Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 29, 2008

"Wiping away the last remnant of Democratic power in Tallahassee"

    W. Dexter Douglass: "'Canady is about as doctrinaire right-wing Republican as you'll find... I suppose the governor felt he had to recognize that wing of the party at some point, and he picked a good one to do it with.' Crist said he did not select Canady for his political ideology, although acknowledged some may see it that way. " "Crist taps Canady as first state Supreme Court appointment".

    "Seizing an unprecedented opportunity to shape the Florida Supreme Court, Gov. Charlie Crist began Thursday"
    wiping away the last remnant of Democratic power in Tallahassee by naming his first justice to a court best known for its decision in favor of Al Gore in the 2000 presidential recount.

    Crist, a Republican, handed conservatives a victory by choosing Lakeland appellate judge Charles Canady, 54, to an at-large seat on the seven-member court. Canady is the first of four selections Crist will make in coming months.

    Conservatives quickly touted the choice of Canady, who, as a U.S. House member, was an ardent abortion foe and floor manager in the Republican impeachment attempt against President Clinton.
    The lobbyists who own Charlie explain; here's Boss-Man Ballard:
    "He'll be able to pick people who reflect his judgment and his conservative principles," said lobbyist Brian Ballard, a close ally to Crist. "There's no better way to accentuate your beliefs than with appointments to the court."
    Restated, Charlie (serial bar exam flunker) is firmly in the nut-camp.
    The selection of Canady "gives me pause, I really worry about that," said Sandy D'Alemberte, a former Democratic legislator and law professor at Florida State University. "This has not been a partisan court.
    "Gov. Charlie Crist picks his first Supreme Court justice". See also "Crist names Canady to Fla. Supreme Court".

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "With his first appointment to the Florida Supreme Court, Gov. Charlie Crist has picked the most partisan candidate available."
    His judicial "career" has lasted all of six years, and during merit retention in 2004 the Florida Bar rated his qualifications the lowest among the five 2nd DCA judges on the ballot.

    The credentials that would vault Canady ahead of the other five candidates for this post are entirely political in nature.
    To be sure, "rise above his politics when he joins the high court, but the reason the Florida Chamber of Commerce and conservative watchdogs are applauding the appointment is that they are confident he won't." "Crist's pick falls short"

    Historical note: Raoul G. Cantero a Justice on the Florida Supreme Court and the Justice Canady is replacing is the grandson of former Cuban tyrant Fulgencio Batista. You remember him: "Batista suspended constitutional guarantees and established tighter censorship of the media. His military police would patrol the streets and pick up anyone suspected of insurrection. By the end of 1955 they had grown more prone to violent acts of brutality and torture, with no fear of legal repercussions."

    The amendments thing

    "But the state's electorate appears far more skeptical of a ballot measure that would eliminate more than $8 billion in school property taxes and require the Legislature to pay for it, most likely with higher sales taxes."

    Don't confuse that with wisdom: "A majority of voters, close to the 60 percent needed for passage, favor writing a same-sex-marriage ban into the Florida Constitution, according to a new Orlando Sentinel poll." "Poll: Many don't buy into tax swap".

    See also "Poll: Amendments too close to call" and "Amendment 5 faces long odds".

    Trouble in paradise

    Michael Mayo: "Yikes. If there was this much confusion and delay sorting out results from a primary with just over 11 percent turnout in Broward, what's going to happen come Election Day? This wasn't a good beginning at all for the new paper ballot system." "Boring day, troubling delays in Broward".

    "The fallout from the delays in posting [Hillsborough] primary election results continued Wednesday, with the voting machine manufacturer calling a news conference to accept responsibility for the glitch and to offer assurances that the $6 million system will work correctly in November's general election." "Company Takes Blame For Hillsborough Election Glitch".

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "Hillsborough elections supervisor Buddy Johnson did something incredible Tuesday even for Buddy Johnson. He took longer to report the results of the primary election than even those counties where the voter turnout was three or four times as strong. Of course, listening to him, the mess was no big deal and somebody else's fault. It always is. What will his chaotic leadership bring come November?" "Johnson muffs another election".

    Ralph De La Cruz:

    We're on the verge of a squeaky-tight presidential election in which the state of Florida is critical to the outcome.


    And we're going into it with a lame-duck elections supervisor. A lame duck who has a record of stumbling in even smaller, less dramatic elections.

    Moreover, this time he'll even be supervising the election of his successor.
    "Not again. An election nightmare in Nov.?".


    "A machine recount will take place this weekend to determine who is the winner of the razor-thin Palm Beach County judicial race in which contender Bill Abramson appears to have upset incumbent Circuit Judge Richard Wennet by 17 votes. ... According to Florida election laws, machine recounts are required for elections or referendums that are within one-half of 1 percent of the total votes cast in the races."

    "If the machine recount results in a difference between one-fourth of one percent and one-half of one percent, the results are final. But if the difference is one-fourth percent or less, local elections officials must physically examine each of the ballots that have been marked with undervotes, in which machines may not have registered a voter's intended vote, and overvotes, in which voters may have marked more than one option." "State says "Go!" on judicial race recount".

    "You could do better, Mr. Crist"? Actually, he can't

    "An executive order sure sounds impressive."

    That's what Gov. Charlie Crist issued Wednesday in making changes to the process for restoring civil rights for ex-felons.

    Those changes include mailing voter-registration forms with every civil-rights notification, and providing better access to a Web site that allows felons to look up and print a copy of their restoration certificate.

    You could do better, Mr. Crist.

    The changes -- which, by the way, were suggested months ago -- still don't fix the problem. Web sites are nice, but it's not a stretch to imagine that many ex-convicts either don't own a computer or know how to use one.
    "Tweaks in rights- restoration process for ex-felons don't go far enough".

    Fun with fools

    These fools can't really believe what they're saying? Can they?

    - "Crist, himself chatted up as a possibility for the spot, is the latest Republican to weigh in on the vice-presidential pick."

    - Allison DeFoor, a former vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and a delegate from Wakulla County to the Republican National Convention next week, called the choice, "brilliant," and one that will further cement a victory in Florida for the 72-year-old nominee.
    "Crist weighs in on McCain's VP pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin".

    Never mind

    "Obama not quite Daytona bound".


    "Melbourne woman speaks at Democratic National Convention" See also "Brevardians join parties for Obama", "Local Obama Supporters Gather To Watch Speech", "Locals celebrate moment in history" and "Older Miami activists see Obama nomination as dream fulfilled".

    Raw political courage

    "Crist asked a special legislative panel Friday to tap $672 million from a budget reserve fund to help make up another state revenue shortfall." "Crist wants to tap $672 million from reserves".

    Charlie's numbers still strong

    "Crist job-approval rating slips from its high of 70%".


    The Miami Herald editorial board: "State Farm Florida got it wrong. State regulators got it right. They dealt a decisive smack-down to the insurance company's brazen request for an average 47.1 percent increase on its homeowners' policies." "The answer is No".

    Fay fallout

    See "Wildlife areas to close from Miami-Dade to Palm Beach County because of high water" and "Releases possible as Lake O rises after drenching by Fay".

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "" "Tweaks in rights- restoration process for ex-felons don't go far enough".

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