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 Thursday, September 14, 2006

Davis-Jones; Let The Swiftboating Begin

    Looks like Davis is about to hit a home run (particularly compared to Crist's selection of what's his name):
    Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jim Davis today will name former Miami state Sen. Daryl Jones as his running mate during a Fort Lauderdale campaign stop, the first in a two-day statewide tour to introduce the new team to voters.
    "Democratic nominee Davis selects Jones, sources say". See also "Davis Picks Jones, Makes History", "Davis expected to name Daryl Jones as running mate" and "Davis to fill out Democratic ticket".

    You may recall the sordid GOP attacks on Jones - proto-swiftboating when he was nominated to be Secretary of the Air Force. The GOP couldn't stand the thought of a Black Democrat from Florida being elevated to the national stage, and therefore floated "allegations" against him to undermine his confirmation.
    Jones was in the national spotlight in 1998, when President Clinton nominated him for secretary of the Air Force. He was rejected in a bitter Senate confirmation process.
    "Davis picks Jones as Democratic running mate in governor's race". See also "Davis to tap running mate this morning" ("Jones, 51, was never confirmed because of questions that arose about his flying record and the truthfulness of his answers during a military investigation") and "Davis expected to pick Jones as running mate" ("A former fighter pilot, Jones was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be Air Force secretary but failed to win confirmation in the Senate amid a series of allegations about his record and whether he gave truthful responses.")

    Paper Trail

    "A judge says Sarasota County voters have a right to decide Nov. 7 whether to switch from touch screen to paper ballots." "Proponents of paper voting trail win ruling". See also "Voters get final say on voting system" ("Circuit Judge Robert B. Bennett Jr. ruled Wednesday that a proposed ballot initiative demanding a countywide paper-ballot voting system is not unconstitutional as the county's attorneys had argued.")

    Tom Feeney Redux

    Chain Gang Charlie has chosen to "bond" a virtual unknown:

    Republican Charlie Crist named a little-known legislator from southwest Florida as his running mate Wednesday, shunning more-provocative choices for someone with whom he said he shares a "great bond."
    "Crist picks 'great bond' over fame". See also "Crist names Kottcamp as lieutenant governor pick", "Crist selects running mate", "Crist chooses running mate", "Crist nod for No. 2 goes to a 'fighter'", "Crist chooses a conservative", "Kottkamp's life takes a remarkable turn", "Crist picks Cape Coral legislator", "> Photos: Crist, Kottkamp arrive in Orlando", "Conservative trial lawyer joins Crist on GOP ticket", "Charlie Crist selects running mate", "Crist Picks Kottkamp", "Love of family, public service drive Kottkamp" and "Unusual steps kept secret safe".

    Mike Thomas nails it in "Crist punts, keeping Davis in the hunt":
    Charlie Crist has ended speculation about who will be his lieutenant governor by picking Dan Quayle.

    Oops, I mean Jeff Kottkamp.

    You can understand my mistake because like Dan, Jeff is an unknown from the lightweight division of Indiana. He is a Hoosier who moved here, went to college, was elected to the Legislature and proceeded to accomplish not a whole lot. ...

    Jim Davis certainly must be relieved. His chances rest on strong support from minorities who make up the Democratic base. ...
    "And so Jim Davis stays in the hunt, his strategy of winning with a unified base still at least a theoretical possibility."

    Kottkamp's web page.

    It would appear that Crist has chosen to bonnd with the 2006 version of Tom Feeney. Bill March reports that "Project Vote Smart reports that Kottkamp has a 100 percent rating with the Christian Coalition of Florida." More precisely, since being elected Kottkamp has been a complete Christian Coalition of Florida sop:
    2005-2006 Representative Kottkamp supported the interests of the Christian Coalition of Florida 100 percent in 2005-2006.

    2005 Representative Kottkamp supported the interests of the Christian Coalition of Florida 100 percent in 2005.

    2003-2004 On the votes that the Christian Coalition of Florida considered to be the most important in 2003-2004, Representative Kottkamp voted their preferred position 100 percent of the time.

    2002 On the votes that the Christian Coalition of Florida considered to be the most important in 2002, Representative Kottkamp voted their preferred position 100 percent of the time. ...

    2002 Based on information available in 2002, "Florida Right to Life chose to endorse Representative Kottkamp.
    To be polite, he's a wingnut: check out his record on Transportation, Labor, Choice, Business and Consumers, Conservative, Enviromental Issues and Gun Issues.

    Tax Revolt

    "From the Keys to the Panhandle, residents are in revolt over property tax relief." "Taxed beyond the breaking point".

    The Apology

    "It was a long time coming, but Jim Davis did the right thing when he personally apologized to Freddie Pitts and Wilbert Lee, two black men who were wrongly convicted of murder and spent 12 years in prison." "A welcome apology". See also "Davis' Puts Race Issue To Rest".

    CD 9

    "The Gus Bilirakis Congressional campaign is touting an 8/22-23 internal poll of 300 likely voters by the Tarrance Group showing that the Tarpon Springs state representative has a 28-point lead over Democrat Phyllis Busansky (54%-26%)." "Bilirakis' poll".

    "But campaign polls can be suspect. Here’s the real clue about where the race is: Busansky blasted Bilirakis for ducking her Wednesday afternoon." "Debating debates".

    PSC Appointments

    "State Rep. Ken Littlefield won an appointment Wednesday to the Florida Public Service Commission from Gov. Jeb Bush, who also reappointed Commissioner Isilio Arriaga to the five-member utility-regulating panel. The appointments, each to four-year terms beginning Jan. 2, 2007, are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate." "Bush appoints Littlefield, reappoints Arriaga to PSC".


    "Former Gov. Wayne Mixson and former House Speaker James Harold Thompson, Democrats who supported Jeb and George W., endorsed Bill McCollum for attorney general today." "Democrats (sorta) for McCollum".

    Mixon and Thomas write that they "are Democrats who are long standing members of our party."

    Last Seen At Starbucks

    "Sen. Bill Nelson's staff was quick to point out that Katherine Harris was MIA from the a U.S. House subcommittee hearing today on 'stabilizing insurance markets for coastal consumers.'" "Where's Katherine?"


    Will the trial lawyers play both sides of the fence, yet again?

    Kottkamp is a personal-injury lawyer and partner with the Orlando-based firm Morgan & Morgan and has a net worth of $2.8 million, according to state disclosure reports filed in July.

    Kottkamp was the only Republican member of the state House to vote no on business-backed lawsuit limits approved overwhelmingly last spring by the Legislature.

    "Selfishly, I would rather for him to have stayed with me than to run for lieutenant governor," said John Morgan, the firm's lead partner and a major Democratic fundraiser who in the governor's race has sided with Crist. "He is a true public servant in every sense of the word."
    "Crist picks 'great bond' over fame".

    Edwards to Join Davis in Miami

    "Former and probably future presidential candidate John Edwards is to join Jim Davis and his now, not-yet-announced running mate for a Friday afternoon rally in Miami." "Edwards and the Davis-? ticket"


    "While stumping with congressional hopefuls, the ex-senator faults the White House's strategy in the war on terror." "Graham, candidates: Refocus terror fight".

    Klein Within MOE

    "Democrats released a poll Tuesday that says congressional challenger Ron Klein is within striking distance of Republican U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw with eight weeks left in their nationally watched race. The Aug. 20-24 poll of 400 likely voters in Palm Beach-Broward District 22 shows Shaw leading, 42 percent to 38 percent. The poll by Benenson Strategy Group has a 4.9 percent margin of error, according to a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee memo. The DCCC said it commissioned the poll as an independent expenditure without coordinating with Klein's campaign." "Democratic poll shows Klein closing gap with Shaw".

    Insurance Crisis

    "With sky-high insurance rates igniting election-year sparks back home, members of the Florida House delegation on Wednesday urged federal intervention." "Florida lawmakers urge insurance fix". See also "Shaw, insurors clash over reinsurance fund" and "House confronts insurance crisis".

    While "Jeb!" Pummels Davis ...

    "Insurance hikes pummel nonprofits".

    Remind Me ...

    why Jebbie's FDLE storm troopers had rising Dem star Buddy Dyer indicted?

    The allegations were filed by a Broward County Democratic activist based on a series of articles in The Palm Beach Post that found:

    - Pruitt began receiving $2,000 a month from Royal Palm Beach home builder Wally Sanger in 2003, the same year Pruitt started making payments on a discounted house Sanger built for him in Port St. Lucie.

    - From 2001 to 2005, Pruitt collected $819,115 through three political committees, and during those same years paid $458,346 of that to three friends and allies: Bogdanoff; Fort Lauderdale lobbyist Carole Duncanson; and Public Concepts, the firm of West Palm Beach political consultant Randy Nielsen. In 2003, a partner of Nielsen, Richard Johnston, paid Pruitt $56,966 from a realty business based in the Public Concepts suite.

    - Pruitt directed his legislative staff on Aug. 18, 2004, to field a state Division of Elections query regarding one of his political committees.

    - Bogdanoff used state taxpayer money to rent a Fort Lauderdale building that she owns outside of her district, and which also was used as the address for her Enterprising Business Solutions consulting firm, for her
    "Ethics panel clears Pruitt of complaints".

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