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 Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Worse than the problem"?

    "An open-ended proposal to cut property taxes and raise other revenues had both supporters and detractors struggling this week to predict how the measure would affect the Floridians who vote on it in November." "Sides Argue Over Cost Of Property Tax Cut Amendment".

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "It takes some guts to oppose a 25''percent tax cut. It helps if that opposition is compelling. ... The amendment is tempting; it would eliminate the state-ordered property tax for schools, known as the Required Local Effort. But the amendment is more potentially destructive. 'Amendment 5's proposed solution,' TaxWatch notes, 'is worse than the problem.'" "Florida would suffer under Amendment 5". See also "TaxWatch says swap will increase taxes".

    From the "values" crowd

    "Nearly 300 poor North Florida children denied health coverage".

    You can "mishandle" my "millions anytime

    "McCain and the Republican Party of Florida have given to charity several thousand dollars in political contributions from a Tampa Bay area man who recently lost an investor lawsuit in Oregon that accused him of mishandling millions." "Donor's dollars passed to charity".

    Under pressure

    "Two former executives for U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan's auto dealerships said they were pressured to donate to Buchanan's 2006 congressional campaign and were offered cash and gifts as inducements, which would violate federal campaign laws."

    "Lawyers for Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, called the latest allegations an effort 'to dishonestly tarnish Vern Buchanan's reputation three months before an election.'" "Herald-Tribune: Buchanan workers tell of donation pressure".

    "Sex-ed provider teaching 'abstinence-only' fantasy"

    The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board: "" "The facts of life, purely".


    "Politicians' 'raffles' raise legal questions"

    "It's the redistricting game"

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "It's no mystery why 42 state legislators and congressional representatives in Florida were re-elected without opposition this summer, and why many other incumbents are likely to breeze to new terms with only token opposition in the fall." "Erase Political Favoritism From Legislative Redistricting" ("FairDistrictsFlorida.org is collecting signatures to get two proposed state constitutional amendments on the 2010 general election ballot that would create new mandatory criteria for redistricting.")

    "Griping Man"

    Sally Swartz: "Every few weeks, Griping Man leaves an infuriating message on my answering machine. Griping Man works for a neoconservative group called Freedom's Watch that tries to promote support for the Iraq War and for President Bush's other unpopular policies. Lately, Griping Man targets U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Palm Beach Gardens, blaming him for just about everything."

    The money bankrolling Griping Man and Freedom's Watch comes from Sheldon Adelson, 74, who, reports a June 30 story in The New Yorker, owns the Venetian and the Palazzo, two giant Las Vegas casino-resorts, and "is the third-richest person in the United States, according to Forbes." Mr. Adelson also likes to dabble in Israeli politics, and started a free newspaper, Israel Today, to promote the conservative Likud party. He has invested heavily in creating Las Vegas-style gambling resorts off China's shores.

    He helped create Freedom's Watch at a meeting in Florida of the Republican Jewish Coalition in early 2007. The idea was to build an organization that could compete with the liberal-leaning MoveOn.org, The New Yorker reports. Last summer, Freedom's Watch spent $15 million supporting the troop surge in Iraq.

    After reported infighting and "micromanaging on the part of its prime benefactor (Mr. Adelson), Freedom's Watch backed off for a bit, but recently has made a comeback, targeting Democrats it hopes to unseat nationwide. Rep. Mahoney won the seat left vacant by Republican Rep. Mark Foley, who resigned after his salacious e-mails to underage male congressional interns surfaced. Republicans, still smarting from the loss of a seat in a district gerrymandered to be an easy GOP win, are ready to pump megabucks into the effort to crush Rep. Mahoney.

    So, Griping Man calls everybody in Rep. Mahoney's district, and Rep. Mahoney's staff hears from a lot of angry people. Unlike Griping Man's backers, Rep. Mahoney's human staff talks to the callers, takes their names and sends follow-up letters explaining Rep. Mahoney's positions.
    "Attacks on Mahoney full of baloney".

    Did I miss the slavery editorials?

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board is all over this: "The plight of Florida's tomato growers shows the need for an overhaul".

    Party time

    "Crist celebrates birthday with Palm Beach party".

    Who'd thunk it would get to this?

    "Bring back Theresa LePore".

    "A child raised by a single mother ..."

    "Democrat Barack Obama unveiled a new radio advertisement Wednesday that targets Hispanic voters with his story of a child raised by a single mother who grows up to become a Chicago community activist and political leader." "New Barack Obama ad geared toward Hispanic voters". How long before he is swift boated on this?:

    The ad, similar to the two English-language television spots the campaign aired in the state last month, focuses on Obama's biography and mentions that he was raised without his father in his home.

    "Some people have power and connections," the radio ad narrator says, according to a translation. "But most of us have to make our own way through life."
    "Obama begins airing Spanish ad in Florida". More: "Poll: Latinos favor Obama by big margin".

    Another office opens

    "Democratic Party activists won't have to look far to find Barack Obama's Gainesville campaign office." "Democrats open local office for Obama camp".

    No comment

    "Polk County ends spanking in public elementary schools".


    "U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler is defending himself against new accusations that he is playing a residency shell game by using his in-laws' address in Delray Beach while living in a Maryland suburb."

    A national TV news program reported, and records show, that the popular six-term Democrat owns a home in upscale Rockville, Md., where he and his wife spend most of the year, pay property taxes, and where his children attend private school.

    But Wexler officially identifies his residence as the south Palm Beach County home of Lawrence and Roslyn Cohen, his wife's parents. It's where the Wexlers register two vehicles and maintain voting and driver's license addresses, and where Wexler says he stays overnight during visits to the district on congressional breaks and other occasions.

    Election laws require members of Congress to reside in the state they represent. Wexler says he meets that requirement by officially designating his in-laws' house as his residence.

    The Cohen home is in the gated, seniors-only Huntington Walk subdivision of Delray Beach in Wexler's 19th Congressional District, a Democrat-rich district that encompasses most of south Palm Beach County and parts of north Broward County.
    "U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler reacts to accusation that he doesn't live in Florida". Along these same lines: "Residency of Florida Rep. Susan Bucher, D-West Palm Beach, questioned".

    "Campaigning in a linen sheath"

    "Campaigning in a linen sheath one week after The New Yorker magazine caricatured her as a black militant, Michelle Obama addressed hundreds of donors in Miami Wednesday in her largest event in Florida so far. About 800 people contributed between $100 and $5,000 to her husband's presidential campaign." "In Miami, Mrs. Obama drums up support, cash".

    All it takes is money ...

    "The head of a state agency that allowed thousands of criminals to sell home loans in Florida has acknowledged that his office did not follow a screening law, but blamed legislators for failing to provide money to enforce it." "Fla. to address criminals in mortgage industry".


    "The sabal palm, Florida's state tree, is under attack by a microscopic killer that has scientists stumped." "State icons are dying -- and nobody knows why".

    Stop the madness

    "State receives six proposals to lease Alligator Alley".


    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "The Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Seminole Tribe of Florida can't conduct high-stakes blackjack and baccarat games at its Hard Rock Casino near Hollywood. Legislative leaders have said that they won't give the tribe permission. Gambling rivals have sued to block the games at Hard Rock. But at least for the short term, the odds still favor the Seminoles, which is where Gov. Crist will have to keep placing his bet." "Crist must keep playing".

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