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 Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Not exactly a jury of his peers

    "Six jurors and two alternates were selected today in the prostitution-solicitation trial of state Rep. Bob Allen. Allen was arrested in July and charged with soliciting prostitution, a second-degree misdemeanor. Police said the Merritt Island Republican agreed to pay $20 to perform oral sex on an undercover police officer in a men's restroom at a public park. He faces up to a year in jail and a $500 fine if convicted." "Jury selected in Bob Allen case". See also "6 jurors selected in state Rep. Bob Allen trial" and "Allen trial finally under way".

    No doubt the prosecutor would have agreed to a jury of Allen's peers - six Christian Coalition members; however, it seems Allen was going after jurors that probably would never vote for him and would disagree with Allen's (public) proclamations on morality:
    Half of the Brevard County residents picked to decide state Rep. Bob Allen's fate on a solicitation charge said Tuesday they either aren't sure or don't think prostitution should be a crime.
    "Arguments start today in Allen case". Not exactly a jury of Allen's peers - or at least the folks Allen wants fellow Brevard County GOPers to think are his "peers".

    Background: "Christian Coalition Darling Arrested for Soliciting Gay Sex in Public Restroom".

    Might we expect more Florida election follies?

    "A sweeping new elections law passed with great fanfare earlier this year is coming under the scrutiny of the U.S. Department of Justice, which wants to make sure parts of it won't discriminate against minorities."

    Buried in the lengthy 42-page law, which forced counties to switch to optical-can voting machines for the fall 2008 elections, are changes to identification requirements for voters as well as new requirements for groups that register voters.

    Because of past discrimination in five Florida counties -- Monroe, Collier, Hillsborough, Hendry and Hardee -- the federal government must sign off on changes to election law. While the federal government can block the law or parts of it from taking effect in only in those five counties, Florida law requires voting standards throughout the state to be uniform.

    An Oct. 29 letter from the Department of Justice says the agency needs more information to decide the impact the changes will have on minority voters.
    "State voting law under scrutiny".

    Despite the "it ain't no big deal" spin, this is a serious matter: "a former Justice Department attorney says the letter is uncommon and means federal officials will conduct a serious study." "State voting procedures under new scrutiny". More: "Feds seek more information on Florida voting procedures".

    C'mon Charlie ... go for it!

    "We then inquired whether that meant he would not accept the nomination if it's offered- or that he was too busy to think about it now." "Vice President Crist?".

    Local elections (and the latest GOPer sex scandal)

    This loser was unrepentant: "'They [the child molestation allegations] are contrived allegations against the mayor to break on the day before elections so that he would be discredited in the eyes of the people. I feel it is an attempt of an adversary to discredit me.'". "Mascotte mayor facing molestation charges loses re-election bid". For more, see "I'm not saying he's a Republican", but ...". See also "Small town mayor faces molestation charges".

    More local stuff: "'Outsiders' triumph in St. Pete election", "Challenger Lenny Marks wins DeBary District 1 seat", "Homestead elects first female mayor", "Election results across Central Florida", "Key West mayor narrowly wins", "Venice growth challengers win big" (background: "Republicans on edge in Venice"), "2 newcomers in Palm Bay", "In vote for commissioners, Miami stays course", "Former [Bradenton] councilman ousts richer incumbent", "Angry [Sarasota] voters cast their ballots against growth" and "3 [Hialeah] incumbents win reelection".

    Paint ballers have their turn

    "A keystone of Batiste's defense is that all the talk about terrorism was aimed at proving to the informant, known to Batiste as 'Brother Mohammed,' that his group was bona fide -- when the real aim was money." "Defense opens case in 'Liberty City Seven' trial".

    "Hurry up already"

    The Sun-Sentinel editors: "After failing the people of New Orleans when a corps-engineered levee collapsed with devastating results, you'd think the Army Corps would be eager to prove itself. Instead, there are signs agency officials still do not grasp the urgency required." "Sense of urgency missing from Army Corps' Lake Okeechobee dike repair plan".

    "And, they’re off!"

    "In a brief, businesslike meeting at the Capitol Tuesday, leaders of the Florida Democratic and Republican parties adopted Florida’s official starting lineups for the Jan. 29 presidential primaries." "Dems, GOP adopt starting lineups for primaries".

    Charlie on a deadline

    "The federal government told Gov. Charlie Crist that it will take steps to allow expanded gambling in Seminole Indian casinos if he doesn't reach an agreement with the tribe by Nov. 15." "Feds Give Crist A Deadline On Indian Gambling".

    Got a "claim"? ... here's half a million bucks

    Frank Brogan is one tuff negotiator: "Florida Atlantic University gave former chief fund-raiser Lawrence Davenport more than half a million dollars in severance pay because he threatened legal action that could have reflected negatively on the school, according to state officials. ... President Frank Brogan told auditors he agreed to the $577,952 severance package because Davenport said he had 'claims' against the university that he was 'prepared to pursue through the judicial process.'" "FAU paid outgoing official to avoid bad press, state says".


    "Florida's drought has had a major impact on agriculture, with losses hovering around the $1 billion mark." "Farming losses near $1 billion, with no end to drought on way".

    It's Seminole County after all

    "Republican Chris Dorworth appears to be headed to Tallahassee as the next state House representative for District 34." "Dorworth, Andrews, Lucarelli appear headed to victory".

    "Drop like a rock"

    "Commissioner Burt Aaronson, a Democrat, lobbed the harshest criticism, mocking the proposal as a failed effort by Gov. Charlie Crist to meet a pledge of making property taxes 'drop like a rock.'" "Impact of tax package worries Palm Beach County commissioners".

    "Tear Down Walls"

    The Tampa Trib editors: "To ask whether people of faith who have given millions to a ministry have been duped, is a particularly delicate question."

    Yet that's what [Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa]is getting at in letters sent Monday to six ministries, including Without Walls International Church in Tampa. The senator wants detailed responses to financial questions about how church leaders handle donations and spend the money.

    Pastor Randy White and his former wife, Paula, founded Without Walls in 1991 as "the perfect church for people who are not." Today, it is one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in the country, and the preaching Whites are rich and famous.

    Some of their tactics have come under scrutiny in articles in the Tribune. For one, they borrowed $170,000 from a widow and failed to keep promises to her or pay her back until reporters revealed the problem in the pages of this newspaper.

    The Whites should take this chance to answer Grassley's questions and prove their ministry is what they say it is: a ministry calling people to the service of God.
    Read more here: "Senator Asks Pastors To Tear Down Walls".

    Fill in the blank

    "If you've ever wanted to fight City Hall, this may be your chance." "Cast your vote for (your name here) on Election Day".


    "House overrides Everglades veto". This Bushco sycophant has finger in political wind: "Mica joins Democrats in water resources bill vote". See also "Everglades restoration projects that would be authorized in the Act".

    Meanwhile, "Looking out over the vast Everglades, it's clear this is not the Florida of yesteryear." "Florida to face tight water restrictions after another lean year".

    Off topic

    The "we support our troops Dubya" wingnuts are at it again: "published reports say anti-porn and religious groups are complaining to Congress and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that certain materials supposedly banned from military bases in 1996 are still being sold there."You've seen it before:

    groups like the American Family Association call the material pornography, and are trying to get Congress to make sure the Pentagon enforces the ban on the stuff.

    Please. Military personnel risk their lives every day to defend our rights, and yet some anti-porn groups are applying pressure because they don't want that same military to have the right to look at certain materials — including many materials readily available to civilians.
    "Pentagon has bigger battles to fight than 'Playboy' at PX".

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