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 Monday, December 24, 2007

"Only 20 percent"?

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "When you consider what Florida has gone through in the past three years, the news may not be that 20 percent of us are considering a move out of the state. The news may be that only 20 percent of us are considering a move out of the state."
    In 2006, 36 percent of respondents thought that the state would be a worse place to live in five years. This year, it was 43 percent. Not only has Florida's growth been slowing, the kind of growth may be changing, as reflected in the declining school enrollment.
    "Florida isn't empty yet".

    Jebbie's "failed experiment"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Like any failed experiment, Florida's Medicaid reform requires some changes before being repeated and duplicated." Jebbie "claimed his reform plan would relieve Medicaid's ballooning cost to Florida; it's $16 billion this year, 22.3 percent of the state's budget. But the Georgetown team found that, a year into the changes, it's uncertain whether the state is saving money, including 'whether administrative costs are higher than in regular Medicaid.'" "Fix the Medicaid fix".

    Comeback kid?

    "Former Tamarac state Sen. Skip Campbell is thinking about his New Year's resolution for 2008 and it goes something like this: beat Jeff Atwater, the North Palm Beach Republican senator who is the GOP's choice for Senate president in 2009 -- if he is reelected." "Campbell considers comeback in 2008".

    Stop the madness

    "Port St. Lucie Councilwoman Michelle Berger proposes to 'help' St. Lucie County's public schools by providing a subsidy to parents who can afford to send their children to private schools."

    In fact, assuming that the private schools lowered their tuition at all - and didn't just pocket the savings as additional profit - the cost of tuition still would be out of reach for the families of most children and certainly for the poor who, statistically, are most likely to make low scores on the standardized tests that misguided state policy insists be used as the main factor in assigning school grades.

    How does taking relatively wealthy students out of public schools do anything to improve the scores of students left behind? Besides, private schools - even those getting most vouchers - don't have to give the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test that is given at all public schools. Where's the competition in that? Maybe this. As Schools Superintendent Michael Lannon points out, private school cherry-picking would mean that 'more of your room mothers, chaperones on field trips and supplies are gone' from public schools.
    "Drop idea of subsidies to lure private schools".

    Cognitive dissonance

    The Tampa Trib editors - worshipers of the "greed is good philosophy - think folks ought to be volunteering more:

    Given the economic downturn, social service agencies know this spring's legislative session will be painful. Yet legions of nonprofits are lining up with palms outstretched, looking for some sort of Tallahassee Santa Claus.

    Their ranks include advocates for the homeless, the disabled and the mentally ill. Affordable housing is high on the wish list. So, too, is more money for foster parents, and grandparents who keep their grandchildren out of foster care.

    But what if these organizations were to make a different pitch?

    What if rather than asking for money in these tight times, these nonprofits asked for volunteer hours - something small, like two hours a week?
    "They Say Time Is Money, So Who's Asking For Yours?".

    Mack attack

    "It’s been several weeks since state Sen. Burt Saunders announced he will run against incumbent Congressman Connie Mack in the 2008 election."

    Yet no one seems to know how Saunders’ entrance will impact it.

    Saunders, a Naples Republican throughout his 20 years as a Collier County commissioner, state representative, and state senator, will run with no political party affiliation against Mack, who is a Republican from Fort Myers. ...

    The 14th Congressional District Mack represents is solidly Republican, and it is unclear if Republicans will view Saunders as one of their own, or if they’ll refuse to vote for him if he doesn’t have the “R” next to his name.
    "A GOP vote divided? Some speculate on whether state Sen. Saunders, a Republican, running with no party affiliation in ‘08 will draw votes away from Congressman Mack".

    Cheap-out unconstitutional

    Missed this the other day: "A Leon County judge rules a new plan by the Legislature to save money on attorneys for poor defendants violates the state constitution." "Indigent legal-cost savings plan is rejected".

    If you wanna vote ...

    "Registration deadline nears".

    And Merry Christmas to you too

    "Woman's burning body found near church", "Armed carjackers attack man, threaten woman, daughter in Volusia" and "Man stabbed at party dies".

    Class size retreat?

    The Orlando Sentinel editors:

    It's easy to understand why Floridians are wary of lawmakers tinkering with the state constitution's limits on school class sizes.

    After all, the Republican-controlled Legislature fought the class-size limits even before voters decided to amend the constitution in 2002. Former Gov. Jeb Bush campaigned against the amendment and even joked that he had a "devious plan" to gut the initiative he said would bust the state's budget. Republicans even tried to repeal the amendment, to no avail.

    Voters were adamant and they got their wish. As the measure has been phased in over the past five years, fewer students have been crammed into crowded classrooms, particularly in South Florida, where the problem was worse.
    "Our position: Lawmakers should let school averages apply to avoid education upheavals".

    "$240 windfall"?

    "At first glance, opponents of a $9.3 billion property tax slashing plan on the Jan. 29 ballot appear to be a dollar short, and if not a day late, running out of time."

    Subtract time off for the holidays, and organizers have less than a month to convince Floridians not to vote themselves an average $240 windfall — and defy a cheerfully centrist governor with stellar approval ratings.
    Fortunately, voters are not necessarily motivated by feel-good Charlie's happy face:
    Floridians may be very fond of Charlie Crist, but they grew up respecting their teachers and venerating the uniformed army of public servants who protect their homes, fight their fires and dress their wounds ... .

    "The polls repeatedly show that the trustworthiness of police, firefighters, teachers and nurses is always high," ... .
    "Property tax plan far from shoo-in".

    Is nothing sacred?

    "In some religious families, there's no such thing as Santa Claus".

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