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]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Saturday, July 05, 2008

Is this serious?

    "In just the past two weeks, Gov. Charlie Crist has reversed on offshore oil drilling, made national news with a historic Everglades land deal to buy U.S. Sugar, and announced his engagement to his glam girlfriend of nine months for a fall wedding." "Media attention on Crist inspires VP murmurs". See also "Florida governor to his girl: Let's get hitched".


    "When Jeb Bush visited Kingston, Jamaica, last July, his hosts pulled out all the stops. They brought in a military band [lol], threw a lavish reception at the home of the island's governor general and paid $60,000 for him to give a speech. The theme of the speech? Entrepreneurial capitalism." The rest of this lengthy The St. Petersburg Times BJ can be read here, with passing nods to "Tenet" and "Lehman", but otherwise the usual puffery: "Jeb Inc.".

    Laff riot

    "A black Republican group has put up billboards in Florida and South Carolina saying the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican,"

    a claim that black leaders say is ridiculous.

    The National Black Republican Association has paid for billboards showing an image of the civil rights leader and the words "Martin Luther King Jr. was Republican." Told about the billboards, the Rev. Joseph Lowery let out a soft chuckle that grew stronger as he began to think more about the idea.

    "These guys never give up, do they?" said Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with King. "Lord have mercy."

    Seven billboards have gone up in six Florida counties and another in Orangeburg, S.C., said Frances Rice, the group's chairwoman. Part of the group's mission is to highlight what she said is the Democratic Party's racist past.
    "Black leaders reject Republican MLK ad".

    These idiots are beyond understanding anything but a dollar bill. See "Random", and scroll down to "Florida Black Republicans", and in particular the text surrounding the following frank admission: "'It's purely a business decision'". As for the thing that these air heads will never be able to get their little brains around, see this comment posted here a while back: "The Republican sell-out (and the Florida connection)".

    "Florida's toilet

    "Crist's recent flip-flop on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has tourism officials across the state worried about the health of one of Florida's greatest natural resources -- its hundreds of miles of beach."

    But there's a greater threat to Florida's beaches, and it's not speculative. Florida has long treated its offshore waters like a dumping ground, and a new report highlights exactly how extensive the damage has become. The report -- by the Clean Water Network of Florida -- focuses on Gulf beaches, using two years' worth of data to illustrate the damage that's been done to one of the world's most diverse marine environments.
    "Florida's toilet".


    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "On Thursday, Gov. Charlie Crist signed two bills into law that help protect victims of sexual violence, including one (SB 2574/HB 141) that offers a public-records exemption for personal identifying information of such a victim. Exemptions to Florida's strong public-records law should be rare and broadly debated before they are granted. But this exemption does pass muster: Without an exemption, information submitted to a public agency by an employee seeking leave related to having been a victim of sexual violence would be available for public review." "Safety exemption".

    The "County Mayor" thing

    "In November, Hillsborough voters will decide whether they want to create the position of county mayor. It could potentially be a major power shift that changes the course of county politics." "What To Expect If County Voters Opt To Have A Mayor".

    Oh, and never mind all that illegal stuff

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board, being the good chamber toadies that they are: "After a months-long standoff, Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate met halfway on a [FISA] bill. A bipartisan majority in the House approved it two weeks ago."

    Significant oversight is built into the compromise. Independent watchdogs from at least four federal agencies would report on the surveillance program. The president also would file regular reports with Congress, where the number of committees responsible would double to four.

    If the bill becomes law, it would expire in 2013, giving Congress a chance to review the program at that point. And it would declare that the president could not operate outside the law's rules, as he did after the 9-11 attacks.

    This reasonable compromise deserves support from senators in both parties. That includes Florida's pair, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Mel Martinez
    Oh, and never mind all that illegal stuff:
    The compromise also would break a deadlock over legal protection for telecommunications companies. They are facing a flood of lawsuits and billions of dollars in damage claims for cooperating with government requests for information after 9-11. If the lawsuits go forward, companies that could help find terrorists in the future -- not just telecoms, but also banks, airlines and others -- would be deterred. The bill would let federal courts waive the lawsuits if they find "substantial evidence" the companies got assurances the requests were legal [even if they were not] and authorized by the president
    Congress should OK a reasonable approach to surveillance".


    "Fred Varn is not giving up his fight for the Democratic nomination to succeed state Rep. Loranne Ausley, he said Thursday." "Varn continues fight to be on ballot".

    No swap please

    "A coalition of business, education and agriculture organizations filed suit Thursday aimed to knock a 'tax swap' constitutional amendment off Florida's November ballot." "Groups try to get 'tax swap' law off ballot".

    That glowin' feelin'

    "Progress Energy's proposed nuclear plant in Levy County has a positive review from the Public Service Commission staff. If the full regulatory commission agrees, Progress customers would see higher bills." "Progress Energy gets positive review of $14B nuclear plant".

    Flag companies hate America

    "Battered economy drives down flag sales".

    Maxwell denounces Obama's "inherent falsity"

    Bill Maxwell: "I am newly attracted to the subject of disappointment because of the euphoria and pronouncements of 'hope and change' surrounding the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama."

    Frankly, I have little regard for Obama's campaign because of its inherent falsity.

    In the end, much of it will disappoint millions of devotees because it has no room for failure and lost hope. Obama will not deliver on many promises, and many supporters will find themselves stung by hopelessness.
    "Disappointment ahead for Obama faithful".


    "Less than two weeks ago, the Seminole Tribe of Florida trotted out celebrities and high rollers to launch blackjack, baccarat and high-stakes poker at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood." "Court busts Crist's deal on blackjack". See also "Court overturns Crist's gambling deal".


    "Bioligists [sic] say an endangered hawk in the Everglades is getting closer to extinction." "Rare bird vanishing from Everglades

    Who knew?

    "A St. Petersburg Times analysis found that while some 88,000 former nonviolent felons are newly eligible to cast a ballot for the first time in this presidential election, less than 10 percent, or roughly 8,200, were registered to vote as of the end of May."

    The move to restore rights was originally expected to impact between 250,000 and 300,000 offenders. In reality, the number turns out to be closer to 115,000, once all the certificates get signed by the clemency board, according to the Florida Parole Commission.

    Of those, at least 30,000 are African-American, a number that could be of greater significance in a year when an African-American candidate will be on the ballot for the first time as the nominee of a major party.
    "Voting right restored, but they don't know it".

    Yaawwnnn ...

    "John McCain hailed the economic benefits of free trade to Colombians on Wednesday, raising the possibility of an eventual hemisphere-wide agreement even though a weak economy at home has soured many U.S. voters on trade agreements." "McCain touts Colombia trade plan".

    The corporate media is right there with him. The Palm Beach Post editorial Board sniffs that "Unlike Sen. McCain, Barack Obama does not support the deal, despite his previous advocacy for free trade." Hmmm sounds like the Cox Corporation is all over that RNC flip-flop meme:

    Sen. Obama is pandering to labor unions, which reportedly have drawn a line in the political sand over this deal. But Democrats in Congress got the 2006 version reworked last year, at the unions' urging, to include tougher labor and environmental standards. Colombia is a strategic ally against Chávez and his self-serving revolution.
    "Rescue the trade deal".

    "Pandering to labor unions"? Is that the best you can do? What we said previously about one of the Post's radical leftist columnists ("Sorry bro (Updated)") applies with equal force to all the geniuses on the Post's editorial board

    On top of that, journalists [claim to] work by some sort of perceived credo, where they (in hard news mode) neutrally report the "truth" as they see it, or something to that effect. 

    However, let us be a bit real about the noble ink stained wretch thing - all professional columnists, which includes [the geniuses on the editorial board], must - and whether they want to admit it or not - carefully consider whether their words might offend their employers; after all, someone has to pay the paychecks, and it ain't the Goddess of neutral journalism up in the sky.  (as to this point see our previous post  on the sainted Saint Pete Times: "Smarmy").

    In [the editors' cases], the paycheck writer is Cox Newspapers, Inc., which is in turn owned by Cox Enterprises, Inc., which "is a private company controlled by the descendants of James M. Cox." (can't imagine what their views are of, ahem ... inheritance taxes)).

    And who owns Cox? According to Wikipedia, "the company is private, 98 percent controlled by the octogenarian daughter of [James Middleton Cox], Anne Cox Chambers [Her net worth has been estimated at $12.6 billion, based principally on her equity interest in Cox Enterprises which makes her one of the richest women in the United States], and the two children of her late sister Barbara Cox Anthony. The CEO and chairman is Anthony's son, James C. Kennedy."

    To be sure, and as is the case with most billionaires, Anne Cox Chambers is a philanthropist; and also apparently a limousine liberal, supporting Barack Obama. See also "The Obama Volunteer Vibe: Punks and Billionaires".

    Despite the dalliances of octogenarian billionaires, Cox, Inc. like virtually all "newspapers" is first and foremost a profit making "business"; hence, it editorializes about most "business" issues (except obvious things like slavery and dumping sewage in the ocean) in the the usual "business" way: see e.g., "Firefighters' 'outlandish benefits' and 'sweet pay plans'" and "this astounding piece of doggrel in the Palm Beach Post 'news' section"
    Obama "pandering to labor unions"? Heck, these are the same dopes who think that a "Union volunteering to take pay cut should 'dial back the rhetoric'?"

    Dear editors: we understand that your masters hate it when workers get together and do things collectively (like ask for health insurance and stuff), but could you be a little less transparent in inserting your collective noses into their derrieres

    Dontcha luv it ...

    ... when the local ink stained wretches hit the national trail. "Candidates' pledges drowned out".

    Not a great visual ... Charlie "salivating"

    "In light of recent developments, Gov. Charlie Crist must be salivating at the prospect of appointing four justices to the Florida Supreme Court."

    Rarely is a governor subjected to a judicial smack-down the likes of which occurred Thursday.

    A unanimous court came down hard on Crist, ruling that the casino gambling deal he cut with the Seminole Tribe of Florida in November is illegal because it sanctions blackjack and baccarat games banned by state law.

    Only the Legislature can change the law, the justices wrote, concluding that Crist overreached in striking a deal to steer billions of dollars in gambling revenue to the state.
    "Crist gets to reshape high court".

    Mista tuff guy

    Jac Wilder VerSteeg burnishes his "I'm not really a librul' bona fides": "On Tuesday, Florida executed Mark Dean Schwab for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old boy named Junny Rios-Martinez. Schwab deserved to be executed, but here's a hypothetical: What if Schwab had raped - but not killed - Junny? Would he still have deserved the death penalty? I say yes, but the U.S. Supreme Court last week said no." "Not murder, but equally heinous".

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