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 Monday, October 16, 2006

Charlie "Can't Do the Math"

    Tom Blackburn writes that Crist's tax cutting mania
    would, of course, cost local governments plenty in revenue, but the governor doesn't have to pay for local governments. See how clever that is? Gov. Bush thought of that first, though. As they cut state taxes, he and the Legislature increased how much local "effort" - which means property tax - school boards are required to make. The state covered losses from its tax cuts with property tax revenue that school boards have to take the blame for. Mr. Crist's contribution to the squeeze play would be to make it harder for the school districts to get the money.

    I've long held that no one should be allowed near the nuclear trigger if he can't pronounce nuclear, but a corollary may be more important: Nobody should be allowed near a budget if he can't do the math.
    "Why did Jeb leave state taxes to cut?"

    Charlie not only is unable to do the math, he doesn't even know who his Congressman is. Someone really should start collecting these Crist gaffe's:
    Charlie Crist told a newspaper that he's angry that gubernatorial rival Rep. Jim Davis has missed votes in Congress because Davis is supposed to be representing Crist. But Crist's St. Petersburg home is actually in the district of U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, a Republican from Largo, not in the district of Davis, who represents a Tampa district.
    "Crist calls Davis 'my congressman' ... but he's not".

    Mahoney 48, Negron 41

    "The poll also shows Mahoney holding a slim lead over state Rep. Joe Negron, the Republican candidate filling the campaign vacancy left by Foley, 48 percent to 41 percent, with 11 percent still undecided. Foley's name will remain on the ballot, with any votes cast for him going to Negron. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Maryland-based Research 2000 conducted the telephone survey of 600 likely voters in District 16 Wednesday through Friday for the newspapers." "Poll says Democrat leads in former Foley district". See also "Poll: Mahoney leads but scandal fallout is limited", "Poll: Foley seat leaning toward Dem". See also this earlier story: "Democrats sue over notices about ballot".


    "The Democratic candidate for finance officer is a political newcomer but a business insider." "Sink's resume reflects gains, losses".

    Who Knew?

    Betcha didn't know that Charlie "led a successful fight to stop oil drilling off Florida's coast." To put it far too politely, "That's stretching the truth. Back in April, Crist was among several elected officials who wrote letters opposing a federal plan to allow oil drilling off Florida's coast. Crist's Democratic opponent, Jim Davis, has been much more involved in the federal issue as a member of Congress." "Crist radio ad stretches the truth".

    Another Crist Flip-Flop

    The other day, the Tampa Trib caught Charlie in yet another flip-flop: "Charlie Crist said Friday he favors automatic restoration of voting rights for felons who have completed their sentences, an issue that has been controversial in Florida since the 2000 election. That's a switch for Crist, the Republican candidate for governor. A month ago, he said he favored streamlining the process for restoring voting rights but didn't call for automatic restoration of rights." "Crist Would Let All Felons Vote".

    Charlie will apparently say anything to cut into the Black vote: "Crist's overtures to black voters may find some success".

    Jim Who?

    Yesterday, Orlando Sentinel writers John Kennedy & Jason Garcia reminded us that "An overwhelming 57 percent of registered voters don't recognize Davis, according to the survey of nearly 1,000 Floridians by Quinnipiac University. ... Davis says there's a silver lining in those numbers -- he's got more room to grow." "Davis still draws blanks from voters". See also "Davis in Brevard, Orange counties today" and "Davis Takes His Campaign To Crist Country".

    More: "Davis developed image as 'reasoned persuader' instead of arm breaker".

    Biography of an Empty Suit

    "His path was charmed from the start -- a youth spent water-skiing and serving on the homecoming court."

    His polite, easy manner made him eminently electable since the day in 1968 when seventh-graders chose him as homeroom representative.

    It was as if political handlers vetted every step of his upbringing, charting a solid path with only the mildest hint of adversity: He threw some passes for the high school football team (but shared quarterback time with another player); he smoked pot "once, maybe twice," in college (but regrets it); he finished law school (although he didn't practice much law); he lost his first election but sent flowers to the victor, and he landed in statewide politics by writing a well-timed letter that caught someone's eye.

    Friends and family agree that Crist seemed destined to win elections. Yet few in his intimate circle can point to ideas or events that drove the man who might be Florida's next governor to seek a life in politics.
    "Charlie Crist's official campaign biography begins". See also "Crist's easygoing style doesn't mean he can't take, and make, hits".

    Party Hack

    "During her time in Congress, the Longboat Key Republican has closely followed her party leadership, voting with President Bush 95 percent of the time, according to the HillMonitor, a nonpartisan Web site that tracks the voting records of lawmakers. Of the 205 votes she cast on issues important to the president, she opposed him 10 times. During that same period, she voted with the Republican majority 94 percent of the time, supporting lower taxes, conservative social causes, the war in Iraq, an extension of the Patriot Act and a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning." "Harris a GOP stalwart in Congress, on stump".

    See also "Katherine Harris turns to God in bid to unseat frontrunner U.S. Sen. Nelson".


    Who writes these headlines: "Bi-partisan group runs Crist ads"?

    CD 9 Cash Disparity

    "The summer series of GOP VIP's (Cheney, Hastert, Pres. Bush) helped Republican Gus Bilirakis pull in more than twice as much money as Democrat Phyllis Busansky, campaign finance reports filed this weekend show. Between July 1 and September 30, Bilirakis reported receiving $625,000 while Busansky's total was about $247,000. Bilirakis' higher campaign spending did little to close the cash gap: at the cycle's end, he had $1.46 million cash on hand, compared to Busansky's $537,000, according to FEC records." "Dramatic cash gap in District 9". See also "Phyllis Busansky".


    "At polls, you'll decide on 6 amendments". See also "Amendment 3 Wrong To Shield Constitution From Majority Rule", "Amendment 8 Too Restrictive" and "Tax Break For Wounds Misfires".

    While Jebbie Fiddled

    "Census Bureau findings have confirmed what South Floridians already know all too well. Many of us pay more than we can afford for housing, more so than in other places around the nation. The housing crisis here is so acute that many essential workers are moving to lower-cost areas." "Life in paradise becoming too costly".

    The NRA, A RPOF Front Group

    "NRA backs Crist campaign".


    "U.S. House candidates Clay Shaw and Ron Klein each raised about $10,000 a day during the latest fundraising period, but new reports filed Sunday showed Klein burning cash faster than Shaw, leaving the incumbent with more money to buy TV ads during the crucial final weeks of the campaign." "Shaw, Klein intensify efforts to win U.S. House District 22".

    Insurance Fixes

    "Michael Peltier: Candidates offer different fixes for property insurance crisis".

    Foley Fallout

    "The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach is right to ask Mark Foley and his attorney to identify the clergyman who they claim sexually molested the former congressman almost 40 years ago. Attorney David Roth made the allegation during an Oct. 3 news conference shortly after Foley's resignation from Congress. Mr. Roth said a member of the clergy had molested his client between the ages of 13 and 15 but offered no other information about the identity or religious affiliation of the abuser." "If Foley was abused, he should name abuser".

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