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 Saturday, May 10, 2008

RPOF launches racist attack on FlaDems

    "For a sign of Florida Republicans' [desperate] all-out effort to attract black voters, look no farther than the glossy full-colored The Black Republican magazine that launches broadsides like these:"
    The KKK was the ''terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.'' Democrats, in addition to waging ''war on God,'' are still mired in sex and financial scandals. [No mention of Mark Foley, Larry Craig, David Vitter and that Bob Allen guy who was so afraid of black guys and that's why he offered a police officer $20 to perform a ...]

    That's all tucked in the back of the Sarasota-based National Black Republican Association's 60-page mag, the first half of which touts Republican Gov. Charlie Crist's civil rights record and the Republican Party of Florida's minority outreach efforts that the association has helped coordinate.

    The strident comments and images -- replete with a Ku Klux Klan rally snapshot that notes ''every person in this photo was a Democrat'' -- has outraged Democrats and caught the Republican Party of Florida flat-footed as well. ...

    [The black Republican association's chairwoman, Frances Rice] Rice said, she wants black voters to know the Democrats' history of "slavery, secession, segregation and socialism.''
    And why do Dems engage these ignoramuses and their with tepid responses like this?:
    Democrats say they don't dispute the central facts about the Democratic Party's role in pushing slavery, seceding from the Union and precipitating the Civil War. And they acknowledged that those pictured in the old KKK snapshot were likely Democrats, but said that was many decades ago.
    "Mag pushes racial buttons". You can read the mag here. The Black GOPer claims are laughers, and
    replete with what one historian calls "a totally fallacious rendition of the platform of the parties" requiring "African Americans having historical amnesia about their own history". The debate likewise plays out in Florida, with the august "Florida Federation of Black Republicans" asserting that "the platform of the Republican Party is influenced by Chrisitan [sic] values".
    "Florida Black Republicans". If you want to talk about political parties and race relations, regular contributor Eyeball gives us a little history:
    "Anyone who is politically curious has seen present-day Republican pundits proclaim their party to be historically 'the party of Lincoln'; what is unfailingly left out of this declaration is the historical metamorphosis of the Republican Party after Reconstruction. Anyone who does not understand this genealogy cannot hope to understand the predominately white face of today's GOP." "Why blacks shy away from the GOP". ...

    Ironically, but not surprisingly, Florida had a significant role in this Republicans are Blacks' natural political home flim-flam. After all, this flim-flam is based on what I think is ultimately the biggest flip-flop in U.S. political history, that is: GOPers selling out Black Americans to gain the Presidency in 1877.

    . . . a few scant years after the civil war, the Republicans sold Black Americans down the river and haven't looked back since. For those of you who don't know, The, in the 1876 presidential election, Democrat Tilden defeated Republican Rutherford Hayes in the popular vote. Democrat Tilden also defeated Republican Hayes with 184 electoral votes to Hayes' 165.

    However, with 20 electoral votes (from three states including Florida) were unallocated and in dispute. Here is where the Republicans sold out Black Americans.

    In the months following the Election of 1876, but prior to the inauguration in March 1877, Republican and Democratic leaders secretly hammered out a compromise. Through it, Republican Hayes was awarded the disputed electoral votes and hence the presidency (by one electoral vote).

    Here was what the Republicans promised to do in return for the presidency: incumbent President, Republican Ulysses Grant and incoming Republican Hayes would remove the federal (reconstruction) troops in Florida, South Carolina and Louisiana.

    With the loss of federal troop protection, "a retaliatory blood bath targeting African Americans promptly ensued throughout the South." This "famous 'Hayes-Tilden Betrayal' is said to have reversed many of the political, social and economic gains made by African Americans during Reconstruction." More: "Why blacks shy away from the GOP" ... "The Long Shadow of Jim Crow: Voter Suppression in America".
    "The Republican sell-out (and the Florida connection)". Goodness knows the Dems have a lot of blood on their hands, but this moronic attempt to rewrite history is simply pathetic.

    Obama comes to Florida

    "Barack Obama, growing confident he will be the Democratic presidential nominee, promised a group of uncommitted superdelegates Thursday that Florida's delegation will be counted at the party's national convention this summer." "Obama vows to seat Florida delegates, plans stop in Maitland".

    Bushco hood ornament at it again

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "The House, to its credit, heeded her words. It passed a bill named after Ledbetter that would give people 180 days to file legitimate claims after their latest unequal paycheck. The Senate, however, blocked consideration last month by a 56-42 cloture vote cast largely along party lines."

    One of the senators who voted against the Ledbetter bill was Florida's Mel Martinez. When asked about his vote during a visit to the Tribune's editorial board the other day, it became clear Martinez didn't understand the legislation.

    Martinez, a former trial lawyer, said there should be a reasonable time period to file lawsuits after discovering discrimination - the purpose of the legislation. A staff member reminded him that the bill would have removed the statute of limitations, which is not quite accurate. The legislation would have required people like Ledbetter to file suit within 180 days after discovering the discrimination, a pretty short window by civil-court standards.

    The senator also said that Congress has no business trying to override the court's ruling, which left us puzzled. After all, Congress is supposed to set policy, not judges.

    . . . it appears Martinez voted against women like Ledbetter simply to conform with party politics, not because he thought it was the right thing to do.
    So far so good, but the editors end the piece with two gross mistatements. First:
    Look at the label given Sen. John McCain, who has courageously worked with Democrats to get things done. Maverick is what many Republicans call him, and it's not meant as a compliment.
    When you're finished laughing at the McCain a "maverick" remark, check this out:
    Still, it's disappointing to see a moderate senator like Martinez put his party ahead of people.
    "Martinez Owes Better Account For Voting Against Equal-Pay Law".

    Buddy the dodger

    "Hillsborough Elections Supervisor Buddy Johnson was a hard man to find when lawyers for the NAACP wanted to question him as part of a federal voting rights lawsuit. For 18 days, process server Dan Neatherly tried in vain to find the elections chief and serve him with a subpoena." "18 days to serve Johnson subpoena".

    'Ya think?

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "A different direction: Drilling can't be main energy answer".

    Webster whines

    "If I don't get my deal, nobody gets anything, said Senate Majority Leader Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden, in the final days of the legislative session. And he got his way, meaning that nobody got anything, meaning that South Florida got stiffed by Tallahassee again on money to run Tri-Rail."

    And the whole hang-up was that secretly negotiated deal for CSX in Orlando. The immunity provision was so bad that Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink urged legislative leaders "to salvage this critical opportunity for Central Florida without saddling Florida's taxpayers with unlimited liability." Yet backers are appealing to Gov. Crist for a special session to salvage the deal.
    "Risky proposal for CSX blocks Tri-Rail progress". More: "Leaders say rail proposal still alive".

    "Denied their educational destiny"

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "One thousand accomplished young men and women who expected to enter the University of Florida this fall will be denied their educational destiny,"

    and what makes this injustice all the more disturbing is that most lawmakers won't even accept responsibility. The politicians blame a drop in taxable sales or not enough gambling, as though they are powerless to protect higher education.

    What they really lack is basic resolve. They lack the same commitment and sacrifice that typifies the tens of thousands of families and students who find a way, financially, to make their dreams possible. Now some of those same students are being told the door is shut.
    "The insult to these injuries is that political leaders still talk the game."
    House Speaker Marco Rubio opened this year's session by insisting: "We cannot have a vibrant economy without vibrant universities." Last year, Gov. Charlie Crist called for "a multiyear plan and action steps" to improve university quality and access: "It should build on my inaugural promise to create an education system that is not only the best in the country but the best in the world."
    "Legislature slams college doors shut".

    They're baaaack

    "Not only are lawyers back, but trial lawyers are back in force. It's enough to make Jeb wonder how quickly times have changed. The trial bar scored a number of victories during the 2008 legislative session." See what those "victories" Were here: "Lawyers feeling the Florida Legislature's love again".

    Safety, Schmafety

    "County Commission wants sheriff to cut $50 million from budget. " "Broward Sheriff's Office budget cuts could affect safety".

    A tuff read

    Mary Ann Lindley:

    I hate to think that it's just every 20 years that we can witness statesmanship in action, get a glimpse of men and women of different philosophical persuasions taking time to really listen to each other, enjoy the rare spectacle of discussions that rise above rancor and petty ambition.

    That approach toward public service was being celebrated Friday in the Senate chambers where Tallahassee lawyer Dexter Douglass pulled together a reunion of members of Florida's three Constitution Revision Commissions -- the first one in 1968, represented by its two surviving members, Robert M. Ervin and Reubin Askew. That was the pivotal CRC, which rewrote the state constitution of 1885, and then was followed by two more in 20-year spaces, one in 1978 and another in 1998.
    "Mary Ann Lindley: Still Life in Tallahassee".

    Healthy Start

    "Florida Healthy Start Coalition officials were caught off guard earlier this week when they were informed that the state would cut $2 million out of their budget because of a decrease in federal funding. On Friday, Department of Health officials calmed their fears when they said there would be money to supplement the program." "Florida Healthy Start gets additional funding".


    Daniel Ruth thinks the internet is "Where The Hapless Rally".

    Tide turning

    "Florida now has more Hispanic voters registered as Democrats than Republicans. The difference is small – less than a percentage point. But it reflects a long-term demographic shift that could benefit Democrats: the increasing dominance of non-Cubans, particularly Puerto Ricans, among Floridians of Hispanic descent." "Florida Hispanic Voters Now Lean Toward Democrats".

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