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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Monday, December 11, 2006

"Jeb!" Watch

    The wingnuts have a glimmer of hope as "Jeb!" proclaims to the faithful that "he is 'not ruling in or out' running for president or vice president in 2008." "Jeb Bush Won't Rule Out Presidency".

    Run, "Jeb!", Run! Please do.

    CD 13

    The Republican brain trust makes a prediction:

    Add Florida's Gov.-elect Charlie Crist and U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez to the list of Republicans predicting Democrats in Congress won't dare block Republican Vern Buchanan from taking a seat in Congress on Jan. 4.
    "Blocking Buchanan could hurt Democrats".

    As the Sarasota Herald Tribune noted yesterday in "Sample ballot was different from screen", "Cost cutting may have led to ballot mix-up".

    Charlie Cares

    "Florida's incoming governor says the state needs to build one or more new public universities to enroll an estimated 50,000 new students in the next six years, but he doesn't foresee a need to raise taxes -- or most student fees to cover costs." "Packed colleges concern Crist".

    Tax Reform Panel

    "Some of the best minds in the state have listened patiently to the complaints of Florida taxpayers for months and now have the tough duty of crafting a tax-reform package both the Legislature and the public will buy." "Reform Panel's Flawed Ideas Give Boost To Turner's Tax Plan".


    "Spending in the contentious Ron Klein-Clay Shaw congressional contest this year reached stratospheric levels by Election Day. The total, which exceeds $13.5 million, works out to $63.51 for every vote cast in the Broward-Palm Beach county district." "Ron Klein-Clay Shaw race for U.S. seat: $63.51 per voter".

    Dancing Fool No More

    As widely reported yesterday: "Crist scraps plan for lavish inaugural ball funded partly by lobbyists".

    Dirty Water

    Florida Department of Environmental Protection "is considering reclassifying the state's bodies of water. The result, among other things, could be a reduction in water-quality standards for Broward's 1,800-mile network of canals. Currently the standards are set at levels that, at least in theory, should make the canals fit for swimming and fishing." "Water Quality".

    Republicans Cross Fingers

    "Will the "Jeb" Burger stay at Andrew's Capital Grill & Bar? Or will newly-elected Florida Gov. Charlie Crist get a Monte Cristo sandwich named for him?" "Their menu is in your hands, voters".

    Rate Hikes

    "Southwest Florida property owners facing potential rate hikes of up to 600 percent won a temporary reprieve last week when the state-run insurer postponed approval of premiums lawmakers in May demanded to shore up the program." "Michael Peltier: Property owners win temporary reprieve".

    Imagine That

    "In the days before Florida voters passed a minimum wage amendment to the state constitution, business owners and their industry advocates were predicting doom." They were wrong. "Higher wage, minimum problem".

    The Ros-Lehtinen Thing

    "Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami, who was recently tapped to become the top Republican on the House International Relations Committee, appears in the 28-second clip being circulated on the Internet by the makers of a new British documentary, "638 Ways to Kill Castro." In it, she says: "I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro and any leader who is oppressing the people."" "Congresswoman says video calling for Castro killing is a fake". See also the Miami Herald story the other day: "Ros-Lehtinen: Kill-Castro video a trick".

    "The film's director, Dolan Cannell, stood by the authenticity of the footage."

    "I can assure you categorically and completely that there has been no distortion of what she said," Cannell told the Associated Press on Sunday.

    Ros-Lehtinen said she has seen the documentary and the final cut does not include that video clip. However, the documentary's Web site, www.638waystokillcastro.com, has a link to the clip.
    "Director stands by video of lawmaker".

    Soaring Rates

    "Florida homeowners fed up with soaring property insurance rates are signing petitions, brainstorming solutions and pressing lawmakers." "Homeowners demand action on soaring rates".

    Here's a thought: folks might have considered not voting for the political party that is a wholly owned subsidary of the insurance industry. See "Objectivity at a premium". See


    Republicans like to talk "open government", but they rearely walk the walk:

    The first of several disputes started on Bush's first day in office, in 1999. He called meetings with the Senate president and House speaker - the two other most powerful leaders in state government - and refused to let reporters attend. Bush's general counsel claimed that "from a purely legal point of view, the press had no right to be there today," but Petersen and others strongly disagreed.

    In 2000, the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida took note of another meeting with legislators where Bush barred the press. In 2001, he was criticized for giving notice of meetings with lawmakers via e-mail as the meetings were taking place. By the time reporters arrived, the meetings had already ended. And in 2005, Bush prevented reporters from attending a morning meeting where an overhaul of the public school system was being discussed, according to the center.
    "Crist Expected To Ease Access To Public Records".


    "DOT to be state's planner by default?".

    Rubio Unleashed

    In "less than a month after officially becoming one of the state's most powerful politicians, the 35-year-old from West Miami is defending a spending spree with taxpayers' money that includes a $1 million increase in staff salaries and a $600,000 renovation in the Capitol that includes a new dining room for lawmakers." "Speaker's spending is raising eyebrows". See also yesterday's, "".

    Palm Beach County

    Read Palm Beach County's political news, including this heartbreaker "Attorney Peter Sachs loses a rain-making partner when Ron Klein leaves Boca-based Sachs Sax Klein to be sworn in next month as a Democratic member of Congress. Managing director Sachs also is 'not thrilled' about losing the firm's SSK logo."House speaker's ideas cost bucks".

    More From The "Values" Crowd

    "An estimated 374,000 uninsured children who qualify for state-subsidized health insurance are not enrolled. Critics have blamed KidCare's low numbers on policy changes that have confused or discouraged would-be applicants. The Legislature eliminated the program's outreach budget in 2003. This year, lawmakers slashed KidCare funding by $170 million because of flagging enrollment but at the same time rededicated $1 million for outreach." "Fight For Child Health Care Heats Up".

    Adam Smith: "Political blogs are changing the rules of engagement. As they are being rewritten, are we better or worse off? Or are things just different now?"

    The Times started the Buzz blog 1 1/2 years ago as a way to provide political news nuggets that often don't get past the space constraints of the newspaper. It quickly took off, and now is regularly read by everyone from the governor to local political activists. All the big daily newspapers in Florida have since followed suit.

    At its best, the anonymous commenting we allow on the blog produces a witty, informed and free-wheeling conversation about Florida politics. At its worst, it's a vehicle for personal attacks and rumormongering that needs constant policing.
    "Two really scary words: politics and the Internet". See also "Coming to grips with the Buzz blog".

    Watching Out for the Little Guy

    So nice to have corporate America watching out for the little guy:

    The St. Petersburg Times investigation last April, as well as an October report by the Democratic staff of the Senate Finance Committee, revealed how CAGW and other tax-exempt groups have been paid by corporations and trade associations to conduct lobbying and public relations campaigns.

    CAGW, which bills itself as "America's No. 1 taxpayer watchdog," is famous for its Pig Book, an annual publication that lists federal programs the group considers wasteful. CAGW officials are widely quoted in the news media and are portrayed as independent critics of government waste.

    The Times reported that CAGW traded on its good name by taking money to lobby. The group received about $100,000 from Mexican avocado growers for a campaign urging the Department of Agriculture to allow more avocados imported from Mexico.

    It also took at least $245,000 from tobacco companies while urging the government not to regulate tobacco. It received thousands from a health club association while promoting tax breaks for health club memberships.

    The recent report from the Finance Committee, published by the Democratic staff but backed by the Republican chairman, provides a glimpse behind the scenes as lobbyist Abramoff enlisted tax-exempt groups. It documented how he got CAGW and Americans for Tax Reform to publish articles and news releases on behalf of his clients - and then directed tens of thousands of dollars to the taxpayer groups.
    "Groups hide behind tax code".

<< Home