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 Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Diplomatic coup! Charlie hammers out deal with UK

    And you thought that trip was a waste of cash.

    "Gov. Charlie Crist is promising to work with Britain to develop clean energy technology and to prevent climate change. Crist and British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Kim Howells watched in London on Tuesday as three agreements were signed between British and undisclosed Florida universities to share equipment and research on energy and climate change research." "Florida: Crist touts agreement on climate research".

    'Ya think the cameras were flashing?, capturing forever this solemn moment of diplomacy.

    Game on

    "Obama's presidential campaign is opening its Florida headquarters in Tampa. Under the leadership of state director Steven Schale, the office will coordinate volunteer efforts for the Illinois senator in the Sunshine State." "Obama campaign opens Florida headquarters".

    More: "Florida Dems gain more than GOP" and "State may be getting a touch blue" ("Is Florida turning blue?")

    "Like everybody else"?

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Florida growers have had to dump truckloads of tomatoes in waste piles or let crops die on the vine because of a salmonella outbreak that has nothing to do with Florida or tomatoes. ... It's no secret there aren't enough federal inspectors to safeguard the nation's food supply. But the least the government can do is pay for its mistakes - like everybody else." "Repay Florida's growers".

    Amendment 5

    "State Sen. Mike Haridopolos on Tuesday scheduled 10 public forums on a plan to abolish property taxes for school support and make legislators find billions of dollars in replacement revenues." "Amendment 5 debate intensifies".

    Collateral attack

    "As he heads into the final weeks of a nationally watched Republican congressional primary, Hal Valeche could find himself facing not only GOP foes Gayle Harrell and Tom Rooney but also a lawsuit from Rooney's father." "Rooney's dad dogs Valeche over letter".

    "It didn't take long"

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "If anyone had doubts about the many complexities facing the state in acquiring U.S. Sugar landsto restore the Florida Everglades,"

    it didn't take long for Dexter Lehtinen to bring a big one forward.The former U.S. attorney, who has represented the Miccosukee Tribe for more than a decade, has weighed in with a legal challenge. Lehtinen and the Miccosukees are understandably concerned the $1 billion-plus deal will lead to the scuttling of a reservoir project in order to save money needed to pay for the 300 square miles of coveted property. The reservoir, the Miccosukees argue, is needed to stop polluted water flowing into tribal territory.

    The state has spent roughly $250 million to build a 16,700-acre reservoir along U.S. 27. Last month, water managers stopped construction, although they arestill paying $1.9 million a month to idle contractors while a final decision is made as to whether the reservoir fits in with theU.S. Sugar purchase.
    "South Florida water managers need to ease Miccosukee Tribe's concerns about U.S. Sugar deal".

    And the traffic ticket had the wrong date on it

    "In 2000, for reasons lost to history, the state changed the oath simply to say that it was being signed under penalty of perjury. No more witnesses. ... Federal law says such oaths must be taken "before any person duly authorized." State law has a similar requirement. Hurt's conclusion: 'The people of Florida still have criminals at the head of government, in all branches, for none of them properly qualified as candidates. They can repair that problem only with new elections.'" "Is Florida being run by utter imposters?".

    Feeney flip-flops

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: ""

    Bush hit another dry hole on energy policy this week when he lifted a presidential moratorium on offshore drilling and urged Congress to follow suit.

    As a response to today's $4-a-gallon gasoline, additional offshore oil drilling makes no sense. The oil would take up to a decade to hit the market. The Department of Energy has projected its impact on prices would be insignificant.

    Yet Florida's House Republicans have jumped on board this poll-driven policy. They've left behind their concerns about Florida's fragile coastal environment and tourism-dependent economy. Oviedo's Tom Feeney is among those now supporting more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
    "President Bush and Florida House Republicans need a better energy plan". See also The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "Hold line against offshore oil drilling"

    More: "Bush prods Congress on drilling, but ban sticks".

    "God help her"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock asked for full control of a computer system to serve the county's judicial and law-enforcement agencies. God help her, she got it. Last week, the committee that for a decade has tried and failed to create such a system voted to scrap the current conglomeration - which has cost $25 million". "A $25 million debacle".

    Some wage increases OK

    The Palm Beach Post editorial pretty much gives this $250k salary a pass: "That additional expense is more defensible than a recent 5.8 percent raise plus a $15,000 bonus to district CEO Dwight Chenette, increasing his base salary to $250,000. Two years ago, the district raised Mr. Chenette's salary by 34 percent with a $40,000 bonus. For the average homeowner in Palm Beach County, the tax rate increase could amount to less than $10 a year. The average homeowner, though, is having a below-average year. Mr. Chenette does his job well. But the district isn't a private company. The tax increase will go down better with the public in September if the raise does, too." "Yes, it's a tax increase, but one that makes sense".

    What does?

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "One doesn't need an MBA ...". "Recipe for recession".


    "State commission OKs utilities' nuclear power plans" More: "Progress Energy got a green light ... from a unanimous Public Service Commission for a $17 billion nuclear-energy project in Levy County that the regulators deemed necessary and cost" "Levy County nuclear project given the go-ahead".

    Go drag your knuckles someplace else

    "Ed Heeney, a Boynton Beach Republican who went on national television with an anti-gay agenda four years ago, is dropping his attempt to unseat state Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres." "Anti-gay activist won't face Aronberg".

    Big of him

    "In the wake of a multimillion-dollar deal for Jabil Circuit, Mayor Rick Baker said Tuesday he is now open to more public scrutiny when private companies come asking for tax breaks. " "Mayor yields on incentives".

    Solar power

    "More solar power is headed to Florida, and it looks like Florida Power & Light Co. customers will pay its way." "FPL gets to charge for solar projects".

    Off topic

    "Ocala: Potential juror jailed for cursing judge".

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