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.


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The Blog for Monday, July 02, 2007

Our "bloodthirsty reputation"

    They Daytona Beach - News Journal editorial board: "Crist says he's ready to crank up executions again in Florida after the state adopted 37 recommended changes in procedure that supposedly make lethal injection less brutal and less prone to gruesome accidents."
    We'd urge Crist to reconsider. Much as the governor backed away from his old persona as "Chain Gang Charlie," the state should back away from its bloodthirsty reputation and move toward a system that emphasizes justice over vengeance.

    The problems with the death penalty aren't going away. Even if Florida found a painless and foolproof execution method (the current system is likely to be neither, even after the changes) fundamental injustices remain. The death penalty is still applied so randomly that it's comparable to lightning striking. Racial and socioeconomic inequities still riddle the system. And the question of innocence still throbs as the sorest point of all.
    "Lethal questions".

    DFA Training

    "125 activists learned how to take their political opinions to a bigger stage at a training session designed for aspiring candidates and campaign volunteers. "

    The two-day event was part of a national effort by Democracy for America - a grass roots group that grew out of Howard Dean's presidential run."We can't spend enough time in Florida. There's a lot going on there," said Democracy for America national chair Jim Dean, Howard Dean's brother.

    Jim Dean attended Saturday's training session, along with Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern and state Sen. Charlie Justice.
    "Sharpening their skills".

    Trib Reconsiders Privatization

    This editorial today in The Tampa Tribune is astonishing:

    Bob Butterworth, head of the Department of Children and Families, is rightly outraged and has moved to shore up the cracks in Florida's child welfare system. But that's not enough. Florida needs to reconsider it's assumption that children are better protected by private contractors than by state workers. ...

    Now that Florida is under a new governor who is less rabid about privatization than former Gov. Jeb Bush who pushed the concept, it is time to take a new look at a privatization.

    For now, a privatized child protection system has been an unconvincing experiment. It's time for Florida to consider whether it's really working.
    "Florida Needs To Take Fresh Look At Privatized Child Protection".

    Florida Evangelical Leader Goes National

    The Rev. Joel Hunter, pastor of the Longwood congregation at Northland Church "has become emblematic of a new generation of evangelical leaders: younger mega-church pastors putting a kinder, gentler face on a conservative religious movement known for strident and sometimes divisive rhetoric." "The Rev. Joel Hunter: The new breed on the right".

    Tax Talk

    "The Legislature responded to Floridians' cries for property tax relief with a plan that will save the average homeowner about $174 a year by taking $15.6-billion from funding for local governments. This past week, cities and counties announced layoffs, service cuts and decreases in social service funding to balance their trimmer budgets." "The talk about tax cuts".

    Florida's Booming Economy

    "The reporters at Forbes magazine have decided that Tampa ranks dead last among 40 major American cities in our appeal to young professionals. Our housing costs are too high, our salaries are too low ...". "Tampa Unhip? Don't Trip, Dude".

    And then there's the housing shortage: ""Redevelopment to push day laborers out of vacant lot on West Palm".".

    Dumb Idea

    Tom Blackburn:

    Honest, I have nothing against cutting taxes. I agree with Gov. Crist and the Legislature that property taxes have become bizarre. But I need to see evidence that some thought went into their solutions.

    Maybe I should say "some sound thought," since no one could do all that the Legislature did just off the top of the head. The evidence shows that its thinking wasn't very good, though.
    "Start with the live frog on the table of the feast of laws passed in the special session."
    Voters will have to decide on Jan. 29 whether to phase out the Save Our Homes amendment they passed in 1992 and increase homestead exemptions instead. Yes, if we mess with Save Our Homes, which is in the state constitution, there has to be a vote. But why on Jan. 29? ...

    Point Two: In an enormous change at the last minute, lawmakers decided to let people who have Save Our Homes keep it if the new system passes. One of the howling inconsistencies in property taxes has been the two-class system created by that amendment. That the Legislature allowed its remnants to stay is another indication that the reform was not done with all brains firing smartly.
    Read it all: "Do the math. Nah, flip a coin".

    "Talk of another special session"

    "Maybe there's hope for extending Florida's no-fault auto insurance after all. Gov. Charlie Crist apparently thinks so and he believes a special session of the Florida Legislature is necessary to do it." "Auto Insurance".


    "The 2008 congressional election is still 16 months away, but U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam had collected $341,084 in his campaign account by the end of the first quarter of this year. If the 2006 election cycle is any measure, he will have well over $1 million to spend for the 2008 general election" "Putnam campaign banks $341,000".

    Poor Vern

    "About 60 activists, some wearing life preservers, filled the parking lot outside Rep. Vern Buchanan's Sarasota office on Sunday to call attention to rising sea levels and other threats posed to Florida by global warming. Although Buchanan did not meet with the group, Graham Kuzia, the field organizer for Florida Greenpeace's Project Hot Seat, said he was happy with the turnout." "Global warming rally directed at Buchanan".


    "Although the census is three years away, advocates for minorities, including the National Urban League, are discussing ways the organization could help the Census Bureau accurately count in 2010." "Minorities in Broward, Palm Beach counties call for more accurate census".


    "No presidential candidate has bet more on Florida, and despite low poll numbers, staffers and supporters of Republican Mitt Romney say the effort is paying off." "Romney frequent flier to Florida now".

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