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.


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 Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"Legislative Gamesmanship"

    "House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, told local business leaders Thursday that numbers for the promised property tax cut would be announced by the end of the week." "House speaker: Plan for property tax reform will be made public this week".

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board:
    That legislative gamesmanship is reaching Olympian heights this week is not breaking news here in the capital city. But for an issue of such seriousness to voters, property-tax relief ought not be so up in the air, so vague and fraught with trust-me politics with less than a week to go before the special session that's meant to please most of the voters most of the time.
    "Take it easy".

    Meanwhile, "House speaker all but promises property tax reduction this year".

    "Not So Fast"

    "Florida finally has this whole election thing nailed down. By the November 2008 general election, there will be a paper trail. No more disputing who won and who lost. All possible election gremlins will have been banished."

    But not so fast. If stem-cell research is on the 2008 ballot, Floridians could need more than a paper trail to figure out which side won and which side lost.

    Last week, the Florida Supreme Court approved the language of a proposed constitutional amendment that would require the state to spend $20 million a year for 10 years on embryonic stem-cell research. That's clear enough. But the court also approved the language of an amendment that would forbid the state to spend money on embryonic stem-cell research. Uh-oh.

    Florida now faces the possibility that both could pass. If that happens, the state would be required to do what it is forbidden to do. Or forbidden to do what it is required to do. Either way, a mess.
    "Research this dilemma".

    SD 3

    "Dean, Franks take primary".

    Special Session

    "State Rep. Bill Galvano hasn’t given up on expanding the agenda for next week’s special session of the Florida Legislature. Although the primary reason for the session is property tax reform, Galvano told [Jeremy Wallace] Monday that he’s still working on House and Senate leaders, hoping they will carve out time to pass an expansion of the state’s insurance program for low-income children." "Galvano looks to add to taxing agenda".

    Wild About Charlie

    "Florida voters are still swooning over Gov. Charlie Crist. A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows a staggering 70 percent of voters say they approve of the job Crist is doing. Just 12 percent disapprove of Crist's performance. What's more, though critics have long accused Crist of pandering on popular issues, a full 60 percent said they believe Crist acts on principle rather than what's popular. By contrast, 69 percent said 'most politicians' make decisions based on what's popular rather than principle." "Voters Still Wild About Charlie, Expect Big Tax Cuts".

    Rubio's "Ideas" Flop

    "The $441 check is a drop in the bucket compared to what the party has invested in the 100 Ideas concept, but the book was never intended for the best seller lists." "100 Ideas royalties roll in".

    "Launching Pad"

    The Tampa Trib editors heart their Charlie:

    Crist has been criticized for using an appearance in the Middle East to boost his credentials as a possible vice-presidential candidate. But Florida is a big, diverse state which should be proud to be a launching pad for White House hopefuls.

    What Crist must remember on his goodwill tours is that he can only be helpful to Florida's economy, to its foreign friends, and to his political party if he is first successful at home, and that means being most helpful to Florida residents for whom he works.
    "Crist Spreads His Cheer To Israel".


    "The Public Service Commission rejected a proposal to build what would have been the nation's largest new coal-burning power plant near the Florida Everglades in a decision Tuesday that won praise from environmentalists and Gov. Charlie Crist." "PSC rejects coal burning power plant near Everglades". See also "PSC bars coal-fired plant".

    Lessons Learned

    "Six years after his death, 9-year-old Michael Bernard continues to teach child-abuse investigators in Palm Beach County and statewide how to better protect vulnerable children. Government doesn't always learn from mistakes, but the oversight of two grand juries has ensured that government won't forget the lessons from his death." "Out of little boy's death come lessons for state".

    FEMA Follies

    "Palm Beach County still owed $13 million by FEMA for storm damage to schools".

    Laff Riot: "Mental Heavy-Lifting"

    "Some lawmaker, presumably a House Republican, left behind a sheet of talking points at yesterday’s property-tax committee meeting where s/he was prepared to battle Democratic House Leader Dan Gelber over the Legislature’s possible need for a 2/3rds vote to force local governments to cut property taxes."

    "It’s nice to know they’re worried about me," he said. "Maybe preparing multiple answers to questions I haven’t asked will improve a plan that doesn’t exist."

    The memo’s "Best Answer" to the nonexistent question provides a tiny glimpse into the political spin underlying the debate. It suggests the legislative rank-and-file should be content to leave the mental heavy-lifting to the Legislature’s presiding officers and the courts, and that such questions smack of "political posturing" and "partisan politics."

    The underlying message: sit down, shut up and smile. After all, as the memo points out, "I am an optimist."
    "Democrat chief Gelber is tax talking-points target". Naked Politics has a .jpg of the memo here.

    "Recalling an Unpleasant Moment in History"

    "An exhibit at the library titled "Days Without Sunshine: Anita Bryant's Anti-Gay Crusade" marks the 30th anniversary of an important, albeit divisive, moment in South Florida history. It was in 1977 when singer, former Miss America pageant contestant, and citrus pitchwoman Anita Bryant launched her crusade to repeal a Miami-Dade County ordinance banning discrimination against gay men and lesbians. Soon thereafter, televangelists like Jerry Falwell, Jim Bakker and Pat Robertson became outspoken opponents of gay rights. " "Gay Rights".

    NRA Alert!

    "Prosecutors in Broward County will ask judges to order people accused of violent crimes to surrender their concealed weapon licenses." "Prosecutors in Broward, Palm Beach may go after gun licenses of defendants".

    The Dem Debate

    Missed this Bill March piece the other day: "South Florida political operative and blogger Derek Newton said Biden did 'better than I expected,' and Edwards was badly advised to attack Clinton and Obama on the Iraq war. 'He would benefit by being the safe adult in the room. He could get people who are interested and energized by Hillary and Obama, but may not vote for them if reservations about them don’t get resolved.' ... A final comment from Newton—'The real winner was Bob Graham,' whose opposition to the war in his presidential campaign in 2003-04, discussed in the debate, now appears prescient." "Who Won Democrats’ Debate? Some Don’t Know, Some Don’t Care".

    Thompson Desperate for Florida Supporters

    The Thompson for Prez campaign has enlisted the support of a "A "Howdy Doody-Looking Nimrod"": "U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow, has formally committed to support former Sen. Fred Thompson in the Republican presidential primary, Putnam’s spokesman Keith Rupp said Tuesday. The decision followed a long phone conversation on Friday, during which Thompson asked for Putnam’s support, and Putnam agreed enthusiastically, Rupp said. What specific role Putnam may play in a Thompson campaign is yet to be determined, Rupp said. " "Putnam Makes It Official: He’s A Thompson Backer". See also "Putnam for Thompson".

    Local Fear

    "Local government officials kept it polite Tuesday as they urged members of Hillsborough County's legislative contingent not to overdo it when they return to the Capitol to cut property taxes." "Leaders Fear Deep Tax Cut".

    "South Florida’s Property-Tax Squeeze"

    "Retirees seeking to downsize homes or move closer to the grandkids are getting caught in South Florida’s property-tax squeeze." "Seniors can get caught in a tax trap".

    Death Politics

    "So much for a jury of your peers. Following this week's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, prosecutors gain new ability to stack juries in favor of the death penalty -- even when potential jurors assert their ability to follow the law." "Tainted logic".


    The Miami Herald editors: "Crist should put a quick end to speculation about whether suspended Miami City Commissioner Johnny Winton will return to office. The governor should reject Mr. Winton's request to be reinstated to his seat on the commission. The reason is as clear as sunshine: Mr. Winton disgraced himself, his office, his fellow commissioners and city residents in a drunken fight with police at Miami International Airport last year." "No-contest plea isn't an acquittal".

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