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 Monday, June 02, 2008

Bought and paid for

    "Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart co-sponsored a bill shortly after accepting $10,000 in campaign contributions from a company pushing the bill." "Diaz-Balarts back bill after donation".

    Monday funnies

    "Does Crist have a shot at being McCain's running mate?".

    Never ending story

    "Despite talk of compromise, words about healing, and headlines about Florida's delegation getting seated at the Democratic National Convention this summer, there is still massive anger roiling the ranks of party activists." "Many South Florida Democrats still unhappy about delegates". See also "The Florida compromise: 'It was a long day, and it's been a long, long time coming'".

    Adam C. Smith:

    State Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, made an impassioned case on behalf of the Clinton campaign to give Florida delegates full voting strength rather than half-votes, but said she agreed that a Clinton challenge now could damage the party heading into November.

    "Whichever one has lost, how they react will send a strong message to their supporters," Joyner said. "If he wins, she's got to step into the fold and support him strongly because a lot of her supporters are going to look to her for leadership."

    State Democratic chairwoman Karen Thurman expressed confidence on Sunday that the party would unify, and spoke wistfully about an Obama-Clinton ticket.

    "I still think they should band together," Thurman said. "They're both so historic and inspiring — the first woman and the first African-American — and it almost seems like they owe it to each other."
    "How Obama appeals to Clinton voters is crucial".

    "It's getting sharper and louder"

    "Florida voters will decide in November whether the state's constitution should define marriage as between and a man and a woman."

    Events now are shaping the tenor and volume of the campaign.

    It's getting sharper and louder, but not because of anything happening in the Sunshine State.

    Within hours of a California Supreme Court decision in May that legalized gay marriage there, the authors of Amendment 2 -- the Florida proposal -- had their megaphones out.

    "This is precisely why Florida needs to vote YES on Amendment 2 ... " said the leadership of yes2marriage.org.
    "Marriage amendment clash heats up".

    "Trivial issues"?

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "With Florida and the region facing so many serious issues, it insults voters when candidates obsess over trivial issues. It's also insulting to state Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, and West Palm Beach City Commission candidate Kimberly Mitchell, who have faced attacks based on irrelevant technicalities." "Give up on the gotcha!".

    "In the real world"

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "In the real world, the owner of a rental property must charge enough rent to cover the mortgage, taxes and insurance. If taxes or insurance premiums go up, so does the rent. In the real world, a rental property owner has only his or her own resources and skills to rely on to meet business obligations. There's no magic wand, no go-to genie for unanticipated expenses in the real world."

    Different rules

    But in the world of government, the rules are different. Broward County owns the BankAtlantic Center, home to the Florida Panthers, and leases the arena to the team's owners. They, in turn, manage the arena and pay the county rent.

    As managers of the property, the operators also are responsible for insurance and upkeep. The lease requires the arena to be insured at full replacement value. Now, though, the operators say they can't afford to insure the arena for its full replacement value because insurance rates have soared since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Many homeowners face similar rate increases, except they can't shift the burden to someone else. The company is insuring the arena for $150 million in damages. Yet the arena would cost at least $300 million to replace.
    "They're taxpayers, not insurers of last resort".


    "Husein Cumber, the Broward-bred young Republican fundraising whiz currently serving as deputy chief of staff to U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, will not be leaving the nation's capital when the Bush-Cheney crew decamps in January. President Bush nominated Cumber last month to a five-year term, starting in 2009, on the Surface Transportation Board, a regulatory agency that resolves railroad rate and service disputes and reviews proposed railroad mergers. Senate confirmation is pending." "Broward-bred GOP hotshot to stay in D.C.".

    No "irreversibly dooming", we promise

    "A federal plan to reduce water flows in the Apalachicola River won't irreversibly doom four federally protected species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday." "U.S.: Army Corps plan wouldn't doom species".

    Raw political courage

    "Crist has signed a bill requiring Florida elementary schools provide 30 minutes of continuous exercise daily for their students." "Crist signs new tougher physical education standards".

    "The answer may boil down to money"

    The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board: "Over the past seven years, the state's bill for powerful antipsychotic drugs surged from $9 million to nearly $30 million. The most troubling thing about the gain: The numbers of children -- as young as 7 months old -- prescribed these drugs doubled in the same time period. ... So why prescribe these drugs at all? The answer may boil down to money." "State late in considering drug effects on kids".

    Another Jebacy

    "Class sizes at Florida's public universities were already among the largest nationwide. Starting this fall, students should expect them to get bigger. Budget cuts at each of the state's 11 public universities have left a gaping hole in the faculty ranks - either through layoffs or vacant jobs gone unfilled. That means fewer freshman spots and fewer course offerings that give current students the flexibility they need in their schedules to graduate on time. It may only get worse. Here's a summary of cuts at three of Florida's largest universities." "Public Universities' Staff, Students Feel Sting Of Budget Cuts".

    That's our Buddy

    "Accompanied by two black aides, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson spoke Saturday at a NAACP meeting, touting his promotion of blacks in his office and the county's new optical scan voting machines." "Hillsborough elections chief meets with the NAACP".

    And "$17,000" is somehow OK?

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "After a three-year battle, Burger King has finally changed its jingle when it comes to Florida's tomato pickers."

    The fast-food giant recently agreed to join others in the industry to provide farmworkers in the state with an additional penny for each pound of tomatoes picked.

    It took a Senate hearing, a large protest rally outside Burger King headquarters in Miami and the public disclosure of a corporate dirty tricks campaign against farmworker advocates for the restaurant chain to come around.

    The agreement would increase tomato-picker pay by about 70 percent. Farmworkers earn an average of 45 cents for every 32-pound bucket, a wage that has barely budged in decades. The new wage of 77 cents per bucket would mean workers' yearly earnings could go from about $10,000 to between $16,000 and $17,000, a farmworker spokesman said.Unfortunately, there is still one major hold-out. The Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, which represents 90 percent of the state's growers, has taken an intransigent position against the penny-per-pound program.
    "Burger King does the right thing".

    Class warfare, yuppie style

    The Maitland housewife invokes class warfare to support drilling off Florida's coasts, asking: "why do we block energy companies from exploring many of our offshore waters for oil, including Florida's Gulf Coast?"

    The debate over drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been going on for years.

    Environmentalists say it would destroy the refuge, just as they erroneously claimed drilling would destroy Prudhoe Bay.

    The wildlife refuge is 19 million acres. Only 1.5 million would be open to drilling, and of that only 2,000 acres actually would be paved.

    When the wells ran dry, the equipment would be pulled up and the refuge would heal the small wound.

    No, we can't drill our way to oil independence. And more domestic oil would not bring down prices.

    But it could bring some stability and smooth the transition to an economy that depends less on fossil fuels. It could give us at least a small buffer against major disruptions in oil supply, disruptions that could push many working-class people off an economic cliff.

    Here in Florida, Charlie Crist is praised for his global-warming initiatives. What people don't understand is the huge power bills this will bring as utilities abandon coal for more expensive natural gas. And one reason it is so expensive is that we can't tap into massive natural-gas deposits offshore of Florida.

    Once again, guess who suffers?

    The green agenda is turning into a regressive tax on people who are increasingly incapable of paying it.

    The biggest foe facing environmentalists isn't Exxon. It's their own arrogance.
    "Going green means having green to spend".

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