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, October 13, 2007

"Draft Gore" is Building Steam in Florida

    "The push [for Gore to get into the race] is particularly strong in Florida,"
    where Draft Gore forces have planned a blitz of radio ads to air next week and are lobbying the state's Democratic Party chairwoman to put Gore on the ballot for the Jan. 29 primary.

    Gore has stopped short of saying outright that he will not run, but he has expressed that he does not intend to and has reportedly told former President Jimmy Carter to stop calling him about it.

    His challenges would be numerous -- and time is short. The deadline to get on the Florida primary ballot is Oct. 31, and the state's top Democrats offered no indication Friday that they were considering adding his name.

    Getting on the Florida ballot is easy compared with the challenges Gore would face in fundraising and in building an organization to challenge the eight Democrats already in the race.

    Polls show Hillary Clinton is ahead 27 percentage points in Florida among the Democratic candidates, and about 26 points nationally.
    "Push for an Al Gore White House bid grows after Nobel Prize award".

    Whew! ... Intangibles Tax Repeal Intact

    "Florida lawmakers sent Gov. Charlie Crist a budget-cut package that trims $1.1 billion in spending on schools, healthcare and environmental programs." "New cuts may lie ahead, lawmakers warn". See also "$1 Billion Sheared Off State Budget" and "Water programs and schools first to suffer $1M in cuts".

    "After clawing and scratching over $1 billion in state budget cuts, the Republican-controlled legislature adopted the reductions on a party-line vote Friday. But it may serve as only a warm-up for more slashing in January." "Budget session ends, property tax session begins".

    "Taking their worst toll on our national soul"

    Stephen Goldstein: "It's supposed to get us out of a jam, but it's really a scam: privatizing toll roads. One of these days, drivers everywhere in Florida may have to pay a Dubai-based company, or its equivalent, to cruise down our current toll roads. Everyone knows in his gut that it's un-American to privatize public highways. No less a Republican nationalist than Dwight Eisenhower created our toll-free, interstate system so parts of it could double as airstrips during war or emergencies."

    But the message hasn't reached "your taxes will drop like a rock" Gov. Charlie Crist, "we'll never raise your taxes" Florida Republicans, and the "government, bad; business, good" crowd. They want you to believe that one of the richest states is so poor, it has to balance its budget with a fire sale.

    R's are hell-bent on handing over roads paid for with your taxes to corporate carpetbaggers, who can only make money by making you pay higher tolls. That ain't entrepreneurship or free-market capitalism — but cozy cronyism; a state-sponsored, private monopoly. It's a shell game: R's pass the buck to make a buck — and you get stuck. It's carte blanche for investors to bilk the public purse and laugh all the way to the bank in (possibly) Bahrain. ...

    Republicans know precisely what they do: ballyhoo that they lower taxes, then sock us with fees. While they can't wait to sell our roads to the highest bidder, they're taking their worst toll on our national soul.
    "Cut taxes, add fees".

    The check's in the mail

    "House and Senate Republican leaders were so confident Friday of a tentative deal to pass an $11 billion property-tax package that they announced a final vote at the end of next week."

    Both chambers took a quick vote on $1 billion in cuts to the state's ailing $71 billion plus budget, ending a special session that began last week. Then they immediately convened another to deal with property taxes.
    "Lawmakers confident of reaching property-tax deal". More: "A GOP poll shows strong approval for the latest tax plan." "Simpler is better on homestead".

    There might be a fly in the ointment:
    Minutes after yet another special session of Florida's Legislature was gaveled to order Friday to consider a retooled package of property tax cuts, leading Democrats indicated a carefully crafted consensus might be unraveling.

    Senate Democrat Leader Steve Geller, of Cooper City, said members of his party were grousing that Republican legislators have been slow to provide details on a property tax-cut package being pushed by Gov. Charlie Crist, and valued at $11 billion over four years.

    Republicans, who control both the House and Senate, are planning for a final vote Wednesday or Thursday, but must win over Democrats because a three-fourths majority is needed to place the issue on the Jan. 29 ballot.
    "Democrats 'less likely' to support retooled property tax cut".

    The Sun-Sentinel editors: "Whatever Tallahassee conjures up, the wording ought to be precise. Otherwise, lawmakers might again find themselves at Square One before an ever more impatient public." "Tax cutting wording needs to be precise".

    Laff Riot

    "“Free W.D.—Political Prisoner”?".


    "The not-guilty verdicts for the eight defendants charged in the death of Martin Lee Anderson sent a shock wave through part of the Florida Legislature. Lawmakers ending a budget-cutting special session reacted swiftly with anger and disbelief." "'We were stunned'" ("Tallahassee Sen. Al Lawson shouted into a bullhorn to some 250 student protestors who converged on the Capitol to shout 'No Justice! No Peace!'").

    More: "Decision brings anger, relief" ("An all-white jury decided in 90 minutes the seven former Bay County drill instructors and camp nurse were not guilty of manslaughter in the 14-year-old boy's death").

    Running government like a business

    "A top state prisons official resigned during an investigation of an alleged scheme to change files to help speed up the transfer of some inmates to different prisons." "Corrections official steps down amid inmate transfer probe". See also "State corrections official quits over inmate transfers" and "Corrections official steps down amid inmate transfer probe".

    Dubya's Florida "Jaunt"

    "President Bush scooped up $1 million for the national Republican Party on a quick jaunt through Pinellas Park before heading off to Miami to give a speech on trade Friday." "Bush Trip Nets $1 Million, Touts Trade".

    Klein Kash

    "Look for freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Klein to report Monday that he raised more than $500,000 in the third quarter and has $1.4 million in cash on hand for his 2008 reelection bid. The only Republican in the race, retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Allen West, has raised $20,528 so far and has $12,761 on hand." "Congressional money mismatch".

    Allen Update

    "After clearing up confusion over a defense motion, a Brevard County judge rescheduled state Rep. Bob Allen's sex-solicitation trial for Nov. 5 in Viera." "Rep. Allen's trial set for Nov. 5".


    "Proposed measure aims to help mom-and-pop motels and marinas that are rapidly disappearing because of development pressure." "Lawmakers consider tax breaks for beachside businesses".

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