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 Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And so it goes

    "If the House passes a property tax cut plan but the Senate isn't around to hear it, does it make a sound - or cut anyone's taxes?" "Property tax plan is senators' guess". See also "House offers plan as starting point", "Hundreds march over boot camp death", "State House's property tax plan creates standoff with Senate", "Time running out for property tax cut plan", "Property tax clock may work against House's better mousetrap" and "House OKs Revised Tax Plan".

    "Despite the Legislature's do-or-die deadline to get a property tax amendment on the ballot in the next six days, progress stalled Tuesday as critics pounded an ambitious House plan to cap tax assessments on business property. The 5 percent cap passed the House overwhelmingly Monday, even though lawmakers had few details about the impact it would have on the economy, business competition and local government revenue." Meanwhile,
    House Democrats, who voted for the measure Monday, helping it to pass on a 108-2 vote, quickly revived their concerns about the cap. House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber urged his Senate counterparts to ``learn more about it before we put it in the Constitution.''
    "Progress stalls on tax talks; deadline looms".

    And then there's this: "if the House is successful in providing a new tax break for business and other nonhomestead property, school budgets could be reduced by $6-billion to $9-billion over the next decade." "Tax cap plan's effect on schools may spell trouble".

    Mark Lane "cannot say for certain what kind of property tax cuts Florida voters will be asked to approve come January. Or even if there will be property tax cuts on the ballot come January. But since the House and Senate have been good enough to call a brief timeout, everybody has a short chance to catch their breath. A pause to let us take another look at things, and perhaps, avail ourselves of the awesome clarifying power of Frequently Asked Questions:" "Tax cuts done fast need FAQs".

    "What took so long?"

    Another Jebacy: "Believe it or not, the word 'evolution' doesn't currently have a home in the official science standards for Florida's public schools. "

    But under proposed new standards, science teachers wouldn't have to resort to guesswork to determine if the evolutionary principles they discuss fall within state guidelines.

    The new standards, which members of the State Board of Education will consider for adoption early next year, are likely to rekindle the debate over science and religion, and what's appropriately taught in public schools.

    Under the plan, evolution and biological diversity are together considered one of several "big ideas," firmly grounded by "multiple forms of scientific evidence."

    The proposal not only deserves strong public support, but also raises the question: What took so long?
    Could it be that the wingnuts running the state's education system have a problem with, you know ... that icky monkey theory?:
    The absence of evolution from Florida's current standards, adopted more than a decade ago, is just one example of weak, vague content - a shortcoming that contributed to a humiliating grade of F that Florida received in a 2005 Fordham Institute report on state-by-state science standards.

    In the same report, Massachusetts received an A, and educators say there is a clear connection between strong, specific standards and educational outcomes. Massachusetts also is consistently at the top of the national heap in science and math achievement.

    Florida students, on the other hand, have not performed well on state, national and international science achievement measures. Achievement gaps persist throughout demographic subgroups, and graduating seniors are often scientifically underprepared for both college and the work force.
    "Evolved: Evolution belongs in science standards". Wouldn't it be nice if this really did "rekindle the debate over science and religion".

    And, in that connection, shouldn't our crack traditional media types be asking every GOPer candidate stumping in Florida whether they believe that the - to use a winger term - "government schools" should be permitted to use tax dollars to force kids to learn about evolution. Florida Republicans want to know.

    Grubbing for wingnuts

    "During a campaign swing Tuesday through South Florida, Republican presidential contender Fred Thompson pushed for a crackdown on illegal immigrants and accused rival Rudy Giuliani of sheltering them as mayor of New York City." "Thompson takes a tough stance on immigration". See also "Thompson plan: Target immigration havens".

    To his credit, Thompson didn't go completely off the deep end: "Thompson Says Life Support Choice 'Personal'" ("That appears to set Thompson at odds with the actions of former Gov. Jeb Bush, pro-life forces in Congress at the time of Schiavo's death and President Bush.")

    Is that a good thing?

    "Martinez again Florida's".

    U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida brouhaha

    "With only days left before the expiration of James Klindt's appointment as the acting U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida, the Senate Judiciary committee is watching closely what the Bush administration will do."

    A battle may be brewing over any decision by the Department of Justice to reappoint Klindt when his term expires Friday.

    Such a move could extend Klindt's stay for another 120 days, potentially bringing to 330 days his service in a post that Democrats who control the Senate say should normally be filled by people whose nominations are reviewed and confirmed by the Senate.
    "U.S. Attorney's Term Ending". More: "Castor Calls on Bush To Appoint U.S. Attorney".

    "Florida's 'first black governor'"

    "The Florida GOP, led by a man who has been called Florida's "first black governor," is launching an unprecedented outreach effort to court African-American voters." And this an impressive start, with a nice "safe" millionaire:

    On Nov. 16, the state GOP will hold a statewide black Republican conference in Orlando headlined by former Pittsburgh Steeler and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann.
    "Florida GOP wooing blacks' allegiance".

    Could it be . . .

    . . . that the traditional media might spend a little time bashing the GOPers for their internal primary fight? "Will Florida GOP Consider Litigation Over Delegation Cut?".


    "Many of those who marched on the federal courthouse in Tallahassee on Tuesday talked bitterly about the similarities they see between the boy beaten at a Bay County boot camp last year and the boy whose murder stoked the civil rights movement a half-century ago." "Protesters liken Anderson to Till". See also "Hundreds protest handling of teen's death at boot camp" and "Hundreds march calling for justice".

    Yesterday's news

    A couple of pieces you have missed in our absence yesterday:

    - "A Leon circuit judge handed Gov. Charlie Crist a potentially bruising defeat on Monday, ruling that he did not have the authority to veto a portion of the state budget that had to do with printing the state's driver's license handbook. . . . The decision means the state's driver's manual will be printed by the state and not a private contractor. More broadly, however, it calls into question Crist's ability to leave money in the state's budget while cutting out instructions on how to spend it." "Leon judge limits Crist's veto power". See also "A line-item veto overturned in court".

    - "Greer didn't like the story either"

    Here's an idea . . .

    "Most treated wastewater now goes to irrigation, so-called "reclaimed water," but millions of gallons in South Florida are dumped into the ocean or injected deep into the ground daily. So water managers in Sunrise and Plantation and elsewhere wonder: Why not turn that into an alternative drinking water source?" "Treated sewer water could be in local taps someday".

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