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 Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Florida is expected to be the most closely contested in 2008"

    Check out the Florida Progressive Coalition's "Thursday - Sunday Challenge". Our review of today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

    "Florida is expected to be the most closely contested in 2008"

    "In its 162-year history, Florida has never had one of its own on a presidential ticket."

    Could Gov. Charlie Crist be the first? Crist, who sat in the front row at Wednesday's Republican presidential debate, is the subject of growing speculation that he will be considered as a vice presidential pick in 2008.

    Such speculation reflects not only Crist's popularity but also Florida's emergence as a political force.

    Al Cardenas, a former Florida GOP chairman who now works for Mitt Romney's campaign, said Crist is probably on every candidate's wish list.

    "Gov. Crist is a young, attractive, popular governor in the largest purple state," Cardenas said. "There's no doubt that Governor Romney and certainly others will have him as a candidate for the job."

    Florida is the fourth-most-populous state, behind California, Texas and New York. Among those Big Four, Florida is expected to be the most closely contested in 2008. And no candidate needs reminding of 2000, when Florida's disputed result decided the election.
    "Florida a new force on U.S. political map".

    Running government like a business

    "The nation's subprime-mortgage crisis is prompting Florida cities, counties and agencies to pull billions of dollars out of a state-run investment fund. They fear they could have lost their money because a state agency invested it in funds backed by loans to homeowners with questionable credit -- the same loans that have triggered an international credit crunch." "Orlando, Orange County yank millions from state fund".

    And, who is responsible for this mess? Why, the State Board of Administration. And who might the executive director of said entity be?: "Coleman Stipanovich serves as the Chief Investment Officer of the fifth largest pension fund in the United States." "Stipanovich"? Where have I heard that name before? And doesn't he have a brother that favors red suspenders?.

    From the "values" crowd

    "Even if voters fail to approve a constitutional amendment to lower their property tax bills, Florida school districts can expect their budgets to be slashed during next spring's legislative session." "State legislators warn of more cuts in education budget".

    Query Mr. Legislator? Which "value" do you hold dearest: (1) elimination of the intangibles tax, or (2) funding public education?

    Debate frenzy

    "With time and tempers in the presidential primary running short, the Republican candidates clashed in a bare-knuckled debate that knocked front-runner Rudy Giuliani off stride and showcased underdog Mike Huckabee" "Gloves come off in GOP debate". See also "GOP rivals throw elbows in Florida debate", "Debate attracts 'vloggers,' homeless", "In stretch run, rivals go on attack", "GOP Rivals Clash on Immigration, Torture", "Huckabee outshines Giuliani in Republican debate", "Chuck Norris, that's it", "Huckabee's Record Haunts Him" and "Republicans not afraid to take shots at each other".

    McCain became desperate at one point, resorting to mentioning the "M"-word":

    John McCain, as he has been through the campaign, was the odd man out in the crowd of mostly hard-line candidates on the immigration issue. McCain, talking through boos from Ron Paul supporters in the crowd, defended his attempts over the last year - along with Florida Sen. Mel Martinez - to reform U.S. immigration policy and allow earned citizenship for illegals now in the country.

    "This whole debate saddens me a little bit because we do have a serious situation in America," McCain said.

    Mentioning Martinez, he said, "We thought the status quo was unacceptable ... we tried to get something done.
    Attacks Heat Up". Adam Smith: "Florida didn't get much love from the CNN producers, who bypassed Florida-specific questions on issues like offshore drilling or a national disaster fund. But fireworks makes for good TV, and CNN made sure not to let the format of submitted questions get in the way of a good brawl."

    Smith concluded that, while he doesn't "buy the talk that Democrats have the White House all but locked up. But listening to these Republicans tied up in knots on abortion, guns and immigration in a debate that barely touched on kitchen table issues like gas prices and the economy, it's hard to imagine that Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama lost much sleep if they tuned to CNN Wednesday night." "Low moments aplenty, and nary a champion".

    And then there's this: "Report: Giuliani billed city for expenses during affair". See also "Giuliani Dismisses Claim About Expenses" and "Giuliani camp denies report on expenses".


    Maxwell: "So, Central Florida, do we have any endorsers with Oprah-quality star power?".

    Go 'Noles!

    "Federal grants continue to subsidize the Seminole Tribe of Florida, despite a gambling empire that brings in more than $1 billion a year. Even as tribal affluence increased, the Seminoles have received government grants for health care, education, law enforcement, housing and more." "Despite its wealth, the tribe continues to get lots of federal help".

    What a deal
    A creative resolution to a tricky case: "Izquierdo would have no parental restrictions and could eventually return to Cuba". He

    would get sole custody of his 5-year-old daughter under a settlement reached Wednesday in a lengthy court battle involving the girl's U.S. foster parents and state officials, according to a person familiar with the deal.

    Under the settlement, Rafael Izquierdo and his daughter would remain in the United States for several years and the foster parents - former baseball players' agent Joe Cubas and his wife, Maria - would get regular visits from the girl, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because of confidentiality rules.
    "Cuban father gets custody in settlement".

    CD 13

    "Democrat Christine Jennings has withdrawn a lawsuit over her 369-vote loss in a 2006 congressional race because a federal investigation will meet the same goals as the court case, her lawyers said." "Democrat drops lawsuit over vote loss".

    I gave at the office ...

    "Businesses offer a lukewarm reaction for donations for a property tax blitz."

    Inside the cozy, wood-paneled confines of the private Governor's Club, Gov. Charlie Crist made a personal pitch for money - big money - to bankroll passage of a plan to cut property taxes.

    In one-on-one meetings last week with lobbyists for major business trade groups, Crist sought donations ranging from $500,000 to $1-million to Vote Yes On 1, the political committee running the campaign.

    A well-financed advertising campaign is vital to passage of the constitutional amendment on Jan. 29. Polls show support below the required 60 percent, though many voters remain undecided.

    But the reaction to Crist's pitch seems lukewarm at a time when the economy is slowing and the business lobby is girding to defeat another ballot measure, the slow-growth Hometown Democracy initiative.
    "Crist seeks money for ads".

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