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 25, 2008

Say anything

    Scott Maxwell reminds us about a few of the "misstatements" Charlie rode on to get to Tally; aside from things like opposing drilling for oil off Florida's coasts,
    one of the most memorable parts was the ad blitz Crist ran that featured an empty chair in Washington. The chair zipped throughout the nation's capital, accusing Davis of being an absentee congressman.

    And whenever Crist would get the chance, he'd purse his lips and tell his opponent: "Jim, as you know, you can't govern from an empty chair."

    Crist used that ad to get 52 percent of the vote.

    And he hasn't been seen in his own elected chair ever since.

    OK, so that's an exaggeration. But it's safe to say that our governor has made far more news in recent months for angling to be John McCain's running mate than for doing anything to help Floridians. In fact, it was trying to suck up to McCain that prompted Crist to change [sic] his oil-drilling stance.
    "Scott Maxwell: Whose chair is empty now, Gov. Crist?"

    Guns, guns, guns on the roof ...

    "A federal judge in Tallahassee will hear arguments in a case challenging a new Florida law that allows guns to be kept locked in cars parked in lots owned by businesses. The hearing is set to begin Wednesday afternoon, just six days before the new law's July 1 effective date. The law prohibits businesses from banning employees and customers from having guns in their cars." "Federal judge to hear challenge to Florida's guns-at-work law".

    "A vote for Satan"

    "Bill Keller hosts of a live television program on the Internet, and his tax-exempt status as a church prohibits him from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. But in one broadcast, Keller said a vote for Romney was a vote for Satan." "IRS investigates St. Petersburg televangelist who criticized Romney". See also "IRS investigates televangelist".

    Zell says "jump!"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board responds with this: "We think: Obama's decision against public financing is hypocritical".

    Actually, Zell doesn't need to "say" anything.

    Take your ball ...

    and go home: "How many hard-core Hillary supporters will defect?".

    "Shades of brown"

    "With his green reputation showing shades of brown, Gov. Charlie Crist Tuesday pulled off the biggest environmental achievement of his political career."

    Crist, a Republican, said it was "just a coincidence" that news of the state's pending purchase of U.S. Sugar came a week after he shook a political powder keg by announcing his willingness to reexamine the federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling.
    "But the timing produced a mix of reactions from Democrats and environmentalists Tuesday."

    And with Charlie making so much flippy floppy, this is a legitimate question:
    The Florida Democratic Party, meanwhile, issued a news release asking whether Crist wanted to buy 300 square miles in the Everglades to open it up for drilling.

    "After last week, any environmental initiative pitched by Crist now must be received with guarded skepticism," party spokesman Mark Bubriski wrote.

    Last week, Crist said he supported a plan from Republican presidential candidate John McCain to let states decide whether to lift the offshore drilling moratorium.

    He said studying the Everglades for drilling is not an option.

    But if he has switched positions on offshore drilling because he said it might help cut gas prices, could pressure at the pump reach such a point that drilling the Everglades would be viable?
    Meanwhile, Florida's moribund "environmental movement" - which has always provided cover for RPOFers in times of need - has apparently already forgotten Charlie's oil drilling flip-flop:
    Environmentalists said Crist's announcement helped solidify a pro-environment reputation that he has been crafting since taking office last year.
    "Crist coup applauded, except oil jibes".

    And what is it with these so-called "environmentalists" in Florida, anyway?
    A week after reversing his long opposition to offshore oil drilling, Charlie Crist may have repaired his image as Florida's "green governor" Tuesday by shrinking the sugar industry's damaging footprint in the Everglades.

    For Crist, the move had an immediate payoff, with environmentalists roundly praising a governor they had blistered just days earlier.

    But whether it burnishes his reputation enough to win him a vice-presidential nomination, or helps Republican John McCain carry Florida in November, remains a question as densely tangled as the swamp itself. ...

    And his allies said the U.S. Sugar agreement deserves to be viewed as what Allison DeFoor, an environmentalist and former GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, termed "an historic environmental deal."
    "For Crist, the Everglades purchase a sweet deal". See also "Conservationists hail deal for U.S. Sugar"."For Crist, the Everglades purchase a sweet deal". The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Crist Shows Vision, Good Sense With Ambitious Everglades Deal".

    By the way, exactly what was Charlie's role in this transaction, aside from not getting in the way?

    Indeed, Charlie seems to have been no more than a bystander: "The South Florida Water Management District would pay $1.7-billion for the 187,000 acres of U.S. Sugar Corp. land with future property-tax collections in the district's 16 counties. " "Land buy requires no new money".

    Here's a look at the deal by The Tallahassee Democrat's editors; it is refreshing in that they manage to get through an entire editorial without placing a crown on Charlie's head, or otherwise exploring his nether regions: "Saving the 'glades". See also The Miami Herald editorial board: "U.S. Sugar deal is sweet, with an aftertaste" ("The folks in Gov. Crist's retinue were so proud of the deal that by the end of the day they were calling him the 'environmental governor.' That is a little premature.")

    Note: Here's a very simple question which needs to be asked of every RPOFer (who flip-flopped on oil drilling when McCain said "jump!"):
    You previously opposed oil drilling off Florida's coasts, but reversed yourself because oil prices were too high. You now say you oppose drilling for oil in the Everglades.

    My question is this: at what point must gas prices reach before you will reverse yourself and support drilling for oil in the Everglades?

    Follow up: please don't say you will never support drilling for oil in the Everglades, because that is precisely what you said about drilling for oil off Florida's coasts, because you said the same thing with respect to drilling off our coasts.

    Just askin'."Crist coup applauded, except oil jibes".


    "The McCain campaign Tuesday night called 50,000 Democratic and independent voters who live in Broward and Palm Beach counties for a ''tele-townhall meeting'' with the presidential candidate. About 4,500 people participated." "McCain hosts tele-meeting with S. Florida voters".


    "[A]fter a year of trying to stoke a statewide dialogue on global warming and attempting to make Florida a national leader in alternative energy, what has been done? The governor convenes his second Climate Change Summit Wednesday in Miami and the report card is largely incomplete." "Crist's green plan a work in progress". See also "Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's second climate change summit seeks solutions" and "Crist's credentials as 'green governor' are a bit yellowed at 2nd summit".

    Lockin' up the knuckledraggers in CD 16

    "Congressional District 16 candidate Tom Rooney has picked up the support of the House Conservatives Fund, a federal political action committee that supports Republican candidates committed to economic and socially conservative issues." "Palm: Rooney gets House Conservatives Fund endorsement in District 16 race".

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