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 Friday, June 13, 2008

Obama Florida Delegate "Purge"?

    "Party unity is on the agenda for Florida Democrats this weekend in Hollywood. But before gathering to sing Kumbaya, they'll first have some ritual bloodletting and political score-settling to get out of the way."
    Then they can get down to the business of celebrating Barack Obama as their party's presidential nominee at the first Florida Democratic event since Obama won the nomination fight with Hillary Clinton.

    At the state Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson weekend at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, the party is redoing the selection of some delegates scheduled to go to the national convention in Denver.

    The Obama campaign wants the changes to reward contributors and loyalists like County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, who endorsed him last summer and campaigned vigorously on his behalf even while almost every elected Democrat in Broward backed Clinton.
    "Most of the 211 delegates were elected in caucuses around the state this spring and won't be affected. ".
    But 26 Obama delegates and two alternates selected by the state Democratic Party might not get to go to Denver after all.

    The move has sparked outrage among some, most loudly from Jon Ausman, a member of the Democratic National Committee from Tallahassee.

    "They are going to destroy 20 to 30 people's dreams," he said. "They are going to be authoritarian, not democratic."
    "Obama campaign to change delegates". The Tallahassee Democrat's Bill Cotterell explains that, because
    the Democratic National Committee didn't recognize the state primary, because it was held before the Feb. 5 date allowed by party rules. On May 31, the DNC rules and bylaws committee voted to accept Florida's delegation, with a half-vote each.

    That meant the presidential candidates, who had been boycotting the state because of the rules dispute, got to review the lists of delegates already chosen. ...

    [At issue are] just 16 at-large delegates and 10 party leaders and elected officials who were pledged to Obama, plus the two alternate positions.

    Tallahassee City Commissioner Allan Katz and Kirk Wagar, a Miami lawyer who is Obama's national finance chairman, have been reviewing Obama's delegate list to see what changes they might make. Democrats who worked in the Obama campaign, but weren't chosen in the state party caucuses, will have a chance to become delegates or alternates at the Denver convention. ...

    Katz has said Obama does not intend to dump a lot of delegates chosen when Florida was officially barred from the convention, and replace them with his own choices now that the state is back in. Democratic National Committeeman Jon Ausman of Tallahassee has been urging the victorious Obama forces to keep the Florida delegation intact, for the sake of reunifying the party after the bitter primary contests.
    The word "purge" is used herein because, as Ausman observes in an e-mail (and through his prism),
    the DNC staff use the language “It is our understanding” that the Obama campaign “wants” to purge “delegates only”.

    “Understanding” is an interesting choice of words. Either the Obama campaign said purge them or they did not. Also, since this understanding applies to PLEO and At-Large “delegates only” I assume that the Congressional Districts delegates and ALL alternates (including the two chosen at the At-Large level) are not purged.

    The second thing I am puzzled by is why the DNC staff took 268 hours to write this memorandum and then gives delegate candidates 26 hours to qualify.
    Unfortunate use of language by someone.

    One can hope

    "Crist: McCain's White House bid depends on Florida".

    What happened to the party of "Jeb!"?

    "Florida Republicans get it, and they want the rest of the nation to watch and follow their lead. That was the message from Florida Republican party leaders as they gathered in Orlando to honor Florida Republican governors and tout their own winning formula."

    Crist touted core Reagan principles like less taxes, less spending, less government and pro-business values, but he spent the most time talking about the environment and the need to appreciate Florida's natural wonders.
    "Crist's style called Republican Party's future". More: "Fla. Republicans rally supporters for elections" ("Florida Republicans celebrated the[] past Thursday").

    This was a very small list, especially since "Jeb!" was too busy to attend: "GOP governors gather at Disney".

    Con vote

    "Seeking any edge in the upcoming presidential, state and local elections, Democrats and Republicans are trying to register and motivate a new pool of potential Florida voters: former felons." "Parties Vie To Register Ex-Felons".

    We don' need no stinkin' gov'ment regulation

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "who protects students from the abuse at unregulated schools? Apparently, no one." "A crack in the system".

    Not my Buddy

    "Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson's tenure has been plagued by questions - about hush-up payments to a former aide, his failure to his pay property taxes on time, even his willingness or ability to forthrightly explain his office's operations."

    So when Johnson announced last month that the Hillsborough County Clerk of Courts office would no longer handle finances for the elections office, something didn't smell right. After all, it was the clerk's office that objected to Johnson paying a former public relations director Steve Holub more than $24,000 to go away and to keep his mouth shut about what he saw in the elections office.
    "Buddy Johnson's Fiscal Moves Don't Add Up For Taxpayers".

    Water wars

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "Water wars -- South Florida style".


    "When the Florida State University board of trustees meets this morning its members will vote on new tuition rates." "FSU board of trustees to vote on tuition rates".

    Counting (electoral) votes

    Adam Smith writes that "if Florida's 27 electoral votes went to Obama, McCain would need GOP wins in New Hampshire and Wisconsin, and to hold every other Bush state from 2004, to win the White House."

    The McCain campaign sees Florida as competitive but far safer with Obama as the nominee than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Most political analysts say Obama is more likely to pick off Ohio than Florida.

    "Look at Florida," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said in an upbeat strategy briefing sent to supporters this week. "A key battleground state in the last two presidential elections, John McCain overperforms the (generic) Republican by seven points. This is a terrific position for our campaign to be in today."

    Democratic pollster David Beattie, however, sees the Sunshine State as possibly more fertile for Obama than the Buckeye State. Florida has a bigger African-American population, he noted, and as more of a growth state offers far more educated suburban voters who often don't vote.

    "There's a type of voter in Florida that doesn't always vote, that lives around Tampa, St. Pete, around Orlando and Palm Beach County and Jacksonville, and those are the types of voters that are very open to Obama,'' said Beattie, whose clients include Sen. Bill Nelson and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.

    Obama has the money, organization and potential to dramatically increase turnout not only in Florida but across the electoral map. That could be good news for Democratic candidates on the ballot. But not necessarily for instilling confidence in our winner-take-all electoral system.
    "Electoral map is red, blue and almost true".

    Florida's economy keeps "dropping like a rock"

    "Crist ordered all state agencies Thursday to reduce spending by 4 percent in the coming fiscal year, just a day after signing an already pared down state budget."

    State economists say the action — the second holdback in less than 12 months — is necessary because high food and gas prices are prompting consumers to spend less. They now project lower sales tax collections in the coming fiscal year.
    "Crist orders agencies to trim 4 percent".

    LGBT Equality Caucus

    "U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, is one of the leaders of the newly formed House LGBT Equality Caucus. Wasserman Schultz, who said 'lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered Americans are awash in a sea of inequality,' is one of the new caucus' vice chairs." "South Floridians help form gay equality caucus in Congress".

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