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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

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The Blog for Monday, September 11, 2006

Paper Trail Fight

    "Six years after most of the furor over butterfly ballots, pregnant chad and razor-thin recounts was laid to rest, a ghost of the 2000 presidential election still haunts election officials in parts of the state: the paper trail."
    Spectral sightings began after 15 counties - Sarasota, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco included - purchased computerized, ATM-style voting machines following the adoption of new rules that unify how Florida's 67 counties conduct elections. Counties could pick from a handful of voting machines, some touch screen, some not. The touch screen machines tabulate votes electronically. So far, so good.

    But some fear that votes cast on the machines could disappear into an electronic Never-Never-Land, and a paper trail is a safety net that offers assurances of outcome and a deterrent to hackers.

    To officials in the counties that use the machines, however, a paper trail is an expensive, retrofitted security blanket providing comfort not justified by the costs.

    The two sides spent eight hours in a Sarasota County courtroom last week. Paper trail advocates asked the judge to let voters decide if they want to pay for new voting equipment that uses voter-verified paper ballots. County officials questioned the constitutionality of the referendum question the advocates drafted.
    "Key battle for voter paper trail goes to court".

    Nelson in "Low Gear"

    "Ahead in the polls and in fundraising, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson opened his campaign in low gear." "Nelson avoids harsh words - for now".

    "Bush's dishonorable education legacy"

    An Elisa Cramer column we missed last Friday, takes on the silly claim that Jebbie has done anything to improve education:

    Do you value public education?

    If the answer is yes, if you believe that every child in Florida should be able to attend a high-quality public school, then Jim Davis should get your vote on Nov. 7.

    Anyone who doubts that Charlie Crist would be worse for Florida's public schools than Jim Davis must not have been paying attention to the campaign leading up to the primary election - or the past eight years of Gov. Bush's leadership.
    She continues:
    Consider any given standard - high school graduation, the achievement gap between minorities and whites and between girls and boys, classroom sizes, prekindergarten, corporate vouchers, the state's colleges and universities - and Gov. Bush's policies repeatedly have undermined public education. As education commissioner from 2001 to 2003, Mr. Crist was responsible for carrying out many of those counterproductive tactics. Where can the public - or out-of-state businesses and research institutions hoping to move to Florida - see progress in the academic policies Mr. Crist wants to continue?
    Cramer concludes:
    Voters will prove whether they care about educating children or prefer, like Mr. Crist, to daily honor Gov. Bush's dishonorable education legacy.
    "Crist takes wrong lesson from Jeb".

    Unless and until the media picks up on the abject failure of Jebbie's educational "reforms" - something Florida's corporate media has been afraid to do over the past seven plus years - Crist is going to get away with his "Jeb!" coattails strategy.

    Continuing "to trail the nation"

    "After years of scoring better than their classmates across the state on the SAT, students in Palm Beach County scored below the state average and continued to trail the nation on the new version of the college entrance exam." "County SAT scores drop as minority gap narrows".

    Privatization Follies

    "Child support still difficult to collect in Florida, despite help from state, private firms".

    Forever Changed

    "Florida government changed forever a few minutes after the first plane struck the twin towers on the grim morning of Sept. 11, 2001." "9/11 led to 'new way of life' in Florida".

    Nose To Party Grindstone No Guarantee

    "Being heavily involved in organized party politics is no guarantee of future electoral success, several candidates found out the hard way last week." "Active partisans get taste of defeat".

    "Problem-plagued primary"

    "Election officials across the state say slower outcomes may be the new norm, though, as changing laws, new equipment and an ever-growing population complicate the process. It may take until 2008 for elections supervisors to adjust to the new law and technology before they can pump out election tallies like in the past, said Terry Vaughn, president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections." "PBC hoping for smoother count in Nov. after problem-plagued primary". See also "Primary mishaps shouldn't harm Anderson if fixed by November".

    Stage Set

    "Florida voters last Tuesday set the stage for the November election by choosing their respective standard-bearers for the upcoming general election." "Michael Peltier: Stage set for general election".


    "The Flagler school district lacked that good judgment by uncritically opening its doors to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in August." "Religion should be kept out of school assemblies". See also "Secular mind-set of higher ed challenged".

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