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 Saturday, September 23, 2006

Davis' Gambit

    has been running a steady stream of TV ads, while the Davis campaign doesn't want to start airing ads until it's sure it has the money to keep airing them through the election. Sound familiar? Crist's primary rival Tom Gallagher last spring held off airing ads for weeks to marshall resources - only to see Crist's lead steadily increase in the polls and Gallagher's fundraising slow as a result.

    "I'm assuming the Democratic National Committee has already conceded the race," said a chuckling Mark Guzzetta, a top Republican fundraiser mingling at the Ritz. "I haven't seen a Davis ad. He does not have the money, and he does not have a message."
    "Davis' TV gambit"

    In the meantime, Crist can't help himself. He has a new ad attacking Davis for opposing Charlie's silly and irresponsible plan to double the homestead exemption to $50,000; the RPOF in its ad kinda, sorta forgot to mention "that Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher also opposed Crist's plan and the Republican-controlled Legislature this past spring also rejected the idea.". "Republicans go after Davis in new TV ad". See also "The GOP Gets Aggressive", "Ad watch: Governor's race" and "New Crist TV Ad Blasts Davis" ("See it here").

    The RPOF is a one trick pony: "GOP rallies around 'liberal' as an insult".

    An Opening for Davis

    Sun-Sentinel editorial writer Douglas C. Lyons writes that Charlie Crist

    has the burden of being the frontrunner and the status quo candidate. He's the "continuation conservative," the guy who will carry the torch of the Jeb Bush legacy.

    He's the one that must run on the big business/less government mantra, the FCAT, the lack of oversight of taxpayers' dollars spent on outsourcing and privatization, and the billions that paid for tax cuts.

    That's a tall order and one that offers Democratic hopeful Jim Davis a bit of an opening.

    The Tampa congressman is free to run against a state government controlled by an uber-majority of Republicans. He doesn't have to defend Tallahassee's antics that led to the Terri Schiavo debacle or laws that now exempt owners of gun ranges from any state environmental regulations.

    Ironically, it's the mild-mannered Democratic candidate for governor who can boast of a bold stroke. He was the guy who chose a well-qualified black lawmaker (Daryl Jones) as his running mate. Crist did not, and all he got for his troubles to date was a distracting controversy involving his cautious pick for lieutenant governor (state Rep. Jeff Kottkamp) and the Confederate flag. ...

    Davis could still make a race of it, if he overcomes a big hurdle.

    He must grab, and hold, the bright-ideas, bold-initiatives mantle and convince voters that his policies and programs are a better alternative than some of the far-right initiatives that have become business as usual in the state of Florida.
    "Bold ideas for Davis, 'Tally' antics for Crist".

    Herbert Hoover Would Approve

    "The conservative Hoover Institution's endorsement of Gov. Jeb Bush's education reforms comes as little surprise, save for the swipe it took at how Florida rates its veteran teachers." "No Do-Or-Die Test For Teachers".

    Nelson Dogged

    "Nelson still dogged by '98 insurance decision".

    Flip Flop

    Will Representative B put her personal fortune into her campaign against Nelson? Well, "on the Sean Hannity radio show—one of her favorite venues—she hinted that she may longer consider it necessary." "Harris May Be Rethinking Spending On Her Campaign".

    And then there's this: "Harris undecided about how to handle tainted donation".


    "Republican Charlie Crist raised nearly $1.2-million in the first full week of the general election campaign, nearly 10 times as much as Jim Davis, his Democratic opponent." "Crist off to fast fundraising start". See also "Crist raises $1.2 million to Davis' $149,000", "The more cash candidates raise, the more you kick in", "He came. He spoke. He raised $2 million" and "The Rich Get Richer".

    And isn't this nice: "Just two days after Crist, the Republican nominee for governor, named state lawmaker and Morgan & Morgan partner Jeff Kottkamp as his running mate, a political group supporting him pulled in $91,000 from lawyers and law firms -- virtually all of which are in the personal-injury business." "Strange Bedfellows". See also "Another $148K for Davis" and "Davis-Jones fund-raiser rakes in $".

    Castor Coasting

    "Brannock faces difficult race against Castor".

    All in the Family

    The RPOF hands out the goodies:

    Florida's Republican Party named a pair of replacements for two departing lawmakers today -- including the new son-in-law of House Speaker Allan Bense.

    The state GOP named Will Weatherford as its nominee to succeed Rep. Ken Littlefield, a Dade City Republican who earlier this month was appointed to the Public Service Commission. Weatherford served as Bense's legislative aide between 2004 and 2006 and this summer married into the speaker's family. He's also the brother of Florida State University quarterback Drew Weatherford.

    The party also picked Cape Coral homebuilder Gary Aubuchon to replace Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, who had to give up his seat when Republican gubernatorial nomine Charlie Crist named him his running mate. Aubuchon, it's worth noting, also happens to be building a new home for Kottkamp, according to The News-Press of Fort Myers.
    "GOP Taps Speaker's Son-in-Law for Florida House Race". See also "Panel names Kottkamp's replacement" and "Florida GOP selects two legislative fill-ins".

    Charter Scool Follies

    "A state commission established to authorize more charter schools conducted its first meeting Friday as a legal challenge from Florida's school boards loomed. The 67 local boards previously had sole authority to grant charters for the publicly funded schools, which can be operated by private individuals, organizations, corporations or other government entities, though denials can be appealed to the State Board of Education. Florida School Boards Association Executive Director Wayne Blanton said his organization will contest a new law that created the Florida Schools for Excellence [sic] Commission." "Charter school panel meets".

    Jebbie's Base

    "Carlos Slim, world's third richest man, visits Capitol".

    Odds and Ends

    Bill March has some "Odds And Ends From The Bush Fundraiser".

    Crist Chickens Out

    "The AARP announced Thursday that a health care policy forum featuring Charlie Crist and Jim Davis at the University of Miami, planned since mid-July to be held Monday, Sept. 25, had been scrapped. The AARP didn’t say why, but David Wheeler of the National Health Policy Council, another sponsor, said via email the decision was made 'when it became clear to us that the Crist campaign had no interest in participating ... despite ten weeks of telling us the opposite.' ... The Crist camp wouldn’t comment, but Davis spokesman Josh Earnest was happy to suggest that Crist 'was reluctant to have his ideas on health care compared with Jim’s ideas on improving health care.'" "Crist Back Out Of Forum; Organizers Floored".


    "A political action committee urging voters to approve a constitutional amendment that would make it harder to amend the state's constitution raised more than $250,000 from Sept. 1 to 15." "Amendment Limits PAC Continues to Rake in Cash".

    Dozier and Charlie

    "Republican gov. candidate Charlie Crist has finally cut ties with the man who said Jesus backed Crist's candidacy, the Muslim-bashing Rev. O'Neal Dozier who has also made inflammatory remarks against homosexuals." "Crist boots the Rev. Dozier".

    Dozier never got the GOP knack of speaking freely only while at the country club.

    How Much Dis "Jeb!" Spend?

    It is hard to tell how much money did the Bushco surrogates spend on trying to defeat Villalobos? "Complicating any final calculation: money flowed back and forth between the Frank Bolanos campaign and multiple committees, such as the Partnership for Florida's Future, Citizens for Conservative Values, Florida's Mainstreet Merchants, Teachers United for Better Schools, Citizens for Housing & Urban Growth, or the Florida Justice Reform Group." "Final numbers in Villalobos race".

    FCAT Fun

    "Reform Party gov. candidate Max Linn, an independently wealthy former Republican, is putting his money and outsider status to work on the Web, criticizing Gov. Jeb Bush's high-stakes FCAT exam in a cartoon." "The gov race needs a cartoon".

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