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 Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Republican Ploy"

    Believe it or not, but "the State Department sent an e-mail advisory Tuesday to U.S. citizens in Iraq alerting them of the congressman's resignation."
    The message went out to all citizens registered at the U.S. Consul in Baghdad -- and possibly in other countries -- reminding them that, if they are Florida voters who live in the 16th Congressional District, a vote for Foley is actually a vote for his Republican replacement, state Rep. Joe Negron. ...

    Officials from the campaign for Negron's Democratic challenger, Tim Mahoney, are livid over the correspondence, saying it is a Republican ploy to maintain the GOP stronghold in Congress.

    "Here they go again -- Karl Rove and his crowd are interfering with another Florida election," said Charles Halloran, a spokesman for the Mahoney campaign.
    "Overseas e-mail angers Democrats". More: "Ad watch: Congressional District 16".

    Nelson Spreads the Wealth

    "The Orlando incumbent just gave $250,000 to the state Democratic Party. He also asked contributors to his re-election bid to donate to three key congressional races in Florida. That request has raised $30,000 since Nelson sent the e-mail last Thursday."

    Christine Jennings is among the candidates benefiting from Nelson's money-raising efforts. ...

    Nelson's donation to the state party will help with voter-turnout efforts, which could boost him as well as Jim Davis, Skip Campbell and Alex Sink, running for governor, attorney general and chief financial officer, respectively.

    But most eyes are on the House races. Nelson's e-mail is sending money to Charlie Stuart, who is running against incumbent Ric Keller in Orlando.

    It also raised money for Ron Klein, who is seeking to unseat incumbent E. Clay Shaw Jr. in the district next to the one that had been represented by U.S. Rep. Mark Foley until he resigned in scandal last month.
    "Well ahead, Nelson spreads wealth for party".

    More: "In three key U.S. House races - two in GOP strongholds - Democrats are gaining ground." "Fla. races suggest trouble for GOP".

    Charlie's Pusillanimity Prevails

    "Pusillanimity: the quality or state of being pusillanimous: lacking courage and resolution : marked by contemptible timidity".

    Republican candidate for governor Charlie Crist agreed Tuesday to a televised debate hosted by newsman Chris Matthews, after the stations hosting it agreed to change the format at Crist's insistence.

    The debate was to be in the style of Matthews' "Hardball" show on MSNBC. Instead, it will have a more traditional format with the candidates at podiums, giving timed responses to questions.

    Starting about two weeks ago, Crist threatened to back out of the debate, planned since early this year, if it was conducted in the "Hardball" style.

    Matthews wanted the two candidates, Crist and his Democratic opponent Jim Davis, seated with him at a table while he peppered them with questions.
    "Crist OKs Debate Format". See also "Crist, Davis will still play 'Hardball' -- sort of", "Crist, Davis will stand behind podiums at TV debate", "A Deal on The Debate" and "Crist agrees to Round 2".

    Naming Names

    "In another odd turn in the Mark Foley Internet messaging scandal, the attorney for the recently resigned congressman held a news conference Tuesday to say Foley would name the priest who allegedly molested him as a youth. But he wouldn't say when that would be." "Lawyer: We'll name priest who molested Foley". See also "Foley to ID priest he alleges abused him" and "Foley to tell church name of alleged abuser, lawyer says".


    "Campbell, McCollum run experienced campaigns".

    GOP Foley Response "Absurd"

    "The GOP attacks are based on a crucial political calculation and replicate what the party has done in the face of other recent ethics scandals, said Larry Sabato, University of Virginia political scientist and veteran observer of the national political scene."

    "The pattern is to take a problem defined as belonging to you and make it a problem of both parties so it ceases to be an issue for voters," Sabato said, adding that Republicans "have to find a way to take the 'R' off the end of Foley's name and make this a 'D-R' scandal."

    The GOP response is similar to its reaction after the scandal over lobbyist Jack Abramoff, convicted of bribery: Republicans sought then to portray Abramoff as having given money to politicians of both parties in roughly equal amounts.

    In fact, independent analyses show Abramoff never gave directly to any Democrat and that his political committees had given far more to Republicans than to Democrats.

    Sabato said that in this case, any accusation by either party about donations by the pro-Studds and pro-Crane donors is "equally ridiculous."

    "It's such a stretch." He said. "The whole thing is absurd."
    "GOP's Foley Counterattack Has Self-Destructive Angle".

    Davis Moves North

    "Davis campaigns in the Panhandle".

    Politics First

    "Bush said Tuesday he canceled the Oct. 31 Cabinet meeting at the request of fellow Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist to let him campaign for the Nov. 7 election." "Governor cancels Cabinet meeting for Crist".

    Supressing The Vote

    "Mistaking a single number on a driver's license or reversing the month and day of a birth date could keep untold numbers of residents from registering to vote this year." "New rules block some from voter registration".

    Laff Riot

    "Charlie Crist, who has raised many millions from the big businesses that traditionally support Republicans in his run for governor, has also made the centerpiece of his campaign his eagerness to confront some of those same businesses on behalf of average Floridians." "'Populist' Crist, Davis swapping traditional roles".

    Felon Flip-Flop

    Charlie flip-flops:

    Republican Charlie Crist has switched his position and joined Democratic opponent Jim Davis in favoring restoring the civil rights of all felons automatically after they have served their time. Until recently, Crist opposed automatic restoration.
    "Voting ban for felons could end with next governor". See also "Crist backs voting rights for felons" and "New view on felons voting not just a ploy, Crist says".

    Two questions: (1) will Charlie flip-flop again after the election should he prevail, and (2) where was Charlie on this issue before he decided he wanted to court the minority vote?

    CD 13

    "The candidates running for the 13th Congressional District have shown little hesitation in buying their own television ads. But getting both Democrat Christine Jennings and Republican Vern Buchanan to take free air time to debate has proven far more difficult. Buchanan and Jennings have yet to agree to meet for any further televised debates." "Jennings, Buchanan won't spar on TV". See also "Jennings aims for the middle".


    "Harris: I'll sell house to get campaign cash". See also "Latest report shows Harris far behind in funds raised".

    "Shining Sun"

    "To assure accuracy and transparency, Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Ann McFall will require early-voting ballots to be fed into machines only in public and institute other significant procedural changes." "Shining sun on voting process".


    "Want to learn who's donating millions for those party ads for Crist and Davis? Thanks to the Legislature, you can't, till days before the election." "Big political ad buyers can hide in a loophole".

    Oozing Through The Process

    Steve Otto: "Up in the northern reaches of Hillsborough County, where U.S. House District 9 stretches to like a rubber band from Pinellas County to the edges of Plant City, try to find Gus The Lesser, son of retiring Mike Bilirakis and the favorite in that election. If you do happen to catch a glimpse, you can be sure opponent Phyllis Busansky is nowhere around. Bilirakis has managed to duck the former Hillsborough commissioner for months, and if he can survive the one and only debate, he's likely to be home free. The reason that it is so easy to ooze through the process, as always, is money." "It's Time For Pol-Pickin' Season Again". See also "For U.S. Congress: Busansky, Castor, Brown-Waite And Putnam" ("Republican Gus Bilirakis is low-key and unassuming. Democrat Phyllis Busansky is a dynamo.")

    Stupid Is ...

    As stupid writes. We have long been used to Mike Thomas shilling for the RPOF, which is his right. Words like this come right out of the RPOF playbook and magically appear in his columns, like the one yesterday:

    Democrats go with state Sen. Skip Campbell, a notorious stooge for business interests who seems ill-prepared for the race.
    If you must, you can read the entire column here: "GOP can't ask for a better foe than Democrats".

    Dumb As A Box Of Rocks

    Scott Maxwell:

    I've said for a while now that Davis' best hope may be for Crist to blow it big-time with some high-profile error in one of the debates. And that's still a possibility -- 'cause Charlie sure can sound dumb sometimes.

    Crist's latest faux pas came last week, when he was talking to The Tampa Tribune's editorial board.

    Crist was talking passionately about his problems with Davis when he said: "I have an opponent who's a nice man, but damn it, you know, he's my congressman, and he didn't show up."

    Crist's point had power because it was personal.

    Unfortunately, it was also wrong.

    Crist's congressman, as the nice folks on the Tribune's ed board pointed out, is fellow Republican Bill Young.

    And this comes after another editorial-board interview earlier this year in which Crist was talking about the importance of the FCAT when he revealed he didn't know when the test was given or what constituted a passing score.

    Realizing this, you have to imagine Davis is salivating about the upcoming debate, which is supposed to feature a free-flowing discussion moderated by MSNBC tough-talker Chris Matthews.
    "Let's call them 'Crist-isms'".

    Free Publicity

    "So, Max Linn, was it all just a political stunt? No way, gubernatorial candidate Linn said Tuesday about landing a private plane on Interstate 4 last week. 'It was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.'" "Candidate wished for none of this free publicity".

    Scrutiny Required

    "5 ballot items invite scrutiny".


    "With their man Charlie Crist awash in donations and continually besting Democrat Jim Davis in the polls, the Pinellas Republican Party is already planning the inauguration bash. Party chairman Tony DiMatteo has booked 50 rooms at the Holiday Inn Select in Tallahassee, where he and other party members plan to celebrate Crist's inauguration as governor on Jan. 2." "Crist supporters book rooms".

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