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 Friday, September 28, 2007

"Feeney, R-Where's Mine?"

    Daniel Ruth: "For the third straight year Feeney, R-Yes I Think I Will Have Seconds, has been labeled one of the 22 most corrupt members of the United States Congress. Uh … way to go, Tom!" And "what might we call this dubious dishonor for Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Where's Mine?"
    The Trifecta of Cronyism?

    For the third straight year Feeney, R-Yes I Think I Will Have Seconds, has been labeled one of the 22 most corrupt members of the United States Congress.

    Uh … way to go, Tom!
    "In but a mere five years in the House,"Jeb Bush's former running mate has accumulated such a remarkable record of freeloading, junketeering and vague record-keeping that pols with much more experience could only envy the chutzpah of it all.
    "For his part,"
    Feeney, R-Bo Peep, insisted he was as pure as the driven snow and will continue to fight for the great unwashed against partisan attacks.

    The congressman's press pro-counsel, Pepper Pennington, petulantly pouted CREW was little more than a "pitiful partisan attack dog organization, created by Hillary Clinton and funded by George Soros and other wealthy socialists. It's the left-wing arm of the Democratic Party." ...

    Still Feeney, R-Travelocity, is running for re-election. And why not? So many golf courses, so little time.
    "1 Good Thing About Ol' Tom: He's Consistent".

    That Was Easy

    "Florida lawmakers proposed Wednesday to pull the state out of its budget hole by slashing spending for schools, colleges, health care and other programs." "Secret's out on budget cutting"

    The almost identical plans from the two chambers on what is usually a controversial issue were just one example of the harmony between GOP leaders in the House and Senate as they try to avoid bitter fights in a special session next week to plug a $1.1 billion revenue shortfall in the state budget. ...

    House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber of Miami Beach said the plans for auto insurance and budget cuts resulted from "secret negotiations."

    "I believe it is time for Florida to reconsider whether giving the legislature a pass on compliance with Florida's 'sunshine law' is a good idea," Gelber wrote in a column offered Thursday to newspapers. "We need to change the rules governing the budget and appropriations process to afford greater transparency so Floridians can see how the legislature allocates people's money."
    "GOP chiefs agree on cuts in budget". See also "State budget cut deep, broadly".

    "The axe began swinging Thursday, with legislative committees following a script calling for $790 million in cuts to the state's $71 billion plus budget." "Committees begin trimming budget".


    The Sun-Sentinel editors: "When it comes to gall, it's hard to top the Broward Republican Executive Committee."

    The Republicans, it seems, are really concerned that Crist might actually be — gasp! — too bipartisan in his approach when he picks a replacement for Jenne. He might actually consider everything and name — another gasp! — a Democrat.
    "How about picking the best person for the job?".

    "40 years insulting, disenfranchising and otherwise stomping on the interests of black Americans"

    Bob Herbert has had it with the GOP:

    What I'd really like to see is a million angry protesters marching on the headquarters of the National Republican Party in Washington.

    The GOP has spent the last 40 years insulting, disenfranchising and otherwise stomping on the interests of black Americans. ...

    he major GOP candidates for president were offering a collective slap in the face to black voters by refusing to participate in a long-scheduled, nationally televised debate focusing on issues important to minorities.

    This is the party of the Southern strategy - the party that ran, like panting dogs, after the votes of segregationist whites who were repelled by the very idea of giving equal treatment to blacks.

    Carolyn Goodman, a woman I was privileged to call a friend, died last month at the age of 91. She was the mother of Andrew Goodman, one of the three young civil rights activists shot to death by rabid racists near Philadelphia, Miss., in 1964.

    In one of the vilest moves in modern presidential politics, Ronald Reagan went out of his way to kick off his general election campaign in 1980 in that very same Philadelphia, Miss. He was there to assure the bigots that he was with them.

    "I believe in states' rights," said Reagan. The crowd roared.

    In 1991, the first President Bush poked a finger in the eye of black America by selecting the egregious Clarence Thomas for the seat on the Supreme Court that had been held by the revered Thurgood Marshall. Bush seemed to be saying, "All right, you want your black on the court? Boy, have I got one for you."

    Republicans improperly threw black voters off the rolls in Florida in the contested presidential election of 2000, and sent Florida state troopers into the homes of black voters to intimidate them in 2004.

    Blacks have been remarkably quiet about this sustained mistreatment by the Republican Party, which says a great deal about the quality of black leadership in the United States. It's time for that passive, masochistic posture to end.
    "Blacks Must Wake Up To GOP".

    Rubio Pouts

    "Rubio vents frustration at Senate".

    Veto Threat

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Bush has promised to veto a $20 billion water resources bill that authorizes $1.36 billion to clean up the Indian River Lagoon and millions for other Everglades projects. But because the Water Resources Development Act won strong bipartisan support and passed by wide margins in the U.S. House and Senate, Congress could - and should -override the veto." "Florida's economic storm offers us choices".

    "There is no end in sight"

    "The battle raging between Florida Democrats and their national leaders over the state's primary date is already costing the party money and grassroots support — but now some worry it will cost votes that could be crucial if the 2008 presidential contest is a squeaker. 'It's reinforcing the image of the gang that can't shoot straight,' said state Senate Democratic Leader Steve Geller of Cooper City. And there is no end in sight." "Squabble over Florida presidential primary may haunt Democrats".

    No Comment

    "Orange Sheriff's Office buys 14 elephant guns".

    The "Values" Crowd

    Elisa Cramer:

    Someone please pass Marco Rubio a mirror.

    On a North Florida talk radio show Wednesday, the leader of the House of Representatives spread a lot of blame for the state not covering the medical expenses of an 8-year-old former Palm Beach County girl who was beaten nearly to death after state child-welfare workers released her broken body to a mother they knew didn't want her. House Speaker Rubio and other legislators have for years ignored Marissa Amora and refused since 2005 to pay what a jury ordered for her lifelong care: $26.8 million.
    "Rubio won't pay claim - or attention".

    Hill Snags Bill

    "Prominent attorney Bill McBride, one half of Tampa's leading Democratic power couple, has joined Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign for president, the campaign announced Thursday." "McBride Joins Clinton Campaign".


    "Univisión and the University of Miami are offering Republican presidential candidates another opportunity to face off in Spanish on national television." "GOP given 2nd chance at Spanish debate".

    Poor Things

    "As Citizens Property Insurance Corp., once the state's carrier of last resort, continues to offer coverage to more and more homeowners, a lobbying group took the unusual step Thursday of publicly bashing the state-run company that has turned into Florida's biggest home insurer." "Insurance lobbyists warn potential clients about Citizens' fees".

    "Commission, not Legislature, should improve tax system"

    The News-Journal editors:

    Leon County Chief Circuit Judge Charles A. Francis couldn't come right out and say it when he ordered off the ballot the proposed constitutional amendment that would supposedly give homeowners the biggest property tax cut in the state's history. But he might as well have: The issue doesn't belong on the ballot to start with. It belongs with the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, which is constitutionally responsible for examining the "appropriateness of the tax structure of the state."
    "Off the ballot".

    Flood Insurance

    "Despite a White House veto threat, the U.S. House on Thursday approved a bill that would add wind insurance coverage to an already debt-ridden national flood insurance program. Before the measure was passed 263-146, Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa and Republican GOP Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite of Brooksville successfully pushed for a study to be done on the potential effects on state insurance programs such as Florida's Citizens Property Insurance." "House Adds Wind Coverage To Flood Insurance".


    "A lawsuit challenging the legal basis for slot machines in South Florida should go back to the trial court for a full hearing, the Florida Supreme Court said Thursday. In a win for anti-slots forces, the high court said the case did not meet basic criteria for a Supreme Court review, especially in a case that could have far-reaching consequences." "Slot-machine case sent to lower court".

    "Too late"

    "Too late to keep Florida's mandatory auto insurance alive, legislators are scrambling to build a replacement that leaves little interruption." "Lawmakers seek replacement for mandatory auto insurance".

    Going Up

    "Barring a constitutional showdown with Gov. Charlie Crist, Florida's college students who pay in-state tuition and carry a full load of classes will have to cough up $55 more in January." "Small tuition increase is likely at state colleges". See also "Florida universities say 5% increase won't solve woes", "Board of governors approves 5 percent tuition increase" and "State tuition may rise $55 next semester".

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Having already put a freeze on freshman enrollment in Florida's public universities - which haven't received legislative funding to accommodate growth in nearly six years - the Board of Governors on Thursday took its second bold step forward in bolstering the State University System." "Board of Governors".

    Is this News?

    This reporter can't seem to distinguish editorial commentary from news: "While there may be chagrin over the prospects of that money lining the pockets of New York bankers or European road managers, there is an economic case for privatization." "Would Lottery Lease Be State's Winning Ticket?".


    "Florida’s GOP Sen. Mel Martinez is hitting the road for appearances at two major universities starting next week to make the case for comprehensive immigration reform." "Martinez Taking Immigration Reform Show on the Road".

    "The GOP and Dems will each debate in Boca Raton"

    "Two nationally televised presidential debates will be held at Florida Atlantic University's Boca Raton campus just days before the state's January presidential primary. Republicans and Democrats will debate Jan. 23 and Jan. 25, leading into the state's new Jan. 29 primary, said Wendy Abberger, executive director of Leadership Florida, the nonprofit group organizing the debates. However, it hasn't been decided which night will feature Republicans and which one Democrats, Abberger said." "South Florida lands political debates".


    "The Cuban father of a 5-year-old girl who has been cared for by a wealthy Cuban-American couple for nearly two years did not abandon his daughter and is fit to raise her in Cuba, a Miami-Dade circuit judge ruled Thursday."

    But the decision by Judge Jeri B. Cohen does not mean Rafael Izquierdo, a farmer and fisherman from rural central Cuba, will be reunited and return home with his daughter any time soon -- or perhaps at all.

    Underscoring the extraordinary nature of this only-in-Miami case, Cohen will allow attorneys for the state Department of Children and Families and the girl's temporary guardians to argue that separating her from her half-brother and the Miami couple with whom she has lived for the past 18 months would endanger the child's emotional or mental health.

    Cohen warned that the state would have a hard time proving endangerment. During the three-week trial, she said the department had created "a tragic situation" by allowing Miami's anti-Castro Cuban politics to guide its decisions.

    "You're going to have a very steep mountain to climb," she told DCF attorneys. "The department needs . . . to take their blindfolds off and see the forest for the trees."

    But she allowed the so-called endangerment hearing -- likely next month -- despite ardent objections by Izquierdo's lawyers that it was never intended to be used against a parent who has been found fit.
    "Cuban girl's future still in U.S.". See also "Father fit in Cuban custody case" and "Florida judge rules father fit to get girl in Cuban custody case".

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