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 Monday, July 14, 2008

Senator Sink in 2010?

    "Eighteen months ago, as Florida's newly elected Democratic chief financial officer, Alex Sink was clear: Her political ambition didn't include the 2010 governor's race"
    .But that's not so clear anymore. Recent clashes with Gov. Charlie Crist over offshore drilling and the state's hurricane risk have raised her profile. And a recent poll suggests she could be positioned for a high-profile campaign, perhaps for the U.S. Senate.
    "Sink's been raising her profile in the past six months, and the tenor of her relationship with Crist has changed."
    Amid a tanking economy, continuing frustration about property insurance and rampant speculation that Crist might be on the vice presidential ticket, Sink is being more coy about her ambition.
    "Many Republicans consider her tough to beat because of her business acumen"
    A recent automated Public Policy poll of 732 likely Florida voters found Sink beating Republican U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez in a matchup, 37 to 31 percent, (32 percent were undecided).

    But Sink could have a long way to go. A different poll by Quinnipiac University gave her just a 33 percent job approval rating in a survey of 1,625 likely Florida voters. That's far behind Crist's 61 percent and Attorney General Bill McCollum's 52 percent.
    Much more here: "CFO's profile looms larger".


    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "For the second year in a row, three members representing Central Florida -- Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown, Republican Sen. Mel Martinez and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson -- refused to disclose lists of the projects for which they sought taxpayer dollars." "Nelson, Martinez should follow others in disclosing earmark requests".

    Mel steps in it yet again

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board:"Three weeks ago, the Senate could have followed the House and rescinded a punitive 10.6 percent cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients."

    Republicans, among them Florida's Mel Martinez, blocked action, preferring to protect private providers of Medicare Advantage plans.

    The GOP's move came just after the Government Accountability Office reported that those plans made $1.14 billion more in profits in 2005 than projected and spent less on treating patients. On Wednesday, Republicans tried again. Fortunately, that effort failed, 69-30. (The missing voter? John McCain.) The legislation, which the House passed last month by a 355-59 vote, goes to President Bush. He has threatened a veto, but Congress should have enough votes to override it. ...

    Sen. Martinez' initial opposition showed that he valued those companies over the welfare of the 2.9 million Medicare patients in Florida. Another 691,487 active duty, reserve, and retired military members and their families are covered by TRICARE, a benefit program that ties its rates to Medicare. They, too, would have been affected.
    "In a statement about his grudging support of the Medicare doctor payment fix,"
    Sen. Martinez lamented, "The underlying reason we have to act every year to stop payment cuts to doctors is because the way we pay doctors under the program is broken." In fact, the Republican attempt to privatize Medicare has made a shaky system worse. What's broken is a political system that for the past several years has valued patients and doctors less than the government-subsidized profits of private insurers.
    "GOP loses on Medicare but Florida wins big".

    "A time-honored tradition in Tallahassee"

    "Critics may cry foul but park officials can't be faulted for following a time-honored tradition in Tallahassee: Crafting a loophole that, in this case, is big enough to drive a Monorail through. That's one clever mouse." "Disney firing sets stage for battle between gun rights and property rights".

    Forever gone

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "If you scroll through the obituaries at Legacy.com, the self-described leader in online memorials, you get an image of Florida not often seen. According to the folks at Legacy, who collect obituaries like other people do baseball cards, some 214 Floridians have died in service of their country since the war on terror began." "Florida was their home".


    "McCain remains popular among Cuban-Americans in Miami, who tend to vote Republican and admire his military record and his support for U.S. policy toward Cuba. The campaign unveiled its Florida Hispanic steering committee last week with names of roughly 100 active Hispanic supporters from throughout the state. But a crowd of nearly 1,000 people, many of them Cuban-Americans, turned out to hear Obama speak at a private luncheon in May. An Obama campaign sticker briefly peaked out from the wall outside Little Havana's famed Versailles restaurant last month, a traditional gathering point for Republican hard-liners." "Obama, McCain and their awkward Hispanic outreach".

    Don't forget the locals ... pols, that is

    The St. Petersburg Times's Jennifer Liberto: "Almost every major local story in recent years has had one thing in common. The scandals and leading political decisions of the day have reflected the quality of our public officials."

    Even the mundane decisions these office-holders will make in the coming years are breathtaking for their size, expense and scope: where to build landfills and incinerators, what to do about aging cities and crowding suburbs, how to provide and afford the billions of gallons in needed drinking water resources.

    Solving these problems was hard enough before the housing bubble and a slowing economy raised fundamental challenges for a state with a narrow, regressive tax base. That's why voters cannot — as typically happens — allow their participation to drop as races appear further down the ballot. The stakes for now and the future are too important to give just anyone the reins of our community.
    "Local vote; big impact".

    "Level-headed, fair and well-reasoned", except this time

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "For years Floridians have benefited from a state Supreme Court that has been level-headed, fair and well-reasoned, with rulings right on the mark far more often than not. The court truly is one of the best in the nation. But Thursday's decision allowing sexual deviants to possess pornography can best be summed up with one word: absurd." "State Court Bungles Porn Ruling".

    "Clear as the water in the C-51 canal"

    "The South Florida Water Management District is in the midst of a monumental land deal. But what that means for the 16 counties' taxpayers who bankroll the district - well, that's about as clear as the water in the C-51 canal." "Sugar deal might mire other efforts at restoration".

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