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, June 04, 2008

Another Jebacy

    This is easy:
    OK, Floridians, it's sad that your state ranks next to last in health care for children.

    And, yes, be embarrassed that 548,000 children lack health insurance in the nation's fourth-largest state.

    But how about trying out a new emotion? Why not get mad? Really mad. Mad enough to force Gov. Charlie Crist and lawmakers to take dramatic, bold action to help children lead healthier and, ultimately, more productive lives.
    Who with half a brain wouldn't share these sentiments, expressed this morning by the The Orlando Sentinel editorial board? They continue:
    But where Florida is really failing its children is in access to health care. The state ranked dead last. With so many children uninsured, it's no wonder kids aren't getting regular check-ups and so few have regular doctors.
    "Our position: Floridians ought to be outraged at inattention to kids' health care".

    OK, let's get mad and fix it, and while we're at it get mad and fix the myriad other horrible problems in this state. Unfortunately, it takes money to do that, and Florida has gone the other way when it comes to generating State income, all with the complicity of the most of the traditional media.

    "The right-wing media elite", as opposed to ... ?

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board:

    In the past eight weeks, Palm Beach home sales twice have broken the island record. The first was for $81 million. Then Donald Trump cracked the nine-figure barrier with a $100 million sale - to a Russian. How fortunate that one slice of the South Florida real-estate market is healthy. But the news is sadly reflective of the times.

    Some members of the right-wing media elite puzzle over the recent survey showing that 80 percent of American adults are pessimistic about the country's future. They wonder why national consumer confidence is the lowest since 1992, the end of the last serious recession. To them, the answer will sound like "class warfare." That response is a way of avoiding the truth.

    After you factor out what would be national unhappiness over any surge in prices for gasoline and food, many Americans worry about two underlying assumptions on which this country has been built: Work hard, and you'll get ahead; work hard, and your children will live better than you do. As study after recent study has shown, the America of the past few years has been a place where the very rich have become much better off, and most others have fallen behind.
    One has to wonder where the The Palm Beach Post editorial Board would put itself on the spectrum, which includes the "the right-wing media elite"?

    The editors a quick to make clear that
    all this is not to engage in "class warfare." It is to point out that America depends on a healthy, optimistic middle class, and that the presidential candidates and their parties need to offer those Americans some reason to believe that if the system can't make things fair, the system shouldn't make things more unfair.
    "Pessimism, explained"

    What exactly is "class warfare" anyway?

    Sarasota Blue?

    From Roll Call: "The latest in a series of lawsuits against Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) alleging consumer fraud at car dealerships he owns was filed last week, turning up the heat on the freshman lawmaker and setting the stage for a long, hot summer in central Florida. Individuals close to the lawsuits are also signaling that allegations of campaign finance violations by Buchanan could become a key plank in the growing caseload against the lawmaker — lawsuits that could number seven by July 1." This could be blockbuster for poor Vern:

    Those charges are expected to include the illegal funneling of dealership money last cycle into Buchanan's campaign account.
    And it ain't coming from a bad source:
    Joseph Kezer, a former finance director at Buchanan's Sarasota Ford dealership ... Kezer also alleged in an interview with Roll Call that he observed campaign finance violations ahead of Buchanan's narrow 2006 victory against bank executive Christine Jennings (D). In the most expensive House race last cycle, Buchanan spent more than $5 million of his own money, according to CQ MoneyLine, to win by 369 votes.

    Buchanan is expected to face a rematch with Jennings in November.

    Some of the Buchanan campaign's record $8 million outlay in the 2006 campaign, according to Kezer, likely was laundered corporate cash funneled through higher-ups at Buchanan's numerous dealerships.
    "Buchanan Faces Another Lawsuit" (subscription required).

    Voucher (and related) madness

    "Florida voters don't like the idea of sending public dollars to religious schools, but another measure on the November ballot for school vouchers has more traction, according to a poll released Tuesday by Quinnipiac University."

    - "Amendment 2, the gay marriage ban, has 58 percent support."

    - "Amendment 5, a proposal to supplant most school property taxes with sales tax, has 50 percent support."

    - "Only 38 percent of voters are in favor of removing a ban in the Constitution against funding religious organizations".
    And the kicker:
    The poll showed 63 percent of voters support the two-part measure, which would require that 65 percent of education funding be used in the classroom and reverse a state Supreme Court ruling barring private school vouchers.
    "Voters voice opinions on amendments, Crist". More: "Word change ups chances for school vouchers".

    Florida's booming economy

    "Florida Power & Light is asking to be allowed to charge more for electricity because of skyrocketing fuel costs." "FPL seeks 16 percent hike for fuel costs".


    "Three weeks before the Seminole Tribe is set to start operating blackjack and other card games at its Hard Rock Casino near Hollywood, Pompano Park's Isle Casino wants a federal judge to stop it, alleging the games are illegal." "Casino files suit to stop Seminole Tribe games".


    "State workers recognized with Davis Awards".

    It is a bit more than mere "bad taste"

    Even the brain trust comprising The Tampa Tribune editorial board can figure this one out, although some of us might consider : "Group's Giant Confederate Flag Flies In The Face Of Good Taste".

    How nice

    "Alligator hunting permits on sale".

    Is this what the RPOFers mean by "trimming the fat"?

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "Budget cuts push defenders into corner".

    More: "Miami-Dade County's public defender says his office plans to refuse most felony cases because state budget cuts mean his attorneys can't effectively cover their caseloads." "Miami-Dade public defender says he will turn away felonies".


    The The Tampa Tribune editorial board whines that

    It's dismaying that seven years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks highlighted the importance of communication among all emergency personnel, Tampa continues to limp along with an obsolete system.
    ''Ya think?.

    Is this what the RPOFers mean by "cutting the fat"?

    "Beginning next month, motorists traveling at night and on weekends won't be able to count on the Road Rangers for help if they have a flat tire or run out of gas." "Roadside aid program shrinks".

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