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.


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The Blog for Sunday, September 03, 2006

RPOF's "Torrent of campaign cash"

    The fruit's of their labor: "the Republican Party of Florida has turned control of state government into a torrent of campaign cash."
    Building on a GOP takeover of the Legislature a decade ago and the election of Gov. Jeb Bush two years later, the Republican Party of Florida has turned control of state government into a torrent of campaign cash. ...

    The GOP money comes not just from traditional sources, such as affluent, right-leaning individuals, but also from almost every major business in the state. The donor list includes Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos, Miami Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huizenga and megadeveloper Gary Morse of The Villages, as well as Florida Power & Light, BellSouth and Publix.
    "GOP cash secured decade of power".

    Dem Race A "Tossup"

    "Despite Big Sugar's avalanche of attacks, Jim Davis is holding onto a modest lead over Rod Smith in the Democratic primary for governor."

    A new Miami Herald poll shows Davis edging out Smith by five percentage points, the same gap found in last month's survey. Since then, sugar growers have unleashed a multimillion-dollar ad campaign against Davis for missing votes in Congress and rejecting compensation for two wrongfully convicted black men.

    The poll's error margin of 4.5 percentage points makes Tuesday's election impossible to call.

    In contrast, the Republican races for governor and U.S. Senate appear foregone conclusions, according to the poll conducted by Zogby International. The most dramatic lead comes in the GOP governor's race, where Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist is ahead of state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher by about 30 percentage points.

    That's a 10-point jump for Crist in three weeks. Undecided voters broke evenly between Davis and Smith. Twenty-eight percent of likely Democratic voters still haven't made up their minds.
    "Poll: Davis-Smith race a tossup" ("The [Zogby] survey of 498 Democrats and 510 Republicans who said they are likely to vote in the primary was conducted Tuesday to Thursday.") See also "Poll: Gallagher toast, Davis-Smith too close".

    The Last Weekend

    - "Governor candidates stage final, frantic pitch for votes". See also "Candidates gear up for weekend", "Primary candidates play dirty in final days", "The images they create could mean everything", "Environment Is A Winner In Governor's Race", "If you're running, Orlando's the place to be" and "20 questions for the candidates for governor".

    - Dems: "Democrats in brutal duel for governor". See also "Democrats crisscross the state in run-up to Tuesday's primary", "Davis, Smith continue attacks", "Anti-Davis calls underway", "Smith makes a breakfast stop, says 'Nobody owns me'", "Big Sugar hangs over Democrats in gubernatorial primary", "Democrats Davis, Smith converge on South Florida as race nears end" and "Another Not-So-Sweet TV Ad" ("Paid for by Florida's Working Families -- which has received nearly $3 million from Florida's two largest sugar growers -- the ad begins by asking, 'Is Jim Davis really a Democrat?'") The candidates on the issues: "Talking Issues: Democrats".

    - GOP: "GOP candidates, apparently, love a parade". See also "Crist, Gallagher campaign across north Florida", "Tom Gallagher hopes for a come-from-behind victory against the popular Charlie Crist", "GOP gubernatorial candidates court crowd at small-town parade" and "GOP hopefuls rush to court voters". The candidates on the issues: "Talking Issues: Republicans".

    "Private-Public" Corruption

    "Ten years after it replaced the Department of Commerce, Enterprise Florida has shown itself to be a public-private venture only in the sense that the public pays and the private receives. Despite critical audits, legislative questions and gubernatorial promises of reform, the group has proved to be virtually immune to the normal checks and balances" "Private favors".

    Charlie Gets A Pass

    "Florida's sugar industry, which has spent millions attacking Jim Davis in the Democratic primary for governor, has now piled in on the other side of the race, helping fund an advertising attack on Tom Gallagher in the Republican primary. Since Aug. 11, Big Sugar has poured around $800,000 into an organization called "Floridians for Truth and Integrity in Government," which is running the ad against Gallagher." "Agency Airs Acrid Gallagher Ad".

    Here's a dumb question - why has the media savaged Smith as being in the pocket of big sugar, but said little if anything about Crist?

    Insurance Money

    "Insurers' donations an issue in CFO race".

    Smith on 'Glades

    The Smith Campaign no doubt appreciates this Palm Beach Post editorial today:

    Groups such as those financed by U.S. Sugar can do much to hide the identities and agendas of the donors. We can't presume to know what U.S. Sugar wants from the next governor, but it's reassuring to hear Sen. Smith say that he wants no part of any agenda that includes abandoning the Everglades.
    "Smith: Good on 'Glades".

    Campaign Tactics

    The Dems are nothing if not creative.

    - Here are a couple of anti-Davis parody web sites: See "http://www.jimdavisforflorida.com/" and "http://www.rodsmithforflorida.com/".

    - The Save Our Everglades video is here. And note the fellow in "Sugar Daddy" costume in the background of the photo accompanying the article. "Davis-Smith race turns more bitter over sugar money".

    Cynthia Henderson

    "'Ms. Henderson has not worked for the governor's office or at any of his agencies since January 2003,' Alia Faraj, the governor's communications director, said Friday. But it was Henderson who contacted the governor's office June 12 about the reappointment of Gibbs, whose term was set to expire July 1." "Authority's Hefty Lobbyist Bills Investigated". See also "Road agency under fire again" (Also, back in "March, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement launched a criminal probe of allegations that there had been "collusion" on the part of the agency's lobbyists, Beck and Cynthia Henderson, in the bid process for a proposed toll road in New Tampa.")

    Get Over It

    "[T]he prospect of Hastings at the helm of the key committee that oversees U.S. intelligence efforts has added fuel to Republican efforts to paint a Democratic-led House as leaning too far to the left." "Hastings may get key post".

    Robo Calls

    "U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has recorded messages on behalf of Jim Davis, Democratic candidate for governor. Bud Chiles, son of the late governor, is backing Davis' rival Rod Smith." "At least they're not telemarketers".

    CFO Race

    "Republican CFO candidates spar over conservative label".

    Missing In Action

    "Where's Ronda? The well-known Hillsborough commissioner has skipped many forums during her state Senate campaign." "In Senate race, Storms watch has often come up blank".

    AG Primary

    "Campbell, Ehrlich vie for AG post".

    Last Throes

    "Jeb Bush legacy underscores last campaign days".

    CD 8

    "As we come down the stretch in the primary where three Democrats are running to give Republican Rep. Ric Keller a run for his money, consultant Charlie Stuart looks like the guy everyone's after."

    Lawyer Alan Grayson has inundated mailboxes with some nasty fliers -- including one that features a photo of a coat hanger as the only way to get an abortion if Stuart has his way.

    For my money, the ad goes too far for two reasons: It's extreme and seemingly inaccurate. While Stuart personally opposes abortion, he says he is not in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade (not that he's up for the Supreme Court anyway).

    Grayson says he is lashing out against Stuart because he has run a whisper campaign, accusing Grayson of being a carpetbagger who is trying to buy the election with his own money. And because Grayson thinks Stuart has been vague in talking about things like abortion -- creating "a verbal fog, trying to be all things to all people."

    Stuart does sometimes walk a fuzzy line in his quest to be moderate. And maybe Grayson could have rapped him for that. But he didn't. He suggested anyone wanting an abortion would need to use a coat hanger if Stuart had his way. And that's a stretch that could turn off some voters who had previously liked Grayson's amicable and rabble-rousing ways.
    "Attacks, coat hangers surface in congressional race".

    Daily Slosberg

    "Slosberg fails to file final finance report".

    Gay Endorsement

    "Tom Gallagher called on his Republican primary opponent Friday to reject an endorsement from a biweekly gay and lesbian publication, saying it doesn't reflect the party's values."

    Gallagher's campaign issued a press release Friday with a headline that called on Crist to reject the endorsement. The two-paragraph body of the press release then called the endorsement a "reward for not defending traditional values" and noted that Crist was the only Republican in the governor's, Cabinet or U.S. Senate races who was endorsed by the group.
    "Crist rejects Gallagher's call to disavow endorsement by gay publication".

    Man of the People

    "Crist said he wants to invite regular citizens to the governor's mansion on a recurring basis to meet and talk with him. "It's important to keep the common touch," Crist said." "Crist promises 'Tallahassee Tuesdays'". See also "Tuesdays with Charlie".

    So Much Ford The RPOF "Big Tent"

    It is no secret that the RPOF is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bushco which, and Jebbie, as one Florida Republican puts it, "prefers dictatorship". See "Cross the party? Read this, and you might think twice".


    "Insurance rates continue to rise".

    Crist Hypocrisy Exposed

    In an effort to keep the anti-choice crowd in his corner in the general, Crist has played both sides of the fence on the issue of a woman's right to choose. Indeed, as recently reported, "Crist supports current abortion laws, won't say what he would do if the landmark Roe v. Wade case is overturned, and disagrees with Gallagher's push for a 24-hour waiting period before abortions." But then he turns around and claims to be "pro-life".

    It seems, that Crist has finally been pinned down: "Charlie Crist, whose stance on abortion has been criticized as vague or inconsistent by critics, particularly opponent Tom Gallagher, answered a Tampa Tribune questionnaire Friday saying he favors banning abortion except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother." "Crist Favors Abortion Ban". See also "Crist Says He'd Back Strict Abortion Limits".

    Die Broke

    "No matter who emerges as a winner Tuesday night, the first order of business for both the GOP and Democratic nominee for governor will be to hit up donors. The final campaign reports before the Sept. 5 primary were due today and show that all four candidates have spent nearly everything." "Not much money left for candidates".


    "More Republicans plan to vote against U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris than for her on Tuesday, which has her challengers pressuring each other to back out." "Poll Has Harris's Opponents Squabbling". See also "GOP senate candidates go their own ways", "Harris maintains healthy lead in polls", "Second foe says Harris still can fall".

    Mom Prefers Car

    "Crist then shared his oft-told story that his mother -- yes, the doctor's wife -- refused to put a 'Crist for Governor' sticker on her own car, until the candidate agreed to buy higher-quality stickers that could be easily peeled away once the campaign ends." "Take Sticker As Directed".

    Could This Be ...

    just another example of representative B running off at the mouth? "Chris Ingram, one of the legions of former Katherine Harris campaign staffers, now working for her opponent LeRoy Collins Jr., had this to say to Harris’ threat that she will reveal emails proving that former staff members were paid to betray her:"

    Bring it on.

    Harris declared Thursday night on Hardball with Chris Matthews that former campaign workers had actively conspired to sink her campaign, and that some were paid to do it. She’ll release damning emails proving it, she said, after the election.

    But Ingram said he’s not worried. If she has evidence of foul play, he said, she ought to release it now.
    "Former Harris Staffer: Bring It On".

    Finally, Harris gets some good advice: "With a comfortable lead in the polls, Harris stays out of sight".

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