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 Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Teachers union hits a triple

    "Florida's November ballot will be shorter by three proposals - one [No. 5] that would have traded a huge property tax cut for other tax increases and two others designed to expand school voucher programs. The Florida Supreme Court unanimously removed them Wednesday."

    "Amendments 7 and 9 would have undone court rulings that struck down former Gov. Jeb Bush's voucher program, which had let students from failing public schools go to private schools at taxpayer expense. No. 7 also would have repealed a provision that bars state financial aid to churches and other religious organizations. Another part of Amendment 9 would have required school boards to spend at least 65 percent of their budgets in the classroom."

    "The statewide teachers union opposed all three amendments" "Justices Quash Voucher, Tax Swap Amendments". See also "Fla. court lifts voucher, tax measures from ballot" and "Florida Supreme Court throws Amendments 5, 7 and 9 off November ballot".

    Pay no attention to the 3,478 missing ballots

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "The first rule of election recounts should be to start - and finish - with the same number of ballots. Palm Beach County has failed that basic test."

    Start with the missing votes - 3,478 of them, or 3.4 percent of the election day total. Then there's the 5 percent drop in the number of valid votes after the machine recount. How can candidates in other races accept a 1 percent or 2 percent loss - too wide a margin under state law to merit a recount - when the recount machinery rejects without explanation 5 percent of the votes?
    "The ballots are missing, so start finding answers".

    "Idiot wind"

    The man's simply irrelevant: "Governor Crist touring Gustav shelters".

    Forgive us, but the lyric seems ... well ... appropriate:

    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
    Blowing down the backroads headin' south.
    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
    You're an idiot, ... .
    It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.
    "Idiot Wind.

    Plus ... you know ...[whispering now] ... he "fathered a black child"

    "Florida delegates to the Republican National Convention ended a truce on partisan politics Tuesday after the focus shifted from the threat of Hurricane Gustav to the threat of a surging Democratic presidential contender, Barack Obama." "Fla. delegates shift focus at RNC".


    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "It's no secret why Florida is so popular. We are the biggest of the swing states, and, according to the latest polls, Florida's 27 electoral votes are pretty much up for grabs." "Florida getting love".


    This is off topic, but simply too bizzare to believe: "Bush: 9-11 shows we need McCain".

    "When will lawmakers listen?"

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "If Republican legislative leaders won't listen to parents and teachers who anguish over the way budget cuts are hurting Florida schoolchildren, maybe they will at least hear Roberto Martinez."

    Martinez, a former U.S. attorney who was appointed to the state Board of Education by Gov. Jeb Bush, knows all about fiscal conservatism and the desire to keep government as small as possible. But he also knows that cuts can go too far and that students pay the price. ...

    When will lawmakers listen?
    "When cuts go too far".

    Biden time

    "U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, the Democrats' blunt-talking vice presidential pick, on Tuesday put his foreign policy experience on display for South Floridians and reiterated that he and Barack Obama will be wholehearted supporters of Israel." "Sen. Joe Biden reiterates support for Israel at two South Florida rallies". See also "Senator Joe Biden visits South Florida". See also "Biden Tells Sarasota Crowd He'll Help Rebuild Middle Class" and "Biden talks to chorus of supporters".

    "Gathering dust"

    "Like rusty Plymouths in a salvage yard, the ghosts of Florida elections past are gathering dust in a Tampa warehouse."

    Tens of thousands of touch screen voting units, rendered obsolete by the state's switch to optical scan voting, are awaiting new homes. Many of them won't get there in one piece.

    It has been six months since the state hired a private firm to safely remarket touch screen machines in the hopes that both can make some money. But business is slow in a presidential election year with historic implications.
    "Obsolete touch screen voting units get few buyers".

    "Even tiny Pahokee"

    Joel Engelhardt: "The Obama campaign has money no Democratic candidate has had. The campaign plans to have 40 Florida field offices by month's end. ... Yes, even tiny Pahokee is not out of range, even though the town produced just 1,572 votes in 2004." "What's the 'price' of victory?". See also "With GOP struggling, Obama content to keep it local and low-key".

    As Mitt Yells: No more big "librul" govment!

    "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".


    "Passing along the tab for high fuel costs and more nuclear power, Florida Power & Light is seeking to increase customers' electric bills by more than 7 percent next year." "FPL pushes to increase electric rates".

    If you can't beat 'em ...

    "The public defender's office that represents Miami-Dade County's poorest criminal defendants is overburdened by a crushing caseload and will stop accepting thousands of lesser felony cases until the situation improves, a judge ruled Wednesday. Prosecutors vowed to appeal." "Miami judge rules poor defense caseload crushing".


    "Black Republicans stick with McCain".

    Poor Vern

    "Melissa Hacker, the controller for Sarasota 500 LLC from September 2005 through November 2006, has joined a handful of former employees suing U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan and his car dealerships." "Buchanan faces another employee lawsuit".

    GOPer justice?

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board:"Lyglenson Lemorin, 33, has been a legal U.S. resident for 20 years."

    In December, a jury found him not guilty in an alleged terrorist plot to blow up buildings in Chicago and Miami. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have held Lemorin at a Georgia detention center ever since. In the same trial, jurors deadlocked when it came to six other co-defendants. Another trial for the six resulted in a mistrial, and a retrial is scheduled for January.

    Now immigration officials are asking the court to deport Lemorin back to Haiti and away from his wife and three children for a crime the government can't prove he committed. It's a request that should be denied.
    "Lyglenson Lemorin shouldn't face deportation".

    "Republicans for Obama"

    "The former Republican senator stood before a sign that read, 'Republicans for Obama,' with a red elephant blending into the blue "O" of the Democrat's campaign logo."

    Lincoln Chafee wanted to convince the audience that they should vote for the senator from Illinois. It didn't take much.

    About 25 people nodded and laughed with Chafee at the Fossil Park North Branch Library, one of the stops on his Florida tour to win over Republicans and independents.

    The former U.S. senator from Rhode Island and lifelong Republican voted for George W. Bush in 2000 but became disillusioned with him, and defected from the party after losing a re-election bid.
    "Ex-Republican senator stumps for Obama now".

    "Higher learning that is ailing and desperately in need of help"

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "When Florida's 301,000 public university students started classes last week, they saw first-hand the effects of a system of higher learning that is ailing and desperately in need of help. They found fewer choices for classes and majors. More crowded classrooms. Higher student/faculty ratios." "Budget cuts hurt university system".

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