The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board: "Days after Florida leaders dipped into the state's reserves, allocating $672 million to help cover a $1.5 billion hole in the state's budget, Hurricane Ike plowed into the Texas coast."
The resulting devastation should make an impression here in Florida: It's unwise to rely too heavily on the state's rainy-day funds when the potential for major disaster looms with the start of every tropical storm season. Because it's so often threatened by severe storms, Florida needs to build -- and maintain -- healthy reserves."Facing a fiscal storm".
Yet lawmakers correctly observe that there's not much room left for cuts in a budget that's already been shaved, in some places, to the bone.
A bridge to sell 'ya
"McCain also touched on offshore drilling as a bridge to becoming energy independent, and painted himself as a maverick independent of Bush policies." "McCain in Tampa today on a poll roll". See also "McCain rides surge into Tampa rally".
"The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and American Civil Liberties Union of Florida launched a voter registration campaign Monday targeting convicted felons whose rights have been restored. " "ACLU trying to help felons vote".
"Healthcare firms that were headed by Miami entrepreneur Mike Fernandez were fined for violating contribution regulations with gifts to Alex Penelas' 2004 U.S. Senate campaign." "Two health firms fined for campaign gifts".
Sink rolls up her sleeves
"A day after one of the worst meltdowns in Wall Street history since the 1929 Depression, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is ready to review the fallout for Florida." "Florida CFO Sink to address Wall Street meltdown during today's Cabinet meeting".
What would Sarah Palin say?
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "No, the embarrassing law hasn't been overturned. Yet. Florida remains one of two states in the nation — Mississippi is the other — to ban gay adoption. But when a circuit judge in Monroe County ruled the 31-year-old ban unconstitutional, thus allowing a gay foster parent to adopt a teenage boy he has raised since 2001, it chipped another hole in the shameful ban. The fact that gay adoption is allowed virtually everywhere else tells you plenty about this anachronistic, mean-spirited Florida law." "Florida's shameful gay adoption ban takes another hit".
"Complaints of gasoline price gouging spiked across Florida Monday as more than 2,000 people called toll-free hotlines at two state agencies." "Gas gouging complaints pile up". See also "Updated: Most gas price-gouging complaints coming from Tampa, Tallahassee", "Fla. officials get 1,800 gas gouging complaints" and "Hillsborough Leads State In Gas-Gouging Complaints".
McCain heads to friendly territory
"Republican presidential nominee John McCain began a two-day Florida tour Monday with a rousing rally in an area that GOP leaders are counting on to deliver 27 vital electoral votes in November." "McCain begins Florida tour in Jacksonville".
This is a hoot: "McCain attacks corporate greed".
"And the financial trouble might not end there"
"The state of Florida could lose more than tens of millions of dollars as Wall Street icon Lehman Brothers heads into bankruptcy. And the financial trouble might not end there. At the end of August, the State Board of Administration held more than $8-billion of investments in other troubled companies." "Lehman bankruptcy to weigh on Florida". But see "Lehman has little affect on state investments".
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "The feds were right to deny a taxpayer bailout for Lehman Brothers".
McCain in Tampa
"A day after taking heat for saying 'the fundamentals of our economy are strong,' Republican presidential nominee John McCain told a rally here today that the U.S. is in a 'bad economy' and pinned much of the blame on Wall Street excesses." "McCain in Tampa raps 'greed' of Wall Street".
"Tiny", "small", and other perjoratives
"The group of Barack Obama supporters held a small rally in south Orlando to coincide with the McCain visit to the Asociacion Borinquena de Florida Central, a Puerto Rican social club, to make the point that Republicans don't own the Hispanic vote." "Hispanics' tiny Obama rally criticizes McCain's message". More: "McCain courts Fla. Hispanics".
"Fla. Congressman's Son Charged With Smuggling Immigrants". See also "Congressman's son arrested for human trafficking".
"Stop trying to mislead voters"
"The state Supreme Court delivered a message Monday to drafters of amendments to Florida's constitution: Stop trying to mislead voters. The justices, in a 15-page opinion explaining their decision to strip a multibillion-dollar tax initiative from the ballot, said that case is just the latest example of 'misleading 'wordsmithing' in ballot language." "Fla. Supreme Court declares initiatives misleading".
The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Now that the ballots in Palm Beach County's disputed election have been 'found,' Richard Wennet should stop asking for a revote." "No need for a revote".
"DCF gets $5.4 million boost for food stamp program".
Time to move on
"Hundreds of Cuban writers, musicians and artists are asking the U.S. to ease trade restrictions and speed the import of food and building supplies to help the island rebuild after Hurricanes Ike and Gustav." "Cuba artists ask US to ease sanctions after storms".
"State regulators failed to comply with a law designed to keep convicted criminals from working in Florida's mortgage industry and more legislation is needed, according to an investigative report issued Tuesday." "Report says criminals got Fla. mortgage licenses"
Speakin' of price gougin'
"A proposal to buy environmentally sensitive lands linked to an Orlando expressway project died Tuesday after Gov. Charlie Crist and a state Cabinet member balked at the $35 million price tag. That's about $12 million more than the prospective sellers paid for the 386-acre plot in several transactions in 2006 and 2007. It's also $7 million more than the highest of two state appraisals." "$35M Orlando area environmental land deal rejected".
"Florida loosened its rules on the sale of backup hurricane insurance by foreign companies Tuesday in hopes of eventually lowering premium rates for consumers, even though that's unlikely in the short term." "Fla. loosens rules on backup storm insurance".
"Florida Supreme Court justices Monday spanked the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission with opinions that explained why threw three proposed constitutional amendments from November's ballot earlier this month they." "Justices defend throwing amendments off ballot".