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 Sunday, July 22, 2007


    The St. Pete Times has lengthy piece on GOPer political hit men today; here's a taste.

    "When it comes to nasty politics in Florida, the conversation inevitably gets around to Randy Nielsen, who proudly wears the mantle: the state's foremost expert on attack ads."
    As he put it: "I'll never get nominated for Miss Congeniality in politics."

    He is 44, a devout Mormon and a teetotaler from Utah. With his wife and four children, he lives in West Palm Beach. With partner Richard Johnston, Nielsen owns Public Concepts LLC, an award-winning political consulting business. Started in 1991, it now operates in 25 states.

    Nielsen enjoys close ties to the Florida Republican Party, Senate presidents current and past (Ken Pruitt, Tom Lee), dozens more legislators and the Florida Home Builders Association. In the past decade, these groups and candidates have paid Nielsen almost $8-million.
    "How does he operate? ... People call it negative campaigning, but Nielsen says it's in the finest tradition of the First Amendment: His work ensures that 'voters have the right information to make a conscientious decision.'"
    John French is a former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, now a registered Republican. In the 1970s, he helped write the state's election laws and helped Gov. Reubin Askew draft the "Sunshine amendment" to bring openness to state government. Now he helps create political committees that sometimes avoid the sunshine.

    Nielsen says French is his go-to attorney: "He is probably one of the best election lawyers in the state of Florida."
    "Experts at the attack".

    Contribution Search Tool

    "Curious to see if your neighbor is a McCainiac or a Hillraiser? Intrigued by how much Rudy Giuliani is raising in South Florida? Wondering how many Florida trial lawyers are backing John Edwards? Check out the Miami Herald's new political contributions search. Feel free to use [the Herald's] research but please credit the Herald." "Miami Herald launches 2008 money database".


    "During the same period when Miami's Alex Acosta, an up-and-coming Justice Department division head, won a plum posting as South Florida's top cop, several other U.S. attorneys around the country were being fired."

    The Senate has been investigating allegations that the fired prosecutors were ousted for not toeing the Bush administration line in political prosecutions. As for Acosta's ascent, he did not have a problem with administration politics, former division staff lawyers say.

    They contend that during his two years as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, the division became imbued with the same politically charged atmosphere for which the department is now under scrutiny. The division tilted to the right in personnel and political decision-making and took stands against minority voters' rights, which was against the advice of the career staff lawyers, they say.

    Acosta, who as U.S. attorney has targeted public corruption in Palm Beach County, prefers not to go into detail about old claims of politicization but says his critics are wrong, that they have misinterpreted his positions.

    The disaffected staffers point to a letter that Acosta wrote to an Ohio federal judge hearing a case one week before the 2004 election that pitted Acosta's boss, President Bush, against the Democratic nominee, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
    "Local U.S. attorney brought politics to Justice, staffers say".

    Youngsters Say No To Voting

    "Despite intense political passion over the war in Iraq that helped propel a nationwide surge in young voters and oust Republicans from power in Congress last year, Florida saw a perplexing drop in 18- to 29-year-olds who went to the polls."

    Turnout among young Florida voters is now among the worst in the nation, decreasing even as it went up across the country. The trend cuts across gender and ethnic groups, but was especially pronounced among young Hispanics, whose turnout plummeted to less than half of what it was four years earlier. ...

    And Florida's bad numbers are getting worse.

    The 18 percent of young Floridians who voted last year is a 5 percentage point decline from 2002. By contrast, the 25 percent of young people nationwide who voted last year is an increase of 3 percentage points from 2002. ...

    As the turnout among young Florida voters slid, it plummeted among Hispanics.

    Turnout was just 11 percent among 18 to 29 year old Hispanic Floridians in 2006 — down from 23 percent in 2002. Nationally, the young Hispanic turnout increased to 19 percent 2006 from 16 percent in 2002.
    "Voter turnout drops among young people in Florida". On a related note, this story from yesterday: "Puerto Ricans, swing voters in a swing state, but will they vote?".

    Waiting for Wingnut

    "Two-thirds of the top Florida donors to President Bush have yet to write a check to any Republican presidential candidate this year, reflecting a nationwide disquiet in the GOP that threatens to undermine its hold on the White House." "GOP's big Florida donors sitting on sidelines".

    Obama Blows Florida Newspaper Endorsements

    Goodness gracious: "Democrat Barack Obama told union activists Saturday night that he would walk a picket line as president if organized labor helps elect him in 2008." "Obama says he would walk picket line".

    There goes any shot that Obama may have had at any Florida newspaper endorsements.

    Bond Rating

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Supporters of Israel argue that [Palm Beach County] buying the bonds helps to support a government 'in the most strife-torn, tumultuous area of the world.' But that's not a good enough reason, and it's not the role of any county in Florida to support needy governments. If it were, Haiti - closer to home - would be a better choice. And Palm Beach County policy bans investments in bonds rated below AA. Israeli bonds carry an A rating. On Wednesday, though, the investment committee lowered its standards to accommodate Israeli bonds, spurred by a change in state law. The move is more about political popularity than economic prudence." "AAA (political) rating".

    Those Damn Firefighters

    "Fireman gets in trouble for giving away his shirt".

    Boyd Weighs In

    "U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd said Saturday President Bush "has done more damage and set this country back decades" but warned Democrats that they can't win the White House if their ticket is too liberal. The Monticello Democrat, a leader of the moderate "Blue Dog" caucus in Washington, was the first in a parade of partisan speakers at the annual Democratic Club of North Florida's picnic in Lee Vause Park near Lake Jackson." "Political speakers on parade".

    One wonders who Boyd thinks is "too liberal"?

    "Karl Rove's Florida Frankenstein" In The Weeds

    As reported yesterday, and worth recalling today - times for Florida's "reactionary ogre": "Martinez's supporters start to bail out, poll finds".

    Homeowners' Insurance

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "If you're a coastal property owner, the situation just got more risky regarding your homeowner's insurance. It should come as no surprise, since all the warning signs, threats, entreaties and political rhetoric have been in play for months, even years." "Cancellation season: Coastal homes just got riskier".

    "It's not the old-fashioned bribe"

    Randy Schultz: "With Newell, trouble sign came early".


    "Federal officials have offered to buy dozens of homes built near a Superfund site, but only a handful of families have taken offers. The six families that have agreed to sell their homes are among 55 living in Clarinda Triangle, a neighborhood contaminated by toxic pollutants from the Escambia Treating Co. The defunct wood-treating company dumped large amounts of chemicals into unlined holding ponds." "Superfund buyout moves at slow pace".

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