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, June 28, 2008

Charlie and McSame's clumsy "attempts to swim back to shore"

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board:
    The oily plunge that presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain and Gov. Charlie Crist took into the eastern Gulf of Mexico last week was not nearly so awkward, it turns out, as their attempts to swim back to shore. The waves of Florida offshore oil drilling politics are knocking them all over the place.
    A detailed chronology of the GOPer foolishness can be found here: "McCain, Crist views on offshore drilling swim in circles", including this howler "McCain, in 1985, opposing California lawmakers who wanted to limit oil drilling there: 'This resource belongs to all Americans. It seems incredibly arrogant for the California delegation.'"

    Let's pretend 2000 never happened

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "It is neither coincidence nor an indication that they have nothing better to do with their silver-haired years than discuss democracy and the future of the United States of America that Bob Graham, R. Fred Lewis and Sandra Day O'Connor share a passion for invigorating civics education once again." "Keepers of the flame".

    Might that be the same "addled and uncertain Sandra Day O'Connor" who, as Jeffrey Rosen wrote for the New Republic joined in Bush v. Gore?

    The unsigned per curiam opinion in Bush v. Gore is a shabby piece of work. Although the justices who handed the election to Bush--O'Connor and Kennedy--were afraid to sign their names, the opinion unmasks them more nakedly than any TV camera ever could. To understand the weakness of the conservatives' constitutional argument, you need only restate it: Its various strands collapse on themselves. And, because their argument is tailor-made for this occasion, the conservatives can point to no cases that directly support it. As Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer wrote in their joint dissent, this "can only lend credence to the most cynical appraisal of the work of judges throughout the land."
    "Disgrace". See also "Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and O'Connor: Continued Lame False Defense of Bush v. Gore" and "The Shame of Sandra Day O'Connor".

    Ms. O'Connor has brass ones to come to Florida and talk about "democracy". If anything, she ought to be taking a course on "civics".

    "The process favored those with money or political connections"

    "It has taken Gov. Crist about 14 months to correct an injustice that his predecessor fostered during eight years in office."

    Crist has lifted Florida from the ranks of a half-dozen states that still have on their books discriminatory, Reconstruction-era laws written to oppress minorities. During two terms, Gov. Bush kept Florida stuck in the past, even though a task force he appointed recommended an updated approach. Only a few thousand felons had their rights restored annually during the Bush administration, and the process favored those with money or political connections.

    Gov. Bush's ideological wrongheadedness denied tens of thousands of Floridians a fair chance at rehabilitation. Under Gov. Crist, that damage is being corrected.
    "Under Crist, Florida lifts civil rights death penalty".

    He "removed size as a factor"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "State Rep. Frank Attkisson insists he doesn't fancy himself a modern-day Ben Cartwright, the master of the Ponderosa ranch immortalized in the old Bonanza TV show. Sure, the 11 acres he owns in Osceola County has some cows on it. And, sure, Juda Attkisson, the lawmaker's wife, did ask about getting an agriculture exemption on the property and was told the family homestead was too small to qualify as a cattle business. Mr. Attkisson insists none of that had anything to do with him proposing and driving through a law that removed size as a factor in determining whether a property owner can get a lucrative tax exemption." "We think: Attkisson was wrong to push through law easing ag exemptions".

    "No consolation for the average Floridian"

    "Gas Thursday morning was selling at $4 a gallon for unleaded regular at a station on U.S. 1 and I-95."

    Prices ranged between $4.05 and $4.12 a gallon between four stations on LPGA Boulevard. The June 23 average price in the United States, according to the Department of Energy, was $4.31. Prices could be higher. Motorists are paying $8.76 per gallon in Britain, $9.02 and $9.85 in the Netherlands.

    That's no consolation for the average Floridian, who, according to the Department of Transportation, logs about 150 miles a week just to go to work and back. At a conservative $4 a gallon in a car that gets 20 mpg, that comes out to at least $120 every four weeks, not counting trips to the grocery store and elsewhere. With the average car payment at $378 over 55 months, that adds up to $500 a month.
    "Populist sniping won't ease troubles at gas pump".

    Goin' a courtin'

    "Presidential rivals John McCain and Barack Obama on Saturday vied for the support of Hispanics, beginning a four-month courtship with a pivotal voting constituency by vowing to remake immigration policy." "McCain, Obama court Hispanic voters".


    "Peggy Quince said she'll focus on budget problems, bias, mentally ill prisoners and foster children after receiving the gavel Friday as the first black woman to head Florida's court system." "Quince taking gavel as Fla. chief justice".

    You could pay a consultant $10,000 ...

    ... for the same advice. But the brain trust on the The Orlando Sentinel editorial board gibes it to 'ya for 'nuthin: "We think: Getting involved in politics expands influence" "We think: Getting involved in politics expands influence".

    Black Jack's stool pigeon gets his payback

    "A federal judge in Miami on Wednesday cut in half the prison term of a onetime business partner of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, rewarding Adam Kidan for cooperating with federal and state investigations. U.S. District Judge Paul Huck agreed to reduce Kidan's 70-month sentence for fraud to 35 months based on requests from prosecutors." "Businessman's prison term cut in half for Boulis cooperation".

    "Sitting back and blaming the Democrats is not leadership"

    Poor Ginny:

    In campaign appearances her challenger in the Republican primary on Aug. 26, Jim King of Land O'Lakes, calls her support for drilling "an election year epiphany."

    It's Brown-Waite's second such shift in positions this election season. King noted last fall that she supports the Fair Tax initiative after initially resisting.

    But the energy issue is where King makes the loudest noise. The 53-year-old long-shot candidate is distributing fliers at area gas stations that detail his energy plan and airing radio advertisements that criticize Brown-Waite's inaction.

    "America needs an energy policy now," the ad states. "Simply sitting back and blaming the Democrats is not leadership.
    "Brown-Waite, rival clash on energy policy".

    How much pain is OK ...

    ... Mr. McCollum?: "Florida attorney general: Constitution doesn’t require totally painless executions".

    And they haven't even endorsed him yet?

    Here's a sweet headline from the geniuses at the The Tampa Tribune:

    McCain Backs Gun Decision, Obama Straddles Issue
    No bias there.

    Guns, guns ...

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "Gun decision still allows for reasonable controls".

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