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 Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Nightmare on Adams Street

    There's a horror flick filming in Tally: "Adams Street in Tallahassee was mobbed Monday morning. But the usual lobbyists and lawmakers scene was replaced by a film crew. The HBO movie Recount drew a number of stargazers who witnessed the real 2000 recount." "Hollywood hits Tallahassee".

    "Seven years after the election drama that put George W. Bush in the White House, HBO is shooting the movie Recount in the town where the behind-the-scenes decisions were made and where the decision-makers are expecting as much Hollywood spin as political fact from it all." "Hollywood puts a spin on recount". More: "HBO stirs memories of the 2000 recount during Tallahassee filming" and "Film crews descend on Tallahassee seeking 'Recount'".

    Feeney the fool

    Scott Maxwell wrote the other day of this letter from a reader:


    I recall during the 2000 election that Tom Feeney was quoted as calling Al Gore a "loser." Now that Gore's won an Oscar and a Nobel, feats that Feeney couldn't achieve in six lifetimes, I wonder if Feeney has changed his mind? Or perhaps he's just as mean-spirited now as he was then?
    "Well, Tim, the congressman was happy to respond - and happy for Gore . . . well, sort of. Responded Feeney:"
    I'm delighted that former Vice President Al Gore - some people believe he was president-elect for 36 days - has been able to parlay his failed policies in the real world to a huge success in Hollywood's movie fantasyland. Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize from socialist academics in Scandinavia now shares the company of Yasser Arafat and Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize for bringing permanent peace to the Middle East. (How well has that worked out?)
    What is pathetic ... indeed bordering on sad ... is that Feeney really means it.

    I'm not saying he's a Republican", but ...

    One wonders what Feeney's response would be to this: "Mayor Jeff Krull was arrested tonight on six counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of showing lewd and lascivious material to a minor." "Mascotte mayor arrested".

    I'm not saying he's a Republican", but ... he has just endorsed this GOPer : "http://willpruitt.com/index.htm"

    Allen update

    And then there's this, just one more case in a never ending GOPer saga: "Jury selection continued at a slow pace Monday in the [gay] sex-solicitation trial of state Rep. Bob Allen." "Jury selection continues in Rep. Allen's trial". See also "Waiting to be judged, Rep. Bob Allen watches slow selection". See also "Allen jury selection enters second day".

    While we're talking sex scandals, the Democrats are certainly not immune to similar charges, although the nature and number of GOPer scandals beggar the imagination - here are some of them.


    "After months of running a lackluster reelection campaign and having his signature policy idea shunned by his own party, Republican state Rep. Carl Domino emerged last week as a rejuvenated Portability Man." "Portability issue gives Domino needed lift".

    To the extent you care ...

    ... here are the "10 reasons why Mike Thomas won't vote for Florida's property-tax cut".

    From the "values" crowd

    The News-Journal editors: "The state ranks 48th in per-capita mental-health spending, ahead of only New Mexico and Arkansas. Unlike many states, Florida has no dedicated source of funding for mental-health and substance-abuse programs." "Challenge is sustaining mental-health services".

    New public counsel

    "James R. Kelly was chosen Monday as Florida's new public counsel to represent the state's consumers in rate cases before regulators." "Legislative panel chooses longtime agriculture consumer director".

    Another privatization disaster

    The St Pete Times editors:

    To read the report of a distinguished review team is to confirm the worst fears about foster care in Pinellas County: Three years after the Sarasota Family YMCA took over the job from a group that had previously failed, child protection is still in chaos and the YMCA is in denial.

    So stubborn is the YMCA's resistance to criticism that the review team questioned whether it could ever change. "If the YMCA continues to believe that negative perceptions ... are only due to a few disgruntled former providers ... and does not take the community's concerns and the recommendations of this report seriously," the team wrote, "it will continue to be plagued by similar issues and conflicts."

    In formally presenting the report to YMCA board members Tuesday, Lee Haworth, chief judge of Florida's 12th Judicial Circuit, was similarly direct. "I do want to make this clear," Haworth said. "There needs to be a big change. There needs to be a serious change."

    The question that now presents itself squarely to State Department of Children and Families secretary Bob Butterworth is one of scope: Is the YMCA capable of such dramatic change, or does he need to look for yet another new provider? Given the scale of the documented problems, he has little choice but to seek the latter.
    "Child protection chaos".


    "Florida agriculture sales are down $726 million this year, due mostly to an ongoing drought that a state House committee was told Monday probably will continue to worsen. The gloomy outlook could mean once-a-week water restrictions by the end of the year, South Florida Water Management District Director Carol Ann Wehle said." "Panel mulls Lake O's impact on agriculture". Related: "Officials say South Florida drought will worsen next year" and "As Lake Okeechobee's level falls, more water restrictions are likely".

    Murdering murderers

    "Two death row inmates asked the Florida Supreme Court on Monday to rehear their challenges to the state's lethal injection procedure." "Inmates seek rehearing on execution method". See also "Justices asked to rehear lethal injection challenge". The Tampa Trib editors: "State Should Forgo Execution By Lethal Injection For Now". The Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "No need to rush back to executions".

    A liar then and a liar now

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "In 2002 [when it was useful for Bushco to appear like they gave a damn about Florida] , President Bush vowed to restore the Everglades. In 2007, he doesn't want to keep that pledge." "Help out the Everglades by overriding Bush veto". And if you believed him then, you'' probably believe this too: "Latest U.S. energy plan: Use power of oceans".

    Local voters

    "Voters in six Miami-Dade cities -- some big, some small -- will go to the polls Tuesday, with Miami Beach and Homestead voters choosing a new mayor." "Voters go to polls in 6 towns".


    Romney is forced to defend himself at a gathering of Florida "Federalist Society" (right-wing) lawyers:

    At a speech in Davie Monday hosted by the conservative Federalist Society, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney defended passing over GOP lawyers for judicial appointments when he was governor of Massachusetts.

    Of the 36 lawyers Romney nominated, 23 were registered Democrats or independents who donated to Democratic candidates or voted in Democratic primaries, according to a Boston Globe analysis that was circulated by rival Fred Thompson. Two appointees supported expanding gay rights.
    "Romney defends passing over GOP lawyers for judgeships". More: "Romney talks about conservative judges, social policy in NSU speech".


    Michael Mayo "The mysteries of the Jenne years go on. Soon we'll see what the judge thinks." "With Jenne's sentencing looming, mysteries still abound".


    "The starting gates will be formally filled with nine Republicans and eight Democrats today for Florida's Jan. 29 presidential primaries." "Ballots certified with 14 official candidates today".

    Florida's shame

    On Monday, the dopes at

    the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, a group representing more than 90 percent of the state's tomato farmers, said the Yum and McDonald's deals [with a Florida farmworker advocacy group in 2005 to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes] "will not be executed and now are considered moot."

    Even though growers aren't responsible for paying the extra penny per pound — McDonald's and Yum are — they object to a third party getting involved in setting pickers' wages.
    The reasoning:
    Tomato pickers have long been characterized as low-paid migrant workers who toil long hours in the Florida sun. The penny-per-pound deal would raise their pay by about 70 percent, the Immokalee Workers group has said. Plus, the deal was hailed as a template for improving pay and working conditions in other agricultural industries.

    On Monday, the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange said growers who supplied Yum Brands under the penny-per-pound deal will not do so this year. The McDonald's deal never went into effect, the exchange said.

    In a press release, the exchange said its members have nixed the program because of "concerns over federal and state laws related to antitrust, labor and racketeering." Brown said such concerns arose over third-party involvement in the wage-setting process.
    "McDonald's farmworker raise fought by growers". Credit Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's, A&W All-American Food Restaurants and McDonald's for their conduct in this matter. Too bad
    the future of [the] landmark deal to help tomato workers earn more money was cast in doubt Monday when the state's largest association of growers said that none of its members would participate in the deal and that it did not believe any other growers would either.

    Taco Bell owner Yum Brands Inc. signed a deal with a Florida farmworker advocacy group in 2005 to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes, money that would be passed on by growers to the workers. And earlier this year, the company added its other restaurant chains, including Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's and A&W All-American Food Restaurants, to the agreement.

    The growers association had previously said its members would not participate, but its assertion that no growers are participating is new.

    Following up on Yum's decision, McDonald's Corp. also agreed to a similar deal with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. That deal was to go into effect for the first time this harvest season, which begins later this month.

    Taco Bell buys roughly 110 million pounds a year at about $100,000, said Yum vice president Jonathan Blum. The Louisville-based Yum's other chains buy a fraction of that amount. Yum Brands said it had two tomato suppliers in Florida last year, but did not immediately confirm how many it had this year, if any.

    "Our agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for the Florida tomato pickers still stands," Blum said. "We think it's the right thing to do."

    McDonald's Corp. said it was still in discussions with the coalition and its Florida produce suppliers and would not comment on the assertion by the Florida Tomato Grower Exchange.

    "As we stated previously, McDonald's and our produce suppliers are committed to working with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to address wages and working conditions for farm workers who pick Florida tomatoes for McDonald's U.S. restaurants," McDonald's USA spokesman William Whitman said in written statement.
    "Landmark deal to pay more to tomato pickers in question". Meanwhile, one of the companies on the side lines: "Burger King 1Q profit up 23 pct".

    Charter school follies

    "The Palm Beach County School Board will decide Wednesday whether to appeal a state ruling that took away its exclusive authority to grant approval for charter schools." "School Board may vote to appeal state decision on charter schools".

    Good luck

    "If all goes well today, election results could be in earlier than usual, by an hour or even more. If all goes well. In an election. In Sarasota County. That is the nervously offered estimate of Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent, whose office is rolling out a new $3 million voting system to the county's 156 precincts." "Variety of issues and people on ballot".

    Another press conference

    "Crist announced two major initiatives Monday to strengthen alternative energy in Florida: A $182 million deal for a garbage-to-electricity plant in Tallahassee and a pledge to encourage Congress to end an import tax on Brazilian ethanol." "Gov. Crist announces major initiatives to strengthen alternative energy".

    Strike ends

    "A nearly five-month strike of about 500 workers involved in space-shuttle launch operations at Kennedy Space Center ended Sunday with ratification of a new contract, according to a news release from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 2061." "NASA machinists end strike".

    Obama in Sarasota

    "Barack Obama became the first major Democratic candidate for president to venture into Sarasota, wowing a crowd of about 200 people at a private home on Bird Key with a speech that focused on his experience, those who attended the event said." "Obama at Sarasota fundraiser".

<< Home