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 Saturday, July 26, 2008

Slave holders (not uppity descendants) looking for compensation

    These pigs want a government handout? "Tomato growers and packers nationwide would be compensated for their losses due to the recent salmonella outbreak according to a bill introduced Thursday." "State to consider compensation for tomato industry".

    Let's start with the facts: "Slavery exists in the tomato fields of Florida". You read that right,
    Slavery exists in the tomato fields of Florida, a U.S. Senate committee was told today.

    "Today's form of slavery does not bear the overt nature of pre-Civil War society, but it is none the less heinous and reprehensible," Collier County Sheriff's Detective Charlie Frost told Democratic members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee.
    And isn't this a nice touch,
    No Republicans attending the hearing.
    "Sheriff: There is slavery in Florida tomato fields".

    One reporter describes a recent scene in DC:
    Reggie Brown was upset. As executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, he was before a U.S. Senate committee in April to dispute charges of slavery and human trafficking leveled at tomato growers by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, what Brown called “a purported labor organization.”

    There’s nothing “purported” about the South Florida-based organization (ciw-online.org) other than the status of its mostly Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian membership of migrants. Their employers often don’t consider them quite human. More like purported human beings
    "Florida’s Modern-Day Slavery".

    Yeah, it is just a union thing - unions are making it all up so they can get more members and suck these poverty stricken migrant workers dry with union dues.

    Speaking of unions as being the root of all evil

    "Volusia School Superintendent Margaret Smith sued teachers union president Andrew Spar on Friday,"

    charging his accusations that top school officials are misleading the public about the budget are false and defamatory.

    "I will not stand by and allow union representatives [read thugs] to maliciously damage my reputation and credibility in the community," Smith said at a Friday afternoon news conference. "Nor will I stand by while Mr. Spar harms the schoolchildren of Volusia County."
    Did she just say that "Mr. Spar harms schoolchildren"? That sounds slanderous to me?

    Anyway, "the lawsuit came one day after Spar called his own press conference to reiterate complaints he's leveled for months that top school system officials are using inaccurate figures to justify more than $40 million worth of budget cuts, including the layoffs of 220 teachers in June."
    Smith is seeking more than $15,000 damages and a jury trial. She filed the suit personally, not as superintendent, and is paying for it herself. Ted Doran, who also is the School Board attorney, is representing her.
    "DBNJ: Schools chief sues teachers union leader over comments".

    Another fine Jebacy

    And this isn't coming from the United Faculty of Florida or some other commie group:

    Florida is losing some of its best professors in an unprecedented ''brain drain'' to schools elsewhere, the head of the state's public university system said Friday.

    And the state has the worst student-to-faculty ratio in the country, 31-1, state university system Chancellor Mark B. Rosenberg said.

    It would require a $500 per semester tuition increase just to get to the national average of 25-1, Rosenberg told the board of directors of the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade's business recruitment agency. The tuition increase would pay for the $240 million cost of hiring 2,000 new professors.
    "State schools suffering `brain drain'".

    Can't we pretend it is "health insurance"?

    "A new report casts doubt on how much progress will be made by offering a “bare-bones” health care policy to the nearly 4 million Floridians who have no health insurance." "Skepticism raised over Florida health care plan".

    Holly Benson on the job

    "As of Friday, the agency had sent out about $48 million in emergency payments to 5,600 people who hadn't been reimbursed in about a month." "State 'Progressing' On Medicaid Glitch".


    "Most of $5M fund for needy troops unused in Fla.".

    Shouldn't someone report this to ... the ... SOE?

    "For at least the third time this campaign cycle, Elections Supervisor Buddy Johnson will need to return a campaign contribution because the donor appears to have exceeded legal limits." "Campaign Contribution Exceeds Limits Again".

    Florida, "The Al-Qaida of real estate"

    "Perhaps the best way to understand how it could be possible for more than 10,000 people with criminal records to win state approval to work in the mortgage business is to think of Florida as historically sort of the Al-Qaida of real estate."

    After all, ever since Ponce de Leon conned a bunch of unsuspecting Conquistadors that they could stay young forever simply by drinking the 16th-century version of Zephyrhills water, one cheesy huckster after another has used the allure of Florida to separate countless rubes from their money.

    And since the state has become one giant strip mall from Pensacola to Key West, interrupted by real estate developments with cozy names like Pit Viper Palms, or Tea Pot Dome Estates, or You're Toast Terrace, somehow it only seems fitting the paperwork to get started on the fiduciary pillaging would be handled by experts in their field - thieves, goons and thugs.
    "Well, You Can't Deny They Love Their Work".

    Do they get an offset for contributions to the RPOF?

    "Florida's chief financial officer says a Tampa-based company needs to repay the state at least $46.5 million." "Tampa firm owes $46.5 million to state, Sink says".

    From Limbaugh to you via the liberal media

    This from the liberals at the St. Pete Times: "Edwards scandal: Silence, please".

    'Ya reckon?

    "A nonprofit advocacy group said Friday the state has greatly overstated the savings from Florida's Medicaid reform experiment, now in its second year in Broward County and the Jacksonville area." "Group disputes savings in Medicaid experiment".

    Corporate America stuck with the "heavy lifting"

    The The Orlando Sentinel editorial board is tired of corporate America having to pick up the tab in these "private-public partnerships":

    The regional effort is supposed to be a private-public partnership; yet it looks as if businesses are doing all the heavy lifting.
    "City, counties can't leave businesses on hook to fund homeless cause".

    Here's an idea, why don't we just get some slaves to do some of the "heavy lifting"? After all, "Sheriff: There is slavery in Florida tomato fields".

    Even better, eliminate expensive police and fire defined benefit contribution retirement plans, that'll give us extra cash.

    After all, its Broward

    "In the Broward Sheriff's race, Scott Israel is still the Democratic fundraising leader but lags far behind the incumbent sheriff. Tight fundraising battles by two state House candidates, including one who could become the state's first openly gay legislator, have set the stage for a close primary. " "Broward candidates build on war chests".

    "'The question is whether Florida will grow up.'"

    Kenric Ward: "By the time you read this, Florida Hometown Democracy may have gathered enough petitions to make the ballot."

    In the face of a hostile Legislature, well-heeled corporate opposition, erratic counting procedures by supervisors of elections, questionable emergency rules from the secretary of state and inexplicably blasé (or non-existent) news coverage, FHD marches on.
    "Michael Grunwald, writing recently in Time magazine, quoted a Miami real-estate sharpie who runs an outfit appropriately named Condo Vultures."
    “Eventually, Florida is going to grow again,” predicted Peter Zalewski.

    To which Grunwald muses: “The question is whether Florida will grow up.”

    The Sunshine State’s relentless boom-and-bust economy has been fueled by real-estate speculation, starting when land was sold by the gallon (a subject with which Grunwald, author of “The Swamp,” is intimately familiar).

    Now that there are 18 million-plus Floridians — most of them living south of Orlando — it’s increasingly obvious that a construction industry on steroids is as unhealthy and unsustainable as a mountaintop coal mine. Relying on residential development for continued prosperity is like building a house of cards in a hurricane.

    Few politicians will admit this. Their go-along-to-get-along attitude enables the scrape-and-sell game to continue. They depend on it for their financial support.
    According to Ward,
    Florida Hometown Democracy is the “growing up” Grunwald speaks of. It’s the realization that pliable politicians — incumbent or newcomer — cannot be the ultimate answer. It should be painfully apparent by now that our elected officials are neither endowed with special insights nor unique intelligence.

    The voice of the people, ratifying or rejecting via referendum, is the purest form of local governance. Hometown Democracy is the check and balance that’s been missing. That’s why fed-up Floridians keep signing. They’re tired of being treated like children
    "Voters can bring politicians to heel".

    The jack-boot thugs federal government to the rescue ...

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "Whether legislation before Congress can rescue the nation's — and South Florida's — housing market isn't clear. But it's certainly worth a try. Lawmakers finally moved this complex bill forward this week. The House approved a package to stem foreclosures with federal guarantees for refinanced mortgages, tax cuts for first-time buyers and lifelines for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae." "South Florida housing market needs a boost; hopefully congressional legislation can provide it".

    Yippee - ki - yay , Motherf****er!

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "Congress has approved a national program to allow retired law enforcement officers to complete a shooting course for a concealed weapons permit that is recognized nationwide. Doubly unfortunate, Florida has signed on by offering a course for ex-officers to take and receive the permit. In part, the program's goal is to give retired cops a countrywide permit so they can act if they see a crime occurring. This is a flawed assumption." "Do we really want 80-year-old cowboys carrying guns?".

    OK in our fields, but not in our jails

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "U.S. immigration officials have deported nearly 2,000 more illegal immigrants from Florida this year than during the same six-month period in 2007, a 50 percent increase that is on pace to far surpass anything seen in the last decade." "Cooperation working on state's illegal inmates".

    Hey Charlie, don’t let the door hit you on the way out

    Newspaper company employee, Adam C. Smith, who is traveling with the employees of even bigger companies these days, shares his thoughts about the VP thing:

    "McCain needs to pick someone who is vibrant and brings a lot of energy to the ticket,'' said Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer, who naturally thinks Gov. Charlie Crist would be ideal. "And I think it would be in his best interest to pick soon, rather than wait. He needs to generate some significant media attention."
    "'The threshold for Obama's V.P. choice is simply do no harm. McCain on the other hand will be looking to send several signals with his choice,' said Republican consultant Todd Harris.
    "He may decide that he needs someone that will energize the conservative base. He will most certainly want to choose someone who would be viewed as a leader in the next generation of Republicans, and he'll probably want someone who stands a good chance of bringing some political real estate with him."
    "Who will be wingman for Obama, McCain?".

    Wet and wild

    "Wet July gives Lake Okeechobee a much-needed boost".

    More government regulation

    "State regulators are worried that a new self-insurance fund lacks enough members to spread its risk and say it hasn't submitted all the paperwork needed to keep its license. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation issued an order Wednesday stating the Palm Beach Windstorm Self-Insurance Trust - a pool of 18 high-rise condominiums in Palm Beach and Broward counties - violated its agreement with the state by failing to show a bank-issued letter of credit for one of its original four members." "Self-insured condo fund may forfeit state license".

    Off Topic

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board is downright mean to McBush this morning: "Obama-Maliki ticket".

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