Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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, January 17, 2008

Florida primary news roundup

    "Romney's win Tuesday in Michigan enhances the role Florida voters will play in settling the question, experts [sic] said Wednesday." "4-Way Race Hangs On Florida".

    The comeback kid ver.7.0? "Revived by his must-win victory in Michigan, Republican Mitt Romney took his campaign to South Carolina but launched a significant new effort in Florida." "Romney renews push in Florida".

    Poor Rudy is grasping at straws: "To allow Rudy Giuliani to speak on Sunday, the Sun City Center Community Association had to change its rules. That has left some residents unsettled. Some may picket the invitation-only event, scheduled for 10 a.m. at the association's Community Hall ... three board members have called an emergency meeting for Friday to revisit whether the association should allow political activities on its property." "Change in rules lets in Giuliani". See also "Giuliani touts his plan for national catastrophe fund", "Giuliani pins his hopes for GOP nomination on a victory in Fla." and "Giuliani attends rally in Panama City".

    No comment: "Joe Lieberman, the one-time Democrat who narrowly lost the vice presidency, stumped in South Florida for a Republican presidential candidate Wednesday evening, putting his former party on alert: The GOP is after the Jewish vote." "Lieberman, GOP seek out Jewish vote". See also "Lieberman campaigns for McCain".

    Oh yeah, ... the Dems: "Florida Democrats who hope the state's sheer size will draw attention to their shunned presidential primary may have gotten a gloomy preview from the treatment of slightly smaller but similarly penalized Michigan."
    As news networks began declaring Mitt Romney the winner among the Republicans in that state, the three leading Democrats sat at a table 1,800 miles away in Las Vegas, debating race and nuclear waste disposal. The network carrying the debate, MSNBC, did not even mention the result in Michigan, which saw Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York take 55 percent of the vote.

    The ho-hum reaction was predicted by Kirk Wagar, Sen. Barack Obama's Florida finance chairman, who believes a similar response awaits the Florida Democratic results on Jan. 29.

    "It's about seeing how people who respond to the different messages when people compete head to head," Wagar said. "We have not been able to talk directly to the Florida voters since August."

    Clinton supporters point out a major difference between the two states' Democratic primary ballots: Obama, of Illinois, and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina withdrew their names from the ballot in Michigan, whereas Florida law allows only those candidates who have dropped out of the race entirely to take their names off the ballot.
    "Ho-hum reaction might follow Florida Democrats' vote". Nevertheless, "Democrats urge party faithful to vote in Jan. 29 presidential primary".

    Meanwhile, "as Barack Obama races from South Carolina to Nevada, Megan Foster sits in her Tampa home planning the unofficial, underground Obama Florida strategy. Her resources, to put it politely, are limited. It's the grim reality of a volunteer for a Democratic candidate in Florida these days." "Campaigns without candidates".

    Bushco's pool boy is at it again

    Florida's "snarling right-winger" is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, after all he's not done "anything worth remembering"; yesterday, he shared his military expertise with a tuff audience of fellow country clubbers: "Speaking to about 200 people at Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club, Martinez said things have changed dramatically for the better, thanks largely to the leadership of Gen. David Petraeus, who commands the multinational forces in Iraq."

    During a roughly one-hour talk at a Pasco County Council of Chambers leadership luncheon, Martinez also spoke about a national catastrophic fund, electronic surveillance of terrorists and presidential campaign issues, among other topics.

    "Gen. Petraeus has engineered one of the most brilliant turnarounds in military history," said the senator, a former trial lawyer, Orange County GOP chairman and Cuban immigrant who fled the Castro regime at 15. "People can see that we're winning - even in Hillary Clinton's mind. It's still complicated and difficult, but U.S. casualties in December were the lowest in four years.

    "We can leave Iraq, not as defeated but as a nation that helped stabilize Iraq. Think of the difference in saying, 'We defeated al-Qaida in Iraq' or 'We were defeated by al-Qaida in Iraq.'
    "Sen. Martinez Hails War 'Turnaround'".

    Hey Mel, surely you're aware that the al-Qaida folks that attacked us are in Pakistan and Afghanistan, not Iraq.

    And this is a bit much, even for "Mr. Cellophane": "Petraeus has engineered one of the most brilliant turnarounds in military history". Yeah, Mel, right up there with the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter.

    They should start in Tally

    "Florida needs to pursue others' example on wind farms".

    Amendment 1

    "Passion is evident in competing campaigns over the proposed amendment." "Competing campaigns over tax amendment both draw passionate crowds".

    "Crist, entering his second year as governor, has put passage of the constitutional amendment squarely on his own shoulders - his face graces all of the green, yellow and orange campaign literature and at least three 'Yes On 1' billboards along the Interstate 4 corridor. He's donated $10 to the campaign and helped raise $3.3 million more." "Crist cheerleader-in-chief for property tax amendment". See also "Crist rallies for property tax amendment".

    If you can get past Mike Thomas' semi-weekly Jeb-worship, he makes some good points on the effects of amendment 1:

    The most recent projection is that schools would lose about $1.6 billion statewide in the next five years. ...

    State lawmakers say they would protect education from cuts, which is laughable.

    To do that, they would either have to raise the taxes that were just cut, or pour a lot more money into education from the general budget.

    The general budget is primarily funded by sales taxes, which are plunging along with the economy.

    Last year lawmakers had to cut $1 billion from the budget, including $290 million from education. This year they will have to cut at least another $2 billion.

    There is no way to spare education. During the 2001 recession, schools took a $639 million hit.

    So schools will get slammed, even if the amendment doesn't pass. It simply inflicts another wound in an already bleeding budget.
    "Amendment 1 will take even more money from schools".

    Does it include bloggers?

    "The Senate should follow House in approving shield law that helps watchdogs".

    Killing trees

    "This summer's switch from touch-screen voting machines to computer-scanned paper ballots means printing four million sheets of paper before each major election, [SOE] Sola said." "Millions ride on minor ballot issue".

    Those "special sales-tax exemptions" under review

    Scott Maxwell writes that "The Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission is slated to meet today in Tallahassee." He notes that "if members of this group have our best interests in mind, they may just finally stand up to special interests. You see, for too long, there have been special sales-tax exemptions on way too many things -- everything from limousine rides and bottled water to dry-cleaning and lawyer bills. From newspaper ads and accounting fees to ostrich feed and even space satellites."


    "Term-limited Sen. Geller eyes Broward Commission".

    Allstate[s] except Florida

    "Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty says he will stop Allstate from selling new car insurance in Florida in reprisal for the company failing to hand over records subpoenaed three months ago." "State may freeze insurance sales". See also "Florida hits Allstate in the moneymaker: Auto policies", "Florida suspends Allstate from writing new auto policies" and "Allstate surprised after Florida suspends license on auto policies".

    The Miami Herald editors: "State insurance regulators and lawmakers are sticking up for Florida consumers, who are long overdue for a break. Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty's slap at Allstate on Wednesday was an appropriate response to the insurer's lack of cooperation. Regulators and consumers deserve to know why some insurers want to raise rates after participating in a state program that should have lowered, not raised, premiums." "Enough is enough".

    The News-Journal editors: "Administering a stinging wrist slap to the 'good hands people,' state Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty told Allstate that it must stop issuing new automobile-insurance policies in Florida. The rebuke should be felt by other insurers in the state, many of which seem to be acting in concert and in defiance of a state law requiring lower rates for property owners." "A little less talk, a lot more . . .".

    Pahokee, Belle Glade and South Bay

    "Takeover? Make the case".

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