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, August 25, 2008

"Obama intends to make Florida one of the premier battleground states"

    "A walk through the seating floor of the Pepsi Center at the Democratic National Convention in Denver yields some quick evidence that Sen. Barack Obama intends to make Florida one of the premier battleground states of his campaign." "Obama Out To Woo Florida".

    Lonely no more

    "They're both in the thick of thousands of excited Democrats at the national party convention this week, but Robert Wexler and Stacy Ritter were awfully lonely for a long time." "Wexler and Ritter were awfully lonely as early Obama supporters". See also "Win for Barack Obama could mean more clout for Robert Wexler".

    "A mountain of a paper trail"

    "A mountain of a paper trail is building in Florida as elections supervisors order hundreds of thousands of pounds of the stuff for the first statewide use of optical-scan voting." "A hefty trail of paper: 90 tons of ballots piling up in Palm Beach County alone". See also "Paper trail of primary tests Florida's readiness".

    Asleep at the wheel

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "The financial crisis that grips Florida government now knows no modern precedent, but nearly as alarming as the plunging forecasts are the numbingly casual reactions in the capital. "

    As schools and universities and courts and hospitals fall into a deepening budgetary sinkhole, state officials are offering little more than shallow platitudes.

    The latest news, delivered this month by the state's Revenue Estimating Conference, is breathtaking. A budget that was $6-billion less than the previous year is now, only seven weeks into the new fiscal year, $1.8-billion in the hole. That means government revenues have dropped three consecutive years, a trend with no known historic parallel. Further, the income isn't projected to recover to 2006 levels until 2012.
    "To this news, key political leaders have reacted by pulling rhetoric off the shelf. ... Crist is behaving as though the $1.8-billion number was made up."
    As legislative leaders eagerly blame national economic conditions, they are missing some critical trends at home. The most troubling may be the over-sized loss of jobs and the precipitous drop in population growth. This past year, Florida led the nation in job losses with 96,800. Its population increased by the smallest margin in at least a half-century, and only 39,887 more people moved here than left here. That net-migration number is one-tenth the amount of just four years ago. One-tenth.

    Something seismic may be happening in Florida, and all Crist and legislative leaders can talk about is property tax cuts.
    "Florida's leadership dithers as state sinks".

    "Belles of the ball"

    "After being slapped by the national party and shunned by the presidential candidates, the Florida Democrats and their 27 electoral votes are now the belles of the ball." "Fla. delegates rate front-row perch". "Treasure Coast Democratic delegates ready for their part at national convention". See also "Florida Democrats rally around Biden", "Florida Democrats seek redemption in Denver" and "Florida Democrats express optimism ahead of national convention".

    Never mind

    "Crist won national praise last year when he sped up Florida's much-maligned clemency process and returned the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of ex-convicts. Crist said it was 'the right thing to do,' winning praise from civil-rights groups stymied for years by the state's refusal to reform a Reconstruction-era system they contended was designed to keep blacks from gaining political power. Florida was one of only three states that did not automatically restore a felon's right to vote, hold job licenses, serve on juries and other rights after serving prison time. But in the 15months since Crist's announcement — and 10weeks before a historic presidential election — only a tiny fraction of those ex-convicts have registered to vote." "Out of jail, out of luck at the polls".

    How could that be? The Orlando Sentinel explains: "Some of the ex-convicts clearly never made the effort to register. But the reasons also include state budget cuts, bureaucratic indifference and a failure by Crist and his administration to follow through on the changes the governor ordered."

    Read all about it here.

    Charlie: "I love him" (Not the way you think)

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "For a governor who hunted down miscreants as attorney general, Charlie Crist seems to have lost his sense of smell. So let's help him:"

    The bundled money he got in his 2006 campaign from a close personal friend is beginning to stink. ...

    The checks are a part of a larger pattern of unusual campaign behavior by oil executive and longtime Crist friend Harry Sargeant III. ...

    Most of the people writing the checks had never given money in the past, and many were not even registered to vote. To call these bundles of money suspicious is an understatement. They fit precisely the profile of "straw" donors, which are illegal.

    The governor's detachment might look less deliberate if Sargeant were just another oil executive. But he is a former fraternity brother about whom Crist has said: "He's a great patriot. I love him."
    "Bundles of checks are troubling".

    Off topic

    The Palm Beach Post's Tom Blackburn: "Condoleezza Rice could hardly get called on for her daily reminders that it is 'time' for Russians to get out of Georgia and her warning that there will be "consequences" if they don't. "

    Since he sewed up the nomination, the Illinois senator has been a friend to all mankind, and especially of the parts of womankind that are no friends of his. He extended his friendship even to the untimely selected delegates from Michigan and Florida. Let them come in peace, he said, so they will all be on hand to applaud the Clintons. By assuring that there would be none of what Ms. Rice calls "consequences" for disregarding the election calendar in 2008, he may have moved the starting gun for 2012 up to some time in 2011. When they think about that, voters will not thank him.
    "First, Clinton! Then, what's-his-name".

    That "social justice" thing

    The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board: "How do you stop the spread of AIDS in a country where it's a crime to admit to homosexuality, or in areas where women and children are typically treated as chattel?" "Picking the right battle".

    Does that include "Republican Party Reptiles"?

    The Miami Herald editorial board: Ban exotic pets".

    "A long-term strategy of sandbagging"

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Cheaper is rarely better. It's just cheaper for the time being, but quite possibly much more expensive down the road. With our economy in tatters and new constraints on public spending, elected officials in Florida face more difficult challenges than ever. How, with reduced revenue streams and a wave of anti-tax sentiment sweeping the state, do they see past the bleak present and still find ways to invest in a more hopeful future? Clearly, it requires the courage to set priorities that will make some people and interest groups bitterly unhappy, and the vision to realize that we can't continue to use a long-term strategy of sandbagging." "Sandbags or dams?".

    You gotta problem wit dat?

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "If the Public Service Commission approves a two-stage rate increase requested by Tampa Electric Co., a typical homeowner could pay about $50 more a month for electricity." "The Budget-Jolting Prospect Of Electric Bills Going Up 31%".

    Early voting

    "Age gap persistent in early voting".

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