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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

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The Blog for Monday, June 09, 2008

That, and the fact he's dumb as a box of rocks ...

    "Inexperience, other factors may hurt chances of getting on McCain ticket." "Ledger: Gov. Crist Seems an Unlikely VP Pick".

    Dems Complacency taking a hit

    This is no surprise: The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a

    union representing thousands of government workers across Florida has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president while declaring its independence in state legislative races.
    But, Dems no longer get a pass: "'The bottom line is this,' AFSCME state president Jeanette Wynn said Monday, 'We’re tired of supporting people who have no concern for our needs, who feel that because the majority of our members are Democrats that we’re going to support Democrats. We’re going to support those members of the Legislature who have shown their concern and pushed our bills and been productive for us.'"
    Wynn and Alma Gonzalez, special counsel to the union president, said AFSCME commended state Sens. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, and Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, along with Reps. Marti Coley, R-Marianna, and Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, for their work in the 2008 legislative session. Dean and Coley sponsored legislation relaxing some parts of ex-Gov. Jeb Bush’s 2001 "Service First" civil-service laws, while Gibson and Lynn were recognized for job-safety legislation benefiting state workers.
    "AFSCME endorses Obama".

    Booming boomer

    "Wexler has been loud and clear in his support for Sen. Barack Obama." "Wexler lends booming voice to Obama's campaign".

    Thank's "Jeb!

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Last week the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis placed Florida 47th in the nation in terms of economic growth." "Economic turnaround is probably not imminent".

    "Lingering anger"

    "Talk of lingering anger over Clinton's primary defeat could be heard at delis, shopping centers and grocery stores throughout South County last week. But many of the ones doing the talking - ardent female Clinton loyalists who aren't enamored with Obama - said they won't spurn him or the Democratic Party come November." "Clinton's female backers chafe but swing to unity".

    All paper ... no trail

    "What's the use of paper ballots if no one looks at them? That is the question that election watchdogs continue to press, even as the state's election supervisors race to implement the 2007 election law requiring every Florida county to vote on paper ballots." "Paper ballot deal disappoints".

    As well they should

    "South Florida black churches take pride in Barack Obama's rise to nominee".

    "The spirit of Barack Obama was in the Lord's House Sunday, invoked in prayer, praise and sermons by ministers and parishioners lifting the name of the Democratic presidential nominee." "Black churches embrace Obama".

    Court TV

    "An appellate judge took the witness stand Monday to deny unprecedented ethics charges over his criticism of a colleague in an opinion that used colorful language and cited newspaper articles about political wheeling and dealing."

    The Judicial Qualifications Commission has accused 1st District Court of Appeal Judge Michael Allen of ... allegedly lied under oath by telling commission investigators he had no animosity against the other judge, Charles Kahn. He repeated that testimony Monday but acknowledged he has little respect for Kahn, accusing him of throwing temper tantrums and using foul language.

    The allegations against Allen stem from a concurring opinion in former Florida Senate President W.D. Childers' bribery case. The appellate court upheld Childers' conviction, which stemmed from a land deal while he was serving as an Escambia County commissioner in Pensacola.

    In his opinion, Allen wrote the public may think it was improper for Kahn, who voted to reverse the conviction, to participate in the case because he is a former law partner of Fred Levin.
    And then we have this legal genius:
    Judge Paul Hawkes said he sent Allen an e-mail calling his opinion an "act of courage," but he did not sign onto it because he had a different reason for a full court review - he disagreed with the three-judge panel's decision in such a high-profile case.
    "Judge: Rubio isn’t my tool in inquiry". Actually, this Judge Hawkes fellow - who no doubt thinks he would make a fine member of the Florida Supreme Court - is up to his elbows in GOPer slime:
    Though newly released emails (as well as friends and family) tie him closely to House Speaker Marco Rubio’s office, First District Court of Appeal Judge Paul Hawkes said he had nothing to do with the Miami lawmaker’s decision to open an inquiry into fellow 1st DCA Judge Charles Kahn.

    Hawkes’ son, House Counsel Jeremiah Hawkes, emailed a draft of Rubio’s letter Dec. 4 requesting that the Judicial Qualifications Commission share its investigative files on Kahn, who is the target of an as-yet private complaint. The email was sent to an assistant of Rubio’s staff chief, Richard Corcoran, Paul Hawkes’ former legislative aide and consulting partner.
    "Judge denies ethics charges over criticism of colleague".

    More about Hawkes from the St Pete Times' Martin Dyckman, who referred to him "a political hatchetman in the House speaker's office" (that is: Feeney's hatchetman). "Jeb's judiciary".

    More detail on Hawkes love letter to Allen:
    I think your opinion is very moving … I know it took courage. Acts of courage, in my view, are rewarded. Perhaps not in the short term, but in the long run. I bet that this stand by you will be one of the memories that you take from your service on this court; one of the best memories. Great battles in defense of principles are the very best aspects of public service. I also don't believe that great battles diminish or harm an institution.

    Let the battle be joined.

    "That afternoon, Allen wrote back to Hawkes:"
    Thank you for this note, Paul. You have beautifully crystallized exactly what this is about, though I have my doubts that I will ever recall this "battle'' with any measure of fondness.

    Less than a year later, the JQC filed its charges against Allen. A JQC panel will hear testimony this week, then recommend punishment to the Florida Supreme Court. The high court can drop the charges, reprimand Allen or remove him from office.
    "Trial begins for judge who criticized colleague"

    Putting their mouths where their money ain't?

    Will any prez candidate put their mouth where their money ain't, or will we see the same old seepage of slime into the campaigns:

    When presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain came to Florida for a fundraiser a few weeks ago, Book dropped off $15,000 in checks.

    On the night in 1992 that Carrie Meek became the first black person Florida sent to Washington since Reconstruction, Book not only joined in the celebration, he also helped keep it going — hoisting a serving tray full of champagne.

    While McCain and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, have publicly turned lobbyists into lepers, kicking them off campaigns or branding their donations as invitations to corruption, a simple truth remains unchanged:

    Virtually every significant race, from state House and Congress to president, bears the footprints of lobbyists.
    "In Fla., lobbyists vital to campaigns".

    A private matter

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "In no state is this issue more important than Florida, which has the highest percentage of residents over 65. Elderly and disabled Medicare patients here are spared for now. But the biggest Medicare beneficiary remains private insurers." "Cut Medicare insurers, not Medicare doctors".


    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Green Economy Is Growing".

    "Blistering criticism"

    "Wanted: Technically minded, consumer oriented individual willing to endure hours of public meetings and blistering criticism." "Process begins for hiring new Public Service Commissioner".

    Enough with the crushing manatees to death

    "A simple sound wave, silent to most ears and beamed underwater, may save the languorous manatee from being crushed to death in Florida's massive boat lock gates, which can stretch 54 feet wide and weigh up to 40 tons. The device, designed over the past decade by researchers at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, stops the gates from closing if the sound beam is interrupted by a large object, such as an 800-pound manatee. " "FAU to install sound beam system to save manatees".

    A time to war ...

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Florida, including the state's congressional delegation, finally seems to be putting up more of a fight in the tri-state water war that endangers the Panhandle. But the entire state has to fight soon, and hard. So far, Georgia is the winner in the decades-old fight with Florida and Alabama." "Engage in water war".


    "Home, condo sales in Orlando area rise".

    Green stuff

    "The state's budget ax is about to fell thousands of trees and shrubs on new road projects." "Gas prices, budget crunch taking whack out of highway greenery".

    Turning blue stuff green

    "An environmental group said Monday it will go to federal court after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it won't require Clean Water Act permits when water is transferred between water bodies. The EPA's statement follows suits linked to the South Florida Water Management District's sending farm runoff into Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades." "Environmentalists threaten suits over water permits".

    All this and no surprises ...

    "Election qualifying began in Miami-Dade last week without any surprises. The 15-day qualification period, during which candidates pay a fee or submit petitions, opened Tuesday and continues through noon June 17." "Three file for Dade County Commission".

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