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 Saturday, July 14, 2007

Allen Update

    This is getting sad:
    Allen's going to need his sense of humor.

    Any time a Florida politician is mentioned by name in Jay Leno's monologue, it's definitely not a good career move.

    Leno found a way Thursday night to link the arrest of Allen with his role as one of the Florida co-chairmen of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign and the campaign's financial problems, reversing the alleged cash transaction for comic effect.

    "How broke is the McCain campaign?" Leno asked. "That's not a good sign, when you send the guys into the men's room to raise money."

    To some of Allen's House colleagues, there's nothing funny about him hanging around for another 18 months.
    Meanwhile, GOP front group and alleged "union",
    the Florida Police Benevolent Association named its "Representative of the Year" for 2007.

    The choice was obvious.

    It was Rep. Bob Allen, Republican of Merritt Island, who sponsored a bill creating a separate collective bargaining unit for state troopers.

    "He's always been a big supporter," said Matt Puckett, the PBA's deputy director. "He carried the water for us."

    The lawmaker who carried a police union's water is carrying some extraordinarily heavy political baggage.

    Allen now stands accused of offering to perform oral sex on an undercover Titusville policeman, and pay $20.
    "Rep. Allen won't be known for legislation".

    Early Primary

    "Strategists said the state has the potential to restore momentum to a candidate who performs below expectations in Iowa and New Hampshire, or to provide a boost to a contender who opts out of one or more of the first early contests." "Giuliani and Romney Put Focus on Florida".

    The Right Wingnut

    "Without declaring his candidacy, Fred Thompson is already getting big support in the state."

    In the most unpredictable Republican presidential primary Florida has seen in ages, Fred Thompson is adding a giant extra dose of uncertainty. And just to dramatize the mystery of his strength as a candidate, when campaign finance reports are released on Sunday, Thompson's fundraising figures won't be among them because he has yet to formally enter the race.

    Despite that, the Law & Order actor and former Tennessee senator is in second place in Florida polls. Giuliani, who is making Florida's Jan. 29 primary the linchpin of his strategy to win the nomination, has seen his lead shrink in Florida polls from as high as 20 points in March to as low as 6 points in June.

    Without even laying out a platform, Thompson, 64, has won more legislative endorsements in Florida than any other Republican. And to ensure no more slips like missing the Jacksonville meeting, Thompson's "testing the waters" committee has hired a respected veteran GOP strategist, Randy Enwright, to help navigate Florida. Enwright also is expected to play a role in the national campaign.
    Seems Florida's "conservatives" have found their man (at least for now):
    His fans, including Rep. Adam Putnam of Bartow, the third-highest ranking Republican in Congress, see Thompson as the only consistently conservative candidate among the leading Republican contenders. They see a charismatic lawyer with a comforting bourbon-tinged drawl.

    "The support for Thompson in this county is really something," said Pasco GOP chairman Bill Bunting, who has a Thompson sticker on his car. "He's a true conservative who really represents the party's values more than anyone else."
    "Florida GOP race waits for Thompson".

    "Going Green", At Least in a "General" Way

    "Cheered on by fellow Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gov. Charlie Crist signed tough -- if general -- orders to combat global warming." "Crist signs orders for greener Florida". See also "Crist signs clean-air laws", "Crist teams up with Schwarzenegger in global warming fight", "'A Green, Clean Revolution'", "Schwarzenegger and Crist blaze a greener trail" and "State on track to go green".

    The politics:

    Schwarzenegger reacted to conventional wisdom that his Republican Party has devoted itself to the interests of business and the economy and has been uncaring about the environment.

    "I think this is all bogus," he said. "We won't have an economy if we destroy the environment."

    The day before, environmental lawyer and activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. savaged the electric industry and many leading Republicans for destroying natural resources in pursuit of profits.

    In particular, Kennedy blasted Bush as the worst president in history for the environment, one of several comments that surprised and angered many at the summit.

    Schwarzenegger was not nearly as harsh but still pointed out that a lack of leadership from Washington was a driving force behind state and regional actions that need to move quickly to address changes in climate.
    "Schwarzenegger steals show at climate summit". Precisely who were the "many at the summit" who were "angered" by RFK Jr's obvious observations?

    Speaking of politics, this headline is a hoot: "Schwarzenegger, Crist say people not politics should come first".

    Meanwhile, "Businesses are finally seeing green in energy savings, following a two day summit on climate change hosted by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist." "Going green's new face: profitability".

    Why Arnold Was in Florida

    "The Republican Party of Florida said that tonight's Victory Dinner in Tampa with Gov. Charlie Crist, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez was a big success and brought in $1.6 million, a record fundraiser for a non-election year." "Victory dinner raises whopping $1.6 million".


    "Conserving water in Florida should become a 24-7-365 practice, not just something we impose on ourselves during droughts. Floridians for too long have taken cheap, abundant water for granted. But unabated population growth is straining our aquifers. Volatile climate conditions make the rainy season a less reliable replenishment for those aquifers. Combine these facts, and Floridians are in for a rude awakening in the not too distant future." "Build a culture of water conservation".

    Pressing On

    "Eric Hersh is undeterred from the attention he is getting for filing a lawsuit against the property tax amendment. 'I've never backed down from a fight in my life,' he said." "Weston mayor's property tax suit draws attention". See also "Making sense of property tax issues", "Firefighter unions seek to join property tax suit", "S. Fla. mayors, realtors trade property tax cut views" and "Firefighters in Broward support proptax lawsuit".


    "Republican Nancy Detert hopes she is beginning to shed the Seabiscuit image she has when it comes to political fundraising. With help from former state Senate President John McKay, Detert was able to raise more than $21,000 in three months for her 2008 state senate campaign. Her only rival in the GOP primary so far, state Rep. Mike Grant, R-Port Charlotte, raised $9,600 over the same period, state campaign finance records show. He also transferred another $12,000 from his Florida House campaign that he collected before he became a candidate for the Senate." "Detert gets early fundraising boost".

    As Wages Stagnate ...

    "Everyone grumbles about skyrocketing gas prices, but the cost of food -- everything from milk to bread -- has been quietly rising even higher." "Groceries gobble up budgets".


    "Don't local leaders get it? The initial flush of taxes from slot machines and other wagering may taste sweet, but carries a bitter sting. Over time, the cost of dealing with social problems related to gambling -- domestic violence, addiction treatment, bankruptcy, homelessness -- will almost certainly outweigh any tax benefits casinos can offer. Every jurisdiction that approves gaming learns the same lesson: When governments gamble on casinos, only casinos win. Unfortunately, those lessons always come too late." "Sucker's bet on casinos".

    Brooksville's Finest?

    "A roof over your head is one of the most basic human needs, says GOP Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite of Brooksville."

    Even so, that doesn’t mean the federal taxpayers should help provide you one if you are an illegal immigrant, she says.

    Brown-Waite is upset that Democrats who control the U.S. House won’t allow a vote on keeping undocumented immigrants from receiving federal housing aid.

    In a speech Thursday evening on the U.S. House floor, Brown-Waite said she and GOP colleagues had offered amendments to bring “accountability” to the Section 8 housing program funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She said one of those amendments would have ensured that “those receiving funds, taxpayer funds under Section 8 are here in this country legally.”

    “Yet the majority won’t even allow members to consider that amendment on the floor,” Brown-Waite said.

    “What are they so afraid of?” she asked.
    "Now we know what Brown-Waite was busy working on yesterday …".

    Coming "Up Short"

    "Florida's new Web site to 'shop and compare' property insurance premiums comes up short in helping users pick the lowest price." "Insurance Web Site Of Little Use".


    "Two of the dozens of aspiring politicians trying to land a seat in the Florida House next year are likely the envy of their peers. That's because Republicans William Pruitt and Mario Rubio are the brothers of the two most powerful legislators in the state." "Powerful lawmakers' brothers making their own runs".

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