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 Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Katherine Had a Secret

    A little humor before our review of oday's Florida political news and punditry.

    Dear Charlie

    "On the heels of the memo Republican Party chairwoman Carole Jean Jordan sent to Katherine Harris to pressure her out of the U.S. Senate race, comes this satire from the Democrats."
    Dear Charlie,

    I have fashioned a grand new way for you to win in 2006. Using a very simple strategy, I know we can squeak out a victory in November - even if Katherine isn't in a position to count the ballots. I call the strategy "Say Anything."

    My suggestion is simple. If you have any doubt about which position to take on an issue: take more than one. Just make sure you tell people what you think they want to hear. If your first answer isn't right, try again with something different. This isn't necessarily a new idea to you, but I'd like us to fully focus our campaign around a double-talking, flip-flopping strategy I like to call "Crist-Crossing."

    So here's what you do: Go on TV and claim you're going to fix it. DO NOT offer any details. I repeat: DO NOT offer any details. If pressed, just copy Tom or the Democrat Party, depending on the audience.

    Yours truly,

    Carole Jean
    "Poking Fun at Carole Jean (and Charlie Crist)".

    Katherine Had a Secret

    "U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris received a grand jury subpoena from federal investigators and concealed the fact from top campaign advisers hired to help her deflect negative publicity, her former campaign manager has disclosed."

    "Yes, there was a subpoena. She didn't tell us," said Glenn Hodas, Harris' third and most recent campaign manager. He said he learned of it in June while reviewing invoices from powerhouse Washington lawyer Benjamin J. Ginsberg and confronted his boss.

    The invoices, Hodas said, were for work relating to a "DOJ subpoena," referring to the U.S. Department of Justice.

    The discovery culminated in the latest round of staff departures, in mid-July, Hodas said. Those resignations included Hodas and a campaign spokesman.
    "Harris Hid Subpoena".

    In the meantime, "Second Republican calls for Harris to debate".

    Nevertheless, the wingers remain in Harris' corner: "Emboldened by constant talk of Republicans wanting Katherine Harris out of the U.S. Senate race, Peter Monroe went on the attack Tuesday night. But the Pinellas County Republican didn't get far with his first public swipe at Harris, as he drew boos from a group of Manatee County Republicans when he said Harris has no chance of beating Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat. An exasperated Monroe left American Legion Post 24 in Bradenton minutes later, shocked that the crowd didn't agree with him." "Crowd boos at Senate candidate".

    Smith Takes A Cuban Shot

    "Amid the news of Fidel Castro ceding power, a trip to Cuba by the Democratic front-runner for governor has become fodder in the high-stakes campaign just 90 miles from the island. In 2003, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa was the first Florida congressman to make an official visit to Cuba since Castro rose to power in 1959. Davis' Democratic rival in the governor's race, state Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua, said Tuesday that he would never visit Cuba while the communist dictator was in power." "Davis knocked for Cuba trip".

    Cuba Fallout

    "State officials are reviewing an emergency mass-migration plan should instability in Cuba grow as dictator Fidel Castro's grip on power appears to wane, Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday. 'We're monitoring carefully what's going on there,' Bush told reporters before a morning Cabinet meeting. 'There's a lot of people in our state yearning for democracy and freedom in Cuba.'" "State prepares for Cuba fallout"


    "In his 30-second television spot, Klein does not say which seat he's gunning for, nor does he name his opponent. Rather, he introduces himself and lays out his argument that 'we need a congressman who will lead, not follow.'" "State senator's campaign ads rip Congress".

    State Run Insurance

    "Cornered by what they call a crisis in Florida's business climate, state officials on Tuesday accepted the prickly proposition of increasing the government's role in the battered property insurance market." "State To Back Business Insurance". See also "State to help S. Florida businesses struggling with high insurance rates", "State business insurance patch near" and "Cabinet to boost business insurance".

    Land Deal

    "Governor's mansion land deal approved". See also "Governor, Florida Cabinet approve land swap".

    "Say What?"

    "When you're a public official, there's a fine line between maintaining a sense of decorum and being a "regular person" with a sense of humor and an ability to connect with your constituents. U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler recently crossed that line. Others should learn from his misstep." "Say What?"

    Which Way To The Mons Venus?

    "Tampa Unrolls Red Carpet For RNC Panel".

    "Write-in mischief"

    "A glitch in state election laws that excludes some voters should be fixed. In primary races where candidates have no challengers from another party, all eligible voters can vote. But if a write-in candidate files in that race, the rules change: Only voters registered in the candidates' party are eligible. Political operatives often use this rule to make mischief." "Write-in mischief".

    Poor Tom

    "Gallagher showed extremely poor judgment by buying and selling insurance stocks from the office of insurance commissioner. That his campaign expected the ethics commission to look the other way suggests a moral compass gone askew."

    Under normal circumstances, his actions could result in a minimal fine, but these are precarious times for Gallagher's campaign and many more days like Friday could spell the end of his gubernatorial ambitions.

    Trailing badly in the polls behind Attorney General Charlie Crist, Gallagher now has the distinction of being the first Cabinet member to face a full-blown ethics probe.

    Gallagher hasn't been able to gain any traction in the race this year. Following news like this, he'll likely slip farther behind.
    "Trouble Following Gallagher".

    GOP Debate

    "Tom Gallagher drew sharp differences with rival Charlie Crist as the two leading Republican candidates for governor battled Tuesday over class size, taxes, offshore oil drilling and immigration." "Republicans spar in Polk debate". See also "GOP foes spar in velvet gloves", "Gallagher points to differences with Crist", "No KO's in Poinciana" and "Crist ducks most of Gallagher's jabs during debate".


    "Last week, Senate leaders said they would kill any compromise that did not provide adequate protection for Florida. These assurances were designed largely to enlist the support of Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who vowed to undermine any drilling proposal that did not shield his state. The guarantee worked, and Nelson joined his Florida counterpart, Republican Sen. Mel Martinez, in support of the bill. Now, the Senate must persuade the House to accept its version, and Martinez took to the floor to vouch for the bill that he helped craft." "Senate votes to expand drilling in eastern Gulf". See also "Senate approves more offshore drilling in Gulf".

    Davis Deltona Bound

    "For the first time, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa, a Democratic candidate for governor, will visit Deltona. Davis, who is vying against state Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua in the Sept. 5 primary, will meet with Hispanic residents and others Friday." "Candidate Davis will take part in 'round table'".

    Ad Watch

    "Ad watch: Tom Gallagher, governor's race".

    A GOoPer Thing

    "The practice of awarding bloated compensation packages to corporate CEOs is creeping into the world of academia, although on a smaller scale." "College salaries getting out of hand".


    "The largest single conservation land purchase in Florida history is a done deal and the state's environmental future is a little brighter because of it. Most of the historic Babcock Ranch in Southwest Florida now belongs to the public - and to the wildlife that needs it for survival." "A piece of natural Florida preserved".

    Pre-K Flop

    "Four years after voters overwhelmingly approved 'high-quality' pre-kindergarten classes for the state's children, Floridians are left with a litany of half measures adding up to one unfulfilled promise." "Half empty".

    Otto: One Can Hope

    "One of the great joys of the election process is that there is always hope."

    Maybe this time, you think, it will be different. This time candidates will rise up to work for a better community.

    From out of nowhere will come women and men of integrity and vision. They will be people with ideas who won't be tempted to use the politics of fear and gossip.

    Yeah, you hope that.
    "Try Getting The Dope On Truth".


    "Ken Jenne's name keeps popping up, and not always in the most savory places. But where is the sheriff, and why does he continue to hide from the storm surrounding him and the agency he heads?" "Ken Jenne".

    GOoPer "Jestice"

    "Don't let the name fool you. The Committee for Florida Justice Reform claims to be about tort reform, but new developments suggest it's mostly about trying to end Alex Villalobos' political career." And they are raising big bucks: "The Buzz learns that the committee's goal is to raise $1-million in the next seven days, and this comes just days after lobbyists flew up to Yankee Stadium for a Republican Party fund-raiser. In Tallahassee, that's called 'justice reform.'". "You Call This 'Justice'?"

    Kinda makes you see Davis' point about the RPOF: "Democratic gubernatorial candidate vows to give 'adult supervision' to Legislature".


    "Investigators are examining loans and other payments worth more than $475,000 made to Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz." "Loans, bonuses subject of Diaz probe".

    Davis Keeps His Powder Dry

    "With primary rival Rod Smith already on the air, Jim Davis assured a crowd of Democratic activists during a campaign stop in Naples today that he’s 'fixin' to go up soon.'" "Davis' Guest Star".

    Privatization Follies

    At least some GOoPers are seeing the error of Jebbie's privatization schemes:

    The head of Florida's prison system, who has been cleaning up contracting scandals for six months in the Department of Corrections, voiced skepticism about prison privatization Tuesday.

    Secretary Jim McDonough said private companies are good at financing and building prisons but that his department is better at running them. The state has five privately operated prisons, and a sixth under construction, but McDonough said he doesn't see it as a growth industry.
    "Prisons chief questions merits of privatization".

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