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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 30, 2006

Foley Resigns; Who Knew?

    He's gone. Indeed, he has evanesced.
    More than just a sex scandal, Foley's resignation offers serious political ramifications that could put Democrats in control of the U.S. House for the first time in 12 years.
    "Rep. Mark Foley quits in disgrace". See also "Lawmaker Quits Over Messages Sent to Teenage Pages", "Release of Internet chats prompts swift resignation", "How the Networks Played the Foley Story", "Rep. Foley resigns over e-mail scandal", "Foley Reaction", "Democratic opponent keeps comments on Foley's resignation indirect, short" and "Reaction to Rep. Mark Foley's resignation".

    An investigation is forthcoming:
    Democrats demanded a preelection investigation into what Republican leaders knew about Foley's conduct with pages, when they knew it and what action they took.

    Republicans joined Democrats in a 409-0 vote to send the matter to the House's ethics panel but would not commit to a 10-day deadline Democrats sought, saying the matter was too important to rush.

    The chairman of the House Page Board, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., released a statement saying he was made aware of the e-mail exchange in late 2005, investigated the matter and believed no impropriety had occurred. He said Foley told him he was a "mentor" to the page
    "Foley quits over e-mails to teen boys". "Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), the only Democrat on the Board, was not informed of the interview, according to Roll Call", as reported by TPM. The Roll Call piece: "Foley Interviewed About Page Last Year; Democrats Not Told".

    What happens to the ballot?
    The news emboldened Democrats that they could gain the 15 seats they need to regain the House majority they lost in 1994. The Florida district's Democratic nominee, Tim Mahoney, has been running a credible campaign, raising more than $700,000 and airing TV ads for nearly a month, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The committee said it is too late under Florida law to remove Foley's name as the GOP nominee on the Nov. 7 ballot, a circumstance that would greatly improve Mahoney's chances of being elected.

    But Forti said lawyers hope they can replace Foley's name on the ballot. At a minimum, he said, party officials can designate an alternate candidate who would be credited with all votes cast for Foley on Nov. 7. "It's a very Republican seat," Forti said, adding that Republicans "can move forward" when they have a new candidate.

    Florida GOP Chairwoman Carole Jean Jordan said in a statement that executives from each county in Foley's district "will meet to choose a replacement on the ballot."
    "Rep. Foley Quits In Page Scandal".

    Who will replace Foley?
    State Rep. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, quickly emerged as a Republican contender for the seat in Congress abruptly vacated Friday by Mark Foley.
    "Joe Negron for Congress". See also "Negron Wants Foley's House Seat", "Negron's roller-coaster political year may end with unexpected House bid", "Republicans scramble for a replacement", "Pruitt to Stay in Fla. SenateRep. Mark Foley quits in disgrace" and "An emergency meeting" ("Florida Republicans had an emergency meeting about the Foley resignation at the U.S. Capitol late Friday afternoon, with Gov. Jeb Bush taking part by speakerphone")

    The latest
    Close to midnight Friday night, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asked her colleagues to support an investigation into the emails that would also examine when Republican leaders knew about Foley's activities. House Majority John Boehner referred the inquiry to the House ethics committee.
    "House investigation".

    Who Knew?

    The list of who knew, to some degree, about this and sat on their hands, is growing; it now includes: House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill), House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and the St Petersburg Times

    House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of inappropriate "contact" between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he then told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).
    "Rep. Foley Quits In Page Scandal". As for the St Pete Times knew and when they knew it, there are only snippets of information out there; these incude the following
    The page could not be reached for comment. He told the St. Petersburg Times in November that he had stopped e-mailing Foley.
    "Foley quits over e-mails to teen boys". And this quotation from a blog post, purporting to quote an AP story (yet the text of the story apparently updated/modified changed):
    Efforts to reach the boy were unsuccessful, but he told the St. Petersburg Times last November, "I thought it was very inappropriate. After the one about the picture, I decided to stop e-mailing him back." The Times didn't publish the comments until Friday.
    "Foley Reported Nearly One Year Ago: Republican House Leadership Involved".

    Who knew, and when did they know it?

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