Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 18, 2008

Charlie "makin' flippy floppy"

    "Crist: I now support oil drilling off coast", "Crist changes stance on drilling" and"Crist backs McCain on offshore drilling". "Sen. John McCain has embraced what has been a taboo position for politicians in Florida."
    But support for his plan from top Florida Republicans suggests off-shore drilling is not the political loser it once was, or at least is now open for debate. That change is most striking in the new support expressed by Gov. Charlie Crist, who just last week said he was not dropping his opposition to drilling off Florida's coast.
    "Florida Republicans get behind McCain's offshore drilling proposal". More: "Fla. CFO angry over Crist's switch on oil drilling".

    Howard Troxler "argues that relaxing restrictions is just a short-term political gimmick." "The case for, against offshore drilling".

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Keep the ban on drilling". More: "McCain urges offshore drilling".

    The genius weighs in: "Bush pushes Congress to drop ban on off-shore drilling". See also "Bush Calls For Offshore Drilling".

    So much for the Charlie-effect

    "A new poll out today from Quinnipiac University shows Barack Obama leading John McCain in Florida 47 percent to 43 percent. The four-point lead is within the poll's margin of error (plus or minus 2.6 percentage points), but it's still significant because it represents a turnaround from most recent polls showing McCain leading in Florida. Obama is enjoying strong support from women, blacks and younger voters." And Charlie would actually be a drag on the ticket:

    Charlie Crist wouldn't be much help to McCain as his vice presidential candidate.

    The numbers: 58 percent say it would make no difference, 21 percent say they'd be less likely to vote for McCain, and 16 percent say they'd be more likely to vote for him.
    "Poll: Obama leads McCain in Florida". See also "Poll: Obama has slight lead over McCain in Florida" and "New poll: Obama makes gains with Florida voters".

    McBush on Cuba

    ""Republican presidential candidate John McCain is airing a radio ad aimed at Cuban-American voters saying his top priority is the release of political prisoners.

    This week, the McCain ad received extra attention after Cuba's state-owned paper, Granma, ran a scathing critique of Martin Perez. A story published Monday criticized McCain's association with him, stating Martin Perez was imprisoned for participating in an effort to overthrow Fidel Castro in 1959. It also alleged he was indirectly tied to later attempts on Castro's life following his release from prison, but the story offered no evidence.

    Obama responded to critics of his stance on Cuba last month in Miami, saying in a speech he would be willing to engage in diplomacy "at a time and place of my choosing, but only when we have an opportunity to advance the interests of the United States, and to advance the cause of freedom for the Cuban people."
    "McCain aims ad at Cuban-Americans".

    Cash cows

    See also "Buchanan among richest in U.S. House" and "Weldon, Feeney reveal income".


    "Crist said Tuesday that 115,000 people have regained their civil rights in the 14 months since he pushed for changes in Florida's civil rights restoration system." "Crist, summit recognize former felons with restored voting rights".

    CD 13

    "Christine Jennings: Righting a Wrong".

    Never mind

    One would read this entire Orlando Sentinel editorial, "Congress should extend benefits to get through slump", without learning the names of the Florida Republicans who voted against the extension. Perhaps the Sentinel editors will recall who these folks were when they go about the process of endorsing them yet again.


    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "Voting requires getting educated, not just getting registered".


    "Nursing homes should not require incoming patients to give up their right to file lawsuits if problems arise with their care, a Senate hearing was told Wednesday." "Senate hears testimony about nursing home arbitration".

    Double whammy

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board writes that,

    if the dropouts from Florida's Class of 2008 had stayed in school and earned diplomas, the economy of the Sunshine State could have enjoyed an additional $25.3 billion in wages, taxes and productivity over those former students' lifetimes.
    No surprise in that, after all "Florida's commitment to excellence in public education historically has been more talk than walk." There's more:
    The consequence is unrealized human and economic potential — coincidentally, the same topic that Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil tackled in his address Tuesday on the successful re-entry of ex-offenders into their communities.

    Mr. McNeil said pouring billions into prison construction, coupled with inadequate spending in mental health, job training, substance abuse and basic education, was a recipe for failure.

    The former chief of the Tallahassee Police Department and ex-secretary of the Department of Juvenile Justice has witnessed the results firsthand. "Lock 'em up and throw away the key" may win votes for politicians, but it's financially unsustainable public policy — and questionable social policy.

    "It's been proven that it doesn't work," Mr. McNeil said at a conference on the restoration of civil rights for former inmates. "It only increases crime and it increases the burden on our taxpayers."
    "Failure to invest in people has long-term costs".

    No traction

    "Crist vetoed a transportation bill Tuesday that would have given state officials the ability to pay losing bidders on high-dollar contracts." "Crist vetoes transportation bill". On a related note, "Crist vetoes linking tolls to inflation".

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "" "Turnpike contract mustn't hurt drivers".

    "In the process of vetoing the bills, Gov. Crist also delivered a blow to House Speaker Marco Rubio, whose friend, Max Alvarez, would have benefited from the laws."

    But, hey, that's politics. Mr. Rubio had pushed the concession legislation for two years. (Last year, House leaders quietly inserted language for a concession proviso into the bill at the last minute, prompting Turnpike officials to delay their request). If either bill Mr. Rubio supported had become law, Mr. Alvarez would have been among the small vendors who would have been qualified to compete for a lucrative concession contract.

    Arguing, as Mr. Rubio does, that small vendors should be able to compete for Turnpike business makes sense. If that were the only point at issue, there should be no reason to slip language into legislation at the last minute. Surely, the issue would find lots of support among lawmakers.

    On the other hand, Mr. Crist says that having larger vendors compete for both the gas and food concessions will allow the state to get higher fees from the vendor. DOT officials say that a long-term contract with a single vendor will generate profits that can be used to rebuild and renovate existing toll plazas.

    Now, with Gov. Crist's vetoes, the DOT will get the single vendor that it wants. State residents, in turn, should hold Gov. Crist responsible for making sure that the DOT delivers on its promise.

    Even the Trib gets it

    Credit the The Tampa Tribune editorial board, of all people to reject GOPer talking points and

    Conservative criticism of the 5-4 ruling gives the impression the more liberal [sic] majority is mollycoddling homicidal fanatics and compromising our safety.
    "Giving Some Constitutional Rights To Terrorists Is Not Surrender".

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