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, December 13, 2007

"A couple of questions"

    Bill Cotterell has "a couple of questions:"
    # Could Crist deliver Florida? Probably, but only if the state is leaning "red" next year anyway. Agnew didn't swing Maryland to Nixon, who carried Florida even without Kirk (in a three-way race helped by George Wallace.) It's doubtful many votes are changed by vice-presidential nominees.

    # Second, why can't Florida produce national leaders? The Great Mentioner, a mythical Washington figure conjured up by former New York Times columnist Russell Baker, has cited Sen. Bill Nelson for the Democrats and Crist for the GOP — so we can all write, "...also mentioned as possible candidates are...."

    You'd think a big state with such a diverse population would yield better presidential timber than, say, Arkansas or Georgia. Yet two of our finest governors, Reubin Askew and Bob Graham, never got past the earliest elimination. LeRoy Collins would have been a better choice than Lyndon Johnson in 1960, but Kennedy needed Texas more than Florida (24 electoral votes vs. 10, back then).

    The 2007 Legislature redundantly changed the law so Crist (or Nelson) won't have to resign to run for vice president. If history and current campaign circumstances are any guide, though, they'll each be on platforms across Florida next fall, grinning gamely as they introduce "the next vice president of the United States..."
    "Looking for a VP?".

    Lining up

    "A coalition of unions today announced their plans to oppose the property tax constitutional amendment. ... The opponents known as Florida Is Our Homes include the firefighters, Florida AFL-CIO, Florida Education Association, Florida PTA and League of Woman Voters." "Unions coalition to oppose property-tax amendment". See also "Police, teachers, government workers form group to fight tax cut plan" and "Group: Anti-gay marriage amendment meets goal for Florida ballot". More: "Tax fliers target teachers".

    "Florida TaxWatch, the business-backed watchdog group that favors property-tax reform and government belt-tightening, says voters should reject a Jan. 29 referendum that cuts property taxes by about $9 billion over five years." "Reject tax referendum, group advises voters".

    Meanwhile, "Poll shows property tax is top concern for voters" ("Leadership Florida released its annual "Sunshine State Survey" of issues concerning Floridians. The poll of 1,200 Floridians by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. of Washington said 20 percent cited property taxation as their top concern, followed by education at 15 percent.")

    Over in Rubio-world, "Rubio calls property tax amendment a starting point": "The proposed property tax amendment on January's ballot doesn't offer enough savings, House Speaker Marco Rubio said Tuesday, but added he'll vote for it anyway and work on a plan to improve it.".

    "Tackle sprawl or voters will"

    "With a public fuming over congestion and sprawl, state planners and legislative leaders are again seeking ways to better manage Florida's growth."

    But unlike years past — when politicians and planners passed tough growth laws only to water them down afterward — they're up against a possible public uprising.

    Florida Department of Community Affairs Secretary Tom Pelham asked lawmakers Wednesday to consider sweeping changes to the state-review process that decides what gets built and where — aimed squarely at the slow-growth Florida Hometown Democracy amendment that could go before voters next year.
    "Florida's top planner tells legislators: Tackle sprawl or voters will".

    Same-sex marriage

    "Supporters of a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage in Florida are slated to announce Thursday that they have enough signatures to put the issue on the 2008 ballot." "Same-sex marriage foes push for ban". See also "Group gathers signatures for gay-marriage-ban amendment" and "Sponsors: Fla. gay marriage amendment reaches signature goal".

    This is a regular laff riot: "Florida4Marriage condemns opponents tactics": "The leader of the campaign to pass a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Florida blasted opponents Thursday for what he called a "deceptive and dastardly" attempt to scare seniors and other non-same-sex couples into thinking it could cost them benefits."


    "When will a legislator from Palm Beach County or the Treasure Coast be willing to thwart lawsuits aimed solely at muzzling public comment on controversial developments? Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) litigation is designed to stop people from speaking out at meetings, writing letters to newspapers, or posting information on the Internet. The expense of hiring attorneys, and the hassle of dealing with these proceedings, often silences not only those who are sued, but also their neighbors." "Curb court harassment of development critics".

    'Ya think?

    "State panel: Stop sewage flow into ocean": "The daily dumping of 300 million gallons of lightly treated sewage three miles out into the ocean by Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties should cease, the chairman of a key state Senate committee said Wednesday".

    One man's "excellence" ...

    "Academies of Excellence, the management company that ran charter schools Osprey and Sawgrass, lost its appeal to the Florida Charter Schools Appeals Commission. The state board of education will make the final call in January." "Charter schools' operator loses appeal".


    The Tampa Trib editors embarrass themselves yet again: "Suppressing Speech On Campus Hurts University's Prestige".


    "Crist, in Tampa today for a meeting of the National Governors Association, defended his clean energy policies against naysayers." "Crist Defends Energy Plan".

    Cuba talk

    "Democrat Barack Obama supported the ''normalization of relations with Cuba'' when he was a U.S. Senate candidate in 2003, taking a more liberal position than he has espoused as a presidential candidate." "Candidates toughen talk on Cuba in S. Fla.".

    "Sitting in a warehouse"

    "Here we are, more than two years beyond the disastrous hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, and generators purchased to provide life-sustaining electrical power for storm shelters that serve people with medical problems are still sitting in a warehouse." "Progress on generators is simply disastrous". See also "Lawmakers angry that emergency preparedness money not spent".

    "Job 1"

    "Four special sessions have eaten into legislators' time, so they took advantage of this week's opportunity for a fundraising blitz." "Job 1 this week: raise money".


    "The Everglades restoration effort, perpetually troubled by soaring costs and shaky finances, faces a broad state and federal reassessment that could shrink, slow or even eliminate some projects. The South Florida Water Management District on Wednesday ordered up a formal ranking of its Everglades priorities, following the lead of a key federal agency already doing the same thing." "State to rethink Everglades restoration priorities".

    "At least in Georgia"

    "The hysteria about sex offenders, so disproportionately destructive of the lives it prosecutes, is beginning to ebb -- at least in Georgia. Florida should learn lessons from its neighbor." "Judicial corrections".

    Brain trust

    "In an unusual detour from the Sunshine State, Gov. Charlie Crist flew to Louisiana's capital Wednesday to meet a "kindred spirit" in that state's governor-elect, Republican Bobby Jindal." "Crist visits 'kindred spirit' Jindal".

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