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 Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Grubbing for the RPOF knuckle-dragger vote

    "Top state legislators say they're ready to join the fight over putting the word 'evolution' in Florida's public school science standards to ensure that it's taught as just a theory and not as fact."
    Rep. Marti Coley, future House Speaker Dean Cannon and state Sen. Stephen Wise, all Republicans, say they're considering filing legislation this spring that would specifically call evolution a ''theory'' if the state Board of Education approves the proposed science standards Feb. 19 as currently written.

    For the first time in state history, the standards would clearly call on all science teachers to instruct middle- and high-schoolers about evolution and natural selection.

    The proposed standards just say ''evolution,'' not ``theory of evolution.''

    Though Wise says biblical creationism should be taught alongside evolution, Coley said she doesn't want to go that far with evolution.

    ''It's technically a theory. Let's present it for what it is'' Coley told The Miami Herald on Tuesday.

    Coley's proposal concerns backers of mainstream science because they fear the word ''theory'' could be easily manipulated to cast doubt on evolution, a pillar of biology.
    Check out this brain trust:
    Coley, who believes in intelligent design, said she also thinks it is too religious to teach in science classes. But she's ready to use the power of the Legislature -- which can override the Board of Education -- to insert the word ''theory'' into the standards.

    ''We are prepared,'' Coley said..

    Coley hasn't filed legislation but has discussed that option with next year's House Speaker designate, Ray Sansom of Destin, and his likely successor, Dean Cannon of Winter Park, and Will Weatherford, Republican of Wesley Chapel.

    Cannon said intelligent design should ideally be taught, but would leave that issue up to the "curricular experts.''

    And Wise, who said he is considering ''legislative remedies,'' went a step further by saying that creationism should be taught in schools.
    "Evolution: Just a theory?". See also "2 votes for new science lessons".

    Dems voted last week, GOPers vote this week

    "Election officials across the state said they fielded hundreds of phone calls from confused voters asking where they could vote Tuesday, apparently unaware that Florida's presidential primary was last week." "Floridians Attempt To Vote". See also "Confused Florida voters try to cast ballots in Super Tuesday primaries".

    Good little GOPer

    GOPer "Kathy Dent's decision to ask for an opinion on banning observers from her ballot counting room sparks concerns, and draws interest elsewhere." On top of that, "last month, the Florida Fair Elections Center published a report that contained 11 pages detailing 'errors and misconduct' by Dent and her staff in November 2006. And the U.S. Government Accountability Office is expected to release a long-awaited report on that election on Friday." "Sarasota County elections chief drawing more fire".

    JJ Blueprint

    "In one of his last acts before moving from Florida's juvenile-justice system to the adult prisons, Walt McNeil presented a report Tuesday intended to keep thousands of young people from doing the same thing." "State receives 'Blueprint Commission' report".

    Off topic

    "A 72-year-old veteran wanted a Florida Prisoner of War license plate so badly that he lied about being a former POW. A Collier County judge sentenced Raymond Gauthier to 90 days in jail Tuesday for possessing a phony form used to apply for a POW license plate and discount as a war veteran." "Man gets jail for bogus try to get a POW license plate".


    "Risk issue worries Florida insurance panel". More: "Further testimony sought in rate hikes".

    "Insurance hell"

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board

    For the past few years, Florida's politicians, Republican and Democrat alike, and property insurers in the state have been like those two armies, slinging barbs instead of arrows. But neither has thrown down the final gauntlet when, presumably, a Sunshine State version of insurance hell would be unleashed.
    "Crisis maximus". We understand the need for "balance" and all that, but haven't the GOPers been in charge the last few years or so.

    Bay cash

    "Tampa Bay area campaign donors favored Barack Obama over Hillary Rodham Clinton last year, although together, the Democratic presidential hopefuls easily surpassed the combined dollar amounts raised by all of the remaining GOP candidates." "Local Donors Lean Democratic".

    Just askin'

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Before actor Wesley Snipes' trial for tax evasion began in Ocala last month, his attorney tried three times to have it moved from the Central Florida city, claiming the black actor couldn't get a fair hearing because of racial prejudice. In court filings, Snipes' attorney called Ocala 'a hotbed of (Ku Klux Klan) activity,' and alleged prosecutors chose it to get the best chance at an all-white jury. Last Friday, ... an all-white jury ... acquitted him of two more serious felony charges and three more counts of failure to file." "A Verdict On Rushing To Judgment".

    Could it have been that they disliked the IRS even more? Just askin'

    Lock 'em up!

    "Florida is arresting and locking up way too many teens, including many who are no threat to public safety, while ignoring prevention programs meant to keep them out of prison, according to a report from top state leaders released Tuesday." "State's teen crime policy needs fix, new report says".

    There goes Florida's low wage workforce

    "Calling illegal immigration a 'major problem' in Florida, state Rep. Gayle Harrell on Tuesday celebrated a series of bills that she and others said would make it tougher for employers to hire undocumented workers and would push local law enforcement to help identify illegal immigration." "Bills target undocumented workers".

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board:

    Immigration always has been a potential source of conflict. New arrivals to the United States can force economic competition and cause collisions of culture and race.

    Regularly, out of irrational fear or self-interest, demagogues have fed on these inherent conflicts and advanced agendas that range from intolerance to hate. Traditionally, news organizations tried to determine the line that separates legitimate, vigorous discourse on volatile immigration issues from the xenophobic comments of extremists. Today, civil rights groups worry that not only is the line getting harder to determine, news organizations are crossing it, not trying to monitor it.
    "Calling out demonizers on illegal immigration". All that is well and good, but when will the traditional media get around to recognizing that exploiting illegal immigrants is a bad thing - and a substantial portion of Florida's economy is predicated upon artificially low wages inconsistent with basic principles of supply and demand, all of which is rationalized by the false assertion that U.S. citizens won't do the work. See "Try Capitalism", "Out here in the fields" and "Why not try old fashioned supply and demand?"

    There's an idea for 'ya

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board:"" "Amendment 1 already making an impact — on requests for higher appraisals".

    GOPer GOTV strategy

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board points out that Florida's statutes are replete with prohibitions against"same-sex marriage:

    All that restrictive language should be enough to reassure even the most skittish Floridian that gays and lesbians won't be exchanging vows or trying to transfer a marriage. But no. Last week, the Department of Elections confirmed that a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Florida will go on the November ballot. To Article I, the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment would add: "Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

    So there. Same-sex marriage wouldn't just be illegal; it would be unconstitutional, beyond the power of some future namby-pamby Legislature or court that might want to turn parts of Florida into Cape Cod or San Francisco. Of course, it also would be the first part of the constitution to restrict rights, not grant them. It would make the Florida Constitution a document that protects pregnant pigs but not human beings who want to be part of what people who will vote for this amendment describe as the foundation of society. It could make things tougher for Florida companies trying to recruit employees. ...

    Instead, it will create a noisy, well-financed distraction as Floridians vote for president. The state's future depends on many things. This amendment isn't one of them.
    "Same ol' same-sex ban".

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