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 Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Empty Suit Rising?

    William March writes that "the resignation of White House political guru Karl Rove is part of a change of leadership in the Republican Party, a change in which Florida Gov. Charlie Crist wants to play an important part."
    For more than a decade, Rove has been the principal political architect behind the George W. Bush era in politics, an era that is now ending.

    Crist is one of a group of newer faces on the Republican scene seeking to change the direction of the party, in Florida and nationwide. ...

    Since his campaign for governor, Crist has none-too-subtly declared his independence from the Bush White House. Thinly veiled criticism of White House environmental policy, delivered during the Climate Change Summit that Crist held along with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was only the latest example.

    In his campaign, he routinely proclaimed Bush's brother Jeb, then governor of Florida, "the greatest governor in America." Since taking over the office, however, Crist has made it clear he owes no allegiance to many of Jeb Bush's policies, even while he continues to praise Bush.
    Much more here: "Rove's Exit May Open Door For Crist's Stances".

    It Depends on How You Define "What's Best"

    "Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer says that State Rep. Bob Allen, the Merritt Island Republican arrested for solicitation last month, ought to do 'what is in the best interest of the Republican Party.' ... Greer would not call on Allen to resign, but his remarks show that party leaders appear fearful that Allen could be damaging to a party that had to endure the Mark Foley scandal last year." "Party chief says arrested lawmaker should do what's best for GOP".

    What is it with these people? "Glenn Murphy Jr ... the chairman of the Clark County Republican Party — who last month was elected president of the Young Republican National Federation — has resigned both posts, apparently in the wake of a criminal investigation. ... the Clark County Sheriff’s Department on Friday began investigating Murphy for alleged criminal deviate conduct — potentially a class B felony — after speaking with a 22-year-old man who claimed that on July 31, Murphy performed an unwanted sex act on him while the man slept in a relative’s Jeffersonville home." "Murphy resigns political posts; cooperating with police in apparent criminal investigation".

    "Governor Dither"

    "Florida’s no-fault insurance law, which includes personal injury protection, or PIP, will likely expire before lawmakers come to an agreement on how to revamp it or replace it, according to Gov. Charlie Crist, who also said he prefers to keep the law on the books." "No-fault survival chances bleak". See also "Sink: Get ready for life without No-Fault".

    Troxler on the on-fault thing:

    If you put a bunch of wilted, 3-week-old lettuce in one pile ...

    And Florida's governor, state chief financial officer and Legislature in another pile ...

    The two piles would be just about equal in the leadership they are providing on this big change in car insurance that is happening on Oct. 1.

    The governor, Charlie Crist, is darned worried about it. But he respects the Legislature, you know, and doesn't want to seem too bossy. Good grief! Where is Jeb Bush when you need him?

    Our state's chief financial officer, Alex Sink, is fretting over this car insurance thing too. She even wrote a letter to the Legislature that said, in no uncertain terms, uh, this bears careful consideration.

    A fine pair of jellyfish they are. If they washed up on the beach they would dry right up, Charlie and Alex in the sand. I can just hear the cry of a passer-by: "Eww! I just stepped on a Florida CFO!"
    "Governor Dither and CFO Tut-Tut".

    Stupid Is ...

    ... as stupid does:

    Last year, Florida returned $20 million in 2005 federal matching dollars because it did not enroll enough children.

    The federal grant matches 71 cents for every 29 cents the state spends, said Tara Klimek, a spokeswoman for state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. Since 1998 the state has returned $140 million, she said.

    At issue are policies that make it difficult to enroll children and keep them in the program once they are signed up.

    Three programs under the KidCare umbrella cover more than 200,000 children, but an estimated 614,000 Florida children remain uninsured.

    Florida ranks 43rd in the country when it comes to children's health-insurance coverage, said Dr. Edward Zissman, chief executive officer of Altamonte Pediatric Associates.

    He read a letter from the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics calling on Crist to include the issue in the special session, which begins Sept. 18.
    "State loses cash if needy kids aren't insured".

    Another Fine Corporate Citizen

    "Accounting firm ordered to pay millions in compensation".

    More Texas Shorewash

    "Karl Rove will likely be spending more time in Florida, now that the man who has been President Bush’s chief political strategist is leaving the White House." "Rove May Spend Time In Florida".

    Sleepy's Daddy Gets a Pass

    Remember "back in 2004, President Bush came to Orange County and wound up overshadowed - and all over late night TV - by 13-year-old Tyler Crotty, who could be seen behind the president yawning, squirming, and apparently bored out of his mind. Back in Orlando Thursday, Bush reminded Orange County Chairman Rich Crotty of the incident." "Crotty's kid and W".

    Well, sleepy's daddy, reliable Bushie and Orange County Chair Richard Crotty - who can put just about anyone to sleep - just got an ethics pass: "Crotty says ethics ruling to favor him".

    Bright Futures?

    Mike Thomas: "Without change, Bright Futures looks pretty dim". More: "Campaign to change Bright Futures advances".

    Charlie's "Action Team"

    "Crist took another step Monday in his fight against global warming, naming 21 members of an ''action team'' to recommend sweeping changes in state policy." "Crist builds 'action team'". See also "Crist Appoints St. Pete’s Baker To Be Vice-Chair Climate Change Team", "Crist selects a green team" and "Crist names climate panel".

    "Church-run day-care facilities get little oversight"

    "Church-run day-care facilities get little oversight from the state -- a reality that hasn't changed since 2-year-old Zaniyah Hinson perished in an overheated van owned by a Daytona Beach church." "Kids in day care deserve security".

    Dems Go After Young, Buchanan and Feeney

    "Drive-time radio ads running this week and paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are targeting Republican congress members C.W. Bill Young, Vern Buchanan and Tom Feeney for defeat. The spots accuse the three Republicans of opposing increased benefits in Medicare and disregarding the needs of their senior citizen constituents by voting against the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act early this month. That bill included the reauthorization of expansion of a national health program for children, known as S-CHIP." "Dems Target Young, Buchanan, Feeney". See also "Dems target three Florida Republicans".

    "The costs of modern campaigning"

    "Even if you don’t care about next year’s state House District 78 Democratic primary, candidate Frank Barbieri’s dropout is an interesting illustration of the costs of modern campaigning." "Saying No to marathon campaigns". See also "Barbieri likes home better than House".

    Good Question

    The Post's Joel Engelhardt asks: "Is Newell the only guilty one?"


    "Property insurance rate hearings in Tallahassee usually have all the drama of a calculus lecture. But one such hearing is shaping up as a Dodge City showdown: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty vs. State Farm Florida, the state's largest private insurance company." "State Farm preps for duel in Tallahassee".

    You Reckon?

    "The war in Iraq is costing American cities dearly, not just in the lost lives of its hometown soldiers, but in federal dollars that could be spent close to home." "Frankel's right: Cities hurting from federal negligence".

    Dead Ender

    "GOP Rep. C.W. Bill Young says he’ll miss Karl Rove at the White House, but understands his decision to leave the Bush administration at the end of August. ... Young suggested that if former Gov. Jeb Bush or George P. Bush decide to continue in politics, Rove could be involved in those campaigns. Asked about his own plans – whether he’ll run for another term in 2008 or retire after 38 years in Congress – Young said he still has no announcement." "Bill Young Says He’ll Miss Rove".


    "Democrat Barack Obama's presidential campaign is trying to drum up support for a Miami Beach fundraiser by telling supporters he may not be a frequent visitor to Florida for the rest of the year. ... The campaign quickly clarified that the e-mail was a case of trying to get people to attend the event, and not a revelation of strategy. Obama will put a priority on Florida, said spokeswoman Jen Psaki." "AP: Obama will focus on Florida despite fundraising e-mail's message". More Obama: "Obama to join Clinton for Univision 'forum'".

    From the "Values" Crowd

    "A study showed the state 12th from the bottom in getting food stamps to the eligible poor, and Broward and Palm Beach rated low among counties." "Florida lags on food stamps for poor".


    The Sun-Sentinel editorial board writes today:

    Congress' repeated failure to overhaul the nation's immigration laws may now cost Florida's economy.

    The Bush administration last week announced measures to round up "illegal" immigrants. Hardliners can feel free to cheer. They are getting what they've wanted all along.

    The rest of us may get what we feared all along. Key state industries, like agriculture and tourism, stand to lose workers, and that will cost us all. ...

    Unfortunately, the round up of undocumented workers won't be limited to gangsters and hardened criminals. Who else may get caught in this dragnet? Why, relatives of U.S. servicemen now in harm's way. And you can bet plenty of hardworking people in Florida farms and hotels will, too.

    And now, Florida is one state with plenty to lose in this half-way approach to shoring porous borders. Here's the good news: Now all those hardliners who want nothing less than the mass deportation of 12 million people will be able to line up for all those jobs they've coveted in cleaning motel rooms, mowing lawns and picking winter vegetables.
    "Immigration crackdown may hurt Florida".

    Yet More From the "Values" Crowd

    "The Department of Children and Families should have done more to protect the mentally ill and disabled people living in an unlicensed group home in Loxahatchee, according to an internal review released Monday." "DCF did too little to protect ill, review says".

    She Said It

    In he course of reading this piece we ran across this delightful quote:

    "The rest of the nation looks to Florida as a leader in education reform," Yecke said in her cover letter. "This is what drew me to my current position."
    "Late applicants join race for education commissioner".

    Poor Thing

    "At Palm Beach County Commission meetings he once chaired, [Republican] Tony Masilotti preferred tailored suits, usually banker's gray, set off by a telegenic red tie. On Monday, the fallen commissioner pulled on the green prison garb of the Miami Federal Correctional Institution's Satellite Work Camp." "Masilotti dons drab uniform of work camp".

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