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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Friday, September 29, 2006

Foley E-Mail Story Has Legs

    Mahoney "is calling for an investigation of Rep. Mark Foley over an e-mail exchange he had with a teenage boy who had been a congressional page." "Foe questions e-mails from Foley to page". (See "Foley In Trouble"). In response,
    U.S. Rep. Mark Foley's campaign Thursday called the disclosure of a series of e-mails between the congressman and a 16-year-old former congressional page a "political attack and ... the worst kind of character assassination."

    But the campaign of Foley's challenger, Democrat Tim Mahoney, denied he was behind the release of the e-mails and said the issue should be "a matter for the appropriate authorities to investigate." ...

    Mahoney's spokeswoman, Jessica Santillo, said the e-mails were not part of the Palm Beach Gardens Democrat's "campaign communications."

    "The seriousness of these allegations goes far beyond the tit for tat of a political campaign," she said in a statement. "This is a matter for the appropriate authorities to investigate. I believe Mr. Foley deserves the benefit of the doubt until these allegations are proven to be true or false."

    Kello said "there is not anything inappropriate about" the e-mails and noted that only one side of the e-mail conversation has been presented.
    "Foley camp: Release of e-mails with teen 'political attack'". See also "Foley emails to page become campaign issue", "Teenage congressional page 'freaked out' by e-mail exchange with Rep. Foley".

    Poll: GOP Leading In All Cabinet Races

    "Republican candidates have padded or maintained their leads in all three Cabinet races, according to a new [Mason-Dixob] poll that credited higher name recognition among the GOP contenders."

    At the same time, there are enough undecided voters for the races to go either way.

    The chief financial officer, attorney general and agriculture commissioner join the governor as the Florida Cabinet, sharing executive branch power on issues including insurance regulation and land conservation.

    The new Mason-Dixon Polling & Research poll shows that in the race for CFO, Tom Lee, the Republican senate president from Valrico, leads Alex Sink, the Democratic bank executive from Thonotosassa, 40 percent to 34 percent, with 26 percent undecided. ...

    n the race for attorney general, former Republican U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum of Orlando leads Democratic state Sen. Walter "Skip" Campbell 44 percent to 35 percent, with 21 percent undecided.

    McCollum improved on his lead of 38 percent to 33 percent in July.

    In the race for agriculture commissioner, incumbent Republican Charles Bronson maintained his lead over Democratic challenger Eric Copeland, a Miami tax lawyer, 39 percent to 31 percent, with 30 percent undecided.
    "GOP Cabinet Candidates Hold Or Boost Poll Leads". See also "Republicans lead in Cabinet races, poll finds", "Poll: Big names boost GOP" and "Name recognition aids GOP candidates in poll".

    Klein Internal Poll

    "A poll sponsored by state Sen. Ron Klein shows he has advanced steadily in his race against U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw." "Poll puts Klein, Shaw even".

    Money Bags

    "U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, leading his Republican challenger by miles in the polls and millions in the bank, says he will do everything he can to help fellow Democrats below his name on the Nov. 7 ballot."

    But some strategists, elected officials and activists are anxious about whether the party's only statewide officeholder in Florida is spreading the wealth. Nelson, who surpassed U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris by 18 points in the latest Mason-Dixon poll, had $12 million socked away as of mid-August, compared to Harris' $2.2 million.

    Meanwhile, two Democrats immersed in competitive statewide races -- Alex Sink for chief financial officer and Walter ''Skip'' Campbell for attorney general -- are barely keeping up with their Republican opponents. The Democratic contender for governor, Jim Davis, has $411,455, while Republican Charlie Crist boasts $2 million plus the multi-million-dollar advantage of his state party's coffers.
    "Democrats ask Nelson to spread wealth".

    In the meantime, "Democrats worry, wait for Jim Davis ads".

    Two Guesses ...

    And the first doesn't count:

    Two South Florida Democratic lawmakers turned up the heat this afternoon on the Florida Department of Corrections, demanding to know why it hasn't imposed fines on a controversial prison health contractor.

    Sen. Dave Aronberg of Greenacres and Sen. Walter ''Skip'' Campbell of Tamarac, who is running for attorney general, released a letter they sent Wednesday to DOC Secretary Jim McDonough demanding to know why Prison Health Services has not faced fines.
    "Senators demand answers on DOC contract".

    CD 13

    "Add U.S. Sen. John Kerry to the list of big-time politicians coming to town hoping to influence the race to replace Katherine Harris in Congress." "Political bigwigs coming to town".

    Death Penalty

    The left wing nuts at the "American Bar Association issued a 403-page report that reprehended Florida's handling of the death penalty." "Bid to halt execution says death penalty is flawed".

    Poor Tampa

    "Although Florida Republicans were supportive of Tampa's bid for the GOP convention, none of the state's high-wattage political stars stepped forward to lead the effort." "Minnesota's GOP stars did more than Florida's". See also "Disappointing, but not devastating" ("Losing the 2004 Republican National Convention to New York City was not a particular surprise with the scars of 9/11 so fresh. Losing the 2008 GOP convention to the Land of 10,000 Lakes is a bit harder to swallow, but Tampa Bay should not be too hard on itself.")

    On The Air

    "It's already bankrolled a trio of TV ads touting its gubernatorial nominee, and now the Republican Party of Florida has begun airing television on behalf of its candidate for chief financial officer, too. The GOP is paying to re-air one of Senate President Tom Lee's spots from the primary, which touts his efforts to clamp down on lobbyists and fight phone rate hikes and includes a promise to 'continue Jeb Bush's brand of leadership.'" "GOP Puts Lee Back on the Air".

    The Right To Bribe

    "A new lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to overturn Florida's tough ban on gifts and freebies to state legislators. Lobbyists argue that the law is unconstitutional." "Lobbyists oppose ban on freebies to state legislators".

    Affidavit? What Affidavit?

    Charlie has a new buddy, "Clif Curry, the former president of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and classmate of Crist's at FSU who was mentioned in the Sept. 17 Times article as a Tom Gallagher supporter who acknowledged getting the affidavits in which Crist denied paternity of Rebecca O'Dell Townsend's baby in 1989. Curry said he shared the documents with others, but did not give copies to reporters." "Talk About Party Unity".

    Republicans Heart Stuart in CD 8

    "Keller's people [claim they] aren't surprised by Stuart getting endorsed by Republicans and former Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood and former Mayor Bill Frederick." "Keller's folks not surprised". See also "2 big-name Republicans endose Democrat Stuart".

    "Paying people in power can pay off"

    "For a demonstration of how paying people in power can pay off, the best current example is Florida's largest developer, the St. Joe Co. ... It is no surprise that Gov. Bush loves the $46 million deal. So does state Rep. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, a budget commission member. As for taxpayers, they wind up like those wetlands on the airport site: bulldozed." "From pulp to politics: St. Joe still cashing in".

    "Was that all just politics?" Yes

    "The rejection also spurs questions about Attorney General Charlie Crist's recent claim that new evidence helped identify the suspects. Was that all just politics?" "Too many questions". See also "Permalink">Crist says case solved; panel says it's not".

    Waiver War

    "Court lets lawyers bypass lawsuit cap". See also "Doctors may ask you to cap your claim" and "Doctors, lawyers may wage waiver war".

    Barack's Back

    "Obama, who was the keynote speaker at last year's state Democratic Party convention, will headline $1,000-a-head reception for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis and the party on Oct. 6 in Coral Gables." "Barack's Coming Back".

    Ag Debate

    "The contenders for Florida commissioner of agriculture and consumer services took turns Thursday laying out their vision for helping the state's farmers, growers and ranchers stay in business."

    Republican incumbent Charles Bronson, a former two-term state senator from a Kissimmee ranching family, faces Democrat Eric Copeland, a South Florida attorney, tax consultant and political newcomer.

    They outlined their ideas to about 300 agriculture-industry officials at a luncheon and candidate forum sponsored by Farm Credit and the Agriculture Institute of Florida.
    "Debate focuses on alternative fuels".

    Davis Endorsement

    "Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jim Davis picked up an endorsement this morning from the National Jewish Democratic Council." "Jewish Group Backs Davis".


    "Gallagher's wife to be spokeswoman for gay marriage ban".

    Graham Hearts Mahoney

    "Graham makes appearance in Mahoney's House campaign".

    The "Liberal" Thing

    "Florida Republican leaders don't think Democrats are pod people. They want you to believe they're something much more ominous - liberals."

    Consider Tom Lee, the normally affable and contemplative Senate president and GOP nominee for chief financial officer. He noted that Democrat Alex Sink has "donated not thousands, but hundreds of thousands of dollars of her own personal money over the past decade to the most liberal causes and candidates in America."

    These include U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, longtime Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel and (deep breath, pause for effect) New York's junior senator, Hillary Herself. ...

    Probably no other word in American politics has done such an about-face. Originally, a "liberal" was one who had a decent respect for human rights. George Washington believed Jews and Catholics should be allowed to be citizens, which made him something of a brougham liberal in the era before limousines.

    "Two-hundred years later, the transmutation of the word, as the alchemist would say, has become one of the wonders of our time," Tom Dewey remarked. The New York governor and mob-busting prosecutor would probably be considered too liberal - like Gov. George Pataki and ex-Mayor Rudolph Guiliani - to run for president in today's GOP.
    "Warning: There are liberals out there!".

    "Jeb!" Watch

    "You're traveling through another dimension; a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. It's a journey into a wondrous land where the surname Bush is glorious, and whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead -- your next stop, Florida."

    As for Jeb, I'm not ready to count him out for '08. There's a vacuum developing in the party among mainstream conservatives who aren't crazy about Arizona Sen. John McCain or trusting of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Jeb doesn't have to get in early; he's someone who can wait until the fall of '07 and assess his chances then. Of course, Jeb's future is not just hurt by his brother but also by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.

    At some point the country is going to say: "Enough with the political royal family stuff!" Clinton, Bush, Clinton, Bush -- or worse, Bush vs. Clinton -- is probably too much of a soap opera even for this country.

    But if Republicans never nominate Jeb for president, it's going to be a waste of talent. It's kind of like Bo Jackson's brief football career. If Jackson had only focused on one sport, he could have been the greatest that ever played. Instead, he's a trivia question for sports junkies. Of all the Bushes that have run for office, the only one that seems like a natural is Jeb, and he'll probably be the only Bush to not ever seek the presidency.
    "The GOP's Twilight Zone". See also "More Jeb-for-President Musings".


    "Kottkamp gets new house; home builder gets new House seat".

    Tsk Tsk

    "Katherine Harris touts her passing of a law to help the poor own their own homes, but she fails to mention how a former staffer benefited from the act -- and government figures show she exaggerated the program's reach." "Harris' account of law she pushed is at issue".

    "Hot Lips Houlihan"

    "Democratic candidate Dave Patlak has hardly any money, name recognition, or chance of beating Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. But he does have 'Hot Lips Houlihan.'" "Campaign camouflage".

<< Home