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 Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Serious" RPOF delegates head to Minnesota. Seriously

    The GOPers head to their "convention". And they ain't like those frivolous Dems; the RPOFers are "very serious people. These RPOFers are
    Serious about issues, not celebrities. Serious about who will secure the country, not who gives the best speech, lights up a crowd or wows the news media. That's the word from South Florida delegates streaming into St. Paul this week for the Republican National Convention.
    "Serious-minded South Florida delegates focus on GOP convention". We look forward to hearing how these serious people seriously claim that McCain's VP selection is a serious choice, and that they support it (seriously).

    Carl Hiaasen has some ideas on how these august RPOFer delegates can maintain the seriousness of their convention:
    • Pretend that Hurricane Katrina never happened and that nobody in New Orleans suffered or died needlessly.

    • Pretend our economy isn't in the crapper. Pretend that we don't have the largest deficit in history, and no prayer for a balanced budget.

    • Pretend our energy policy is innovative and farsighted, and not hijacked by the oil companies.

    • Pretend the mortgage crisis and housing crash weren't avoidable.

    • Pretend that the war in Iraq has been a huge success, and that we couldn't have spent that trillion or so dollars on problems here at home. Pretend there really were weapons of mass destruction.

    • Pretend the Taliban isn't resurging more violently than ever in Afghanistan. Pretend we actually caught Osama bin Laden and brought him to trial.
    And precisely who are these oh, so "serious" delegates? They're of course the usual suspects: "The delegation reflects the Cuban-American community of Florida, its military-minded voters and the state's business interests." "South Florida delegates to Republican National Convention unite under one banner".

    A deep thinking delegate:
    Obama's trip to Europe in July, which Republicans portrayed as the mark of a presumptuous candidate play-acting as a head of state, galvanized Florida Republicans, said state Rep. David Rivera of Miami.
    "GOP's united front will feature Florida in a starring role". This from a fifth tier chump who thinks Tallahassee is entitled to effect foreign relations policy viz. Cuba?

    The sugar deal

    "Critics of Charlie Crist's plan to buy 300 square miles of Everglades sugar fields say we can't afford the $1.75 billion. Current events show why we can't afford not to buy it." Thomas explains here: "Water woes prove we need to buy Everglades land from U.S. Sugar".

    "Win or lose"

    "Win or lose, black delegates and Florida Democratic Party leaders say their national convention proved that the nation — not just American politics — has changed remarkably in Sen. Barack Obama's lifetime. " "Dems: US a nation changed from 45 years ago".


    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "The myths perpetuated for years in Florida by the large private property insurers are collapsing."

    Myth: There's no connection between hurricane coverage and other lines of coverage.

    Myth: We have to cut back on the number of homeowner policies in Florida to make money in the state.

    Myth: Our state subsidiaries don't exist just to move profits out of Florida to the parent company but keep losses in Florida and ask for higher premiums, even when the parent company is making money.
    "With Allstate deal, the market has struck back".

    "Effortless in switching costumes"

    "Now that Charlie Crist won't be riding shotgun on John McCain's presidential campaign, Florida's left-at-the-altar Republican governor faces a critical juncture in crafting his national political resume."

    Will he need to resurrect the conservative image of "Chain Gang Charlie" as 2010 and re-election nears, or stick to the centrist leanings likely to play better for a national audience?

    So far, the governor has seemed effortless in switching costumes.

    He made conservatives giddy last week with his appointment of former U.S. Rep. Charles Canady, who helped prosecute then-President Clinton, to the Florida Supreme Court, while catering to left-leaning civil-rights groups with an executive order making it easier for ex-felons to register to vote.
    More from Aaron Deslatte:
    But the missed opportunity could be a blessing.

    For all the talk out of Denver about the deep bench of Florida Democrats ready to run for higher office, none of them relishes challenging Crist for the Governor's Mansion in 2010.

    With re-election an odds-on bet, Crist can fine-tune his game.

    "Left off McCain ticket, which way will Crist go now?" With the state of Florida's political "journalism", we agree that Charlie's "re-election" will be "an odds-on bet".Keller - Grayson

    "U.S. Rep. Ric Keller's supporters might be nervous about his small margin of victory in the Republican primary last week. But Keller says he's not. " "Election battle begins for Keller, Grayson".

    "Nothing has changed recently in Florida's tax structure"

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Nothing has changed recently in Florida's tax structure, which punishes businesses by rewarding longtime home ownership — though not renters or owners of commercial property." "Not-so-sweet 16".

    "Florida hasn't elected an African-American to statewide office since Reconstruction"

    Jane Healy: "Though state Rep. Geraldine Thompson was stunned by what she saw Thursday night -- a black man accepting the nomination for president of the United States -- the west Orlando woman is still uncomfortable with what the ultimate outcome might be."

    After all, Florida hasn't elected an African-American to statewide office since Reconstruction. The person who came closest -- Doug Jamerson, the Democratic nominee for Education Commissioner in 1994 -- didn't win even though he was serving successfully in the position after being appointed to fill a vacancy.

    Central Florida isn't much better. Black candidates are easily elected in individual geographic districts that are heavily black, but not when it comes to countywide elections. In other words, when black voters aren't deciding the election.
    "Will Thompson get her wish for nation - and Central Florida - when it comes to electing African-Americans?"

    "Now what's the problem?"

    "The Denver convention made one thing perfectly clear -- with a new arena, beefed-up stadium and performing-arts center in downtown Orlando, there's absolutely no reason Orlando shouldn't host such a convention." "Now what's the problem?"

    "Somehow we lost our collective consciousness"

    The The St. Petersburg Times's Robyn E. Blumner writes that "Labor Day used to be a moment to celebrate worker solidarity and the power of the labor movement* to secure rising living standards and a fair exchange for one's work. But somehow we lost our collective consciousness, leaving most of us to stand alone with the bargaining power of a gnat and the economic insecurity to show for it."

    She explains that

    modern-day workers of America are in no mood to party. Our prospects are about as promising as a lottery ticket holder's. Just how many times does one have to lose before it sinks in that the game's rigged?

    Here's our Labor Day reality: Worker productivity rose 2.5 percent a year between 2000 and 2007. Meanwhile wages stagnated, health benefits withered, defined-benefit pensions disappeared and income inequality soared.

    This doesn't just happen. This abandonment of middle class wage earners has been a long-term project — a pact, if you will, between the donor class of wealthy individuals and corporate chieftains and the government that serves them.
    She continues: "If you want to know how all this happened, read The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule by Thomas Frank. ... He describes: "
    • How government jobs are handed to "cronies, hacks, partisans and creationists" as a way to wrest the bureaucracy from anyone who actually believes in its power to do good and has the talent to make that happen;

    • how civil servants are demonized to make room for the privatization of government functions — still paid for by taxpayers but now with hefty profits to corporate America;

    • and how public policy is created to respond to lobbyists' demands on behalf of industry and global capital and not the interests of the American people.
    "Laboring under a sinking feeling".


    "Bob Hackworth was a political nobody when he beat a respected longtime incumbent for the Dunedin City Commission in 2002."

    Now he's up against a congressman who may be Pinellas County's most revered politician, a 38-year incumbent who has scattered his name and millions of dollars across his district.

    Hackworth, who won the Democratic primary against two opponents this week, believes he can beat U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young by tapping into voters' desire for change in Congress. He senses a parallel between this race and his first in Dunedin, where the mood on issues had shifted and voters turned against the incumbent.

    But the Dunedin mayor doesn't doubt it will be a tricky and difficult campaign. Young, who has a war chest of more than $600,000, is known for helping local officials and responding to constituents' needs.
    "Mayor a nobody no longer".

    "It's absurd that we play that silly game"

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "'I think it's absurd that we play that silly game.'"

    Interim Pinellas County administrator Fred Marquis chose exactly the right words to describe the state's requirement for confidentiality when private companies seek tax refunds in exchange for creating new jobs. This is bad law, and the Legislature needs to fix it.

    The confidentiality requirement prevents elected officials from adequately vetting companies before voting on millions of dollars in tax rebates, leaves the public out of the process entirely, and fosters an improper climate of secrecy in a state that prizes its government-in-the-sunshine ethic. Only private companies and economic development officials get to be players in this insiders-only game.

    Companies applying for the state's Qualified Target Industry tax refund program can, and often do, request confidentiality so other companies can't learn about their plans.
    "End secrecy on company tax breaks".

<< Home