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]

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The Blog for Thursday, July 05, 2007

In Charlie's World ...

    ... we can grab some beer and head down to the race track.  You see, in Charlie's world, municipalities ought not be subsidizing cultural things that aren't supported by the "free market".  For example, in Daytona Beach,
    at least one [City] commissioner, Rick Shiver, said he doesn't think the proposal [to support the Florida International Festival] is a good way to spend money from two community redevelopment districts.

    "My thinking on it is the Florida International Festival is a great thing, and I think making it the Daytona Beach International Festival is a great thing, but I don't think taxpayers should pay for it and I don't think it's the government's job to subsidize concerts," Shiver said. ...

    The nonprofit Florida International Festival first brought the London Symphony Orchestra to Daytona Beach 41 years ago and, except for several years when the festival did not run, has been bringing the orchestra here every two years. The city previously contributed $40,000 a year to the festival.

    "Tax support for music festival draws fire".

    And hey, who goes to those publicly funded parks, what a waste of "my" money: "With the recent debates over property-tax reform, it seems a constant theme is that local governments can look to address their budget reductions by 'doing without' parks."  "Not just an amenity".

    Of course, its perfectly cool to use taxes to pay for "advertisements for wealthy hoteliers who already benefit from millions of dollars in hotel taxes."

    Beemer Brigade Hits Florida

    "Organizers expect 600 to 800 at the Young Republican National Federation's convention [in Hollywood] that started Wednesday, for seminars that deal with everything from organizing voter registration drives to conducting the most thorough research on opposition candidates, and to hear speeches from well-known and next-to-unknown candidates."  "Young Republicans eager to work for party resurgence".


    "State lawmakers say they will find the money to make up the billion of dollars that schools could lose from a proposed property tax cut -- despite a predicted revenue shortfall this year, due to a lagging economy.  Gov. Charlie Crist has repeated several times his confidence that lawmakers will indeed find the money for schools elsewhere in the shrinking state budget. But term limits could shorten the legislature's commitment in the long term, and skeptics argue their commitment is not clear even now."  "Tax cut may shortchange schools".

    Researchers Fear Sanctions

    "President Bush's recent veto -- for the second time -- of a bill to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research has been discussed mostly in ideological terms, but it has vast practical implications as well."

    No one tallies which of the 125 major medical schools work with unapproved stem cell lines.

    The top ones are widely known, including Hopkins, Harvard, Minnesota, Wisconsin and several California schools. Tony Mazzaschi, associate vice president for research at the Association of American Medical Colleges, said more may be working with unapproved lines and just don't want the publicity.

    At the University of Miami, the Diabetes Research Institute set up separate labs and accounts for scientists working with unapproved stem cells. Florida's public research centers, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida, work with stem cells, but not human embryonic stem cells.

    State schools, particularly, don't advertise their stem cell work because they "worry about sanctions from state legislators," Mazzaschi said.

    "Stem cells partition labs".

    Laff Riot

    "Jeb!" dead ender Mike Thomas thinks its great that Charlie is sticking with, as Scott Maxwell puts it, an "unimaginative grading system that overemphasizes a single set of tests".  Thomas' wisdom (a/k/a tired RPOF talking points) can be found here: "Crist follows Jeb's rule: Keep standards high".

    Standing While Black

    Daniel Ruth takes on Disney:

    To the untrained observer, high school football stars and Florida State University recruits Vincent Williams, Nick Moody, Nigel Carr and Avis Commack might well have seemed to be merely hanging around the pristine, idyllic streets of Downtown Disney while mulling what movie they wanted to see.

    But to the Downtown Disney gendarmes, nefariousness was afoot as these young men perambulated about the byways without any clear purpose evident in their presence.

    And, oh yeah, not only had these young men dared to walk around Downtown Disney, they had the impunity to walk around Downtown Disney while being black. The nerve of some people. ...

    Apparently hanging around - especially first-degree hanging around, which involves hanging around for an inordinately albeit unspecified period of time was enough for the lads to be charged with trespass.

    Thus it was that the four young men were detained by the Disney Security Happiness Stasi and the Orange County Sheriff's Department, fingerprinted and ultimately banned for life from Downtown Disney's sacred streets ever again. ...

    Well, law and order must be observed. And if you start letting black kids stand around Downtown Disney street corners, why, the next thing you know other minorities might get the uppity notion they too can stand around the theme park's street corners.

    Where does it end? Before you can say "Grumpy," you could well have Aleuts, or Kurds, or Pashtuns hanging around Downtown Disney, unable to explain themselves to the satisfaction of the Goofy Patrol.

    In recent weeks, the Disney deputies have rounded up 48 other miscreants who have been accused of trespass and banned for life. In an incredible twist of circumstance, of those 48 evildoing trespassers, 45 have been black and Hispanic.

    Tead the whole thing: "Lifetime Ban Or A Badge Of Honor?".

    Problems at the National Hurricane Center

    "Bill Proenza, the embattled director of the National Hurricane Center, responded Wednesday to senior forecasters who called for his ouster while a team from Washington, D.C., reviews his operations."  "3 senior forecasters call for firing of National Hurricane Center director".

    Stupid Is ...

    "When it comes to harnessing the sun's rays for electricity, the Sunshine State is largely in the dark.  Despite almost ideal weather, South Florida is lagging far behind California and states in the Southwest in powering homes, businesses and government offices by tapping into the ultimate renewable energy source – the sun. But it's changing."  "Sunshine State lags in harnessing sun's energy to cut energy bills".

    Time for a Raise

    Scott Maxwell on the Central Florida Congressional delegation:

    Congress may have approval ratings that are in the toilet and trouble getting the job done on things such as immigration reform. But that didn't stop our distinguished ladies and gentlemen from giving themselves a raise last week.
    "30% approval rating deserves a $4,000 raise?".

    Not Enough

    The Daytona Beach - News Journal editorial board: "restoration of voting rights isn't enough for ex-offenders, whose ranks are growing weekly: The consequence of having record-breaking numbers of people in prisons and jails is that there are also record-breaking numbers of ex-offenders returning to society. Their first priority won't necessarily be to vote, but to hold a job and rebuild ties to their communities. It's a struggle when employers prefer not to hire ex-offenders, when those individuals are re-entering society still carrying the baggage that helped convict them to start with (drug abuse, violence, mental health issues) and when, until recently, jobs in government, school districts and some trades were off limits to ex-felons."  "Second chance for felons".

    Another Fine "Idea"

    "Soaring legal bills for crime suspects who can't afford lawyers have prodded Florida to create a new office to handle cases that public defenders can't.  State officials hope to recoup up to $70 million of what taxpayers have been paying private attorneys to handle these defenses.  Private attorneys, who stand to lose a significant amount of business, argue defendants will receive poor legal representation and that the state won't save a dime."  "Lawmakers want to end soaring tab for private lawyers".

    Enforcing Immigration Law, Florida Style

    Jeez, I wonder why those bloated and inefficient unionized construction companies (you know, the ones with pensions, health insurance and, God forbid, employees with the temerity to send their kids to college) can't "compete":

    Last week, The Associated Press reported on Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen's "remarkably effective" tactic of catching undocumented immigrants. Deputies drive to construction sites in force and "watch to see who runs." Those who do are chased, arrested for trespassing (for cutting through private property) or for driving recklessly, should they speed off by car. The sheriff was miffed enough by the story that he posted a statement on his official Web site: "We are not a bunch of gun-toting, over zealous law enforcement officers running on to construction sites intimidating illegal aliens as the Associated Press article alludes. However, if a guilty conscience provokes them to run, it's obviously their choice."

    To be fair, the story doesn't make allusions to gun-toting, overzealous law enforcement officers. Those words are McKeithen's own. And they're accurate. For all his denials, he certifies them with his very next sentence ("if a guilty conscience provokes them to run"). Guilty conscience or not, this is policing by racism and harassment -- if you can call it policing. It's no different from a highway patrolman tailgating motorists at random, lights flashing and sirens blaring, to see how the motorist reacts. Absent probable cause, it's illegal. ...

    A noisy, sizeable minority of Americans has so demonized immigrants that any attempt to give some of the nation's 12 million undocumented workers a legal way to residency and citizenship is met with frenzy. Immigrants were once considered the lifeblood of the country's future. They're now considered a disease. Congress' attempt at immigration reform wasn't ideal. It would have built on a flawed guest-worker program and further militarized the border with Mexico while doing nothing to stem the tide of undocumented workers by way of vastly increasing investments in the Mexican economy. Even the proposed road to citizenship would have been fraught with obstacles. But it would have been an improvement over immigrants' existing dead ends and no-win conditions that force them to stay underground -- or run when a local sheriff's bigoted task force raids a work site.

    "Flash of brown skin and the police chase is on".

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