"Basically you can't give it away"
"Lawmakers built the property tax plan for the Jan. 29 ballot on a simple principle: focus on provisions internal polls showed were popular with voters."
Now, the first independent survey of that strategy indicates it's not working."Tax plan support in doubt". See also "Poll: Voters not sold on property-tax plan".
Fifty-three percent of registered voters said they support the tax package, seven points short of the 60 percent needed to pass a constitutional amendment.
"At 53 percent, basically you can't give it away," said pollster Thom Eldon.
Charlie hasn't "'really reached a total conclusion'"
"Crist won't say whether he intends to take sides in the race in the 12 weeks remaining before Florida's Jan. 29 primary. But it looks more and more like he won't. State politics - particularly the continuing struggle over property taxes - are getting in the way."
Although Giuliani leads in polls nationwide, Romney leads in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan. South Carolina appears in polls to be a virtual three-way tie among Giuliani, Romney and Thompson."A divided Legislature barely managed to agree Oct. 29 on a tax cut proposal to put on the Jan. 29 ballot, including measures Crist has advocated." Here's the rub:
That leaves only Florida on Jan. 29 to restore Giuliani's momentum and air of inevitability before the biggest day of the primary season, Feb. 5. On that day, when 22 states hold primaries, most experts expect both parties' nominations will be, in effect, decided.
"Florida is the slingshot state into Feb. 5," said former Gov. Bob Martinez, a Giuliani backer. "If Giuliani won Florida by the margins he's holding right now, it's a big story."
If Giuliani doesn't clinch the nomination on Feb. 5, it opens up the possibility of an indecisive primary season and a nomination decided at the convention - something that hasn't happened in either party in decades.
Crist hasn't ruled out picking a candidate to endorse in the primary. Some political allies continue to urge him to make an endorsement and get involved in the campaign; if he picked the eventual winner, he would reap big political IOUs.
If the measure fails, it would leave Crist vulnerable to accusations that he hasn't fulfilled his most important campaign promises to cut property tax and property insurance rates. He may want to preserve his political capital to get the tax measure passed, rather than spending it on a presidential candidate."Crist Dances Around GOP Endorsement".
"Whether I will or will not - I haven't really reached a total conclusion," Crist said recently when asked again whether he'll endorse.
With all due respect ...
Which is worse? This: "Three of the top 10, highest-paid public university chief executives in the country work in Florida, according to a report released today by The Chronicle of Higher Education." Or this: "Still, none of the higher-paid presidents at public institutions made as much as the schools' head football coaches." "With pay reaching $726,000, 3 Fla. educators among highest paid in U.S.".
"Wrong way up"
"While frustrated, most Floridians don't appear to blame Gov. Charlie Crist. His popularity has slipped some, with 57 percent of those polled saying he is doing a good or excellent job. In May, a similar poll done for the St. Petersburg Times by the same companies showed about 62 percent of those polled gave Crist high marks." This, however, is remarkable:
pollster Thom Eldon noted that Crist's popularity should be much higher within his own party: Republicans gave him a 62 percent approval rating."Poll: Florida going wrong way".
"The commission now processes 6,000 cases annually compared with 1,000 cases before the rule went into effect. But despite its progress, a backlog of thousands of cases has hampered the process for some former felons. There are 298,000 former felons who are eligible for review, according to state prison system data. Combine that with the roughly 3,000 inmates released from Florida prisons every month, commission officials can't keep up." "For ex-felons, fight for rights drags on".
Welcome to Florida
"Giant toads pose danger to dogs, cats".
"Somewhere between dismal and forget it"
Bill Cotterell observes that
if this year's "bonus" was small, the outlook for next year is somewhere between dismal and forget it. The Revenue Estimating Conference will meet this week to advise House and Senate appropriations managers on how the state's various financial sources are performing for the budget they will be building in the 2008 session."'Better than nothing' might get worse for state workers »".
Last week, we got a glimmer of how bleak the numbers are likely to be. The Office of Economic and Demographic Research had done a dour forecast on Aug. 1, but collections for August and September were running $93.5 million below even those deliberately pessimistic projections.
Sales-tax collections, the mainstay of the treasury, were off by nearly $40 million in each of those months. Amy Baker, coordinator of the EDR office, said the earliest arrival date for any significant economic recovery is now pushed back into 2009.
During last month's budget-cutting session, when lawmakers trimmed $1.1 billion from this year's state spending, state Rep. Frank Attkisson, R-St. Cloud, specifically mentioned that state employees ought to be worried about their jobs when the regular session rolls around next year.
Stop the presses!
I don't mean to go overboard on this, but the Sun-Sentinel editors blew me away with this editorial today: "A strike by Hollywood writers is being noticed, largely because a few of America's late-night television programs are having to plug in re-runs to fill air time."
In the process, Americans are learning a truth masked by the million-dollar contracts handed to big-name stars. Namely, that the thoughts, personalities and voices behind the characters on their favorite shows, or the funny lines in monologues by popular late night TV hosts, aren't necessarily written by the stars. They're just uttered by them."Writers' strike casts needed spotlight on Hollywood's unsung stars". Goodness gracious, a Tribune Company editorial board actually supporting ... a strike?!?
The real brains and genius is often provided by a largely anonymous corps of writers. Their strike demands sound reasonable, but the most important result from the strike could be the attention they've gotten
Imagine one day reading an editorial in a Tribune newspaper about "a strike by
Hollywood writers newspaper copy editors and writers".
In the process, Americans are learning a truth masked by the million-dollar contracts handed to "Strike casts needed spotlight on unsung stars" (sorry, there is no link to this story).
big-name stars newpaper owners.
The real brains and genius is often provided by a largely anonymous corps of
writers copy editors and writers. Their strike demands sound reasonable, but the most important result from the strike could be the attention they've gotten
So we've finally figured out what it takes to get newspaper editors off their asses and support collective action by workers - just take away their "late-night television programs".
Note: It will be interesting to see if there will be yet further corporate control of Tribune Company editorial content once the sale to Sam Zell goes through. It was bad enough under the Tribune Company, which did not give the company's "business units" (what the rest of us call newspapers) free reign when it came to editorials, and will probably be even worse when Zell takes it private; after all, he contributes primarily to Republicans. See "In Political Contributions, Zell Leans Right and Wife Leans Left"
"Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, worried about the effect of the subprime loan market's collapse on the Florida treasury, has ordered a top-to-bottom review of the state's investments, including the $138 billion pension fund and billions more invested for pre-paid college and disaster recovery." "State probes security for tax dollars". See also "Sink takes stock of investments".
"A better grip"
The Tampa Trib editors: "Requiring supermajority approval rather than a simple majority is an ideal way to discourage willy-nilly land-use changes requested by landowners and developers. It's much more sensible than putting all land-use amendments to a public vote, as proposed by the Florida Hometown Democracy constitutional amendment." "A Super Way To Get A Better Grip On How Counties And Cities Grow".
One doubts Rudy is thinking "Game over man!"
"Mitt Romney is outpacing other presidential contenders in fundraising in the Panhandle, pulling in nearly three times as much as Sen. Hillary Clinton and 14 times the amount raised by Sen. John McCain." "News-Herald: Romney top fundraiser in Panhandle". Remember, "they mostly come at night ... mostly": "Game over man! Game over!"