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 Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Liberal Right Wing Florida Media

    William March:
    • Conservative syndicated columnists appear a total of 121 times per week in Florida newspapers. Centrist columnists appear a total of 40 times, while progressive columnists appear a total of 75 times.

    • Nationally syndicated conservative columnists account for 49 percent of the column impressions in Florida, while nationally syndicated progressive columnists account for only 32 percent of the column impressions.2

    • Those conservative columnists reach Florida readers 3,917,837 more times than their progressive counterparts.
    "When it comes to nationally syndicated columnists, Florida’s daily newspapers are dominated by conservatives, leaving progressive voices behind."

    Rising Seas

    "Rising seas in the next 100 years will likely swamp the first American settlement in Jamestown, Va., as well as the Florida launch pad that sent the first American into orbit, many climate scientists are predicting." "Oceans' rise a risk for Florida, nation".

    "Crist eyes plan to fill budget gap -- tolls could soar"

    "A stretch of the BeachLine Expressway in Central Florida, Alligator Alley in South Florida and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge across Tampa Bay could be leased to private investors under a plan being considered by Gov. Charlie Crist. Officials concede that the proposal, meant to patch a hole in the state's deflated budget, could send toll rates soaring on the two roads and the bridge." "BeachLine joins rent-a-road mix".

    Wingnuttery Waning?

    "Headed into the 2008 election season, Christian conservatives are weary. Their movement has lost iconic leaders and the Republican presidential field is uninspiring. But they may have found hope in a trailer on the campus of Bell Shoals Baptist Church."

    Organized by a scarcely known Tampa-area Christian group and ending Saturday, the summit sounded a back-to-basics theme: that evangelicals are called to be active citizens to combat threats from the left; that the work must involve not just national advocacy groups but local people and pastors; and the fight requires patience and persistence. ...

    But only 104, nearly all from Florida, had registered by Friday. A workshop on the basics of grass roots activism drew a handful of people -- and one was a spy, an activist for Americans United for Separation of Church and State researching the opposition.
    "Christian right returns to grassroots". See also "Conservative summit upsets gays", "Religious right summit draws prominent speakers" and "Religious Right Leaders Congregate".

    Speaking of Budget Cuts ...

    "For years, state and local governments have given railroads money to maintain and upgrade highway crossings, which makes some sense since government is responsible for public safety."

    Crist says it makes sense to invest public money in private rail lines because they help reduce highway congestion. But it's hard to quantify the public value because the governor's transportation department refused to give Tribune reporter Lindsay Peterson the justification documents, saying officials first needed to check with the railroads.

    If the deal makes such good sense, the railroads should step out of the shadows and make the case for continued funding. Otherwise, legislators searching for ways to cut the state budget should bring down the arm on this hand-out.
    "Railroad Giveaway Is A Good Place To Cut".

    Attorney Access

    "Criminal defense attorneys are asking the Florida Supreme Court to block a new law that would slash $50 million in legal fees the state pays every year to defend economically disadvantaged people." "Conflict arises over attorney access and state paid legal fees for poor".


    "Sometimes a public records request can turn up fascinating documents."

    For example, a request to the office of Gov. Charlie Crist for documents dealing with the privatization of roads turned up a six-page proposed contract between the lobbying firm of Smith & Ballard and Cintra Developments, an arm of the Spanish conglomerate working to lease toll roads in the U.S.

    The contract states that Cintra will hire Smith & Ballard and rely on Brian Ballard, a top advisor to Crist's campaign last year, as well as Greg Turbeville to lobby on behalf of the company in both the executive and legislative branch for $180,000, paid in 12 installments of $15,000.
    "Lobbyist watch: How did Ballard contract wind up in governor's office?"


    "Cincinnati Insurance says it's under investigation in Florida". See also "State scrutinizes 2nd insurance company".

    "Projects in a bind"

    "The Florida Supreme Court tossed aside 27 years of legal precedent when it ruled this month that voter approval is necessary for many publicly financed projects. Now, the justices have to clear up the multibillion-dollar mess they've made." "High court bond ruling puts projects in a bind".


    "After nearly two weeks of negotiations, there's a good chance the state's no-fault auto insurance law could be extended." "Fla.'s no-fault insurance law may not expire". See also "Deal cut in effort to keep no-fault" and "Deal may extend no-fault insurance".

    "Ex-speaker takes intimidation over the top"

    The Daytona Beach News-Journal editors:

    Thrasher's letter doesn't present rational discourse. Instead, it intimidates. It patronizes. It misleads -- heck, it outright lies, by depicting Hometown Democracy's petition-gatherers as tools of Big Development. They're not. Thrasher is.
    "Dear John letter".

    "Voting machine memory cards"

    "With early voting for city elections just nine days away, more faulty Volusia County voting machine memory cards will be replaced in an effort to minimize the number of failures that have plagued elections here since at least 2000." "Volusia replacing faulty cards in voting machines".

    Ah ... He's actually a Wingnut

    Q makes a good point about the Wall Street Journal's silly take on Jebbie, saying he "doesn’t make a habit of violating Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment (‘Thou Shalt Not Criticize Fellow Republicans’)":

    Surely not the same Bush whose staff threatened to defeat Republican senators who didn’t help him pass medical malpractice limits. Or who helped raise millions to take out Republican state Sen. Alex Villalobos for opposing school vouchers. Or who, next month, is scheduled to help South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford raise money so HE can remove Republican legislators in that state who are not conservative enough.
    "The WSJ's kinder, gentler Jeb".

    How Nice

    "Crist steers big political contract to Dem firm".


    "You might think Florida and national Democrats could not look any more hapless fighting one another over whether Democrats' votes should really count in the state's Jan. 29 presidential primary."

    Listen to this.

    The leading Democratic presidential candidates had already promised to boycott Florida's primary because the early date violates the national party schedule. Now the Florida Democratic party has begged the officially recognized early primary states, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, to give them a break and let the candidates attend Florida's big party fundraiser next month.
    "Please give us a break, Democrats say; Florida's party begs early primary states to allow candidates to attend the state convention".

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