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 Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Obama bulking up in Florida

    "The Barack Obama campaign is scouting offices in Tampa to headquarter its Florida campaign and on Monday tapped one of the newest stars of the state Democratic Party to lead the statewide effort."
    Steve Schale, the 33-year-old Tallahassee strategist who just led the Democrats' most successful state House cycle in history, will oversee a Florida campaign that Obama allies say will be unprecedented.
    "Schale, a 12-year veteran of Florida politics who has shown a knack for winning races in competitive and conservative parts of the state, said he has no doubt Obama is aiming to win in Florida."
    "When you see us reach our full staff level, you're going to see an operation the size of which this state has never seen before on our side," said Schale, who expects to have the resources to mount a targeted campaign throughout the state. ...

    Obama returns this week with events Friday in Jacksonville and Saturday in Miami.

    Schale said the campaign, which already has about 20 paid staffers in Florida and 400 specially trained volunteers, is looking at office space and will soon open its statewide headquarters in Tampa. The state's biggest political battleground, the Tampa Bay area is home to one in four votes in Florida, though John Kerry based his campaign in Fort Lauderdale in 2004 and Al Gore in Tallahassee in 2000
    "Obama campaign signs a winning Florida strategist".

    AP: "Obama's campaign envisions a path to the presidency that could include Virginia, Georgia and several Rocky Mountain states, but not necessarily the pair of battlegrounds that decided the last two elections — Florida and Ohio." "Obama sees possible win without Florida, Ohio".

    Pay no attention to the people living under the overpass

    Grim: "Florida has lost more than 64,500 jobs in the past year, many in construction and related industries, financial activities and manufacturing." See also "Food stamp use up 27 percent in [Palm beach] county since '07".

    This ain't much consolation for folks chasing after non-existent jobs: "Unemployment checks in Florida among tiniest".

    And, in the understatement of the week category, we have this gem of an observation:

    "We don't have a worker-friendly government," said Bruce Nissen, director of the Center for Labor Research at Florida International University.
    'Ya think?

    If you look carefully between the drilling platforms ... you can see the sunset

    "In a break with his past policy [ahem ... 'flip flop'] and his allies in the environmental movement, Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Monday called for ending the federal ban on offshore oil and natural gas exploration so coastal states could decide whether to permit drilling.""McCain: Lift ban on offshore drilling". See also "McCain urges end to ban on offshore drilling" and "McCain: Allow Offshore Drilling".

    Blame the workers

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "Pensions administered by some South Florida cities are so far out of line with reality that some government workers would be better off financially by retiring than working. This is a lose-lose situation for local residents whose taxes support the generous pensions, and city officials would be smart to begin to rethink their options." "Cities should reform their pension plans".

    We've addressed this point before, but do the editors really want to get in bed with this collection of dunces:

    According to Miami City Commissioner Angel Gonzalez, City Hall's debate over how to handle employee pensions has been hijacked by ``leftists.'' ... ''I hate to see the politics of the leftists that attack people that work for government,'' Gonzalez said. ``If we wouldn't work for government, we would be under a Castro regime, a Hugo Chávez regime, and let me tell you, they're not the best.''
    "Miami pension talk turns to Castro, Chavez".


    Even the ink stained wretches sometimes get it wrong; Troxler this morning:

    Pariente and Wells have been targeted by various groups in the past for being too, you know, "liberal."
    ""They got it right, even if it took two tries". Correct me if I'm wrong: was Wells the "liberal" who dissented in that Bush v. Gore case decided by the Florida Supreme Court?

    New digs

    "Florida Democrats began a $3-million campaign Saturday to build a permanent headquarters in Tallahassee." And is this some sort of a double entendre?

    The current headquarters on Bronough Street is close to the Capitol but Sands said it is too small and obsolete for the party's purposes.
    "Florida Dems to build new HQ in Tallahassee"


    "The next speaker of the House and the brother of the current speaker were among opening-day qualifiers Monday as the opening gun sounded in Florida's state political races." "Battle for elected office begins".

    Marco is so ... you know ... yesterday

    "Crist has vetoed a sweeping transportation bill because it contained language that would have made it easier for an ally of House Speaker Marco Rubio to bid on projects.""

    This is not the first time the two Republicans have clashed. Rubio openly criticized Crist's effort to cut property taxes, saying it did not go far enough, and he questioned the benefit of a Crist proposal for a summer gasoline tax holiday.

    At issue now is language Rubio inserted into the transportation bill (HB 5067) to prevent a turnpike plan to combine food and fuel concessions into one contract.

    Doing so, Rubio argued, would limit the contract to very few companies, including Host Mariott Services, which operates rest stops across the country.

    Under sharp criticism during the spring legislative session, Rubio acknowledged that it could help his friend Max Alvarez, a fuel distributor in South Florida. But he insisted his goal was to open up the bidding process to any small company.
    "Rubio: Veto hurts small vendors". See also "Rubio: Veto hurts small vendors".

    Don't forget the black hoods ...

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "A federal judge in December refused to force Palm Beach County's juvenile court judges to remove leg irons, waist chains and handcuffs from the kids brought into their courtrooms.... The four county juvenile court judges have agreed to a change that preserves courtroom security and treats juveniles accused of crimes humanely. Legs will stay chained, to help prevent escapes, but most teens will appear without handcuffs." "Off-the-cuff compromise".

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