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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

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The Blog for Friday, September 26, 2008

Time to end Florida's Diaz-Balart embarrassment

    "With little more than a month to go before their first serious reelection challenge goes to voters, Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart have launched TV ads that accuse one Democratic challenger of corruption and the other of backing an $88 million utility-rate hike."
    Democrats Raul Martinez and Joe Garcia have fired back -- lambasting the brothers as out-of-touch politicians who cater to entrenched special interests, ignoring the needs of middle-class homeowners.

    Observers expect the barrage of attacks -- which often twist the facts -- to escalate in the final weeks of the campaign as both parties keep a close eye on some of the nation's most competitive House races.
    "Challenges to Diaz-Balarts draw national attention".

    Idi Amin supporting Obama

    How long before the idiots who paid for advertising claiming that McCain won the debate before it began (actually before he had agreed to attend), will be advertising that

    Idi Amin, a dictator whose regime was guilty of human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, and extrajudicial killings by death squads is supporting Barack Obama.
    After all: "You might have seen him win an Academy Award for his role as Idi Amin in 'The Last King of Scotland.' But today, thanks to the Barack Obama presidential campaign, you can see actor Forest Whitaker in Daytona Beach." "Actor Forest Whitaker to visit B-CU today".

    Tricky election stuff

    "So many new voters want a say in the 2008 presidential election in Florida that the state needs help from counties to get all those new voters registered in time." "State office is inundated with new voter registration forms". See also "State, counties grapple to register many new voters" and "Potential voters urged to use official registration forms".

    Time to get real: "prejudice could cost Obama up to 6 percentage points this fall"

    Not exactly news: "a substantial portion of white Americans still harbor negative feelings toward blacks." "shows that blacks and whites disagree tremendously on how much racial prejudice exists, whose fault it is and how much influence blacks have in politics. One result is that Barack Obama's path to the presidency is steeper than it would be if he were white."

    As for our neighborhood: "Racial prejudice is lower among college-educated whites living outside the South." "Racial gap is wide, poll finds". However, as the next link shows, credit for the first racial lit drop goes to a Northern state.

    Chris Rock may have a point when he says the media is all about: "Let's find the craziest black folks we can find.".

    Of course, not all Republicans are racists, but one suspects that most of these folks will vote for McCain: "White supremacist, anti-immigrant group distributes anti-Obama fliers in NJ town" ("a director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks white supremacist movements nationwide, said the organization has seen Internet, e-mailed threats and negative talk about Obama in the white supremacist world.")

    And what kind of Dems are these?: "Clinton supporters think more highly of Republican candidate John McCain than other Democrats do. Forty-two percent of Clinton backers view McCain favorably, including 71 percent of them who still don't support Obama. That compares with 33 percent of all Democrats who see McCain positively." "Poll shows Clinton backers still think less of Obama and see McCain positively".

    Now this, from the Zell Corporation

    The Zell Corporation's "Hispanic" correspondent suggests that "the disconnect between the Democratic surge and the poll numbers favoring McCain among Hispanics may reflect presumptuous confidence among Democrats."

    There's a difference between registering as a Democrat and supporting Obama. His willingness to meet with Raul Castro, now the point man in Cuba, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an annoying and dangerous antagonist for the U.S., isn't going over very well among conservative Hispanic voters.
    "Democrats too quick to count on Hispanic vote in Florida".

    Poor Tommy's "rookie mistake"

    "In a highly unusual campaign move, U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney will use a new television ad to apologize for his role in the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal. Set to air today, the 30-second spot shows Feeney alone at a kitchen counter telling viewers that he made a 'rookie mistake' as a freshman lawmaker by taking a 2003 golfing trip to Scotland that was paid for by Abramoff -- whom he calls a 'corrupt lobbyist.'" "Feeney in TV ad: Trip paid by Abramoff was 'mistake'"

    It would be easier ...

    ... to get four square behind the "bailout" if at least one of the bankers jumped out of a (at least a two story) window.

    Someone like this guy*, maybe.

    Anyway, who knew that Orlando was a hotbed of radical activism: "Holding signs and chanting, "No Bush, no bailout," protesters in downtown Orlando on Thursday evening urged rush-hour passers-by to ask members of Congress to vote against the proposed $700 billion Wall Street bailout. Many motorists honked in apparent support as they passed the group of about 15 people ... Protesters ranged from college students to members of the anti-war group CodePink to independent activists." "Opponents of bailout deal state case in Orlando".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *Washington Mutual’s "new chief executive, Alan H. Fishman, was in midair, flying from New York to Seattle at the time the deal was finally brokered, according to people briefed on the situation. Mr. Fishman, who has been on the job for less than three weeks, is eligible for $11.6 million in cash severance and will get to keep his $7.5 million signing bonus."

    Ask Mr. Fishman for a loan

    "Florida Board of Governors seeks more money".

    Deep throat revealed

    I thought those ink stained wretches weren't supposed to reveal their sources.

    "A Boston Globe reporter [one Tania deLuzuriaga] who reportedly sent racy e-mails to a married school official she covered while working in Miami has resigned, the newspaper said Friday."

    DeLuzuriaga's resignation comes after a string of e-mails showed up online and in various newspapers detailing what appears to be a romantic relationship between her and Alberto Carvalho while deLuzuriaga was an education reporter for The Miami Herald in 2007. ...

    The e-mails include suggestive banter.

    "Will you be completely offended if I jump into your arms the next time I see you (place permitting)?" said one e-mail attributed to deLuzuriaga from Aug. 7, 2007.

    The e-mail ends with: "Love, love, love you. xoxoxo."
    "Boston Globe reporter quits amid e-mail scandal".*

    - - - - - - - - - -

    *A recently discovered cache of e-mails to Jeb Bush by several "reporters" and "journalists" working for Florida newspaper companies over the last decade have received less attention, but included dozens along the following lines:
    "Will you be completely offended if I jump into your wonky arms the next time I see you (place permitting)?" said one e-mail attributed to a prominent Florida reporter on on Aug. 7, 2004.

    The e-mail ends with: "Love, love, love you. see you at the skits. xoxoxo."
    Other e-mails reflected deep disappointment by Florida political "reporters" that Bush did not seek the Republican nomination for president, with one reporter complaining that, had Jeb run, it would have allowed him to fulfill a lifelong dream to travel in the big bus with the national reporters, and amuse the national boys with insider stories about Jeb.

    While we are on the subject of The Miami Herald

    The company, with an otherwise spiffy new web look, in a so-called "Best of the Web" section, apparently can't find a Florida website unconnected to the Republican Party or Florida lobbyists; they instead link to:

    Best Of The Web

    * alt.campaign
    * The Note
    * Political Wire
    * The Politico
    * Real Clear Politics
    * Red State
    * Sayfie News
    * Salon
    * Slate: Political Futures
    "Best Of The Web". May we respectfully suggest some, you know ... Florida "web presences" with opposing political perspectives, like "Progress Florida" and "The Fort Report". What the heck, why not go all out and even link to ... you know ... a Florida blog or two with an emphasis on political issues, like these:
    * Florida Progressive Coalition
    * Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]
    * FlaBlog
    * Bark Bark Woof Woof
    * Blast Off
    * Be Think
    * Eye on Miami
    * Pushing Rope
    * South Florida Daily Blog
    * Ybor City Stogie
    * Florida Speaks
    * Litbrit
    * South of the Suwanee
    * Smashed Frog
    * Pensito Review
    * Incertus
    * Change in Tallahassee

    There are even a few "conservative" Florida blogs:

    * Peer Review Florida
    * State of Sunshine
    For whatever reason, the traditional media has largely ignored the hard work and creativity of Florida's blogosphere.

    Florida editors slam Dems

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board The employees of Cox Enterprises, Incorporated, in their never ending attempt to appear "balanced", wants readers to know that both political parties are to blame for the oil thing, and particularly that mean Pelosi person: "Shill, baby, shill!".

    We apparently need more GOPers in the House.

    The geniuses on the The St. Petersburg Times editorial board agree: "Democrats surrender on drilling" ("That leaves Florida with one less shield against drilling.")

    One might ask why Dems from other states should give a damn about Florida - after all, Florida has shown itself to be a reliably red state, whose Dems are largely ... how might one put it ... Debbie - "Don't pull that populist stuff with me" - Wasserman Schultzies.

    As Charlie sleeps

    "Even after $7-billion in spending cuts, raids on cash reserves and salary freezes for state workers, the Florida budget is not back in the black: Another $800-million in red ink must be erased this year." "Florida's budget may be cut again".

    Cox Enterprises, Inc urges socialization of Florida's spinelessness

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board The must be "balanced" ... folks at Cox Enterprises Incorporated, whine that "Residents of states with an income tax get to deduct their state taxes on their federal income tax returns. Floridians, along with residents of the other seven states that don't have an income tax, must play 'Mother May I' every two years to keep our version of the deduction." "Renew Florida tax break".

    That's tuff as far as we're concerned: if Florida doesn't have the courage to implement a reasonable public finance structure (which might include a progressive state income tax), why should the rest of the nation subsidize our spinelessness.

    The Corridor heatin' up

    "From the presidency to the state Legislature, candidates are spending big money to reach Central Florida TV viewers -- a key market in a coveted battleground state. Just since the Aug. 26 primary, candidates and political parties have bought nearly $3.5 million of television time, according to an Orlando Sentinel review of records at WFTV-Channel 9, WKMG-Channel 6, WESH-Channel 2, WOFL-Channel 35, WRBW-Channel 65 and Bright House cable channels. And voters can expect the volume to increase in the last weeks before Election Day." "Campaigns spend big bucks for wave of Central Florida TV ads".

    Woo Hoo!

    "Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is coming to Palm Beach County in two weeks to raise money for John McCain's Republican presidential bid, according to local party officials." "Palin's coming to Boca Raton".

    Unless you make more than $250,000 annually ...

    "Voters whose bottom line is taxes can use a new online tool to calculate what their own bottom line would be with the IRS under a Barack Obama or John McCain administration."

    "The Portland-based company Quantrix says taxpayers who log onto www.electiontaxes.com and enter their income can obtain a free estimate of what they would pay in taxes for 2009 through 2012 under each of the two presidential candidates."

    For example, the model indicates that a couple with two children earning $100,000 with $20,000 in itemized deductions would have a net tax bill for 2009 of $9,555 under McCain and $9,002 under Obama. That compares with a $9,505 tax bill for this couple under current law, the electiontaxes.com site says. In another example, a single taxpayer making $50,000 and using the standard deduction would pay $6,867 under McCain and $6,325 under Obama, compared with $6,827 under current law.
    "Online tool estimates how income taxes would vary under plans offered by Obama and McCain".

    "The numbers don't lie"

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "The numbers don't lie. Florida's top elected officials, Gov. Charlie Crist and the Cabinet — Attorney General Bill McCollum, Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink — have done a poor job in hiring minorities. Their example doesn't reflect well on a state that has one of the nation's most diverse populations." "Cabinet does poor job on diversity".


    Former state Sen. Dan Scarborough, "who also served time in federal prison has died in a Jacksonville nursing home. ... The Democrat was once Florida's second-most powerful senator and served in the Legislature for 14 years, becoming Senate president pro tem. His political career ended in 1982 when he was convicted of mail fraud and extortion and spent 17 months in a federal prison. He maintained his innocence." "Former state Sen. Dan Scarborough dies".

    Breaking: poor people can be fed in presence of tourists

    "Federal judge: Orlando's law against feeding homeless a civil rights violation". Congrats to Jackie Dowd (The 13th Juror), who was lead attorney for the "motley group of activists who have been feeding the homeless in Lake Eola park" in downtown Orlando.


    "Florida's undecided voters may hold key to electoral votes".


    "The high surf warning has ended, and the swells that caused beach erosion across South Florida are diminishing, the National Weather Service in Miami said this morning." "Waves take bites out of South Florida's shoreline".

    How should government respond? The view from the Ritz Carlton: "'We're not taking care of things. We need to use taxpayers' money to take care of stuff like this,' said Al Wilson, of Merritt Island, who watched the beach at the Ritz-Carlton in Manalapan." Great point - a perfect use for those "insidious intangible taxes", dontcha think?


    With "shifting ground in a bitter political fight over insurance rates, both parties may have to watch their step when pushing anybody else down the red carpet of alleged hypocrisy." "Insurers donate to both parties".

    Off topic

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "The last-minute stay of execution, issued just hours before Troy A. Davis was to be put to death [in Georgia] by lethal injection, buys time for the court to take a closer look at the case."

    This is the least that should be done when there are valid questions about whether the right person was convicted and when a human life hangs in the balance. ...

    No physical evidence linked Davis to the murder of Savannah officer Mark MacPhail, so DNA is of no use in his case. Davis was convicted on the basis of testimony from nine people, seven of whom have since recanted their statements. The other witnesses are a man believed to be the actual killer; and a second man who initially couldn't identify the killer, but changed his mind two years later at trial
    "Rush to judgment isn't necessary".

    'Ya reckon?

    "Race, ethnicity and religion play too large a role in Broward County judicial elections".

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