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, September 04, 2008

Counting ballots, not votes

    "Workers are only counting ballots and are not yet attempting to decipher how people voted on those ballots, said Kathy Adams, a spokesperson for Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson."

    "'If we end up not being able to find remaining ballots, we'll leave the race as is,' said Mary McCarty, a member of the canvassing board. 'We won't be able to certify the race [and the candidates] will have to sue and go to court and let a judge decide.'
    ""2,700 of 3,400 missing ballots found from Palm Beach County elections".

    Florida robots are "wowed", kneel at feet of "chosen one"

    "Given the choice between Democratic nominee Barack Obama and McCain, Christian conservatives will vote for McCain every time, said Ocala delegate Dennis Baxley, a former legislator and executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida."

    "Tallahassee delegate Cynthia Henderson, a former agency head in Gov. Jeb Bush's administration, said Palin's personal example, and her willingness to accept a 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy, will reassure religious conservatives that McCain is on their side." "McCain wows audience at RNC, says 'change is coming'".

    You remember Cynthia, "a prominent lobbyist and former agency head for Gov. Jeb Bush, [who] obtained a temporary restraining order ... against her husband [of a mere 3 months] after he found her in bed with another man and allegedly threatened them with a crowbar, court records show."

    Is Palin on a mission from God? "Two years ago, Sarah Palin was running a city half the size of DeBary. And yet Wednesday night, you would have been hard-pressed to find a person in St. Paul who wasn't arguing that she was ready to lead the world. ... Bertica Cabrera Morris, a delegate from Orlando and mother of five (like Palin), admits she gets choked up when she thinks about what Palin represents." "Scott Maxwell: They believe in McCain's chosen one".

    The man who once seemed to matter

    "Crist won't attend GOP convention, but will he appear?". And isn't Charlie taking the weatherman thing a bit too far? "Crist offers more warnings as Ike, Hanna take aim".

    Plus, if he talks about the weather a lot, then ... you know ... all the other problems will just go away: "The removal of a property tax-cutting amendment from Florida's ballot left Gov. Charlie Crist disappointed Thursday, but he said he wants to deal with a series of hurricanes threatening the state before deciding his next move on tax relief". "Crist delays next step on property tax relief" "Crist delays next step on property tax relief".

    "Who says politics and religion don't mix?"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Bishop Thomas Wenski of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando was asked to give the invocation Wednesday at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. Last week, the Rev. Joel Hunter of Longwood's Northland, A Church Distributed, gave a benediction at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Neither man has endorsed a candidate." "We think: Party bosses' choice of local clergy highlights the region's importance".

    We don' need no stinkin' gov'ment programs

    "With a string of tropical depressions threatening to batter Florida, Republicans pointed with pride Tuesday to a plank in the party's platform that calls for a ''natural disaster insurance policy'' -- a provision GOP presidential nominee John McCain has opposed." "GOP touts disaster insurance".

    Jebacies bite the dust

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Allies of Jeb Bush led the assault. They deserved the high court's rebuke. The commission deserves wider public scorn for squandering a chance to help Florida build a sound economy." "High court saves Florida". Background: "Vouchers' garbled ballot language deserves an F".

    Do as I say ...

    "State Rep. Joe Pickens, R-Palatka and chairman of the House education committee, has been selected as the next president of St. Johns River Community College. A school search committee chose Pickens to replace Robert McLendon, who is retiring after 36 years as president. The Board of Trustees will vote on the recommendation at its Sept. 17 meeting. It was widely believed that Pickens was the frontrunner for the position. He will leave the Legislature this year because of term limits."

    "He has been criticized for his part-time job as an attorney for the college, for which he was paid more than twice what he made as a legislator. None of Florida's other 27 community colleges has an attorney assigned just to its president, the Times-Union reported last year." "Pickens named SJRCC president".

    Yee Haw!

    "They were amped by a fiery luncheon speech from House Speaker Marco Rubio, they were wowed by former New York Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, and they sat on the edge of their seats for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. But for Florida delegates, the talk Wednesday was all about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin." "Fla. GOP: Gov. Palin another maverick".

    The best they could do?

    The dopes on the The Tampa Tribune editorial board want you to know about the horrible tyranny on the island: "When Raul assumed power in Cuba two years ago, he said complaints should be aired. It seems he failed to recognize that lifting the lid of censorship creates space for messy public disagreements and prickly protest songs. By arresting Aguila, Raul resealed the lid of censorship and gave the world another chilling glimpse of communism."

    And precisely what is this "chilling glimpse of communism"?

    Yet last week in Cuba, Aguila, 39, was jailed on a charge of "pre-crime social dangerousness," a law used against those considered dangerous to the revolution. But in a surprising decision, prosecutors dropped the charge and the court found him guilty of public disorder for playing his music too loudly during rehearsal.

    Aguila was fined the equivalent of $28, a big sum in Cuba ...
    "Cuban Punk Rocker's Bum Rap". Do these idiots read what they write?

    And you gotta luv this line from our favorite country-clubbers: "a cherished American value holds that political speech, no matter how crude, is protected speech. Even Americans who disagree on the issues would >u>fight to the death for their opponent's right to say what he thinks." Fight to the death? Unless you're a fortunate son of course.

    Greer would risk "distant hotel" yet again

    "Could Florida in 2012 once again be at the center of a nasty fight over the primary schedule? Perhaps. Republicans at the national convention Monday decreed that only Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina can hold their 2012 primary or caucus votes before the first Tuesday in March, though a special committee will hammer out more details of the recommended primary in 2010. Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer says he would "absolutely not" hesitate to buck the schedule again, even though the Florida GOP lost half its voting strength, and some delegates suspect their distant hotel was punishment for the early primary." "Times: Greer would buck national GOP again".

    How many times can one editorial board endorse McCain?

    The alleged journalists comprising the The Tampa Tribune editorial board are upset that Obama isn't inserting his nose into Dubya's derriere:

    People are better off if they take responsibility for their lives, finances and futures, without the expectation of a government handout. That's what President Bush espoused four years ago when he called for the creation of an "Ownership Society" that gives people more choice, more control and more ownership of government benefits such as education and Social Security.

    But instead of supporting the values of personal responsibility and accountability, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has taken and twisted them.
    "If Not An 'Ownership Society,' Does Obama Want A Nanny State?".

    "'Ownership Society"? Sounds like a real deal for the "owners" down at the club.

    Even the Trib editors see a problem ... if not a solution

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board recognizes that even they have to remove their heads from the sand (if not Bushco's derriere), urging Charlie to

    heed the warning from Florida House minority leader Dan Gelber, who wrote in his blog, "It's sort of like using your savings accounts to make your mortgage payments, and crossing your fingers that some distant aunt leaves you an unexpected inheritance. Optimism is not an economic policy."
    They even have a few nice words to say about a local Dem:
    Crist and state lawmakers give the impression they have no plan. Theirs is a short-term, session-by-session focus.

    At least one leader is looking ahead. [Democrat] Alex Sink [who the Trib did not endorse] , the chief financial officer, says Florida must come to grips with the budgetary challenges it will face in the next few years. She has called for a special session after the election to cut spending or raise additional revenues.

    "I'm counting on House and Senate leadership to recognize that this situation requires an approach that spans the budget horizon of this decade," she said.

    If he hopes to remove his thumb from the dike, Gov. Crist should take the lead.
    But is this really a solution:
    70 percent of Florida's general revenue comes from the tax on retail sales. But with people increasingly doing their shopping online, Florida refuses to tax Internet sales. The pledge of "no new taxes" has created a significant inequity for brick-and-mortar businesses that pay local property taxes and employ local residents.
    Failure To Provide Real Tax Reform Puts Florida's Future At Risk". Where were they when Jebbie ran Florida's economic infrastructure into the ground?


    The Miami Herald editorial board: "On paper, the proposal to consolidate Miami-Dade County's six fire-rescue services into one countywide agency looks smart. All the right words are there: economies of scale; uniform service; streamlined bureaucracy, etc. In reality, the idea that the county's fire department and the five municipal fire departments should merge into one agency isn't practical, nor even desirable at this time." "Fire-rescue charter change not necessary".

    Tallahassee bound?

    "Delta plans to end Tallahassee service to Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando on Oct. 1, meaning travelers will have to change planes in Atlanta to then head south." "Prices making jet service scarce in Tallahassee".

    Stoopid is ...

    "Under normal circumstances, State Sen. Mike Fasano's Thursday morning fax to Circuit Judge Jack Day might have amounted to nothing more than another person's opinion about an ongoing case."

    Judges get them all the time.

    But this was different. Day was presiding over the trial of a couple accused of cheating 91-year-old Eloise Mudway out of her house and assets. Unlike most criminal cases, which are decided by juries, the judge alone was to determine whether Joe and Cynthia Clancy were guilty and, in the event he did, what their sentences should be.

    That made Fasano's letter condemning the Clancys [who had yet to be tried] and suggesting they receive the harshest possible sentences grounds for a recusal, defense attorneys argued.

    Day granted the request, prematurely ending a trial that has been on the docket since October 2005. Now the case must be assigned to another judge and retried from the beginning.
    And then there is this: "In April, state Sen. Victor Crist requested an efficiency audit of circuit and county court judges throughout the state." Back to the genius:
    By Thursday afternoon, Fasano had heard about his letter's effect. He said he hadn't intended for the fax to cause the trial's early end but that he had followed Mudway's case and wanted to make sure "the deadbeats" received a just punishment, if found guilty.

    "I should not have sent that letter," he said. "I sent it too early, not realizing it was a bench decision and not a jury decision. I understand why the judge had to do what he did, and I appreciate him doing that. As it was explained to me, it would have been a different story if it had been a jury trial."
    "Judge Gets Fax From Fasano, And A Trial Is Derailed".

    And arrogant dopes like this are going to decide whether judges are doing their jobs?

    The "T" word

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "McCain went for tokenism" "Just straight-faced talk".

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