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 Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Jebbie takes a job as a staff writer with the Orlando Sentinel

    The Orlando Sentinel has an article this morning attributed to "Jeb!", with the following byline:
    "Gov. Jeb Bush | Sentinel Staff Writer"
    I believe this is called a Freudian slip.


    "The slight, silver-haired gentleman shops at Publix, eats at Subway, drives his yellow Mustang with the top down alone along the St. Petersburg waterfront, and parties with the frat crowd in the capital city of Tallahassee." "Unfinished business remains for first-term 'people's governor'".


    "Mandatory no-fault auto insurance is back today, and the million-plus Florida drivers who've been pocketing hundreds of dollars in premium savings since October because they elected to go without the coverage will soon be hit with surcharges to resume the coverage." "No-fault coverage required again".

    Make what you will ...

    ... of this:

    The Democratic National Committee voted Aug. 25 to punish Florida for scheduling its Jan. 29 primary earlier than party rules allow, and stripped all its convention delegates.

    Since then, 17,808 Hillsborough voters switched political parties, a Tribune analysis of party-switching data shows.

    About 2,500 more switched their party affiliation in Pasco County.

    Are they upset with the DNC move?

    Some may be. Both in Hillsborough and Pasco, more than 600 voters switched out of the Democratic Party.

    The national party penalty didn't seem to influence a number of others. In the same period, 4,082 Hillsborough voters switched their party affiliation to Democrat. (As did 751 Pasco voters.)

    A similar action by the Republican National Committee – nixing half of Florida's convention delegates – also doesn't seem to have had much impact.

    In Hillsborough, 399 voters switched from Republican to something else; 3,417 switched to the GOP.
    "Thousands Switch Parties: Is There A Primary Reason?".

    Joe Martinez challenger

    "The first contested race for next year's Miami-Dade County Commission elections was set up earlier this month when event-marketing entrepreneur Whilmer ''Whilly'' Bermudez opened a campaign to challenge incumbent Joe Martinez. Bermudez said he was encouraged to run by former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez." "Businessman steps up to challenge Joe Martinez".

    "The quality of life in Florida is on a downhill slide"

    After a decade of GOPer rule: "Life in Florida has changed in ways many residents don't like."

    Higher costs of living are sending folks elsewhere to retire. Some property owners are paying the tax collector far too much. Yet the state faces big shortfalls in revenue for education, roads and a variety of services. ...

    Taxes now rank as the state's single biggest concern, with little relief on the way. The constitutional amendment on the ballot Jan. 29 does very little to help newcomers, who pay a disproportionate share of property taxes. Lawmakers can and must do better if Florida is to become an agreeable home for the wealthy, middle class, retirees and those on limited incomes.

    The Census Bureau just reported that the state's population growth in 2006 was below 200,000, the lowest of the new century. Growth in 2007 may prove even slower because word is out about the skyrocketing cost of living here ...

    The quality of life in Florida is on a downhill slide, say 43 percent of those polled in the annual Sunshine State Survey. That's a big jump in pessimism from the 36 percent who felt that way in 2006. Only a third think things will keep getting worse, but that's cold comfort when only 24 percent see a more rosy future. ...

    Florida residents identify taxes as the most important issue facing the state, surpassing last year's leader - education. Twenty percent put it atop a long list of concerns, well ahead of public schools at 15 percent.

    Taken together, all the pocketbook issues - taxes, government spending, insurance, the economy, jobs and the cost of housing - are what an overwhelming majority of us are most concerned about.
    "Residents' Lower Opinions Of State Spotlight Big Challenges For 2008". More: "South Florida home prices continue to slide".


    "State Sen. Gary Siplin celebrates reversed conviction".

    Is this what the Trib means when it says "government should be run as a business"?

    "Florida has one of the lowest ratios of state employees per capita in the nation. In 2006 it had 106 full-time state workers per 10,000 population - above only Illinois (103) and Nevada (104). The national average that year was 142. The state also ranked last in ratio of public payroll expenditures per resident. The state spent $36 per resident last year. The national average was $56, the study said." "State government grows for first time in eight years".


    "Mike Thomas: Buddy Dyer takes 2007 honor pulling Orlando toward 2020 despite setbacks, money woes".

    Rudy's Southern strategy

    "Rudy Giuliani will watch Thursday's Iowa caucus results from Florida, underscoring the Sunshine State's importance to his hopes of winning the Republican presidential nomination. While GOP rivals Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson are blanketing Iowa this week in preparation for Thursday's first-in-the-nation caucuses, Giuliani made his final pre-caucus visit to the Hawkeye State on Saturday and is focusing his attention this week on New Hampshire and Florida." "Giuliani to concentrate on Florida".

    Off topic

    "Florida crooks, cops, common folks kept the state weird, wacky and wired in 2007".

    Enough with the photo ops, Charlie

    "Florida last year ... looked despairingly on the federal government's continued foot-dragging on Everglades restoration."

    In 2007, Gov. Crist appeared in a lot of photo ops declaring his intent to lead in environmental matters. This year, he needs to take the state beyond photo ops into more concrete action, such as suing to allow the states to set higher vehicle emissions standards.
    "Future Happy New Years can start with this one". On a related note: "Eco-incentives: Help to go green".

    Miller sells his soul to Bushco

    "According to a database compiled by the Washington Post, Miller voted with a majority of his Republican colleagues 89.4 percent of the time during the 110th Congress. On the Congressional Quarterly Politics database, his score was 98 percent, based on votes through Aug. 4." "Miller: I won't sell my soul".

    Florida's booming economy

    "More families face home foreclosure in Orlando area in 2008".


    "Ailing leader Fidel Castro saluted the Cuban people for their "50 years of resistance" against the United States in a written message read on state television shortly before the first minutes of the new year." "Fidel Castro salutes Cuban people for '50 years of resistance'".

    Garbage in ...

    ... garbage out. "Jeb!" shows us why he is such a (self proclaimed) "deep thinker": "Florida's students are shining". "Raise bar, don't backpedal, on school standards".

    'Bout time

    "Hundreds of felons imprisoned in Florida for crack cocaine convictions could be released early after recent changes in federal sentencing guidelines." "Crack felons could get out early".

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