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 Monday, October 15, 2007

"Indulging Jeb"

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "How much longer must Floridians pay to preserve the supposed legacy of Jeb Bush?"
    House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, The Post reported this week, still spends $10,000 of the public's money each month for the services of Donna Arduin's consulting firm. Originally, that contract was supposed to end June 1. Ms. Arduin served as the former governor's budget director, and is a keeper of the Jeb-is-wonderful flame.

    As he began his last year in office, Mr. Bush was denying that he cared about his legacy. In fact, he was installing loyalists who would continue his policies after he left.

    When he became speaker, Rep. Rubio found jobs for 18 of Mr. Bush's former aides. Putting Ms. Arduin on the payroll naturally followed. The question now is what she actually does to earn the money, modest as it is. Her only known contribution this year was the idea that Florida abolish the property tax and replace it with a sales tax that could have been as high as 13 percent. ...

    Maybe the fact that she doesn't do anything is a good thing. But, then, why pay her? Asked for specifics about what Ms. Arduin does these days, Rep. Rubio responded with platitudes. If her job is to keep pushing Jeb Bush's ideas, there's no market for them.
    Read more here: "Still indulging Jeb". For more on the nutty Arduin scroll down to "Marco's muse".

    "Panhandle 'justice'"

    "Friday's acquittal of seven Panama City boot camp guards who beat a 14-year-old boy until he fell limp and later died was as predictable as it was outrageous." "Coverup to acquittal, it's Panhandle 'justice'".

    Gas bag

    Saint Marco has no shame:

    House Speaker Marco Rubio waved a letter from a 75-year-old Miami woman desperate to lower her ''overwhelming'' $10,091 tax bill on her small childhood home that she rents out in Coral Gables.

    The letter is proof, he told a crowd of mortgage brokers and real estate agents, that the property tax proposal the Legislature will take up today won't go far enough.

    ''What do I tell her?'' Rubio asked. ``Congratulations! We passed a bill! Does it save you money? No, but we had a very nice press conference.''
    "While Rubio's public display of cynicism over Gov. Charlie Crist's tax-cut plan seems unorthodox, it is a window into the way he has approached the issue: with a brashness that has estranged potential allies, and a campaigner's knack for choosing the facts so he looks like a winner -- even when he loses."
    What Rubio doesn't say about the letter, for example, is that the Miami woman wouldn't have been any better off under any of the three tax plans he has backed since spring. The current plan centers on doubling homestead exemptions and ''portability'' so homeowners can carry tax savings to a new home.

    ''A lot of things he's doing and saying is posturing,'' said Sen. Jim King, a Jacksonville Republican and former Senate president who describes himself as a fan of Rubio's. 'He's saying, `I believe in a lot of the things that the people have told me that they need,' and he's setting himself up not as a short-term, but a long-term champion.''

    Rubio, 35, won't comment on his future political plans, but has talked repeatedly about leading a citizens petition drive for a property tax overhaul, and resurrecting his failed plan to swap homestead taxes for increased sales taxes. Such a drive would provide him visibility to campaign for another elected office after term limits force him from the Legislature in November 2008.
    "Rubio walks a fine line on tax issue".

    "Dreams die"

    More evidence of Florida's ever "booming" economy: "Florida is one of four states driving the nationwide rise in foreclosures, Duncan said. The others are California, Arizona and Nevada." "As foreclosures soar, dreams die".

    Off Topic

    Tom Blackburn is on fire this morning: "Bush is no Nobel conservative".

    No sleeping zone

    "Homeless man won't be prosecuted for sleeping in public". Has the statute of limitations run out on this?

    I can go with the "Floridians are too ... stupid to ... count votes" part

    Philip Gailey: "Democrats in Washington and the rest of the country are still bitter about the 2000 presidential election debacle in Florida. We are used to the sneers and insults. They think Floridians are too old or too stupid to cast ballots or count votes. They think our voting system is corrupt. Now they have decided to put the nation's fourth-largest state in its place by disenfranchising its voters." "The invertebrate Florida Democrats".


    "Volunteer coaches participating in youth athletic leagues would be required to have their backgrounds screened under a bill proposed for the spring legislative session." "Bill requires background screening for coaches".


    "A Muslim teenager was forced to sit out a youth soccer tournament after a referee ruled the girl's head scarf was not part of her uniform and violated game rules. Iman Khalil was forced to sit out the game Saturday even though parents, her teammates and even opposing players urged the referee to let her play." "Muslim teen in Fla. barred from playing soccer due to head scarf".

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