipley, in Washington County. He said there are surely distant relatives throughout the county, but he'd be surprised if they'd turn on their own blood.

    "I don't think any of them are gonna vote for her," said Farrell Nelson, who lives on Farrell Nelson Road.

    It may seem unbelievable that Nelson's own family is voting against him, but Jennifer Bau, one of the 22,000 people who live in Chipley, says it's true. Although Nelson said he's never heard of Bau, she says they are distant cousins. And she said she's one of those who told Harris she'll support her over Nelson.
    "Nelson relatives in Harris' corner?"

    Davis Courts Black Vote

    "Looking to make inroads with black voters -- a crucial constituency in Democratic primaries -- Jim Davis this morning cobbled together a lengthy list of African-American supporters who have endorsed his campaign for governor. It comes just a couple of weeks after his primary rival Rod Smith did the same." "Davis, Smith Woo Black Voters". See also "Haitian-American politicians for Davis".


    "The husband of Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman whose plight fueled fierce debates in Tallahassee and Washington last year, is headlining an Aug. 19 fundraiser for Florida House candidate Martin Kiar." "Michael Schiavo on the campaign trail".

    U.S. Senate GOP Primary

    The St Pete Times endorses: "Collins for Republicans". See also "Collins Picks Up Major Newspaper Endorsement".

    Hispanic Base

    "Gubernatorial candidates are expected to come to Orlando on Tuesday to speak to the growing constituency of Hispanics in Central Florida. Three of the four men vying for the state's top electoral spot [(all but Crist)] confirmed with organizers that they are planning to attend the first Hispanic forum of its nature in the region." "Hispanic vote lures hopefuls for governor to Orlando".


    "It's decision time on biotech giant's site".

    Bolaños, Villalobos Dustup

    "A Sunday morning talk-show appearance stirred up differing perspectives on a potential debate between the Republican candidates in Florida's toughest state Senate race."

    On WPLG-Channel 10's This Week in South Florida, Republican challenger and former Miami-Dade School Board member Frank Bolaños opened by saying he looked forward to an upcoming "full-course" debate with state Sen. Alex Villalobos at the Miami-Dade County Republican Executive Committee meeting on Thursday.

    The comment referred to an Aug. 11 letter from Mary Ellen Miller, the committee's county chairwoman, offering the opportunity for a debate at the group's general meeting, "provided it is in complete agreement."

    But Villalobos said after the show that Bolaños' comments were "dishonest and deceitful" because Villalobos has yet to agree to the debate because specific scheduling and format details remain undecided.

    "Maybe he should show up at the debates in the community unless he's afraid to because he doesn't live in the district," Villalobos said.
    "Political beat".


    "State Sen. Ron Klein, the Democrat who's challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Clay Chaw, got a boost today from one of Shaw's Democratic colleagues. U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, D-New York, stumped with Klein in Deerfield Beach, where Klein touted his plan to help ease the cost of windstorm insurance premiums. Israel's visit coincided with the release of Klein's newest campaign commercial, which also hit the air today. In it, Klein boasts of his efforts in the state Senate to write consumer-friendly hurricane legislation. He also pledges he will stand up to 'big oil, insurance companies and drug companies.'" "Another TV ad in the Shaw/Klein race".

    GOP Positioning

    "Positioning the state's next leaders".

    HD 86

    "Even as State Rep. Anne Gannon pondered her political future last year, the players were lining up, eager to fill the void the outgoing incumbent would leave in this Democratic stronghold. The race to replace Gannon in District 86 has attracted a diverse crowd: two former legislators from the Northeast, a criminal defense attorney and an ambitious 25-year-old. Whoever wins the Sept. 5 primary will claim the seat because there are no Republican challengers." "Five Democrats running for state House seat 86".

    Crotty Still Under Scrutiny

    "When a special prosecutor cleared him of criminal wrongdoing in a lucrative private land deal, Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty declared it was "time to move on" and put the controversy behind him. But that has proved tougher than Crotty hoped. And now he faces a new investigation into the same land deal by the state Ethics Commission, expected to begin this month." "Crotty's land-deal fight hits Round 2".

    "Davis fighting to make 'what's right possible'"

    "To Davis, what's right is funding the 2002 voter mandate to reduce class sizes in public schools, naming an insurance 'advocate general' in the governor's office, raising teacher salaries, forbidding use of public money for private-school tuition vouchers and fighting offshore oil drilling. He remembers fondly the community health purchasing alliances championed by Gov. Lawton Chiles to help small businesses provide health insurance for employees, and calls for better growth management policies statewide." "Davis fighting to make 'what's right possible'".

    Dem AG Race

    "The race to win the Democratic primary for attorney general is a tale of two political extremes."

    On one side there's Walter "Skip" Campbell. The Coral Springs lawyer has been a state senator for 10 years, is one of only two Democrats to chair a committee in the Republican-controlled Senate, is the Democratic leader pro tempore and has collected more than $800,000 in campaign contributions.

    On the other side there's Merrilee Ehrlich. The Fort Lauderdale lawyer once ran for a judgeship in Broward County — and lost — and her only campaign contribution has been her own $10,000, which mostly went to cover her qualifying fee.

    The overwhelming difference has led many to wonder about Ehrlich's true intentions for running.

    Campbell said he was approached by Broward political consultant Norman Leonard, who insisted that Campbell needed a primary opponent to raise his name recognition around the state. Campbell said he didn't want one.

    Others wonder whether Campbell orchestrated Ehrlich's run himself to get a few extra stories in the media and boost his name recognition by having his name on the Sept. 5 primary ballot.
    "Democratic leader dwarfs foe in status, cash in attorney general's primary race".

    Alternaive Fuels

    "Florida farmers asked to grow corn for fuel".


    "Their party has a banker running for state financial officer, and most, but not all, unite behind her." "Democrats sniff victory in race".

    Task Forces

    "Affordable housing, property insurance, hurricane preparedness and a handful of other issues will be delved into in the coming months by appointed groups of lawmakers, industry representatives and citizens before the Legislature convenes in March." "Michael Peltier: Task forces in legislative process".

    New Voting Technology

    "New technology awaits local voters".

    Prison Fees

    "For years, Florida officials have espoused the notion that prison should be as miserable as possible. Some state facilities have eliminated face-to-face visits. Educational programs have been cut. And the cost of being incarcerated continues to rise: Inmates must buy personal items from a canteen at ludicrously high prices. Phone calls from prisons are on a collect-only basis -- again, at a significant upcharge -- and prisoners are charged for any medical care (though care is not denied for indigent inmates)." "Raising prison fees punishes inmates' families".

    "Jeb!" Writes A Letter

    "How to Help Our Students".


    "Improvement that still fails to solve a problem is just that. News that water flowing out of the Everglades Agricultural Area has showed "significant improvement" in phosphorus reductions for the 11th consecutive year doesn't mean that the state has solved the problem of making water clean enough to send to the Everglades." "No Everglades victory yet".

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