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 Sunday, November 11, 2007

"Get ready Florida for another nail biter"

    "Get ready Florida for another nail biter presidential election."
    A new St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 poll shows America's biggest battleground state is up for grabs by either Republicans or Democrats, and that neither of the front-runners for their party nominations, Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Rodham Clinton, has Florida locked up yet.

    "Florida is poised to be both a bellwether and maybe even a shocker and a bit of a surprise for presidential politics in 2008," said pollster Kellyanne Conway.

    Former New York Mayor Giuliani beat Clinton by 5 percentage points among the 800 registered voters surveyed Nov. 4-7, and Arizona Sen. John McCain was neck-and-neck with Clinton in head-to-head matchups. But independent voters, strongly disenchanted with the Iraq war, President Bush and the direction of the country, make Florida's 27 electoral votes ripe for Democrats to pluck.

    Florida Democrats overwhelmingly favor Clinton, who had 48 percent support compared to 24 percent for Barack Obama. Eight percent favored former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. Clinton's strongest area was Tampa Bay, where she had 60 percent support among Democrats but still lagged Giuliani and McCain in Tampa Bay.

    Among Republican voters, former Tennessee Sen. and Law & Order star Fred Thompson is proving to be nowhere near the force many had expected when he entered the race in September.
    "Poll: Florida is up for grabs". See also "Clinton, Giuliani keep big leads in Florida".

    "Republican Rudy Giuliani and Democrat Hillary Clinton are leading their next closest rivals by 2-1 margins for their respective parties' presidential nominations, with Giuliani then edging Clinton in the November 2008 election, a new Palm Beach Post poll of Florida voters shows." "Floridians back Giuliani for now" Detail: "How Florida feels", "Bush's approval" and "How each will do".

    Touch screens

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "Sen. Nelson's bill goes further than a House bill that would allow touch screens if accompanied by printers to deliver a paper trail. Sen. Nelson distrusts printers, which can jam without voters noticing, rendering the paper record unreliable. OK, but couldn't that problem be dealt with by innovation, not an outright ban?" "Nelson heavy-handed with touch-screen ban".

    "Cautionary tale of power politics"

    Adam Smith: "The property tax amendment on the Jan. 29 ballot was hastily assembled out of spare parts and leftovers by a Legislature short of time. It's a cautionary tale of power politics. The result is a plan that provides meager savings to the average homeowner and exposes the state to a lawsuit." "The accidental amendment".

    Florida Forever

    The St Petersburg Times editors: "Florida's visionary plan to keep its natural treasures out of the hands of developers is running low on money and set to expire in 2010. Any lawmaker who won't renew it is asking to be replaced."

    The push to renew Florida Forever is falling on such deaf ears in the Legislature that seven different planning and environmental organizations have formed a steering committee to push for a constitutional amendment. They are even approaching members of the independent Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, which has the authority to place amendments on the 2008 ballot.
    "Land preservation program at risk".

    Dubya's dead enders

    "Just 33 percent of the state's registered voters rated Bush's job performance 'excellent' or 'good,' and 50 percent called his handling of the situation in Iraq 'poor,' according to the poll conducted for The Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post, the St. Petersburg Times and Bay News 9. The survey has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points." "Bush approval hits all-time low in Florida".

    Property tax fight

    "Voters have less than three months to decide whether to approve the biggest change to the property tax system in 15 years. They face a four-part ballot proposal in January that promises tax breaks for homeowners, businesses and people who own second homes in Florida. It would:"

    # Make the savings from the "Save Our Homes" tax cap portable. The new proposal would allow homestead owners to apply up to $500,000 of the sheltered amount to a new home if they move.

    # Double the $25,000 homestead exemption for homes worth at least $75,000. One caveat: The extra exemption does not apply to school taxes.

    # Give nonhomestead property its own Save-Our-Homes-style break, with a 10 percent cap on annual increases in assessed values.

    # For businesses, exempt the first $25,000 of the value of equipment.

    How voters decide in January probably will depend on what kind of property they own and their willingness to cut the $631 million in taxes Brevard County governments collect to help pay for police, roads, libraries and other public services.
    "Fate of tax reforms settled in January".

    "Florida's property-tax overhaul was packaged to win voter approval -- with Gov. Charlie Crist and lawmakers careful to include only items popular with homeowners and businesses. But the proposed constitutional amendment is drawing more enemies than allies, fueling doubts about the prospects of the $12.4 billion package gaining the necessary 60 percent approval from voters Jan. 29. Powerful labor groups are gearing up to fight the measure, and their money and manpower could out-muscle the middling support coming so far from business organizations." "Tax-cut enemies plot its demise". On a related note: "Labor unions adding workers, gaining political strength".

    North versus South

    "Florida's 6-cent sales tax is the lifeblood of the state budget, producing more than $20 billion a year for lawmakers to spend on everything, including schools, prisons and healthcare for the poor. Nearly 12 percent of all state sales-tax collections during the fiscal year that ended June 30 came from Miami-Dade. That news doesn't surprise some South Florida politicians, who have argued for years that Miami-Dade doesn't get its fair share of money spent by state government. North Florida politicians traditionally have accused South Florida of getting too much state money." "Miami-Dade helping bail out state".

    More Jebacies biting the dust

    "In case anybody needs more proof that Jeb Bush has left the Capitol building, Democrats and Republicans look ready to join hands and overhaul a pair of education issues long identified with the former Republican governor. Both the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and the class-size amendment look poised for big changes next year." "Bipartisanship shows on education issues".

    "Ruthless, but effective"

    Tom Nickens: "Business groups fear the [Florida Hometown Democracy] amendment will get the required 60 percent approval if it makes it on the ballot. So they have formed their own organizations to fight back under misleading names such as Floridians for Smarter Growth and Save Our Constitution. While most Floridians have something else on their minds (like property taxes and homeowners insurance), the combat over the Hometown amendment is raging."

    Business groups fear the amendment will get the required 60 percent approval if it makes it on the ballot. So they have formed their own organizations to fight back under misleading names such as Floridians for Smarter Growth and Save Our Constitution. While most Floridians have something else on their minds (like property taxes and homeowners insurance), the combat over the Hometown amendment is raging.

    Here's just one snapshot: [executive vice president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Mark] Wilson said Floridians for Smarter Growth recently reviewed Hometown Democracy's public expense reports and identified Hometown's top 60 paid petition gatherers, who were being paid $1.10 per signature. Floridians for Smarter Growth invited those 60 to a meeting and offered $3.02 per signature for its competing amendment.

    You can guess what happened. The business group lured away 40 of those 60 signature gatherers. And Wilson said he has issued standing orders to always pay 50 cents more per signature than Hometown Democracy. Yet it's clear he's far more interested in blocking the amendment he opposes than getting his own on the ballot.

    Ruthless, but effective.
    "In petition drive, $3.02 talks".

    Charter schools

    The Miami Herald editors: "The Florida Constitution gives local school boards oversight responsibility for all public schools in their districts. The Florida Legislature, in a 2006 law, gave some of that responsibility to a state agency in Tallahassee. Is this a conflict? It certainly seems so from our vantage point. The Florida School Boards Association thinks so, too. So it has asked members to sue the state to clear up the matter. This is a good idea. All South Florida school districts should join the lawsuit." "New law boosts charter schools".

    Wingnuts in a dither

    "Rudy Giuliani probably will benefit most from the smorgasbord of conflicting presidential endorsements this week by social and religious conservatives, according to a handful of political insiders in the Florida conservative movement. The reason they gave: The endorsements show that the social and religious conservatives haven't found a compatible candidate to unify behind. That means there will be no unified, conservative opposition to Giuliani in the Republican primary race." "GOP Endorsements Likely To Benefit Giuliani Most".

    Will the Disney execs ask before pouring cash into Rudy's campaign?

    Hiaasen channels Robertson

    Nor will you catch me cavorting at Disney World, either. As I've stated before, God intends to smite the theme park with ''earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor'' for opening its doors to gay customers. ...

    Does Rudy Giuliani share these views? He hasn't said, and I haven't asked.
    "Rudy and Pat -- each other's new best friend".

<< Home