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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"Peoples' Guv" endorses regressive sales tax increase

    "Crist entered the fray Monday over a plan to eliminate school property taxes in exchange for a higher sales tax,"
    endorsing the tax swap and hinting he might barnstorm the state in support of it if he's not chosen as Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate.

    The governor, expressing concern over Florida's sinking economy, issued his first full endorsement of Amendment 5, which would slash property tax bills by at least one-quarter statewide.

    In exchange, the state's 6-cent sales tax would be boosted by a penny, and legislators would have to find an additional $7 billion in school funding through other tax increases and spending cuts.
    As usual, Charlie is trying to have it both ways,
    saying he hadn't determined how hard he'll stump for the tax swap. One factor: whether would take on cross-country travels as McCain's vice presidential pick. The governor is also engaged to be married.

    "Only time will tell," Crist said. "I'm just trying to figure out the degree of help, the time I'll have to do it. I hope to be very helpful."
    "Crist backs tax swap plan; critics call it an increase".

    "The so-called tax swap was placed on the ballot by the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission. McKay, a Bradenton real estate broker, is a Crist appointee to the panel. McKay's plan has drawn fierce opposition from business groups worried that in addition to the higher sales tax, the proposal carries a future tax hike that could force legislators to tax their services to make up for the loss ($8-billion this year alone) in property taxes used for education." "Crist backs tax cut on ballot".

    A little help ...

    "Obama is trying to make peace with South Florida supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton." "Obama reaches out to S. Florida's Clinton backers in delegate dispute".

    "It's going to be big"

    "Florida's sagging economy will push state government back into the red this month and force Gov. Charlie Crist to either further cut spending or tap deeper into the state's reserves."

    Florida's sales and real-estate tax revenues have continued to plummet this year, forcing Crist in June to order all state agencies to hold back 4 percent of the $25.7 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

    In May, Florida lawmakers passed an overall bare-bones $66 billion spending plan based on expectations of a $594 million surplus. But by the end of June, tax collections had fallen more than $200 million below projections and are likely to continue to drop.

    The amount of the budget deficit will be set Aug. 15, when state economists meet to revise their projections for how much less revenue from sales and real-estate taxes Florida can expect through next June.

    "It's going to be big," predicted state economist Amy Baker, part of the economic team that prepares revenue projections for the governor and Legislature.
    "'Big' budget deficit ahead for Florida".

    "Advocates for children and the elderly joined a government watchdog group Monday in urging Florida legislators to consider new revenue sources rather than forcing more budget cuts to cope with the state's economic slump." "Advocates: Children, elderly can't suffer more budget cuts".

    Florida to "repeal a constitutional ban on state financial aid to churches and religious organizations"?

    A circuit judge says the amendments are good to go: "Amendment 7 would repeal a constitutional ban on state financial aid to churches and religious organizations. Amendment 9 would remove language from the state Constitution that the Florida Supreme Court used in 2006 to bar then-Gov. Jeb Bush's Opportunity Scholarship program." "Court says voucher votes to stay on ballot". See also "Judge keeps school vouchers on ballot" and "School-voucher plan can be on the ballot Nov. 4, judge rules".

    Poor Vern

    "A former employee has filed a lawsuit accusing U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan of falsifying business documents in the operation of a Venice car dealership. The lawsuit also says Buchanan skirted federal campaign laws by reimbursing dealership employees for contributions they made to his political campaign. These allegations echo claims in a previous lawsuit filed by another former employee." "Suit: Rep. Buchanan skirted campaign finance law".

    "Behind the curve"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Gov. Crist looks foolish for changing his position on drilling to match that of Sen. McCain. Sen. Obama refused to pander when Sen. McCain and Gov. Crist proposed a meaningless gas-tax holiday. On drilling, though, Sen. Obama is backing away from the correct and principled stand. Those polls, by the way, show support for more drilling only if it would bring down prices soon. Sen. Nelson has promised to educate Sen. Obama on the issue. He's got a lot of work to do." "Obama behind curve on more gulf drilling".

    Keller's gutter politics

    "Keller put his re-election campaign on the attack this weekend, sending his opponent's mugshot and arrest record to voters across Central Florida."

    "In March 2007, a police officer found Long sleeping on the sidewalk near a Tallahassee high school just after 5 a.m. According to the officer's report, Long, who appeared intoxicated, said he was in Tallahassee with the Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce to visit the Florida Legislature. Long couldn't remember what hotel he was staying at, though a clerk at a nearby Holiday Inn told police he had been drinking in the hotel bar and handing out campaign fliers earlier in the night." "Sentinel: Keller: GOP rival has booze history" (Keller has "$935,000 in his campaign account as of June 30, compared with Long's $15,000.")

    "The arrogance of Florida Power & Light Co. apparently knows no bounds"

    "It was bad enough last week when state regulators shut down an FPL green energy program, after an audit showed most of the $11.4 million collected from customers who volunteered — at $9.75 a month — for the Sunshine Energy program was used for public relations and marketing efforts."

    Ah, but now, as customers are screaming about being duped and talking about refunds or some way to get their money back, FPL says, technically, they don't owe customers a thing, because they bought renewable-energy credits and built more solar power.
    "Arrogance of FPL is greater than ever".

    HD 83

    "Miller is running against Rick Ford for the state House District 83 seat in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary. Both lawyers, they are seeking to unseat three-term incumbent Republican Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, in the north county district that includes Jupiter, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach and the northern part of Palm Beach. The winner faces Domino in the Nov. 4 general election." "Riled voters want to cull legislators, hopeful contends".

    Remember "Vic"?

    "On Thursday, the Anchorage Daily News ran a profile of him under the headline, "Who is the mysterious Vic Vickers?" Old-time Florida political junkies may remember Raymond 'Vic' Vickers. Back in the early 1980s, Vickers carried the whiff of political controversy himself." "Former Florida deputy comptroller runs for the U.S. Senate — in Alaska.".

<< Home