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]

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The Blog for Sunday, August 24, 2008

Browning considers "delaying Tuesday's elections in parts of the state"

    "Secretary of State Kurt Browning was considering delaying Tuesday's elections in parts of the state hit hard by Fay. But he said he won't know for sure until Sunday or Monday, and he'll rely on what county supervisors of elections tell him." "Weather could disrupt Tuesday's voting".

    Never mind

    "Democratic delegates from Michigan and Florida were awarded full voting rights at the national convention Sunday, despite holding early primaries against party rules." "Dems give Michigan and Florida full voting rights".

    "The legacy of Theresa LePore"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: writes that "[t]he legacy of Theresa LePore, the Palm Beach County elections chief who gave voters the "butterfly ballot" and the contested 2000 presidential election, continues in the form of a simple arrow." See what they mean: "Make ballots the state's new elections obsession".

    "Biden has extensive Florida connections"

    "Popular among seniors and Jewish voters, Biden could be helpful to Obama in Florida and in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio where Obama struggled during the primaries."

    "The Jewish community loves Joe Biden," said Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, who also touted Biden's working-class appeal. "He has been a huge supporter of Israel and has been so in a very erudite fashion, because he knows all the players, not only in Israel but in the Palestinian Authority."

    Biden has extensive Florida connections, including a brother who lived in South Florida; Michael Adler of Miami, his former national finance chairman and the former National Jewish Democratic Council chairman; Luis Navarro, his Senate chief of staff, who used to be executive director of the Florida Democratic Party; and even a lifelong friendship with former Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher.

    "He's a true lunch-bucket Democrat. It's a perfect choice," said veteran Democratic fundraiser Mitchell Berger of Fort Lauderdale, who has known Biden for 30 years. "A generation of Democratic voters that Sen. Obama is not doing as well with as he would like at this point would be very attracted to Joe Biden."
    "Biden adds experience to Obama ticket".

    "Barack Obama's choice of Joe Biden as a running mate could give the ticket a boost in Florida -- thanks to Biden's ties to South Florida, including support among a cadre of influential Democratic fundraisers." "Florida Democrats rally around Biden".

    "He's not likely to confuse Sunnis and Shiites or al-Qaida and Hezbollah, forget that Czechoslovakia ceased to exist approximately 15 years ago, or for all his verbal stumbles, sing about bombing Iran -- all of which John McCain, an alleged foreign policy specialist, did." "In Biden, Obama chooses ability to govern over politics".


    "After a long and contentious presidential primary season in which Florida played a central role, Democrats hold their national convention this week with the aim of projecting strength and unity behind the first black presidential nominee of a major party." "Democrats Aim For Unity".

    "After enduring months of political exile, Florida Democrats giddily find themselves back in the center of the political universe as they head to a history-making convention. " "Florida Democrats seek redemption in Denver". See also "Florida Dems head to convention" and "South Florida's Democratic convention delegates seek to unify the party and make history, too".

    Florida Bloggers at the Dem convention

    "Florida bloggers covering Denver convention". More generally, the NYTimes has this: "The Year of the Political Blogger Has Arrived".

    Enough with pimping the photo ops

    Hot off the presses!

    Decked out in polo shirts and SWAT-style rain jackets, Crist and crew did news conferences -- carried live around the state and country throughout the week -- from the state Emergency Operations Center, where the governor implored folks to take the storm seriously.

    "This is not a dry run," he said. He also flew with reporters in tow to Key West, Duval and Brevard counties, where he was trailed by TV crews as he toured emergency centers and neighborhoods.
    And don't you love the never-ending Bush-nosing from Florida's alleged "journalists"?:
    Jeb Bush perfected the image of a reassuring, in-control chief executive through the 2004 and 2005 storm seasons.
    "Rainy days are Crist's friend".

    "The investment paid off"

    "State compensation reports show U.S. Sugar spent more to lobby the executive branch than any other company in the first half of 2008. The investment paid off in June when Crist announced Florida would buy out the company in a $1.75 billion transaction designed to help restore the Everglades." "When the going gets tough, lobbyists get going".

    "Only Republicans"

    "Republicans will decide in Tuesday's primary who among four candidates will be the next District 31 state representative. No Democrats filed to run in the race to replace Mitch Needelman, who faces term limits. And a legal loophole will keep them and independents from voting because a write-in candidate announced a campaign." "Only Republicans allowed to vote for next state rep".

    "... but then what?"

    Adam C. Smith:

    And right now the polls show a neck-and-neck race where Obama has serious challenges ahead despite the anti-Republican sentiment in America: Nearly half of Hillary Rodham Clinton's supporters aren't yet sold on the Democratic nominee and a sizable chunk of the electorate views him as a distant, foreign figure without a clear agenda.

    "He's exciting, he's likeable, he's a great campaigner, but then what?'' said Miami lawyer Ira Leesfield, a top Clinton fundraiser who now supports Obama but is no longer aggressively raising money.
    "Obama's mission this week: create comfort". One hopes President Obama remembers the Leesfields of the world when they are groveling for federal appointments next year.

    Warren "could have done the country a service"

    Dan Moffett: "Unlike many televangelists and mega-church preachers, the Rev. Warren has an admirable record of using his wealth and influence to fight poverty, illiteracy and HIV/AIDS. He could have done the country a service by turning the interviews away from the abortion debate and toward some of the causes he has championed. It doesn't take a theologian to ask politicians hard questions about the moral conduct of government. Agnostics or atheists can do the interviewing just as well."

    For example, how can the richest country on earth still have children who go to bed hungry each night? Is it morally right that 50 million Americans have no health insurance and receive care that's inferior to what the richest 50 million get?

    How about the death penalty? Is it morally right for states to continue enforcing it, given the disproportionate numbers of minority and poor defendants who are sentenced to it? Is it morally defensible to go on with executions when so many on Death Rows have been cleared through DNA evidence? Even proponents of the death penalty concede that innocent people have been executed. Where is the moral dialogue on that in the campaign?

    What is the United States' moral responsibility to take care of the planet? Don't Americans, with our wealth and power, have an obligation to lead the way against global warming? What about discussion of the morality of the Iraq War? (We were wrong about weapons of mass destruction and tens of thousands of people died because of it.) What is our moral obligation to the millions of war refugees and the Iraqi people who have suffered so greatly because of the Bush administration's incompetence?

    The Rev. Warren should make a purpose-driven trip to Palm Beach County and ask politicians to defend the moral grounds of their decisions.
    "What Warren didn't ask".

    I go with the "Mother Nature" angle

    "Early voting for Tuesday's primary election appears lower in Hillsborough County than in the past, but officials aren't sure whether the drop signals a trend or a concession to Mother Nature." "Early Voting Numbers Down".

    A disaster

    "President Bush declared Sunday that four Florida counties hit hardest by Tropical Storm Fay are major disaster areas, making them eligible for federal aid. The declaration makes funds available for emergency work and repairs to governments in Brevard, Monroe, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties." "Bush names 4 Fla. counties disaster areas from Fay".

    Charlie's lust

    Randy Schultz: "It took Gov. Crist, lusting after a spot on the McCain ticket, all of a day after Sen. McCain's conversion to drop his opposition to more drilling. Florida's Republican senator, Mel Martinez, now also wants further review of the offshore drilling issue. Those were attacks on Florida from within. And then the attacks got bipartisan."

    We in Florida get it. This state has shown the strongest bipartisan support for limits on drilling near the coast. So high prices are our fault. Lost in all the simple-mindedness is the fact that Florida did work out a compromise on drilling two years ago. It opened up more of the Gulf but still kept rigs 150 miles offshore, thus protecting the state. At the request of the Pentagon, it left off-limits a military testing area.

    The nation has an energy problem because politicians of both parties haven't made long-term commitments to conservation and renewable sources. An oil platform is the wrong campaign platform for Florida.
    "Allow more drilling? Florida did".

    Oh, and to burnish his "I'm balanced" bona fides, Schultz takes the obligatory cheap shot at Obama:
    Seeing a shift in the polls on drilling, Sen. Obama reversed himself and hinted that some sort of reasonable, safe, carefully crafted compromise might be something he could consider under the right circumstances. Can he waffle? Yes He Can!
    Good boy Schultzie ... now here's your doggie bone.

    The The Orlando Sentinel editorial board observes that "[p]olitical courage, like oil, can be hard to find." "Opponents of more offshore drilling should stand firm"

    "Some of the worst flooding on record"

    "The St. Johns River could hit Central Florida this week with some of the worst flooding on record. Runoff from Fay is gorging nearly every part of the 310-mile St. Johns River, which forms south of Melbourne and flows north to the Orlando area and on to Jacksonville."

    And this doesn't sound like a plan: "Water-district officials might open canal gates that allow water to flow from the upper reaches of the river to the Indian River Lagoon along the coast. But that's an option of last resort because of significant environmental harm that results by dumping fresh water into a slightly salty ecosystem."."St. Johns River's worst yet to come". See also "State: Fay claims 11 lives in Florida; storm system still a threat".

    "And Florida will be in the center of it all"

    Scott Maxwell is at the convention, and says "Florida will be in the center of it all." "Conventional wisdom: Finish your wings, wash your hands".

    The Florida weather thing

    Adam Smith reminds us that "Florida's weather can make for dicey campaigning. John Kerry lost weeks of crucial Florida campaign time during the treacherous hurricane season in 2004, and last week Tropical Storm Fay took a toll on the John McCain and Barack Obama campaigns. Fay caused McCain to cancel a million-dollar fundraiser in Miami last week, and the Obama campaign pulled its TV ads across the state."

    Off topic

    In the don't we have better things to do category: "Sex sought for 2 cents, police say".

    Vote Tuesday

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Florida's primary on Tuesday is the one and only chance for voters to elect judges and to send party nominees into the general election in November." "Primary election".

    So much for a spine

    Last Sunday, Mike Thomas wrote

    It is time for the nuclear option: a state income tax.
    "Economy's busted; politics is broken - it's time for the nuclear option". It took a lot of courage for a Maitland Housewife to say that, particularly when the boss-man worships at the feet of luminaries like Charles Krauthammer*

    So, it is no surprise to see Thomas flip-flopping in his column today. He begins with this:
    Florida's budget disaster now qualifies as a national disaster.

    In asking for federal emergency money to deal with flooding, Gov. Charlie Crist cited Florida's $1.8 billion deficit.
    Thomas then confesses that had Charlie
    listened to me, we would have a personal income tax and could afford to buy everybody in Palm Bay a kayak. We would also have money for schools, universities, health care, poor children, unemployed liberal journalists and so on.

    We'd be a utopia.
    After calling for a "a state income tax" just last week, Thomas decides to "investigate where" such a tax would lead.

    Lo and behold, and after a mere seven days, it seems "a state income tax" would put Florida "on an express elevator to hell".

    California has an income tax, and look what happened!
    California teachers are tied with Connecticut teachers as the highest paid in the nation.
    Seriously, what could be worse?

    In his deliberately (we hope) opaque column, Thomas sprinkles in gems like this:
    How do the enlightened leaders of California deal with their deficit compared to the gun-loving, Darwin-doubting Neanderthals of Florida?

    Score one for the guys in the cave.
    And this,
    Florida still needs to broaden its tax base and fund critical needs. And the only way I see of getting there is a credible spending cap to ensure we avoid going the route of California.
    There is much more in this regular laff riot of a column right here: "In race to see who handles fiscal mess better, Florida leads California, 1-0".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *"Asked to name his favorite columnists, Zell named Charles Krauthammer, Thomas Friedman and David Brooks." "In Politics, New Tribune Boss May Be 'Right' Man for the Job".

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