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 Thursday, October 05, 2006

State Election Officials Campaign for Negron

    "In an escalating conflict tinged by the 2000 presidential election, the Florida Democratic Party is accusing state election officials of playing favorites in the nationally watched contest to replace former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley."
    The GOP tapped state Rep. Joe Negron to run in Foley's place after the congressman's lurid computer messages to teenage boys became public and he resigned. But under Florida law, Foley's name will still appear on the ballot.

    The state is recommending that election supervisors in the eight counties constituting Foley's district send notices to absentee voters and post signs in every voting booth that say, "Any vote cast for Mark Foley (REP) shall be counted as a vote for Joe Negron (REP)."
    In response,
    Karen Thurman, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, said the notice "would clearly constitute favoritism.

    "In fact, any ballot sent to a voter with this statement should be deemed invalid," Thurman said in the letter, addressed to state elections chief Dawn Roberts. ...

    Election chiefs are seeking advice from the Tallahassee attorney for their statewide association, Ron Labasky. He said he thinks the law does not allow election supervisors to send notices with absentee ballots.
    "Foley saga spurs ballot fight". See also "Ballot name pesters Foley's fill-in".

    How convenient that Jebbie's minions
    have removed what political experts have said was one of Negron's biggest challenges in the race: voter confusion at the polls. ...

    The recommendation sent by Dawn Roberts, director of the state Division of Elections, was unsolicited, state elections spokesman Sterling Ivey said.
    It gets worse:
    "Preferably, the notice would be placed in every voting booth," Roberts wrote in the e-mail to county supervisors.
    "Signs noting Negron replaces Foley on ballot get OK". Indeed, it has already started:
    Elections supervisors in two counties [rural Highlands and Hendry counties] began mailing absentee ballots Wednesday for the 16th Congressional District race that included a notice telling voters Mark Foley is no longer a candidate and his votes would count for fellow Republican Joe Negron.
    "Foley ballot notice questioned".

    Harris Goes Off Deep End

    "Leave it to Florida's Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate to come up with a unique theory for who really may be to blame [for the Foley thing]."

    Here's Katherine Harris' take on the matter to WESH-Channel 2: "The media would be quite disingenuous to try to make it a partisan issue. If anything, the Republicans didn't know about these issues. And we are going to be very anxious to find out who in the media or on the other side of the aisle knew about it and kept this from the public interest. Because our children were at stake." So the Foley matter isn't a partisan one. But if it is, then Democrats are probably to blame. . . for the actions of this Republican. Harrisland must be a fascinating place to live.
    "The offbeat take on Foley in 'Harrisland'". See also "Harris on offense, backs border fence", "Harris blasts Nelson on illegal immigration" and "Harris blasts Nelson on illegal immigration".

    Privatization Follies

    "Florida lawmakers made a mistake when they approved a plan to force low-income seniors into for-profit managed care. Yet the state is barreling ahead with a privatization proposal that might go further than the Legislature intended." "Try again".

    The Consumer Warrior

    "Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist is the subject of a new book that claims the attorney general attempted to "whitewash" an investigation into now-bankrupt talent and modeling agencies."

    The book, "Under Investigation," was written by Les Henderson, an Ontario man who has previously written about how scams are operated. He is publishing the 511-page book himself.

    Crist's campaign manager, George LeMieux, was deputy attorney general under Crist and is at the center of Henderson's claim that the investigation was dismissed for political reasons.
    Here's what happened:
    The head of the attorney general's local economic crimes unit in Orlando that led the investigation, Jackie Dowd, said Monday she had prepared a lawsuit based on deceptive business practices against the companies. But she said she was dismissed after 11 years with the unit with no reason in early 2004 before the suit could be filed.

    "There were no job issues, there were no performance issues," Dowd said of her dismissal. Asked if her involvement in the investigation of Pearlman's companies was a reason for the dismissal, Dowd said, "I certainly did wonder about that. That was one of the possibilities. I just don't know."

    LeMieux said that Dowd resigned from her job after differences of opinion related in part to Dowd's speaking to the press about ongoing investigations. He said the parting was "amicable."

    A few months later, Dowd's replacement -- John MacGregor -- eviscerated Dowd's work in a memo that largely praised Pearlman's businesses and led to the end of the investigation.
    "Pearlman and his affiliated companies gave $5,000 to Crist's gubernatorial campaign in June 2005, more than a year after the attorney general's investigation was dropped." "Book: Crist tried to 'whitewash' probe into modeling agencies".

    "Status-Quo Crist"

    Former state Sen. Daryl Jones, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, arrived at New Bethel AME Church on Wednesday night and fired up the congregation with his own kind of revival.

    Speaking to a group of 90 members of the congregation and local Democratic activists, Jones, who would become the first black lieutenant governor of Florida if gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis wins Nov. 7, said the state is desperate for change.
    "Jones: Status-Quo Crist Wrong".

    CD 5

    See "Brown-Waite says low-key style best serves community" and "Russell says his tenacity will be asset in Congress".

    GOP Creates"Bloated Beast"

    "[I]t's hard to understand how conservative Republicans running Tallahassee, who pay lip service to shrinking the size of government, could give their blessing to this bloated beast." "New Florida Charter School Panel Is Costly, Divisive, Duplicative".

    The answer is simple: it is all about taking on unionized teachers.

    Remember The Guv Race?

    - "Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner toured Florida Wednesday, raising money for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis while elevating his own profile as he heads toward a likely run for president." "Ex-Virginia Gov. Warner campaigns with Davis". See also "Presidential hopefuls rally around Davis".

    - "Limit 'far-fetched' lawsuits? Crist running mate has one of his own, critics say"

    - "Gubernatorial issues: Property taxes"

    - Charlie's latest: "AD WATCH: Governor's Race".


    "Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future on Wednesday released a video called A Florida Promise, linking the past eight years of education improvements to the state's standardized testing, school grading and major boosts in classroom funding. The 13-minute production is available on the foundation's Web site, www.foundationforfloridasfuture.org. ... [Mandy Fletcher, the group's executive director said] the timing of the film's release has nothing to do with influencing the upcoming election, the first governor's race in 12 years that Bush will not be on the ballot." "Bush foundation video trumpets schools' progress". See also "Jeb! The Movie" and "Now on DVD".

    Foley Fallout

    - "A top congressional aide who resigned Wednesday said he alerted the House speaker's office years ago that former Rep. Mark Foley's behavior toward congressional pages could be a concern." "Ex-aide: I reported Foley's behavior years ago". See also "Aide says he told Hastert's office about Foley's conduct more than 3 years ago", "Former aide says he reported Foley in 2003" and "Ex-Aide Cites '03 Warnings On Foley".

    - "Ethics committee ready to probe Foley case". See also "Ethics panel faces major decisions in Foley investigation".

    - "Shaw's strong support for Speaker Hastert softens".

    - "Mahoney avoids Foley scandal".

    - Editorials: "So disgraced ex-Congressman Mark Foley is not only an alcoholic, but was abused as a teen by a clergy member. How convenient." "Resolve questions". See also "Foley isn't the victim, but he's acting like one".

    - "Debate alters after Foley acknowledges being gay".

    - "The director of a national network of sexual abuse victims called on disgraced former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley of Palm Beach County to identify his alleged perpetrator to local law enforcement. ... Attorney David Roth, speaking on Foley's behalf at a West Palm Beach news conference Tuesday, said the former congressman was molested between the ages of 13 and 15 by a clergyman." "Name your abuser, victims group urges Foley". See also "Foley was molested, lawyer says".

    Political Stunt

    "At issue is a legal quarrel between the Legislature and a handful of influential lobbyists over a new law forcing lobbyists to report how much they are paid to influence state government." "Lee questions tactics of lobbyists' attorneys".

    By the Way, He Was A Democrat

    "Bush, former governors honor LeRoy Collins". See also "Late ex-governor inspires successors".

    First Amendment

    "Compliments are fine, rousing cheers are even better, but don't let officials catch you criticizing the president and vice president when they make a public appearance. That could land you in the pokey." "Speak out, but at your own risk".

    Poll Workers

    "Hoping to cut down on mistakes like those that may have led to missing voting records from the September primary, Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Ann McFall is revamping poll worker training, which starts today." "Supervisor revises training to cut down poll errors".


    "Conservative pundits and the Republican National Committee have been using the prospect of U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings taking over the House Intelligence Committee in an attempt to scare voters away from Democratic congressional candidates." "GOP campaigns against Hastings for House post".

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