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 Thursday, March 20, 2008

Never ending story

    "Entering a new phase of wrangling over Florida's disputed presidential primary, state Democrats are pitching formulas to seat at least half of the state's delegates based on the Jan. 29 election." "Florida Democrats push new plan to seat some convention delegates".

    "Two legislators who were involved in moving Florida's presidential primary to its rule-breaking Jan. 29 date called for Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to compromise Wednesday and get the state's delegation seated at the national nominating convention. 'I'm not sure, at the end of the day, that there's much more that Florida can do,' Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, said at a news conference. 'The campaigns are going to have to get in a room together and work this thing out.'" "Legislators call for candidates to compromise".

    See also "Clinton challenges Obama to back primaries in Michigan, Florida" and "Two state senators float compromise to count Dems' primary votes". More: "Wake me when its over".

    Guess who wrote this?: "By now it has probably dawned upon you as a resident of Florida, and therefore an eyewitness to hysteria, that the ham-handed galoots running the Democratic Party hereabouts make "The Honeymooners" Raccoon Lodge seem like a Marine Corps precision drill team."
    It should come as no surprise that state Democrats, who couldn't find their keister with the help of Sacagawea, Magellan and Charles Lindbergh, failed to figure out a way to re-enfranchise nearly 2 million voters who were told their Jan. 29 primary ballots were worth less than the opinion of Donald Trump's minions on "The Apprentice."
    "Whose Side Is Howard Dean On, Anyway?"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "The more solutions Democrats in Florida think up to resolve the presidential delegate stalemate, the more obvious it becomes that there is no solution except to have neither candidate win and to have none of the votes really 'count.'" "Dems' new non-solution".

    Might this story actually have legs?

    Charlie Crist nominated a non-lawyer 34 year old (spouse of Charlie's newly appointed General Counsel) who seems to be little more than a tanning bed attendant to be the well-paid chair of Florida's Public Employees Relations Commission. Background and more links: "Charlie's Angel" and "'Charlie's Angel' and her 'virtually blank' resume".

    The latest: "'She'll bring in a new general counsel at a salary exceeding $100,000, and I understand it'll be a tax attorney who doesn't know anything about labor law," [incumbent PERC Commissioner and Bush appointee Charles] Kossuth said. 'So the state will be spending $200,000 on two people that don't know anything.'" "Governor defends his choice for board".

    For background and additional links to Charlie's

    "Jeb!" dead enders won't go away

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Florida's school voucher experiment hasn't done much for public education. It has stirred controversy."

    For the most part, vouchers aren't popular. Serious concerns remain about the quality of education offered at many of the schools that accept the taxpayer-funded "scholarships."

    Yet they continue to be a high priority for lawmakers pandering to far-right splinter groups.

    The Legislature is considering a bill that would triple the money dedicated to a particularly insidious form of voucher -- a corporate income tax credit that launders taxpayer money for use in private, often religious schools (82 percent of the schools accepting these vouchers are religious).
    "Corporate 'scholarships'".

    "Snake oil"?

    Mike Thomas: "Want your property taxes to really drop like a rock? Forget Amendment 1. The real deal will be on the November ballot. I don't quite know what to think of this amendment proposal. It has the potential to do wonderful things for this state. But it also has the potential to wreck it. Here is why:" "New tax cut: Real reform, or latest snake oil?".

    Meanwhile, "Opponents of a measure aimed at cutting property taxes 25 percent have launched a quiet campaign hoping to thwart its placement on the November ballot." "Critics challenge tax-cut proposal".

    Wouldn't wanna to have too many hospitals would we

    "The chairman of the top House health care committee said he isn't very interested in acting this year on a plan by Gov. Charlie Crist to make it easier to open new hospitals. Crist has said one of his top health care priorities this year is to open up the process by which hospitals get the OK to start up. The current "certificate of need" process that hospitals must go through is costly and keeps new services from being made available, the Republican governor argues." "Gov. Crist's plan to open more hospitals meets met with legislative resistance".

    A Tampa welcome

    "Obama's pastor planning Tampa visit".

    Employers agin' the NRA

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Employers tell their workers what to do all the time when it comes to the workplace. Some prohibit them from wearing T-shirts or don't allow them to stage a political protest. They should also be allowed to tell their employees they can't keep guns at work, even if the guns stay in the parking lot. Yet gun lobbyists are trying to push through a state law that wouldn't allow businesses to ban guns in their parking lots as long as they are locked inside a vehicle and the gun owner has a concealed-weapons permit." "Our position: Legislators shouldn't fall for supposed compromise on gun bill". The Sun-Sentinel editorial board asks "Is the guy in the next cubicle packing heat?"

    Chapter 119

    "Sen. Dave Aronberg said he's just trying to ensure the safety of emergency medical workers who fear being threatened after responding to a call."

    But to open-government advocates, Aronberg's bid to make private the home addresses of EMTs and paramedics (SB1660) is among about 50 bills filed this legislative session that threaten to erode a key right of Floridians.

    "Where's the justification?" said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, which tracks public-records bills in the Legislature, noting that individuals' addresses are readily available on the Internet.
    "Balancing act: Public rights vs. privacy".

    Can't argue with that

    The Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "Legislators need to keep their pants on".


    "Supporters of a proposed University of South Florida campus in Lakeland took their pitch Wednesday to Gov. Charlie Crist, who last year vetoed state money to kick-start the project." "It's now or never, backers of USF campus in Lakeland tell Gov. Charlie Crist".

    Rolling the die on gambling

    The Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "Before the Legislature expands casino-type gambling across the state, the South Florida pari-mutuels need to demonstrate that gambling's a business that can meet its promised potential. The caution flag needs to go up on a state Senate bill to allow all Florida pari-mutuel locations to operate video-lottery terminals. The idea has been around for years, but lawmakers never gave it much support. That is, until the state economy hit a severe slump and now lawmakers are desperate for revenues." "Be wary of expanding gambling".

    Media transfixed ...

    ... on drunk whore's Florida connection.

    Kondo Kommandos beware

    "A newly released, bipartisan legislative report could lead to extensive changes in state laws protecting the millions of owners in Florida condo and homeowner association communities." "Legislative report: Get tough on condo, homeowner associations".


    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Florida's budget crisis may destroy drug treatment in Florida. But if lawmakers respond thoughtfully, the crisis could end up making the state's drug-treatment efforts and criminal justice system more effective. Across-the board cuts to treatment's already inadequate funding would render it all-but-irrelevant." "Cutting Drug-Treatment Programs Will Prove Costly To Taxpayers".

    As Charlie campaigns ...

    "Dynegy Corp. is planning to build a huge coal plant about 80 miles north of Tallahassee, in Blakely, Ga. Should this plant be built, it will adversely impact the health of huge numbers of people, not only in southwest Georgia but also in the Florida Panhandle." "Gov. Crist, help stop the new Georgia coal plant".

    He said it

    "Don't want to fork over $1,000 or more to see Hannah Montana in concert or another hot act? Then stay home. That's the advice of the Florida Legislature, where a bill to crack down on ticket scalpers was rejected by the House Agribusiness Committee on Wednesday."

    "Isn't this just free enterprise? People just have to pay the price or decide they don't want to go that bad," said Rep. Ralph Poppell, R- Titusville.
    "Anti-ticket scalping bill gets the ax in House panel".

    We wouldn't want to mess with those risk taking, job creating all-American entrepreneurs now would we. Wait a minute ... isn't "entrepreneur" an evil French word?

    Florida's booming economy

    "The main culprit: the high cost of living, demographers say." "High costs driving down South Florida's population". See also "Growth rate slackens in Florida, area".

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