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 Friday, October 05, 2007

You Can Lay This at Jebbie's Doorstep

    "When the 2001 terrorist attacks froze Florida's tourist economy and caused a $1 billion slump in state revenues, top Republican senators called for drastic steps."
    They urged a sweeping overhaul of Florida's sales-tax system, ending billions of dollars in tax exemptions -- on everything from legal fees to ostrich feed -- while reducing the state's 6 percent levy to 4.5 percent.

    But the idea fizzled under fierce pressure from business and then-Gov. Jeb Bush. ...

    Indeed, during the past nine years, lawmakers haven't raised a single tax and have approved a cumulative total of $20 billion in tax cuts, mostly benefiting corporations and wealthy Floridians.
    The current crop of knuckledraggers ain't much better - despite the financial crisis,
    Crist and the Legislature's ruling Republicans say they will not consider any attempt to increase taxes -- now or during next year's legislative session.
    "Old idea won't help fix budget, GOP says". More: "Lawmakers consider push for more local tax reductions" and "Democrats argue for raising revenue instead of cutting state budget".

    Allen Update

    "State Rep. Bob Allen on Thursday denied allegations that he tried to use his legislative position to avoid prosecution on a charge of soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. ... Brevard County Judge Oscar Hotusing did not rule Thursday on whether a jury will hear the alleged comment." "Rep. Allen denies he used his position".

    Hillbilly heroin addict "doesn't even miss getting high"

    "No, Sen. Tom Harkin, radio talker Rush Limbaugh isn't back on drugs!"

    So says the state of Florida. And Limbaugh himself, who told Page Two, as he enters his last month on probation for a narcotics arrest, that he doesn't even miss getting high and now feels like a better person.

    And a much richer one: According to records, he'll have made an estimated $50 million while on conditional liberty.

    "All's well that ends well," he said, contemplating the Oct. 31 finish of his 18-month probation, barring unforeseen trouble. "But I tell myself sometimes: 'I can't believe I did this s—-.' "

    In a rare interview, Limbaugh - who just this week created a firestorm by calling antiwar service members "phony soldiers," prompting Iowa Democrat Harkin's comment from the floor of the U.S. Senate - says he isn't bitter. Never mind that the justice system forced him to fill out monthly reports on his whereabouts, get tested and attend therapy.

    "The system is what it is," Limbaugh, 56, said from his oceanfront compound in Palm Beach. "I became addicted to drugs because of a medical condition" - a bad back - "and I'm convinced now that most addicts come to a point where they do drugs just to stave off withdrawal. ...

    A corrections spokesman this week confirmed Limbaugh has been a good boy and that the drug tests his doctor has conducted have been negative.
    "Limbaugh leaves probation better, richer". "His doctor" conducted the drug tests?

    Out of Touch

    Kudos to S.V. Date for catching Rubio's attempt to explain why the sales tax isn't regressive:

    “It’s the fairest tax out there. Because you determine based upon how much you have,” Rubio said at a Wednesday news conference. “Sales tax, everyone decides how much they’re going to pay, based on what they decide to buy. If you buy a Bentley, you’re going to pay us more than if you buy an Audi. Or a — well, an Audi is pretty expensive right? A Hyundai. Or like the Prius. I guess that’s pretty expensive, too.”
    "Rubio: Let them eat Audis".

    Give a GOPer Twenty Bucks ...

    Call me naive, but is it some sort of GOPer rule that oral sex with a prostitute goes for no more than twenty bucks a pop:

    - Yesterday's Orlando Sentinel: In a deposition, she [the prostitute] said [GOP state rep Marvin] Couch only offered $20 after previously offering $30.".

    - Today's Orlando Sentinel: "Allen is accused of offering $20 to perform oral sex on the undercover officer."

    Well, at least they don't discriminate on the basis of gender - no Equal Pay Act issues here.

    The Lawsuit

    "A lawsuit accusing the national Democratic Party of stripping away the voting rights of 4 million Florida Democrats in the 2008 presidential primary was met with apprehension from legal experts as well as some party leaders uneasy about prolonging the family feud." "Top Democrats sue over Florida primary". See also "Florida Democrats file suit against DNC, cite voter disenfranchisement", "Democratic leaders sue own party", "Fla. Dems sue national party over timing of presidential primary", "Florida Democrats sue national party in primary squabble" and "Nelson, Hastings Sue DNC".

    The Miami Herald editors: "When it comes to assembling a circular firing squad, you've got to hand it to the Democratic Party. Nobody does it better. The fiasco over the party's presidential primary has reached such farcical proportions that -- get this -- two of the state's most prominent Democrats are suing the national party so that party members in Florida can have a say in choosing the party's next candidate for the White House."

    Think about that for a second. This is Florida, the most hotly contested battleground in national elections. Florida, where Democrats still believe they were robbed in the 2000 election. Florida, where they're still wrangling over 18,000 ''undervotes'' in a Gulf Coast congressional race in 2006. Instead of wooing Florida's pivotal voters, the Democratic National Committee decided to punish them by refusing to seat delegates selected in the Jan. 29 primary. Ever wonder why the party's symbol is a donkey?
    "Democrats deserve a voice in the primary". The Tampa Trib editorial board: "Nelson Takes On His Party".

    This just in from the fringe: "Greer On Dem Boycott: 'Amazing … Bewildering … A Personal Insult'".


    "House panel approves nearly $1 billion in budget cuts". See also "Senate Works To Restore Home Care For Disabled", "Legislative panels approve budget cuts House and Senate to act today on bills that would cut $1.1 billion" and "House Bill Would Cut Money For Byrd Center By Half".


    "Bills to restore no-fault auto insurance differ on lawyers' fees". See also "No-fault deal stalls as leader rejects limits on attorney fees", "Legislation to revive PIP insurance stalls on capping lawyers' fees" and "Legislature's no-fault insurance deal in danger".

    Update: "PIP To Come Back Jan. 1". See also "PIP deal survives political tumult".

    Poor Charlie - he had a photo op in his grasp, yet ... "Crist turns back as talks on PIP spiral downward".

    "Jeb!" Dead Enders

    The "Jeb!" dead enders on the Orlando Sentinel editorial board are falling over themselves this morning:

    Almost a decade after Florida reformed its schools with tough accountability standards, a national test shows the state's students are leading the nation in improved reading and math scores.

    This is more than a validation of the difficult course set in motion in 1999 by former Gov. Jeb Bush, turning the FCAT into a high-stakes test used to grade schools and determine whether students get promoted or graduate. These scores should also be a call to arms to ensure this effort isn't weakened by lowering standards.
    "Succeeding with FCAT". Of course we don't want to pay attention to the stats behind the curtain, you know ... silly little things like this: 2006: "The high school class of 2006, the first to take the new, longer version of the SAT, fared worse on the college entrance exam than any graduating class since 1975. The average combined reading and math score dropped seven points, to 1021, College Board officials said Tuesday. The average score in Florida fell three points, keeping the state near the bottom nationally."

    More FCAT news: "FCAT bar under review".

    All Things to All People

    "Rubio holds out for deep property tax cuts. Senate President Ken Pruitt wants to protect education funding. Gov. Charlie Crist supports both but leans with the Senate." "Dual tensions raise pressure on ballot issue".


    "Cigar manufacturers got a reprieve when President Bush refused to sign a bill to renew and expand a children's health insurance program." "Veto Benefits Cigar Makers".


    "Suspicious that cash and favors might influence transfers of inmates between prisons, Corrections Secretary James McDonough has investigated his own employees since July, but so far has found no wrongdoing." "State investigates prisoner transfers".

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