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 Friday, August 15, 2008

Garbage in ...

    "An ex-congressman who helped prosecute former President Clinton at his impeachment trial is one of seven judges and a lawyer who were nominated Thursday for a pair of Florida Supreme Court openings." "Fla. Supreme Court seat may go to Daytona judge".

    "The names of seven judges and a private attorney were forwarded to Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday as nominees for two openings on the Florida Supreme Court. However, the eight candidates' lack of diversity gave the governor pause. The list, nominated by the Judicial Nominating Commission, includes no women or African-Americans."
    Fifty lawyers applied to replace Kenneth Bell, 52, and Raoul Cantero, 47, who both are retiring for family reasons. Both were appointed by Jeb Bush.

    Among five lawyers nominated for Cantero's at-large seat is 2nd District Court of Appeal Judge Charles Canady, 54, of Lakeland. He was one of 13 members of Congress who ran the impeachment hearings against President Bill Clinton. ...

    The four other finalists for Cantero's seat: 11th Circuit Judge Kevin Emas, 50, Miami; 5th District Court of Appeal Judge Vincent G. Torpy Jr., 52, Daytona Beach; 15th Circuit Judge Jorge Labarga, 55, West Palm Beach; and lawyer Edward Guedes, 44, Miami.

    The finalists for Bell's seat, who must reside within the 1st District Court of Appeal area, are: 1st DCA Judge Ricky L. Polston, 52, Tallahassee; 1st DCA Judge Peter D. Webster, 59, Tallahassee; and 4th Circuit Judge Waddell A. Wallace, Jacksonville. ...

    The only Hispanic finalists were Labarga and Guedes, who is also the only registered Democrat. Guedes is known in South Florida legal communities as openly gay, but he was quick to add he doesn't want to be considered based on his ethnicity or sexual orientation.
    "Crist upset by list for state Supreme Court seats". You remember this titan of political hackery jurisprudence:
    The strongest political credentials belong to 2nd District Court of Appeal Judge Charles Canady, 54, of Lakeland, an at-large nominee.

    On his application, the former Republican legislator and congressman listed Clinton's 1999 Senate impeachment trial as the most significant case he has litigated. The Senate acquitted Clinton on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power related to his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

    Canady later served as general counsel to Gov. Jeb Bush and defended Bush's school voucher program, which let children from failing public schools switch to private schools at taxpayer expense. The Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that the program was unconstitutional.
    "7 names suggested for high court posts". See also "West Palm Beach judge is finalist for Florida Supreme Court". More: "Commission narrows down candidates for top judge spots".

    Welcome to Florida, stay awhile ...

    "Barack Obama's national campaign manager is coming to Florida. David Plouffe is planning to hold a news conference [today in Tampa] about the campaign's organization in what will be a battleground state come November." "Obama campaign manager comes to Florida".

    The "drill bit"

    The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board: "John McCain would have you believe that drilling for more oil would immediately bring down oil prices -- and that the mere talk of drilling more has pushed prices down in the last few weeks. Give him a gold medal for bunk. " "On the stump with a drill bit".

    Obama to address VFW convention in Orlando

    "Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama and, possibly, President Bush will address the national conference of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Orlando starting Monday, the St. Petersburg Times is reporting." "McCain, Obama and Bush headed to Orlando to speak to VFW".

    In lieu of fainting at the sight of McBush, GOPer VFWers may want to ask themselves why the troops actually in combat (as opposed to the career officers residing in offices stateside)

    Now, between firefights in the Iraqi desert, some infantrymen have been sending a different kind of mail stateside: two or three hundred dollars -- or whatever they can spare ...

    According to an analysis of campaign contributions by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Democrat Barack Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than has Republican John McCain, ...

    "That's shocking. The academic debate is between some who say that junior enlisted ranks lean slightly Republican and some who say it's about equal, but no one would point to six-to-one" in Democrats' favor, said Aaron Belkin, a professor of political science at the University of California who studies the military. "That represents a tremendous shift from 2000, when the military vote almost certainly was decisive in Florida and elsewhere, and leaned heavily towards the Republicans."
    "Troops Deployed Abroad Give 6:1 to Obama".

    "'It says how much we value education'"

    "Though she has to watch her budget at home, Condrey spends at least $1,000 of her own money each year buying supplies for her classroom."

    "But Jessy Hamilton, who teaches geography and history to gifted students at Walker Middle in Orange County, says he no longer can afford the $500 he used to shell out annually for supplemental materials and supplies. A teacher for six years, he makes about $38,000 and doubts he ever will be able to afford a house if he stays in Florida." "Teachers 'not going to get a penny' in raises".

    Amendment 5

    "A circuit judge Thursday threw the tax-swap constitutional amendment off Florida's November ballot, saying its legal title and summary do not tell voters what the proposal really does." "Leon circuit judge pulls Florida tax-swap amendment from ballot". See also "Judge removes tax swap from ballot" and "'Tax Swap' axed from November ballot". However,

    even if the question is eventually returned to the statewide ballot, Cooper's ruling was an immediate boon for opponents, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida School Boards Association.

    Cooper ruled that the ballot question misleads voters by implying a "balanced trade-off." The proposal would require state lawmakers to use a sales tax increase and other sources to replace a $9 billion hole the property tax cut would leave in Florida's budget for K-12 schools.

    Cooper also agreed with plaintiffs - a coalition of business and school groups - that the ballot question ignored "several significant changes" included in the amendment.

    "A voter reading the title may well be misled into voting for or against the amendment without reading further," Cooper wrote.
    "Circuit judge: Remove property tax amendment from ballot". See also "Tax swap language on ballot ruled by judge to be misleading".

    Going down

    State "economists have had to repeatedly reduce their revenue forecasts over the past two years because Florida's economy has been sinking faster and deeper than they'd expected." "Fla. revenue estimate may be down again".


    "A federal appeals court on Thursday ordered Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles to stand trial in El Paso on immigration fraud charges. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that Posada, an aging anti-Castro militant, should stand trial on charges that he lied to federal authorities in his 2005 bid to become a U.S. citizen." "Appeals court orders Cuban militant to stand trial".

    And a TV in every seat back

    "While Wade is named as a partner, he is not contributing financially to the schools, collecting a salary or taking part in day-to-day operations, said Mark F. Thimmig, CEO and president of Mavericks in Education, which would run the schools. But he is expected to show up at the opening of the schools, if they win school board approval."

    What could be cooler than a high school with a game room full of Wii, PlayStation and Xbox consoles? How about three new Palm Beach County schools named for Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade?

    A private education company is trying to win approval to open 16 charter schools, including three in the county, named for the NBA All-Star guard. ...

    Thimmig formerly led White Hat, one of the nation's largest for-profit educational management companies. White Hat operated several Palm Beach County alternative schools before the school board decided not to renew the contract last year when the company didn't meet some academic goals.
    "Education company banking on Heat star to fill charter schools".

    The cult of "W"

    "President Bush's popularity has tanked, but boy can he still bring in the cash. He's raked in close to a billion dollars, the political fundraiser in chief, during his White House tenure." But the GOPers hide him in the attic with the other crazy uncles:

    Bush spent 90 minutes recently at a California winery tucked in a hillside in Napa Valley to help wring $850,000 from deep-pocket donors. That's $9,444 a minute.

    Out of political expedience, McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, is generally keeping his distance - at least physically - from an unpopular incumbent who's burdened with war, soaring fuel prices and a sputtering economy.

    Bush embraced McCain as the party's next standard bearer in the Rose Garden in March, saying, "I can help raise him money, and if he wants my pretty face standing by his side at one of these rallies, I'd be glad to show up."

    Since then, the only time they have been seen together in public was after a fundraiser on May 27 in Phoenix. The two men shook hands on the airport tarmac and smiled and waved at reporters before Bush boarded Air Force One. The goodbye lasted less than a minute.
    "Bush still raking in cash for Republicans".

    Not pretty

    "The news isn't pretty for the courts system these days. The economy is lagging, crime is up, judges are getting busier and their staff is shrinking, officials say." "Budget cuts impacting court system".

    Cuttin' courts

    "Fla. soldier found dead in Fort Hood barracks".

    Republicans battle it out in Dem district

    The poor The Orlando Sentinel editorial board:

    Mr. Siplin's primary opponent isn't a plausible alternative. Maurice Woodard says he's the trustworthy candidate, and he has an impressive resume. But the former Republican's claim of always voting for Democrats proved false. And he's unaware of important issues.
    "A weak primary opponent compels us to endorse the senator".

    "Seeking more creative solutions from state lawmakers"

    Drownin' that baby ...

    "The alliance, Florida's People -- Florida's Promise, is bracing for an additional state revenue shortfall of perhaps more than $1 billion, its leaders said Thursday. The exact figures will be announced today. But already the group has some 50 agencies across the state -- including the Florida AARP, the Florida Coalition for Children and Florida TaxWatch -- that have pledged to work together to resolve the funding crisis. And 750 individuals have signed the group's petition seeking more creative solutions from state lawmakers than the slash-and-burn approach of the past legislative session." "Unusual alliance fighting to stop budget massacre".

    Low hangin' fruit

    "The promise of a likely easy win has Republicans in District 56 eager to run after State Rep. Trey Traviesa's decision to not run for re-election." "Contenders Line Up To Take Traviesa's Place On Ballot".

    Not exactly the New Deal

    "Crist said Thursday he was directing state agencies to ramp up construction projects already in the pipeline in an effort to offset news that Florida's economy — and tax revenues — are in a deep slump." "Florida Gov. Charlie Crist wants state to speed up construction".

    Lori Parrish

    "Broward County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish faces a primary challenge from former employee Sara Truini." "Former employee challenges Broward property appraiser in primary".

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