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 Sunday, October 28, 2007

No longer "at the head of the class"

    "Florida Democrats have grown accustomed to being at the head of the class in presidential politics."
    But Saturday, as thousands of true believers converged on Disney World for their state convention, it looked more like they'd been placed in detention.
    "Dems upbeat at convention". See also "Lack of presidential candidates looms over Democrats' convention", "Lack of hopefuls doesn't stop party", "Frustration with Democratic party over Iraq boiling over", "Dems fear primary feud hurts chances" and "Florida Democrats blast GOP, but fret about boycott". Making the best of it: "Candidate-less Dems: ‘We’re thrilled. Really. We are.’".

    William March: "Hoyer Has Sympathy for Florida But Can’t Promise Anything on Nelson’s Compromise", "Sink Says GOP Would Love A Bush Boycott" and "Hoyer: Hillary Will Surprise the Republicans".

    "Democrats are hoping to capture a growing share of a voting bloc that's been written off for years as so reliably Republican that it didn't seem worth fighting for: Cuban-Americans." "Democrats court Cuban-American voters".

    The St. Pete Times editorial board: "Political party leaders are expected to wear their happy faces to work, but Florida Democratic chairwoman Karen Thurman has managed to turn obsequiousness into hallucination. The state convention at Disney World this weekend, she merrily informs her colleagues, will be 'the most exciting convention in Florida's history.' Which one will she be attending?" "A convention without relevance".

    Adam Smith's attempt at humor: "most of the Democratic candidates are boycotting Florida's primary and even refused to send their spouses to mix with party regulars in Orlando this weekend. Why not have some fun with it and add a Nobel Peace Prize winner to the ballot? Call it a favor to those Palm Beachers who accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000 and want another chance to vote for Gore." "How about another chance to vote for Al?" This is actually funny: "Mrs. G. On the Line?".

    $240 Bucks

    "With a Monday deadline looming, state legislators said Saturday they were closing in on a deal to cut property taxes, but that key issues still must be settled and big uncertainties remain about the exact savings to be reaped." "With deadline near, legislators close in on deal to cut property taxes".

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "the House and Senate are at odds over the size of the tax cut, who would benefit and how much schools and local governments would pay for it. These are not small issues to be decided in a quick session, but the scramble for bragging rights to the title of Biggest Tax Cutter has overcome common sense." "Reform on the fly bound to crash". In any event, "even if relief for homeowners is approved at the ballot box, legal challenges lie ahead." "Voters may not get last word on taxes".

    This reporter manages to convert an empty suit into, well ... the LBJ during his glory daysin the U.S. Senate: "Sometimes he applies the pressure so subtly, it's atmospheric - like a slow elevator ride to the top of a tall building. Other times he's more direct, pounding a lectern and railing against insurance executives for the cameras." "Is Crist's charisma enough?".

    Mike Thomas: "The average taxpayer saves about $240, not exactly a rock-dropping amount." "After gimmicks, real plan needed to fix tax system".

    To put this "drop like a rock" thing in perspective, the cheapest room (an off season "value" room) at the Poly at Disney is $329 a night.

    Take it where you can get it

    "State looks to 16-year-old foster child to help change sytem".

    Water war

    An Orlando Sentinel "special report" on the water war: "Atlanta's thirst risks Florida way of life".

    "Battle lines"

    "Coastal residents across the nation have a share in Florida's ferocious property-insurance war, where regulators and the industry are going head-to-head over sky-high home premiums." "Battle lines drawn in insurance war".


    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board:

    It doesn't matter if you're Gov. Charlie Crist or the state's chief financial officer, attorney general or agriculture commissioner. The St. Johns River Water Management District is going to sandbag you like it does anyone else.

    It's going to do that by trying to keep from you its own report that demonstrates the tremendous value to wildlife of more than 1,200 acres in Indian River County that it purchased with state money in 1999.

    Now, don't get upset. The district's simply treating you the same as it treats its own board members. It kept the report from them as they weighed the district's recommendation that it trade away the land to a major landowner. And it kept from several of the board members the outrageous reason it wanted to give the land up in the first place -- to dodge a lawsuit the landowner waved at the district for some flooding its reservoir did to the landowner's property. Now, it's just looking to keep some of the facts from you.
    "Don't fall for it". Hmmm ... doesn't this sound vaguely familiar? "It's bad enough that the Bush administration continues to undermine efforts to address global warming. Last week it cut in half the written testimony that the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave Congress on climate change." "Tell the whole story".


    Mark Lane is "Spooked by polling results". After all,

    more people now believe in ghosts than believe George W. Bush is doing a good job as president -- 34 versus 31 percent. (Slightly less of you believe in ghosts than believe that invading Iraq was a good idea -- 34 percent versus 37 percent.)

    I find these results persuasive because of a rule-of-thumb I use when assessing polls: At any given time, roughly a quarter to a third of the nation's adults believe any deeply dumb idea out there as long as it's been spoken about respectfully on cable TV by people who do not have foreign accents.

    Thus, a CNN poll last week found 21 percent of the population believes this global warming stuff is a lot of hooey. Thus, a 2006 Scripps-Howard poll found 36 percent of Americans believe the government was involved in or had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. Thus, a New York Times/CBS poll last month found 33 percent believe Saddam Hussein was personally involved in those attacks.

    Given this track record, one-third sounds about right on the whole ghost thing.
    More here .


    "The Democratic Party made a special spot in its crowded convention calendar Saturday for Jackson County Sheriff John McDaniel, who is running for the Florida House." "McDaniel in spotlight at Democratic Party convention ".

    "Completely ignorant of reality"

    The St. Pete Times editors: "President Bush has always missed the politics on Cuba, and his saber-rattling Wednesday ensures that the country most able to foster democracy there will continue to be the least able."

    Bush's verbal elbows - terror, trauma, misery, "the dying gasps of a failed regime" - didn't match the inducements he offered Cubans to revolt. The president implored members of Cuba's government and the security services to "rise up" and demand their liberty, in exchange for such perks as Internet service and overseas scholarships. This from a president who has made it harder for Cuban-Americans to see or help their families on the island.

    The speech also could further damage his party. Hard-line exiles from the 1960s are giving way to younger Cuban-Americans who have neither the same strong hatred of the Castro dictatorship nor ties to U.S. conservatives. Isolating Cuba has not worked. As Tony Zamora, a Cuban-American lawyer and Bay of Pigs veteran, told St. Petersburg Times reporter David Adams, "I'm sad that the president of the United States is so completely ignorant of reality."
    "Bush misses the boat on Cuba". Carl Hiaasen:
    George W. Bush is irrelevant to the future of Cuba, but that didn't stop the lame-duck president with gutter poll ratings from delivering another shopworn, knee-jerk lecture to the communist nation last week.

    Now, as then, that demand will accomplish absolutely nothing for the struggling people of Cuba. . . .

    If Bush truly believes otherwise, it proves that he's floating in a foggy parallel universe, a self-important dream world in which hostile foreign leaders tremble at the sound of his voice. . . .

    The president's Cuba speech had no chance of persuading the Cuban leadership because it was crafted to placate a domestic audience, the conservative hard-liners who cheer the embargo and oppose any direct negotiations with Raúl Castro.

    ''The Socialist paradise is a tropical gulag,'' Bush declared somberly, flanked by relatives of imprisoned Cuban dissidents.

    As usual, the president didn't mention the hundreds of political prisoners locked up by countries with whom we maintain robust and productive relationships, including Russia, China and Saudi Arabia. None of those governments allow free elections, or a free press.

    The hypocrisy of the U.S. position isn't lost on Cubans, no matter how they might feel about the ascendancy of Raúl Castro.
    "Bush on Cuba: 'Same old macho speech'".

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