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 22, 2008

"Republican presidential candidates roared into Florida"

    "The four top Republican presidential candidates roared into Florida on Monday, hoping their carefully tailored messages on the economy, immigration and national security would help separate them from the crowded field." "Top GOP rivals in state for face-off". See also "Republican presidential candidates visit Orlando", "Republican candidates on 8-day blitz in Florida" and "Candidates pitch tax plans" ("Heading into the Florida primaries, presidential hopefuls are proposing rebates and breaks they say will help boost the slowing economy.")

    On the closed primary: Florida's primary is the first of the 2008 campaign to be closed to independent voters. That could hurt candidates such as Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, who have found strong support from independents in early states such as Iowa and New Hampshire." Moreover, "a record percentage of Florida voters will not have a say in the Jan. 29 presidential primary. Nearly 22 percent of the state's 10.2 million voters will be relegated to the sidelines because they are registered with neither of the major political parties." "Candidates face closed primary in Florida".

    Polls: "The latest polls show the Florida Republican primary as a statistical dead heat among McCain, Giuliani, Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Analysts say the winner could come away with all 57 delegates with as little as 28 percent of the vote." "GOP Contenders Appeal To Voters". See also "Economy top issue for voters, poll finds" ("Economic security has supplanted the Iraq war as the most important issue facing the country, according to a recent poll of older Florida voters sponsored by the AARP.")

    On the early primary: "It cost the state half its GOP delegates to this summer convention, but moving up the primary date has been a wise decision." "Attention from early primary date worth loss of GOP delegates".

    Cuban vote: "Supporters mobbed Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Monday at the venerable Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana, while rival Rudy Giuliani's banners were plastered across storefronts to the south and east." "GOP courting Florida's Cubans".

    Cat fund: "On the first full day that presidential candidates could focus on Florida a rift emerged among Republican contenders over a deeply parochial issue with national implications: a national catastrophic fund." "It's hurricane politics as candidates storm state".

    Poor Rudy: "In addition to a crowd of about 70 in Orlando, [Mr. 9-11] was confronted by members of a firefighters union protesting the former New York mayor's service after the Sept. 11 attacks. The International Association of Firefighters claims Giuliani failed to provide first responders with adequate radio equipment and respirators." More. See also "Giuliani gets bad news from three polls".

    McCain: "His presidential campaign abandoned Florida last year during a financial near-death experience, but John McCain returned to the Sunshine State with a bounce in his step Monday after primary victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina." "Political fortunes resurrected, McCain returns 'invigorated'". See also "McCain courts Cuban vote, reminds Florida of links to the state" and "McCain upbeat about winning in Florida in visit to Miami".

    More McCain: "As the presidential campaign unfurls across Florida, with candidates fanning out from South Florida to Pensacola on Monday, a central question undergirds the drama of who might win. The question is this: Why don't Republicans like Sen. John McCain very much?" "Past haunts McCain here".

    The Dems: "Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have begun a battle over Florida despite their promise to boycott the state, raising the possibility the pledge may break down. Monday, Clinton's campaign accused Obama of violating the pledge by running a national television ad that is airing in Florida, and hinted that in response, she will reconsider whether to abide by the deal." "Democrats' Pact To Boycott Florida Cracking".

    When did Charlie know?

    "Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink wants the Legislature to investigate a state investment fund that nearly crashed last year. Until it was too late, Ms. Sink says, she never saw a report critical of the horribly run fund. ... Bill McCollum, another of the three trustees, didn't see it, either".

    But what about Charlie? To this point,

    it isn't clear whether Gov. Crist, the third trustee of the State Board of Administration, ever saw the damaging audit after it theoretically became available to trustees in March.
    And where are our so-called legislative "leaders" on this. After all,
    last week, Ms. Sink asked legislative leaders to empower the state auditor general to "help get to the bottom of what went wrong at the SBA." Ms. Sink seeks the new probe in addition to "a thorough forensic accounting audit" because the existing "audit process itself may be flawed."

    As of late last week, Ms. Sink's office said, she had not received a response.
    "Curiouser and curiouser". Will this be swept under the carpet?


    "South Florida has long been a magnet for wealth, and over the past decade, the rich have gotten even richer." "The super-rich: Big money, big donors".

    The "primary frontier"

    "For the first time in decades, space policy is emerging as a presidential campaign issue and, political strategists say, could become a decisive factor in the race to the White House."

    In the run-up to Florida's Jan. 29 primary, candidates have begun to talk about their views on the future of human space exploration. On Friday, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani stopped at Kennedy Space Center to pledge he would give NASA the money it needs to return Americans to the moon and go to Mars. On Monday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney followed suit.
    "Space becomes primary frontier as candidates court voters in I-4 corridor".

    "State should scrap shadowy defender system"

    "Score one for justice -- a Tallahassee judge has shut down the state's attempt to create a 'shadow' public defender system in apparent conflict with the Florida Constitution." "A faulty scheme".

    "We cannot have both"

    "We want lower taxes. We want lower insurance rates. We cannot have both." "Mike Thomas: Insurance, taxes: 2 sides of the same coin". More: "Senate prepares for insurance tribunal". See also "Even if approved, tax amendment faces hurdles".

    Concealed weapons

    "Two bills have been offered in the state Legislature that would make it harder for people in Florida to get or keep licenses to carry guns. ... The legislation is the latest response to a 2007 series of articles by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which revealed that more than 1,400 people had active gun licenses even though courts found them responsible for assaults, burglaries, sexual battery, drug possession, child molestation — even homicide." "Two bills would tighten laws on concealed weapons". Meanwhile, "Marion P. Hammer, Tallahassee lobbyist for the NRA, could not be reached for comment despite messages left at her office.".

    MLK Day speech

    "Crist commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday with speeches about the importance of protecting civil rights, including the restoration of voting rights for most felons who have completed their sentences." "Crist marks MLK Day with speech".

    And then there's this ...

    The Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "True, from where exactly the governor plans to drum up enough money to jack up per student spending in Florida by 5.5 percent to $7,606 is a huge question mark. Florida's budget has come up woefully short, by billions of dollars in revenue throughout the past year. Prospects for 2008 don't look much better." "State should focus on where to spend extra education money before deciding how to drum it up".

    The Orlando Sentinel editors regurgitate right-wing pablum: "Merit pay will work if only given a chance. It doesn't make sense that Florida's best teachers earn about the same as the worst. Paying better teachers more will help keep them in the profession. Merit pay would also inspire other teachers to do better." "Our position: Strong leaders can revive troubled merit-pay plan for teachers".

    "Property-tax-relief plan may be in jeopardy"

    "Ensconced in a $650,000 home in Golden Eagle Plantation, one of Tallahassee's most exclusive subdivisions, former Indiana attorney and new Florida resident Bob Bruner is an unlikely poster child for 'second-class citizen.' But Bruner and his attorneys are in court arguing just that. The fate of Amendment 1, and its promise of $9.3 billion in property-tax relief, could hang in the balance." "Amendment 1 facing legal challenge". In the meantime, "Amendment 1 support wavers in South Florida".

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