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, December 03, 2006

"Everything and Nothing, Hollow and True"

    Consider these insightful observations by Beth Reinhard:
    Crist is neither wonkish nor controversial. Asked with which presidential candidate he feels ideologically compatible with, he says, ''All of them.'' Asked which of the insurance reform committee's recommendations he finds appealing, he says, ''I haven't found any that I didn't'' like.

    There are 50 recommendations.

    He acknowledged that he hadn't read them, nor has he read the proposed legislation, though he faces a special legislative session on insurance starting Jan. 16. ...

    Here comes the people's governor. Everything and nothing, hollow and true.
    "Crist's words as puzzling as his views". Steve Bousquet gives us some of Charlie's more recent utterances:
    Crist says he won't sacrifice quality for speed. But he's uneasy about starting with a cast that looks like a continuation of his predecessor.

    "We're reaching out. It's a new day," Crist said. "People are ready for change, and they're going to get it."
    How serious is Charlie? It Seems Jebbie is putting him to the test:
    As Gov.-elect Charlie Crist prepares to announce his first set of agency-head appointments this week, a battle may be looming over one of the highest-profile leadership positions: the commissioner of education.

    Outgoing Gov. Jeb Bush's choice for that job, John Winn, technically reports to the Board of Education, a body that was created in its current format under Bush in 2001. Bush has appointed all seven of its members, but at least two also are close to Crist: Roberto Martinez and Kathleen Shanahan, both top members of Crist's transition team.

    Winn, unlike the agency secretaries who report directly to the governor, has not tendered his resignation, despite Crist's preference that he do so.

    Compounding the problem is that Bush on Oct. 27 reappointed two of his most loyal political supporters on the Board of Education for additional four-year stints. The current terms of Phil Handy and T. Willard Fair end Dec. 31, two days before Crist takes the oath of office to succeed Bush.

    If Crist could appoint two of his own members instead of Handy and Fair, he immediately would have a majority of the board loyal to him.

    "He's getting a little short-fused here about this," one participant in the education arena said of Crist, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid getting involved in a dispute between two Republican governors.
    "Pick for agency chief tests Crist-Bush bond".

    "Jeb!" His "Ideological Hero"

    Rubio loves to talk "innovation", but he is walking "same old, same old": "When Marco Rubio settles into his regular routine as Florida House speaker over the next few weeks, he won't have to look far for reminders of his ideological hero, Jeb Bush. The Miami Republican has hired at least 22 former Bush staffers as lawyers, analysts and staff directors, most of whom begin their new House jobs this month and will earn hefty salaries." "Reminders of Bush everywhere in state House".

    Don't expect a lot of "innovation" from someone who prides himeself on being a Jebbie clone.

    More From The "Values" Crowd

    "Among the most endangered species on the planet, the Florida panther may soon become a novelty seen only in captivity." "Panthers threatened as development overtakes habitat". See also "Will Florida roll over and play dead? Only to kill its scrub jay?".

    Florida's "Political Freedom"?

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board believes that folks relocate to Florida because of our "our year-round sunshine or political or economic freedom".

    Political Shift?

    We highly recommend Brian Crowley take on the recent election and its aftermath: "Florida Democrats sense a political shift".

    "Transition Politics"

    "Crist's transition team of volunteers is racing against a Jan. 2 deadline to provide a diverse pool of appointees to dozens of high-level state jobs. Crist is soliciting applications for state jobs from the public on the Internet. The Web address is www.cristtransition.com. Hundreds of people have sent in applications and dozens have been called in for interviews." "Everyone has input for Crist's team".

    Special Session Poses Problems

    "Even his closest allies acknowledge that incoming Gov. Charlie Crist isn't much of a detail guy when it comes to public policy."

    But the special session set for Jan. 16 on insurance is bound to force Florida's next chief executive into the weeds faster than most new governors.
    "Baptism by fire in store for new governor Crist".

    Higher Education"

    Another legacy of our self-proclaimed "education Governor":

    A report last week by a bipartisan panel of the National Conference of State Legislatures said higher education throughout the United States was in crisis, dragged down by state lawmakers unwilling to make strategic, farsighted decisions instead of reactive ones.

    It said legislatures, including Florida's, have failed to set clear goals for institutions, and have failed to tie funding to performance. The NCSL report comes on the heels of a report in September from a commission appointed by U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. It too said states must improve affordability, access and graduation rates, because fewer people are finishing college.

    This provides Gov.-elect Charlie Crist and the 2007 Legislature an extraordinary opportunity. They can continue to pay lip service to systemwide excellence, as leaders have done for decades; or they can map out a long-range funding strategy for an extreme makeover of Florida's system of higher education, which will pay huge dividends in the future.
    "Pecking order".

    Teacher Shortage

    "A tough lesson in supply and demand".

    Florida's Values?

    "'From St. Pete down through Sarasota is the 10th wealthiest corridor in the United States,' said Scott Merritt, Sarasota president of U.S. Trust Co., a wealth-management firm." Columnist Thomas Tryon asks "So, how rich are we?".

    But not rich enough, according to the statistics, to pay workers average wages.

    Not rich enough to adequately reimburse doctors and public hospitals, such as Sarasota Memorial, or private hospitals, such as Manatee Memorial, for providing care to indigent patients.

    Not rich enough to build and fund juvenile-assessment centers in every county.

    Not rich enough to fund enough counselors for the would-be homeless.

    I suppose it depends on how we define rich -- and "we."
    "Are we rich enough in spirit to think of more than millionaires?".

    Straw Poll

    "Many Republican activists in Florida are excited about the prospect of a presidential straw poll next year that would ensure they receive loads of attention from GOP presidential candidates. Count Jeb Bush among those who like the idea." "Crist notably quiet about presidential straw poll".

    "Epic Battle"

    "The case against seven boot camp guards and a nurse in the death of a teen will be tough for prosecutors, who can expect the jury to be skeptical of charges against the officers." "Trial has making of epic battle".

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