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, August 07, 2008

Our fine Governor

    "Crist this week jumped aboard one of the biggest proposed tax cuts in Florida history -- an amendment on the November ballot that would cut property taxes that fund the state's schools. ... Crist refused again Wednesday to say what tax increases he would support, if any, to make up for the expected $9 billion cut in funding schools will face if the amendment is approved." "Crist, vocal about tax cut, is also mum about increase".

    Could this be a teensy, weensy bit of newspaper company pressure on our sainted Guv. The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Gov. Crist came out this week in strong and irresponsible support of Amendment 5 on the November ballot, another sign that he hopes to be a short-termer in Florida."
    Amendment 5 would cut property taxes about 25 percent by ending the state-ordered tax for schools known as the Required Local Effort. Since Gov. Crist campaigned hard for the tiny cut from Amendment 1, it makes political sense that he would favor the more far-reaching Amendment 5. But from a civic and moral standpoint, the governor's support makes no sense. ...

    Under Gov. Crist's grand plan, however, he is John McCain's vice president when Florida is dealing with Amendment 5. For Gov. Crist's support to have any credibility, he will need to specify how he would close that $7 billion hole.
    "Crist owes Floridians an $8 billion answer".

    Could there have been a bit 'o Charlie floppery in all this? "Crist said his aide got it wrong six months ago when he wrote constituents to say the governor would oppose any plans to swap property tax cuts for other tax increases." "Crist disavows letters opposing tax swap". An earlier story: "Crist aide had barred support for a tax hike".

    Background: "Crist pitches new property-tax amendment to voters in 'state of distrust'".

    Straight talk express [sic] crashes in Miami

    "The bus driver, along with Sen. Joe Leiberman and an aide, were traveling south on Biscayne when they collided with a blue van, according to Miami police." "McCain bus in Miami crash".

    Calling Florida lawyers

    If you are a lawyer, and care about politics, shouldn't you join The Florida Democratic Lawyers Council? See also "Obama signs up lawyers".


    "We're entering the phase of the presidential campaign where candidate stand-ins will descend on the Sunshine State for the final 90 days of the campaign." "Campaign stand-ins ready to show star power in Florida".


    "Non-Hispanic whites are leaving Broward and Palm Beach counties in droves. Meanwhile, the dramatic growth of Hispanics and other minority groups has slowed to a trickle."

    The latest U.S. census estimates, released today, show that the number of non-Hispanic whites in Broward County went down by more than 24,000 between 2006 and 2007, single-handedly accounting for the county's drop in total population. In Palm Beach County, that number dropped by more than 9,000.

    At the same time, the number of Hispanics increased by more than 9,000 in Broward and about 7,000 in Palm Beach County. The number of blacks jumped by almost 2,000 in both counties last year.

    Contrast that with the year 2000, when the Hispanic and black populations went up by more than 30,000 and 19,000 in Broward, respectively. That year, Hispanics climbed by nearly 13,000 and blacks by 7, 000 in Palm Beach County.
    Much more here: "Sun-Sentinel: Non-Hispanic whites leaving Broward, Palm Beach County in large numbers".

    Charlie's money machine

    "Democrats pounced on reports Wednesday that a major fundraiser for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Republican presidential candidate John McCain had tapped suspiciously apolitical Californians of modest means for thousands of dollars in campaign contributions over the past two years."

    Responding to an article in the Washington Post, Democratic Party officials suggested that Sargeant, who lives in Gulf Stream in Palm Beach County, may have improperly funneled money to McCain earlier this year and to Crist during his 2006 race for governor.

    Sargeant denied wrongdoing on Wednesday and said he didn't know the donors personally. They were asked to contribute by his far-flung network of business associates.
    "Democrats question whether Crist friend used 'straw donors'".

    "Final test run"

    "Broward County officials did a final test run of the county's new voting equipment Wednesday, making sure the paper ballots and optical scanners work the way they're supposed to." "Broward voting machines go through their final test".

    Revamping accountability

    "In light of breakdowns in the oversight of Florida mortgage brokers, two legislators said they'll seek to revamp accountability in the Office of Financial Regulation." "In wake of broker exposé, legislators seeking change".

    I feel safer

    "Florida is more ready for a hurricane and other disasters than ever before, Gov. Charlie Crist and top emergency-management officers said Wednesday." "Officials: Florida more prepared for disasters than ever before".


    "Kicking off two days of South Florida appearances on behalf of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman mingled with Jewish voters at a kosher restaurant here after meeting in the morning with more than 40 South Florida pastors at a church in Greenacres." "Lieberman stumps for McCain at kosher restaurant in West Palm Beach".

    A bit early to endorse

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "McCain Is Mainstream Maverick".

    Oil companies put their feet down ...

    ... at the pump:

    A Barack Obama ad ready to air at Florida gas stations that have pumps topped with TV screens was nixed at the last minute because the advertising company's chief said it reflected poorly on the oil industry, according to the presidential candidate's campaign.
    "Brakes put on Obama gas ads" More: "Obama camp, TV company clash over ads" and "Obama' plan to put ads on gas pumps hits roadblock".

    Bill Maxwell

    "Uhurus keep democracy vibrant".

    Florida Hometown Democracy

    "The statewide battle royal over whether the November ballot should include an amendment requiring a citizen vote on changes to community land-use plans landed in the lap of a federal judge Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra heard arguments by amendment proponent Florida Hometown Democracy over the alleged inaccurate tallying of petition signatures by state election officials."

    "It's a wrong solution for a perceived problem," said Barney Bishop, president of Associated Industries of Florida, a business lobbying group. "It's overkill."

    Lesley Blackner, a Palm Beach lawyer who co-founded and is the leader of Florida Hometown Democracy, has said those fears are misplaced.

    She has said she helped start the initiative as a response to willy-nilly growth and public officials too willing to give developers everything they want.

    Business interests responded in recent years, driving to revoke petition signatures and getting a law passed that successfully siphoned off some.

    The battle royal has taken place in various court fights around Florida.
    "Land-use vote deserves ballot spot, group says". See also "Judge hears Fla. planning amendment case".

    Never mind

    "Broward sheriff candidate to return felon's $1,000 donation".

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