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 Monday, September 18, 2006

"Choice Between Style and Substance"

    "The question for voters may be a classic choice between style and substance."
    Few would consider Crist an intellectual infatuated with details of governing. During the primary campaign, he told one newspaper he didn't know the date of the FCATs -- they're given in February or March -- despite being a former education commissioner.

    He promised private school vouchers for everyone in the state, before his campaign manager quickly said that wasn't the case. He failed the Florida Bar twice before finally passing. And the state's most famous wonk -- Gov. Jeb Bush -- largely omits talk of policy when he touts Crist, instead praising his "hopeful optimism."

    Democratic consultant Dave Beattie said the issue of competence is where Davis can make some points.
    "Crist relies on affable manner".

    Harris Dissed

    "GOP leaves Harris to fend for herself". Meanwhile, "Harris to speak in River City Thursday".

    Mahoney "Crowing" About His Poll Numbers

    According to his own polls,

    Democratic congressional challenger Tim Mahoney's support has been virtually stagnant since Memorial Day. Though Mahoney has run TV ads since mid-August, his pollster says the share of voters who prefer him against Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Foley has only inched from 33 percent to 35 percent over the past three months.

    But Mahoney was crowing about his polls last week.

    While Mahoney has barely budged, his pollster says six-term incumbent Foley's support has dropped from 59 percent to 48 percent over the same three months. So a 26-point Foley lead in early June is now a 13-point advantage, according to polls of 400 "registered likely voters" by the Democratic firm Hamilton Beattie & Staff. The margin of error was 4.4 percent for the first poll and 4.9 percent for the latest.
    "Foley challenger claims gains in U.S. House race after ad barrage".


    "Tom Gallagher says because of his son, he stayed in the governor's race after trailing. What's next? He's not sure." "For him, quitting wasn't an option".

    Republican Governors' Cash Cow

    "The Republican Governors Association is giving Charlie Crist $1 million for his race against Democrat Jim Davis, the highest of any Republican nominee for governor in the nation, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Sunday. Romney, head of the association and a likely 2008 presidential contender, called the race to succeed outgoing Repubican Gov. Jeb Bush "the highest priority for us." "Crist picks up $1 million from GOP governors". See also "GOP intends to keep reins", "GOP governors give $1 million to Crist", "Crist, GOP put an extra million in bank" and "Romney gives Florida GOP $1M to help Crist".

    "Jeb!"'s One Florida a "Failure"

    "Whether it's the growing lack of affordability or the failure of his One Florida Initiative, Gov. Bush is leaving lots of higher-education problems to his successor."

    A year ago, after African-American freshman enrollment in the 11-member university system had fallen from 17.6 percent to 14.1 percent statewide over five years, Gov. Bush did a photo op with students at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, the state's only historically black college, and promised to do better. FAMU happens to be where massive protests greeted approval of his 2000 One Florida plan, which eliminated affirmative action as an admissions tool. The action, which the governor took to keep off the ballot a vote on affirmative action that could have hurt his brother, also applied to minorities in terms of state contracts.

    Yet 14 percent is where, according to the state last week, the portion of black freshmen remains. Despite a 2.6 percent increase in total enrollment to 288,413 students this fall, the number of black freshmen grew by only 52 - to 5,423, a 1.6 percent gain and still not back to the 5,874 black freshmen who enrolled in 2002 or the 6,094 in 2003.
    Yet Jebbie continues to ignore the evidence:
    Ignoring the setback from the experiment that he had claimed would benefit those students, the "education governor" spoke last week of "the greater access to higher education to all our students." He whistled past the black freshman decrease to claim credit for the 4.8 percent overall minority enrollment increase, which mostly reflected the 7 percent growth in Hispanic students who are part of the fastest-growing population in a fast- growing state.
    "Raise black enrollment by dropping One Florida".

    Oil Drilling

    "Lawmakers still push for deal on oil drilling".


    "The villain of spiraling insurance rates in Florida is now re-insurance. Lightly regulated, offshore companies that provide backup coverage to insurance companies themselves have more than doubled their rates in Florida. With no major hurricanes yet this year, they are reaping record profits." "All eyes turn to offshore insurers".

    "Jeb!" Eager To Execute

    "The eyes of the nation will turn to Florida this week as combatants in the longstanding debate over the death penalty watch to see who will blink in a showdown between Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the U.S. Supreme Court." "All eyes on Florida for death penalty showdown".

    You just know Charlie is angling for a ticket to the death chamber.

    Sarasotans Not Embarassed

    "It's no secret that Republicans are doing their best to distance themselves from President Bush and his sagging poll numbers."

    Bush is sporting approval ratings below 40 percent in many polls and is doing even worse among independent voters. In a Fox News poll released this past week, only 25 percent of independents approve of the job the president has been doing.

    But surprisingly, that isn't keeping some candidates, including Longboat Key Republican Vern Buchanan, from hitching themselves to Vice President Dick Cheney.
    "Candidate welcomes help from Cheney".

    Electronic Voting

    "Professor claims hacking success." "Elections".

    Hurricane Exchange

    "The model for a Florida hurricane exchange is one drafted by former state Sen. Locke Burt, a Jacksonville insurance executive. A discussion paper he sent Gov. Jeb Bush late last month outlines a $40 billion Florida Catastrophe Exchange run by the State Board of Administration." "Storm exchange getting interest".

    I Am Shocked

    "If there's any surprise in last week's announcement about Medicare premiums, it's not that next year's monthly increase for Part B coverage won't be as high as first estimated. Who would have guessed it? A 'savings' announced in the run-up to the November elections." "Medicare manipulation".

    Rubio's "Battleground Seats"

    "All legislative seats may be created equal, but some are more equal than others. Rep. Marco Rubio, the incoming House speaker from Miami, has labeled 16 'battleground seats' as the most 'highly competitive' in the state in the 2006 election cycle. Four of the 16 are open seats, meaning that even with an 85-seat majority in the 120-member House, Rubio is looking to expand the Republicans' reach." "Marco Rubio's A-List".

    "Governor hopefuls take cue"

    "In Volusia County and across Florida, a tax revolt is brewing just in time for election day." "Tempers rise with property taxes".

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