Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 31, 2007

"Welcome to the Florida Legislature"

    The editorial boards are weighing in on the GOPer property tax mess, and it ain't pretty. The Tallahassee Democrat editors: "Welcome to the Florida Legislature."
    Faced with the possibility of historic property-tax reform and the opportunity to start a meaningful process of overhauling Florida's outdated tax structure, lawmakers instead opted for one-upmanship.

    And Gov. Charlie Crist, eager to put a game face on the outcome and declare victory, says "the people have won."


    If ever there was evidence of Florida's cart-before-the-horse strategy of legislating public policy, this is it.
    "Sorry excuse for a reform process puts cart before the ...".

    The News-Journal editorial board: "It would have been better had the Florida Senate and House both stayed home. As it was, the Senate convened just long enough to slap together a property-tax plan that, while not nearly as radical as its predecessors, still adds up to a scaled-back sampler of the worst of all those plans. It doesn't fix anything. It exacerbates existing problems with the tax structure, even if less gravely. The Senate's last-minute ploy bullied the House into taking the plan or ending the special session Monday without the appearance of an accomplishment. The House, the more reckless of the two chambers all along, took it." "Tax-reform trick".

    The St Pete Times editors chime in: "A panicked, desperate Florida Legislature squandered a golden opportunity to lead the way toward meaningful tax reform and significant relief for taxpayers who need it most." "Tax reform failure". See also the Tampa Trib editorial board: "Crist Fails Florida With Tax Plan That Creates Second-Class Citizens" and the Palm Beach Post editors: "Unneeded tax relief, not serious tax reform". The Sun-Sentinel board: "Warmed-over tax reform goes to voters." "Onus now on taxation commission to deliver real property tax reform".

    Troxler has some fun with the issue: "Quoth the craven: 'There's no more'".

    And then there's the Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Some help" ("The tax package could be better but is worthy of support.")

    "Dropout Factories"

    "Florida's public high schools have some of the worst student retention rates in the country, with half qualifying as 'Dropout Factories,' four times the national average, according to a new analysis of U.S. Education Department data." "Analysis finds Florida schools have high dropout rates".

    RPOF gets worried "if one group of Negroes isn't doing what you want them to do"

    "Crist has earned rave reviews from some black leaders, but the rabble-rousing leader of the Florida Federation of Black Republicans is at odds with his handpicked party chief."

    Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer and Deon Long of Winter Park are slated to hash things out in a meeting in Orlando tomorrow.

    The conflict blew out into the open at a reception co-sponsored by the party and the federation at last weekend's convention in Orlando, where a Greer staffer tried to pry the microphone away from an expletive-shouting Long.

    The incident was a metaphor for their broader struggle over control of minority outreach. Greer has hired a full-time employee to focus on black voters, and the party is organizing a Nov. 16 gathering of black Republicans in Orlando headlined by former Pittsburgh Steeler and gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann.

    But Long said Greer is interfering with the federation's volunteer efforts. "They try to divide and conquer us if one group of Negroes isn't doing what you want them to do,'' he said.
    "Black GOP leader fights the power".

    The pouting hits high gear

    "Rubio 'might' attend Crist prop tax event: 'If I'm invited'". See also "Govenor hails property tax reform plan; House leader mum".

    And then there's this . . .

    "The Legislature's tax cut plan would deepen inequalities in Florida's tax system and could lead to a lawsuit by those who own nonhomestead property. If that suit succeeded, the state might have two options: give refunds to those property owners or tell taxpayers who saved money under Save Our Homes they have to pay that money back." "Tax plan is open to legal challenge".


    "Crist hits road, campaigns for tax plan". See also "Governor starts selling tax-cut proposal", "Crist in Port St. Lucie today to talk about property taxes", "Local landlord joins in property-tax fight" and "Crist hails property-tax cuts". More: "Crist tours, touts tax reform", "Homeowners' guide to property-tax amendment", "What will tax relief do for real estate?" and "Crist touts property tax savings, but some are disappointed".

    Meanwhile, "Golf back on for House GOP".

    Striding the world's stage

    "About 210 people will accompany Crist on the Brazil-Chile trade mission, including representatives from 57 companies and the state's five main ports, including Tampa." "Crist mission: enlarge trade with Brazil". What a nice opportunity to share some quiet time with campaign contributors.

    Allen wins one

    "A Brevard County judge on Tuesday tossed out a controversial comment Rep. Bob Allen allegedly made about his position as a state lawmaker during his arrest on a sex-solicitation charge. Titusville police said Allen stated, 'I don't suppose it would help if I said I was a state legislator, would it?' -- a comment Judge Oscar Hotusing ruled was not relevant to the criminal case." "Brevard judge throws out Allen's 'legislator' remark".

    One way to put it

    "Florida, the nation's biggest presidential swing state, is looking like it will remain in flux until voters resolve a central question:"

    Do Floridians dislike Hillary Clinton more than they distrust Republicans on Iraq?
    "Huge undecided bloc puts state up for grabs".

    I don't need no stinkin' government

    "Orange County, the biggest local government, would lose $56.3million next year, rising to $120.2million in 2012." "Central Florida may face tough choices".

    Not a "plum assignment"

    Mark Lane: "For people writing on deadline, the Florida Democratic Party's Convention had not been such a plum assignment. The TV reporters were reduced to taking turns interviewing a plump delegate wearing an immense stars-and-stripes Cat-in-the-Hat-style top hat and a tie with outlines of bucking donkeys. Myself, I had been talking to a guy with a ponytail about somebody running for an elections supervisor post." "Dems hold no-name meet-up".

    Good Question

    "Will Portability be the Great Legislative Blunder?".

    Neverending surcharge

    "Florida's largest home-insurance failure will continue to cost consumers through 2008." "State OKs hurricane surcharge through next year".

    That's our Ginny

    "It's already illegal for illegal immigrants to receive federal aid meant for small businesses. But Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville, wants to make double sure." "Brown-Waite's campaign against illegal immigrants".

    You know Ginny, the dope who was the victim of a chicken bone bomb, and who among other achievements "proposed legislation to let families of Americans buried in France during the world wars bring home the remains if they are offended by France's stance against the war in Iraq."

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