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 Friday, October 13, 2006

Charlie the Chicken

    Note To Readers: Our review of Florida's political news and punditry will not be published over the week end; we will resume posting Monday morning.

    Charlie the Chicken

    Worried (for good reason) that Charlie will be exposed the empty suit, the
    Crist campaign is trying to make last-minute arrangements for a debate with Jim Davis in Miami, which might not be televised statewide, in an what appears to be an attempt to avoid a previously planned Hardball-style debate hosted by Chris Matthews.

    Crist doesn’t want a debate with the format of Matthews’ Hardball show, his campaign says – he prefers a more conventional style with timed speeches from podiums. ...

    WFLA-TV in Tampa and the other NBC affiliates in Florida have long planned to host the Matthews debate Oct. 30, to be broadcast live on their stations.

    But the Crist campaign told the station late last week it opposed the format, and might not participate unless it was changed. Negotiations have been continuing since.
    "Crist Debate Shopping?" See also "Debates, Conversations, Controversy.".

    It is clear that Crist thinks he has already purchased the Governor's office, and sees no reason to let Florida voters to actually see him for what he is (and isn't) "in an unstructured, informal setting resembling the freewheeling style of Matthews' TV show." "Crist-Davis debate format is topic for debate".

    Speaking of Chickens ...

    "We are told by people who pay attention to such things that the Bush family had high hopes for son Jeb, because he was considered the brightest of all the boys. Never mind that being the brightest Bush boy is a little like being the most talented oboe player in Logan, Ohio."

    On Oct. 6, Jeb the Lesser, let's call him, landed in Pittsburgh, coming to the aid of beleaguered Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and was immediately engaged by a Union detachment, in this case the United Steelworkers Union, much like his namesake [J.E.B. Stuart] had been engaged by Kilpatrick's cavalry at Hanover, east of Gettysburg.

    But unlike his namesake, Jeb the Lesser took refuge in a closet. ...

    Jeb's security detail hustled him into a subway broom closet, where he remained until the pickets were dispersed by the police.

    "It was a very tense situation. They were very close to the governor and shouting on top of him." That slightly bewildering sentence sounds like something Jeb's oldest brother would have cobbled together, but the paper attributed it to a Port Authority spokesman.

    Imagine what Limbaugh and the fabulists at the Fox News Network could have made of that if it had been Ed Rendell, Pennsylvania's Democratic governor, blowing kisses to the steelworkers before ducking for cover, instead of Jeb the Lesser:

    "Pennsylvania Governor comes out of closet in Pittsburgh. State's Democrats in disarray. Santorum deplores moral depravity in high places, calls for governor's impeachment."

    Hey, with Fox's penchant for identifying rogue Republicans as Democrats, it could still happen.
    "Jeb Bush finds a new niche".

    57% Have Yet To Form An Opinion On Davis

    "On Tuesday, Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, was on a Miami radio station being quizzed by talk show host Jim DeFede, who was asking him about a new Quinnipiac University poll that showed Davis trailing Crist by 10 points among likely voters. DeFede was not that interested in the point spread. He was curious about the finding that '57 percent of those surveyed haven't heard enough to form an opinion' of Davis, who has been campaigning since Feb. 10, 2005." "Democrats worry Davis lacks the cash, drive to catch Crist".

    Anderson Bends Over

    "Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Arthur Anderson said Thursday he's now leaning toward putting notices in polling locations letting voters know how their ballots will be counted in the unusual race to replace disgraced U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fort Pierce. After originally rejecting the idea, Anderson said a legal opinion put forward by the Florida Association of Supervisors of Elections looks like a sensible solution. It would alert voters that a vote cast for Foley actually goes to substitute candidate Joe Negron of Stuart, and also say a vote for Democratic candidate Tim Mahoney counts for Mahoney and a vote for unaffiliated candidate Emmie Ross counts for Ross." "Polling notice on Foley replacement sensible solution, Palm elections chief says".

    More Anderson news: "Another election glitch".

    October Surprise

    "A company headed by the Democratic candidate for Mark Foley's congressional seat is being sued over what investors say is a fraudulent transaction." "Democratic candidate's firm added to fraud suit".

    What War?

    "Polls and candidates' forums show the Iraq war is a top issue on the minds of voters, but congressional candidates across Florida are veering away from details about troop deployments, withdrawal dates, diplomacy efforts and other specific strategies." "Despite voter concerns, candidates dodge war".

    "McCollum's Misrepresentation"

    "Voters have come to expect a little exaggeration in political campaigns. Outright distortion, however, shouldn't be tolerated. Distorting the truth is what Republican attorney general candidate Bill McCollum is doing in his attack on Democratic candidate Walter "Skip" Campbell over a 2001 payday loan bill."

    One of the attorney general's main responsibilities is to interpret and enforce state consumer-protection laws. After McCollum's misrepresentation of the payday loan bill, voters might reasonably question his ability to fulfill that duty.
    "McCollum distorts payday loan issue".

    Testy Debate

    "Republican U.S. Rep. Ric Keller painted Democrat Charlie Stuart as a tax-raising Nancy Pelosi liberal, while Stuart cast Keller as a do-nothing lawmaker who if re-elected would be either a lame duck or a promise-breaker."

    Citing Keller's pledge in 2000 to serve no more than four terms if elected to Congress, Stuart asked the three-term incumbent whether he would stick to that promise if re-elected. "Either he's a lame-duck congressman for the next two years," Stuart said, "or he's breaking his word."

    Keller responded that he doesn't know what will happen down the road. "When I make that decision, I'll let you know," he said.
    "Keller, Stuart get testy in debate".

    Reform Demanded

    "Hundreds of residents demand insurance reform at state meeting". See also "Schemes, but no clear solutions, on insurance".

    Paper Trail Case

    "The Florida Supreme Court refused to get involved Thursday in a dispute between the state and a citizens group over a Nov. 7 ballot initiative that would require Sarasota County's election system to produce a paper record of votes. The action returns the case to the 2nd District Court of Appeal. The referendum will go ahead in the meantime. Voters will be asked to change the county's charter to require that voting machines leave a paper trail beginning in 2008." "Court avoids Sarasota ballot issue".

    "No Buddy"

    "Elections Supervisor [and Jebbie appointee] Buddy Johnson owes Hillsborough voters an explanation. He botched an initiative to change the county's form of government, and his office's credibility is at stake."

    Why was the Hillsborough elections supervisor so unresponsive to a voter petition drive? He needs to quit stalling and explain his actions.
    "No buddy of voters".

    Political Stunt

    The story continues to make its way around the State: "Democrats say politics reason for Crist's probe into '51 murder".

    Foley Fallout

    "Millions of dollars in federal money for communities and counties formerly represented by Mark Foley may be in jeopardy. 'It's normal practice in a situation like this that projects would go away because they no longer have a sponsor, and we don't put any projects in without a sponsor,' said Frank Cushing, clerk and chief of staff for the House Appropriations Committee." "16th District, short on leadership, now may lose money". See also "Panel questions former Foley aide".

    Choice Politics

    "State official to address anti-abortion group".


    "Sally Bradshaw, the former campaign manager and chief of staff to outgoing Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has signaled her preference for president in 2008 -- and it's not Jeb Bush. Bradshaw, who headed Bush's successful campaign for governor in 1998, will serve as Florida advisor to Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's national political action committee, The Commonwealth PAC." "Bradshaw joins Romney team". See also "From Jeb! to Mitt".

    "Signature Slip-Ups"

    "Signature Slip-Ups Can Annul Absentee Ballots".

    Peter Principle

    "Three-term U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow, is the only Florida Republican candidate for Congress not to draw a Democratic opponent." "Putnam Opponents Are Unaffiliated".

    Getting The Boot

    "Halloween is still a few weeks away, but chief-of-staff Bob Ward in the House Speaker's office is already playing the role of Grim Reaper. Ward has notified a number of committee staffers that they may no longer be needed in the administration of incoming House Speaker Marco Rubio, a Miami Republican." "House Cleaning".

    Tampa Trib Lays Three Eggs

    The Tampa Trib editorial board: "Florida Needs Reliable Tom Lee As Chief Financial Officer" "McCollum For Attorney General" and "Keep Bronson Ag. Commissioner".

    Incapable Of Doing His Job ...

    The "President is coming back to raise more money".

    Revolving Door

    "With 60 former state legislators signed up to lobby their former colleagues on behalf of various well-paying clients, as of 2005, Florida was second only to Texas, with 70." "As The Door Revolves". See also "Legislators turned lobbyists".

    Protect Our Wallets

    "Going by the latest campaign finance reports, it might appear that the supporters of Amendment 3 might have an easy ride heading into Election Day."

    Reports filed last Friday show that the group Protect Our Constitution has raised $2.2 million to pay for its campaign in support of Amendment 3. The organization's donors read like a who's who list of Florida businesses: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida has given $100,000, as has Publix Supermarkets and the Florida Association of Realtors. U.S. Sugar has given $75,000, while former legislator Gaston Cantens gave $50,000. The National Association of Home Builders kicked in $300,000 while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce contributed $100,000.

    Trust The Voters has reported raising just $40,500 as of the end of September. But Paul Seago, who is running the anti-Amendment 3 campaign, said the group "will have enough money to meet our goals." Those goals include having enough to do a statewide television buy--which for one week is about $1.2 million.
    "Amendent 3 opponents say they will fight back".

    Laff Riot

    "Just because he's a Republican, he said, doesn't mean he won't first look out for the interests of consumers." "Crist warns business not to take him for granted".

    The Rich Are Different

    "Republican candidate for governor Charlie Crist will be with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Perhaps Trump is expecting a bad hair day; no cameras are allowed." "The Donald or The Grove?"

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