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 Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida Primary News

    "Election Day is off to a rocky start in Central Florida with a number of problems cropping up early in voting precincts from Deltona to MetroWest, including one Democrat who was told by poll workers there was no Democratic primary today." "Problems cropping up early in local voting precincts".

    More: "1-million have already voted". See also "Voters aren't apathetic this time" and "Early votes' rise stirs unease".

    "Florida voters again stepped under the electoral spotlight Tuesday, their choices certain to influence the balance of the presidential nominating extravaganza -- and likely to help shape their own economic well-being." "Polls open; Florida's vote is primary now". See also "P.B. County expects lag in election results", "Florida votes Tuesday for GOP, Democratic presidential nominees", "Plenty at stake in today's elections" and "Officials predict heavier turnout".

    "Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney spent a week hammering each other on the economy and national security heading into the Florida presidential primary that could solidify one man as the party's front-runner." "McCain, Romney work to get voters to polls in Florida showdown". See also "Zigzag to the finish", "Republican candidates take final swings through Florida" and "Heavy early voting spurs high turnout expectation for primary".

    Party switchers: "More than 44,000 Florida voters switched parties in the last two months of 2007 to vote in today's presidential primary, open only to registered Democrats and Republicans. ... A sliver of good news for Democrats — every member they lost to the Republican Party was replaced by one defecting in the other direction, with a few to spare." "Thousands swap parties before primary".

    McCain: "McCain, 71, stresses judgment in answering questions about age". Don't mention the ear trumpet, it makes him mad.

    HRC: "Stung by her lopsided loss to Barack Obama in South Carolina, Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to shift her momentum in Florida - even though its Democratic primary won't count for much." "Clinton tries to bounce back in Florida, despite low stakes". See also "AP NewsBreak: Nelson cites Clinton's experience in endorsement".

    Rudy: "Rudy Giuliani, having bet almost his entire presidential campaign on Florida, hinted for the first time that he may drop out if he doesn't win the state's primary but insisted anew as the polls opened Tuesday that he intends to win." "Giuliani seeks one more 'I told you so' in high-stakes Florida primary".

    The Dems: "Competition fierce for zero delegates in Florida". See also "Clinton, Obama snag endorsements from Democratic bigwigs" and "Clinton rally in Davie to end Democrats' Florida boycott".

    "Jeb's supposed education 'legacy'"

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "Florida doesn't need a renewed fight over school vouchers. But if cronies of former Gov. Jeb Bush are going to foist that battle on Floridians, at least they could do so openly and honestly."

    Instead, they want to have a fight over school vouchers without uttering the dreaded words, school vouchers. They know that they never could win approval of a constitutional amendment that said this: "Florida taxpayers shall provide tuition vouchers for K-12 students to attend private schools, including religious private schools." Instead, they want the ballot proposal to have this heading:

    "Freedom to Choose Among Public and Private Providers of Public Services." The text of the proposed amendment would further explain that individuals "may choose among public and private or sectarian providers of state-funded public services for services such as health care and education."

    Using that kind of deceptive language instead of talking straight up about school vouchers would undermine public confidence in other proposals from the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission. ...

    [W]hy, with so many other problems, is the commission still getting hung up on school vouchers?

    For one thing, six of the 25 voting members served on Gov. Bush's staff or were appointed by him to prestigious posts. Five of those six are on the Governmental Procedures and Structure Committee, which on Friday introduced the school voucher proposal. The key member is Patricia Levesque, Mr. Bush's former education adviser who now is executive director of two - count 'em, two - vanity foundations whose purpose is to protect Jeb's supposed education "legacy."
    "It's the tax commission, not the Jeb commission".

    Charlie playing football

    "Win or lose, Amendment 1 is unlikely to be the final word on property tax relief in Florida. Gov. Charlie Crist, who led the campaign to pass the proposed state constitutional amendment Tuesday, said it's just one step in a process he compared to a football game." "Win or lose, amendment may not be end of tax cutting". See also "Supporters, foes of property tax plan make final push", "Despite millions spent, nobody can predict if Amendment 1 will pass" and "Proposal's fate in voters' hands".

    "A proposed state constitutional amendment on property taxes weighed as heavily as the direction of the country on the minds of Florida voters Tuesday." "Property taxes weigh on Floridians voting in presidential primary".

    "Regardless of whether voters accept or reject Amendment 1 in today's presidential primary election, Florida will not be a different place on Wednesday." "Heavy lifting".

    "Resistance is futile"

    "Picture this: You're trying to get away from the primary election returns that are pouring forth on every TV channel, radio station, even your cell phone and home computer -- so you jump in the car and go for a relaxing long drive Tuesday night. No such luck. Resistance is futile. For the first time, the numbers will even be flashing from billboards." "Sign of the times -- billboard results".

    Another Jebacy

    "Florida's Medicaid pilot project has failed -- and the state should forget any notion of expanding it."

    Two studies, including one by the inspector general of the state agency that oversees Medicaid, have detailed serious problems with the pilot programs now under way in Broward and four other counties.

    The Medicaid pilot needs to heal itself first. That is the point of doing a test. You don't replicate a pilot project that hasn't worked.
    "Medicaid project -- a flawed experiment".

    Early voting

    The Tampa Trib editors: "Florida needs to rethink its drawn-out system of voting for two weeks prior to an election day. Voting started Jan. 14, and much has changed since then." "The Frustration Of Premature Voting".


    "With Floridians completing their presidential primary voting today, it's worth mentioning again that Democrats and Republicans have to modernize the system that determines who runs for president." "Change primary system".

    Time for Charlie to put on a happy face

    "A University of Florida survey has found consumer confidence dipped to its lowest level in more than 15 years."

    Economists at the university's Survey Research Center at the Bureau of Economic and Business Research said one measure in particular - consumers' confidence about national economic conditions - dropped to the lowest point since August of 1992.

    The overall measure of how confident consumers are in Florida slipped in January to the lowest level in 16 years.

    "Consumer confidence in Florida reflects the same conditions we had during the recession of 1990-91," said Chris McCarty, director of UF's Survey Research Center. "Florida is almost certainly in a recession now, and the country is not far behind. Most economists agree that we are in for at least two quarters of very low growth."

    Four of the five measures in the index dropped.
    "UF survey finds consumer confidence at 16-year low".

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