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 01, 2007

Jebbie's chickens

    Jebbie's chickens are coming home to roost: "Eight years of Republican tax cutting, downsizing, outsourcing and budget slashing in Tallahassee hasn't stopped a long, if uneven, upward march in the state's per-capita spending." "Cutting can't stop state's slowly increasing per-capita spending".

    Now the GOPers can drown the baby: "A month before he was elected governor, Jeb Bush made a campaign stop in Tallahassee and discussed the size and scope of state government. 'I don't have any master plan to privatize everything that walks and breathes up here,' he said."
    Midway through his tenure, in his second inaugural address, Bush sent shudders through the state bureaucracy by dreaming aloud about what a tribute to Florida's maturity it would be if "we could empty out some of these buildings" surrounding the Capitol. He was talking about strengthening families to reduce delinquency, drug use and crime - but Bush unabashedly considered shrinking the size of government a virtue in itself.

    And he did it.

    What was an ideological approach to shrinking government is now an economic one. Lawmakers come to Tallahassee this week to trim $1.1 billion from the state's spending.
    "Government cuts economic, not ideological". Speaking of "Jeb!", this is oh, so Jebbish: "Secrecy ushers in special session".

    More: "Officials have a lot to do" ("Budget shortfalls, a property-tax amendment, no-fault insurance, casino-style gambling, leasing out the Florida Lottery, even government in the sunshine"), "Lawmakers must approach state budget with scissors" and "Session priorities unsure". The Tampa Trib editors: "Belt-Tightening Will Hurt But Should Benefit Florida".

    Tuff Guy

    Eric J. Smith "he is the micromanaging superintendent who bulldozed over employees' concerns, increasing teachers' workload but not their pay and stripping principals of their powers. Smith may also be Florida's next education commissioner."

    Smith's boyish looks and slight Southern lilt belie his hard-charging nature. That style worked in Charlotte, where there was no teachers union. But in Anne Arundel County, the strong and long-established union was used to negotiating — not jumping at dictates.

    "His DNA was not based on relationship-building," said school board member Eugene Peterson, recalling Smith's tenure. "Some people's strength is building relationships. Some people's strength is getting it done. His strength is laying out a vision and, come hell or high water, getting it done."
    "Praise, criticism dot career of top candidate for education chief".


    "Crist is considering privatizing Alligator Alley for an up-front payment of $500 million, even though a new Department of Transportation study shows the state could reap twice that if it kept the road and borrowed against future proceeds itself." "I-75 tolls would increase under proposal".

    Destroying the Ecosystem

    "Every day, the mulch industry grinds up cypress trees, leaving stumps in place of giants that can take decades to grow back to harvesting size. It's a practice that environmental advocates say is harmful and unnecessary, and they have been calling for its end." "Big demand cutting into cypress trees' legacy".

    Boosting Florida's political power

    "A new study finds that the population of undocumented immigrants could boost the number of Congressional seats in the Southern border states - Florida, Arizona and Florida [sic] - at the expense of Northern and Midwestern states like Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and New York." "Undocumented immigrants to boost Florida political power?"


    "For years, Washington reneged on its commitment to pay its share of the Everglades restoration. Congress promised a 50-50 split with the Florida Legislature, but from 1999 to 2006, Florida outspent it more than 2-to-1."

    Now, President Bush says he won't sign a bill giving the Everglades new federal funding for the first time in more than six years because its weight would bust the federal budget. The Water Resources Development Act, he says, is filled with unnecessary spending for too many projects.

    Unnecessary? The Everglades, the country's largest subtropical wilderness, desperately needs water from reservoirs and wells to replace water that development and agriculture either polluted or depleted. Without the redistribution, the ecosystem that supports plant and animal species not found anywhere else on Earth could die.
    "Everglades deserves dollars".


    "Florida's no-fault auto insurance law expires Monday, and chances to extend the measure now look dim." "'No no-fault' zone is ahead for Florida drivers".

    Obama Visit

    "Barack Obama hinted during a Tampa fundraiser Sunday that if he’s the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, he’ll seat a Florida delegation at the party’s national convention, despite national party sanctions prohibiting it." "Obama Hints He’d Seat Florida Delegation". See also ""Obama To 'Do What's Right'".".

    Political Pawn

    "The phalanx of lawyers is preparing for the second round of an international custody battle that pits a Coral Gables foster family against a Cuban farmer. The governor of Florida won't rule out the possibility that the state will appeal the outcome." "Custody battle taking a toll on young girl".

    "The big-money boys are being driven bug-eyed crazy"

    Howard Troxler: "The argument being made against Florida Hometown Democracy by big-money groups translates to:"

    AAAAHH! AAAAH! AAAAH! If you vote for Hometown Democracy, your tongue will turn purple. Florida will sink into the sea. Evil people who smell bad are behind it. Only an IDIOT would vote for it. ...

    Yep, the big-money boys are being driven bug-eyed crazy at the thought of voters taking over control of growth in Florida. They can't mount a coherent campaign. All they can do is jabber threats and insults.
    "The case against Hometown Democracy".

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