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 Sunday, July 15, 2007

Gelber v. Martinez?

    "When state Sen. Gwen Margolis announced last week that she wouldn't seek re-election so House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber could run for her Miami-Dade Senate seat, Mel Martinez should have noticed."
    The Democratic switch could give Gelber a launching pad to challenge Florida's Republican U.S. senator in 2010.

    Martinez, a former Orange County mayor, has been saddled with low approval ratings and the Senate's recent defeat of an immigration measure he pushed for the White House.

    Martinez's dual role as Republican national chairman also could detract from his own campaign efforts, while casting him as a GOP attack dog when the presidential race intensifies, officials on both sides say.

    Some Florida Democrats are already savoring the possibility of a Gelber candidacy. His candidacy would be made easier by a new Florida law that would allow him to retain the state Senate seat while running for U.S. Senate.
    "Martinez watch".

    Insurance Flop

    "The philosophy, at least among Republicans responsible for shaping the insurance package, was to give insurers a reason to stay in Florida. Use a carrot, not a stick. It didn't work. Rates went up. Insurers dropped policies and not a single new private carrier entered the state that year." "Insurance reform via carrot, or stick?".

    Feeney in Trouble?


    pollsters are testing [Feeney's] vulnerability to re-election in Florida's 24th district, which many observers say was tailor-made for him in the 2002 redistricting.

    Continued fallout from the investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was convicted last year of bribing congressmen, casts a shadow over Feeney, whose district includes part of Volusia County. Feeney traveled to Scotland in 2003 with Abramoff to play golf at the Old Course at St. Andrews. ...

    Some are wondering if the once rising star would be vulnerable in the 2008 election along with other Republicans in the wake of investigations such as Abramoff and Scooter Libby. Ethics probes coupled with growing opposition to the war in Iraq are eroding support for the president and Republicans as the next round of elections nears.
    Possible challengers?
    Volusia County Chairman Frank Bruno, a Democrat, said Feeney is vulnerable.

    "I think he's missing in action from his district," Bruno said.

    On a recent trip to Washington, Democratic Party officials talked to him about challenging Feeney, he said.

    "I don't know what the future will bring, but the best thing I can do is to continue doing my best as county chairman," Bruno said. "I'm flattered my name has come up, but right now I'm focused on doing the best job I can as county chairman."

    At least one poll has been set in motion to test the waters, asking voters their preference between Feeney and former state Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach.

    Kosmas said she agreed to let her name be used in a poll to determine whether Feeney is vulnerable.

    "That should not be construed as anything more than authorization for my name to be used in the poll," she said.
    "Rep. Feeney seen as vulnerable amid Abramoff scandal".


    "On Oct. 1, Florida's no-fault car insurance law and its requirement for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) will expire - with no provision for a new system to take its place." "Goodbye, no-fault".


    "A federal grand jury probing public corruption in Palm Beach County will be disbanded early next month, potentially setting the stage for a showdown soon between federal prosecutors and County Commissioner Warren Newell." "Showdown looms for Warren Newell".

    "A new persona for the Republican Party"?

    "With a groundbreaking climate summit under his belt and Florida on an ambitious path to combat global warming, Gov. Charlie Crist has cemented his credentials as Florida's first "green" governor and may also be on the way to helping forge a new persona for the Republican Party." ""Green" Crist charts new path for Republican Party".

    Dan Moffett on the preznit candidates: "Get your candidate program here".

    "Environmental activists cringe"

    "Six minutes into the speech kicking off his glitzy global warming summit Thursday, Gov. Charlie Crist said the words that made many environmental activists cringe. Nuclear energy." "Crist's nuclear bolt sends flutters".

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board:: "Weston Mayor Eric Hersh has every right to campaign against a property tax cut amendment, and to try to convince people that the state tax-cut proposals will be the end of life as we know it. But he shouldn't be trying to stop what will undoubtedly be a lively debate, or circumvent the will of the people, as he is with his lawsuit challenging the upcoming statewide referendum on property taxes. The Florida Supreme Court has turned the question over to a lower court." "Let voters decide on property tax reform".

    Early Voting Takes a Hit

    "As counties reduce spending to hit their tax relief targets, one program facing cuts is early voting -- a move that could cause bottlenecks at precincts in a high-turnout presidential election year." "Early voting to slim down".

    "Returning to the GOP fold"

    "Fresh from a global warming summit where the Bush administration was tarred for weakening environmental laws, Republican Govs. Charlie Crist of Florida and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California wasted no time returning to the GOP fold."

    Within hours of closing the summit Friday, the pair headlined a Tampa fundraiser that raised $1.6 million for the state party.

    It's the biggest -- but by no means the only -- fundraiser this summer. Both parties will be shaking money out of pockets at golf and fishing tournaments, baseball games (home and away), and even a poker night planned for Palm Beach.
    "That sound of wallets opening".

    Taking Pre-K Seriously

    "Florida needs to take preschool seriously. It doesn't. Although voters mandated a universal preschool program for 4-year-olds in 2002, legislators half-heartedly followed through. When Voluntary Prekindergarten got off the ground in 2005, it was with minimal state investment and political support." "Pre-K not OK".

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