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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Will the Florida Supreme Court save the day?

    The Florida Supreme Court may save Florida's GOPer leadership from their own incompetence. "The Florida Supreme Court decided Wednesday to consider whether a proposed constitutional amendment on property taxes should be placed on the Jan. 29 ballot."
    All week, lawmakers have been struggling to craft a new property tax proposal to substitute for the one rejected by the lower court. But negotiations between the House and Senate are stymied with both chambers deciding not to take up the issue again until Monday.

    But they are facing a deadline - Tuesday at 11:59 p.m., giving them little time to reach an agreement.
    "Florida high court to consider amendment for property taxes". More: "A spokesman for Secretary of State Kurt Browning said late Wednesday that unless things change they will go ahead and tell Florida's 67 election supervisors on Nov. 20 to place the wording of the first property tax amendment on the ballot. That's the "supersize" homestead exemption amendment first approved by legislators back during their June special session." "Permalink">Secretary of State: We will put first prop tax amendment on ballot". It looks like another Florida mess in the offing: "Prop tax timing puzzle: Court ruling comes after ballot deadline".

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch:
    Bolstered by a new poll, members of the Florida Senate on Wednesday took a hard-line approach toward ending a stalemate with the House over property taxes: They stayed home.

    Refusing to come back to work until Monday, Senate leaders left just one day to meet a deadline for fashioning a new deal with the House -- an intense timetable that will apply pressure or derail the process and scuttle relief until 2009.
    "Senate hangs up tax work". See also "Hopes fade for session compromise", "Florida legislators shelve property tax showdown till Monday", "Senate says keep property tax plan simple; House disagrees", "Lawmakers delay action on tax cuts" and "Fate Of Session On Property Tax Uncertain As Senate Reviews Bill".

    "It has been the Holy Grail for the business lobby throughout the yearlong push for property-tax reform. But the 5 percent tax cap for businesses and second homes contained in the property-tax bill passed by the Florida House would come at a high cost to local governments: $13.5 billion during the next decade, nearly half of it from funding for public schools." "House tax plan could cost schools".

    In the above editorial, the Orlando Sentinel editors say something both amusing and demonstrative of their thought processes: "Teachers unions and local governments are expected to campaign against anything that inflicts big hits on their budgets." Do the editors believe that teachers unions oppose gutting school funding because it will inflict "big hits" on the unions' budgets?

    Howard Troxler: "So the Senate has decided simply not to show up all this week in Tallahassee. It will return Monday at the earliest. Can you believe it? The one time we want our Legislature to meet, and half the outfit refuses to show up!" "The Senate takes its ball and goes home". The Sun-Sentinel editors: "Tax plan remains iffy at best".

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "As it stands, the House and Senate will return Monday, the deadline for the Jan. 29 ballot. They may rush through proposals that could affect Floridians for decades. They may thumb their noses at one another." "Avoid rush-hour debate on property-tax change". Ah .. yes, there they go again, running government like a business.

    Five gears in reverse"

    "Two and a half years after Terri Schiavo became a celebrated cause among Republican leaders, the party's leading presidential candidates have expressed opposition to the way Congress intervened in the case, a sharp departure from past Republican strategy."

    The break was highlighted this week when former US senator Fred Thompson joined three other leading Republican candidates [Giuliani, Romney and Huckabee] in opposing Congress' effort in 2005 to allow the Schiavos to take their daughter's life support case to federal court.
    And let us not forget this buffoonery by our Mel:
    At the time, Republicans believed that the Schiavo case would become a symbolic issue, similar to the way abortion has become a signature issue for many in the party. During the debate in Congress, it was revealed that an aide to Senator Mel Martinez, Republican of Florida , had written a memo [which Mel accidentally handed to Tom Harkin] saying the Schiavo case was "a great political issue" for the GOP and "a tough issue for Democrats . . . This is an important moral issue and the prolife base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue." . . .

    Polls taken at the time indicated that 70 percent of those surveyed believed it was inappropriate for Congress to get involved in the case, and 67 percent thought elected officials became involved to gain political advantage.
    "Candidates rap Congress on Schiavo".Mel of course defended himself by, you guessed it, blaming someone else. Love it when GOPers preach about "personal responsibility".

    It ain't us

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "The annual Georgia-Florida football game is Saturday, but Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has started his own, self-serving cross-border war. Last week, Gov. Perdue filed suit to prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from draining Lake Lanier, which supplies water to booming metropolitan Atlanta and Florida's Apalachicola river and bay. Florida needs the water to keep endangered oysters and an oyster industry alive and wants more to flow to a coal-powered electric plant, owned by an Atlanta company." "Florida isn't to blame".

    Freddie fallin'

    "When Fred Thompson jumped into the presidential race in early September, months after his rivals, he was widely expected to pick up some of the heavy-duty Republican fundraisers in Florida who had been lingering on the sidelines. It hasn't happened." "Fred Thompson's presidential campaign lags in Florida".

    "Florida is evolving"

    Mike Thomas has a little fun (conveniently forgetting to mention that he was a Jebbie guy)"We are moving toward intelligently designed science curriculum in public schools. And by that I mean we are leaving intelligent design out of classrooms. By golly, Florida is evolving." "Mike Thomas".


    The Tampa Trib editors: "Crist should recognize what a majority of lawmakers fail to understand: developing water resources is essential to Florida's future. Yet to make ends meet, the Legislature severely cut the $100 million fund that helps communities develop and preserve drinking-water sources." "Veto Short-Sighted Cuts To Water Projects". Separately: "Crist wants Presidential intervention in state water feuds".

    Off topic: Florida's Jerry Springer show

    "8 guards disciplined over lesbian prison wedding".

    Spare us

    This St. Pete Times editorial is far to nice:

    Now Martinez can focus on working for the people who sent him to Washington and should be better able to put their issues - access to health care, for instance - ahead of loyalty to the party. With approval ratings between 30 percent and 40 percent, the Orlando Republican could use some success on the home front before he faces re-election in 2010. Spending less time catering to national Republican donors gives him more time and independence to better represent the interests of Floridians.
    "Again, a full-time senator". "Loyalty to the party" and particularly anything Bushie (as well as the Batista crowd) is the essence of Mel Martinez.


    "In his first major Cuba policy speech in years, President Bush stuck to the administration's tough line, rejecting any political warming with Havana until free and fair elections are held and political freedoms respected." "Bush calls for change in Cuba".

    Luvin' Privatization

    "If Florida corrections secretary Jim McDonough is to fire the company that has run prison industries for a quarter-century, he will have to show how his agency can do the job better. But the preemptive political strikes by some lawmakers and company executives suggest they are less than willing to hear him out."

    What is there to hide? . . .

    Just watch this brisk brushback pitch, delivered Monday by House Juvenile Justice chairman Mitch Needelman: "Although I have not as yet received any detailed information regarding your suggestion for the department to take over correctional work programs from PRIDE Enterprises," he wrote, "I must admit that I have a great deal of initial skepticism regarding your proposal."

    Notice how freely Needelman offers his reflexive response in the absence of any "detailed information." This, unfortunately, has been the legislative pattern since PRIDE was created. When questions are raised, lawmakers shield the company from scrutiny.
    "Let facts decide on PRIDE".

    No problem

    "State ethics officials have ended their investigation into allegations that Palm Beach County Commissioner Karen Marcus violated state ethics laws for allegedly encouraging a developer to contribute to her favorite charity in exchange for her votes." "State ethics panel dismisses complaint against Marcus".


    Poor Mitt, he's burning the candle at both ends: "Romney said Wednesday he wants to protect Iowa and New Hampshire as the leadoff nomination states but also wants all states' delegates seated at next year's GOP National Convention. ... South Carolina, New Hampshire, Florida, Michigan and Wyoming may be punished for breaking party rules and setting nomination dates earlier than Feb. 5." Having dug that hole, Mittie jumps to the old GOPer standby:

    Romney accused Democrats of accepting defeat in the battle against "radical violent jihad."
    "Romney: Seat All Delegates". Excuse me for a moment, I'm on my way out to find some Dems looking for some "radical violent jihadists" to surrender to.

    Good luck

    "Three black members of Florida's congressional delegation asked federal officials on Wednesday to investigate the acquittal of eight boot camp employees by an all-white Bay County jury in the death of a black teenager." "Lawmakers seek boot camp probe".

<< Home