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 23, 2007

"Sugar Daddies"

    "After looking like it was headed toward a January ballot as a political orphan, the Legislature's big property-tax initiative is finally attracting a few sugar daddies."
    The Florida Association of Realtors pledged to spend $1 million urging voters to endorse the measure to create a supersize homestead exemption of as much as $195,000 on a $500,000 house. Realtors say it will kick-start a stalled housing market.

    Then, Associated Industries of Florida President Barney Bishop said he would ask his board of directors to spend some cash on a campaign for the proposed constitutional amendment, even though he acknowledged it provides little tax relief to businesses. ...

    The Florida Chamber of Commerce also said it expects to back the measure, through its membership and maybe with cash. Leaders think that if the expanded homestead exemption is approved, grateful lawmakers will be inclined to help business with a fresh package of tax cuts.

    Bill Herrle, Florida director for the National Federation of Independent Business, also weighed in, pointing out that a poll last week of his members showed 55 percent would vote for the amendment.
    "Sentinel: Home tax break gathers steam".

    Water Wars

    A lengthy piece in the Palm Beach Post today begins with this:

    Decades ago, experts warned that Florida had a choice: water or growth.

    Growth won.
    "Water losing fight vs. growth".

    Immigration Issue

    "In separate appearances at the National Council of La Raza convention in Miami Beach, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois both vowed to create a legalization path for the country's 12 million undocumented immigrants if they won the presidency. They made the pledges weeks after an immigration overhaul bill collapsed in Congress. The bill's defeat has added momentum to voter registration drives aimed at Hispanic communities. Clinton and Obama refer often to the failed effort as they intensify their outreach to Hispanics and appeal to audiences with their immigration messages." "Clinton, Obama court the Hispanic vote in South Florida". See also "Immigration priority, Clinton, Obama tell Hispanic gathering" and "Clinton, Obama address La Raza".


    "Florida's students are opting more and more for the convenience of online courses".


    "By threatening to veto crucial child-health legislation, President Bush is playing politics with kids' lives."

    Inspired by a hospital-district-funded pilot in Volusia and Flagler counties, Florida lawmakers created Healthy Kids in 1990. Unlike Medicaid, Healthy Kids isn't a handout; instead, it uses tax dollars to help lower the cost of private-sector health insurance policies for children. The subsidy varies with the child's age and the family's income level; the lowest-income families are still eligible for Medicaid.

    The Florida program became the model for the national S-CHIP in 1997. Nearly 7 million American children now have health insurance, thanks to this program.

    But roughly 9 million children still lack coverage. Bush is unhappy with a Senate compromise that would add $35 billion in federal funding to the program and allow 3 million children to be added to the program. Presumably, he's even less pleased with a House proposal that would add $50 billion.
    "More local children in jeopardy if Bush vetoes S-CHIP health bill".

    "New Rules"

    "Crist has repeatedly pointed out that Florida is more vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate than any other state, since it has 'nearly 1,350 miles of coastline and a majority of citizens living near that coastline.' Here's a look at where greenhouse gases come from, what the new rules would do and how it could affect you." "How Florida could go green".


    Bill Cotterell: "Crist's office was properly mortified last week when his press office accidentally hit 'send' on a summary of its daily press calls. Reporters all over town received a list of news inquiries received by several agencies, listing who called, what they wanted and how the agency responded." "Rule 1: Never let the governor be caught off guard".


    "Young Florida voters show apathetic streak". See also yesterday's "Voter turnout drops among young people in Florida".


    "An immigration court in Orlando is jammed, delaying legal status for many." "Court's heavy caseload adds up".


    "After three years with staid, data-driven John Winn as education commissioner, the state Board of Education has a chance to hire a replacement from a group of applicants with some colorful, if not unusual, backgrounds." "Colorful contenders for state schools chief".


    Who is giving what (by region within the state) in the preznit race: "The cash race".

    "Like a Bad Neighbor"

    "Like a bad neighbor, State Farm soon won't be there for 50,000 customers in Florida. Let's all hope that the hurricane season is calmer than the state's property insurance market."

    State Farm's announcement last week clearly blindsided the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Normally, statements from Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty are as cautious as those from the Federal Reserve. This time, however, Mr. McCarty said, "These actions are inconsistent with State Farm's previous statements outlining their underwriting intentions." Those wouldn't be fighting words in a bar, but the sentiment is clear: As far as the state was concerned, State Farm was done dumping policies.
    "State insurance market remains too unsettled".

    No Vacation

    "The United States is the only industrial nation in the world that does not mandate paid vacation, leaving about one in four employees without a single day of paid time off; and of U.S. workers offered paid vacation, about one-third don't take it all, often claiming it's too hard to get away from their hefty workloads."

    But lobbyist Cash Jackson [who commutes from South Florida to Tallahassee] sees little chance of a U.S. minimum vacation law any time soon. Business groups tend to dislike mandated benefits. And America increasingly sets a premium on commerce 24/7.

    "The culture our country has developed would make that law challenging," Cash Jackson said. "America has gotten used to instant everything and multitasking. The culture would have to change."
    "American workers are vacation-deprived, advocates say".

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