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 Saturday, October 11, 2008

Browning protests: I am not a crook "suppressor of voters"

    Kurt Browning doth protest way too much:
    Secretary of State Kurt Browning defended himself against charges that his enforcement of the state's voter registration law means he's trying to disenfranchise voters.

    In an unusually testy expression from Browning, he addressed the no-match, no-vote provision for new registered voters this morning in a conference call with supervisors of elections from the state's largest counties.

    "Obviously this issue has garnered a great deal of press over the past several weeks," Browning said. "I know that I have been portrayed throughout the state and the nation in the media reports as suppressor of voters, and that is not the case."
    "Top elections official says no-match law for new registered voters must be enforced". Here's the reality, the new "law", "passed by the Republican-led 2005 Legislature over Democratic objections":
    could thwart thousands from having their vote count. State election officials have notified more than 800 people in the Tampa Bay area and a total of 10,400 statewide who recently signed up to vote that they aren't yet qualified because of discrepancies between their signup forms and state records. The would-be voters must clear up the discrepancies or their vote on Election Day won't count."
    Let's just make a big mess of things:
    Now criticism is rising among some county election supervisors, who are elected by local voters. They think Browning, a former Republican elections supervisor in Pasco County, issued orders that don't provide enough latitude to ensure the widest voter participation.

    "I think the state has gone way beyond the intent of the law," Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark, a Republican, said Friday in a tense conference call with Browning.
    Please read this excellent piece in the The St. Petersburg Times: "Some new voters will be shut out under "no match, no vote" law" ("The Florida Democratic Party unsuccessfully petitioned Republican Gov. Charlie Crist to suspend the law until after the election.")

    With crap like this in the offing, one wonders whether Obama should even bother with Florida?:
    chronic problems with Florida's election system add risk to this strategy for the Obama camp. As of earlier this week, some 5,000 newly-registered voters had their registrations thrown out due to the state's controversial "no-match" rule.

    The state's massive disenfranchisement of ex-felons -- a key factor in Gore's loss in 2000 -- was eased with new rules by Gov. Crist that allowed 112,000 ex-felons to vote, but as of late September only 9,000 ex-felons had registered because the changes were poorly publicized.

    And then there are the ongoing snafus like the 3,500 missing ballots in Palm Beach County last month which reversed a judicial election and led citizens to call for the removal of the county elections supervisor.
    "Election 2008: Obama makes big move in Florida". See also "Florida Registration Obstacles".

    Wingnuts go 3-for-3 with the Zell Corporation

    The boss man will be mighty proud of the The Orlando Sentinel editorial board, who "think [sic]: Keller, Mica and Brown-Waite are best picks in Districts 8, 7 and 5".

    And just for grins, a Zell Corporation employee chips in with this today: "Grayson launches new attack ad vs. Keller but facts aren't black and white"; Scott Maxwell made his bid for a bonus yesterday with this: "Orlando aviation hero Joe Kittinger shares his POW bond to John McCain".

    A Commie thing?

    A Commie thing: "In food crisis, Cuba limits sales so all can eat". And Milton and Ayn would do what?: Have the wealthy purchase what they want, and let the poor fight to the death over the scraps?

    Sign wars

    Daniel Ruth: "Political Sign Snatching Is An Old Tradition". See also "Election battle is fought at grass-roots level - with yard signs".


    "Democrats suggest it was Bush's decision in 2004 to further tighten sanctions against the island that has given them what may be their best shot ever at unseating Miami's three Cuban-American members of Congress. For the first time, they say, there is an opportunity to compete for votes among an electorate once considered diehard Republican." "Bush Cuba policy up for test at polls".

    On a separate note, Guillermo I. Martinez reminds us that Fidel never went away: "Hurricanes propel Castro back to power".

    "Hispanics with similar views turn away en masse"

    "The man who once took a big political risk by joining with Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy to propose a comprehensive immigration reform bill that was embraced by Hispanics is now struggling to win these same voters, and falling perilously below the level of support that helped lift President Bush to the White House. The candidate who won nearly 70 percent of Hispanic voters in his last bid for Senate in border-state Arizona is watching a first-term Illinois senator run away with those voters. The pro-military, anti-abortion candidate is seeing Hispanics with similar views turn away en masse." "McCain missing the mark with Hispanics".

    Free trade

    The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board: "Heads in shells over Florida turtle exports"

    Asian appetites for turtle -- the Chinese alone consumed some 20 million last year -- have endangered or driven extinct 75 percent of their native species, outstripped efforts to farm select varieties and sent markets searching worldwide for easy chelonian bounty.

    They've found it in Florida -- the state's native soft-shelled turtle, common throughout the peninsula's freshwater rivers and lakes.

    Unfortunately, the Asian markets are too fond of the fare.
    During the summer, environmental watchdogs asked the state for an outright year-round ban. (Florida does ban the taking of river cooters and soft-shells during the early summer nesting season.)
    Turtle biologists called for a catch limit of no more than one turtle per collector per day. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's staff recommended no more than five turtles per day. But a hue and cry from commercial turtle harvesters -- "We're just trying to make an honest living" -- found a sympathetic ear in the commission, which imposed an emergency order limiting individual catches to five per day and limits for licensed commercial harvesters of 20 turtles per day while the various parties hash out a compromise in the next year.
    "The commissioners had their heads in their shells on this one. Turtle catchers won't have an honest living to make for very long if they destabilize soft-shelled populations and turn entire ecosystems on their backs. And who more than the biologists who study them knows more about those impacts? "
    Certainly not a bunch of Uncle Cooters appointed by recent governors to make sure Florida's good ol' boys can filch whatever they want from the swamp without the law on their backs.
    "Long-necks disappearing".

    Oh yeah, "neighboring states are much more protective of their own populations of soft-shelled turtles -- Alabama and Texas ban turtle exports from public waters". Florida once again races to the bottom.

    Free to choose

    "More than one in five Big Bend [the 10-county North Florida region] residents under 65 were without health insurance in 2005, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Thursday." "Ailing Big Bend".

    The solidly red Big Benders have exercised their majestic "freedom to choose" not to have health insurance. They have "chosen" not to work for unionized companies that force them to have health insurance, thereby depriving them of the "choice" to go without insurance for their children. They support candidates and political parties that would never

    When these "choosers" get sick, I hope they "choose" to have someone other than their fellow taxpayers pay for their medical bills.

    Plus, they're real cheap

    Bill Maxwell reminds us that, way back when, "adjuncts made up about 40 percent of the nation's college professors. Now, they account for a whopping 70 percent." "Adjuncts' academic freedom snuffed out".

    Token Zell Corporation moderate ...

    ... has a hissy fit:

    Will Florida women continue to let Charlie stack the Court so the state can curtail their reproductive rights? Will anyone be bamboozled by Crist's pro-public-education rhetoric, when Justices Canady and Polston have pushed Jeb Bush's school voucher programs? Will Florida families let the guv pack the Supreme Court with justices who may give us other Terri Schiavo fiascos with a different outcome-taking away their right to make their health and end-of-life decisions?
    Uh, yes.

    The knuckle-draggers weigh in: "don't expect the reasonableness from left when it comes to assessing appointments to the state's high court." "Focus on the credentials".

    Never a dearth of morons with check books

    "Bush attended a fundraiser at the home of Sergio Pino, a South Florida developer and entrepreneur, where he raised more than $500,000, according to Republican officials." "Bush raises $500,000 in S. Florida".

    Where're the "beans"?

    Just when McBush needs a shot in the arm in the I-4 corridor, the Tampa Trib breathlessly trumpets: "Obama fundraiser, convicted of fraud, spills beans" With a headline like that, you might expect to read 'bout them spilled "beans" and stuff - read it, there ain't any "beans".

    When you are getting your derriere handed to you in the polls ...

    ... just have your wingnut surrogates make things up, and get the Zell Corporation to publish it for you: "Obama no friend of Israel".


    "Bargain sales prices could now equate to bargain property taxes as well for home buyers. With foreclosures and pre-foreclosure sales flooding South Florida's real estate market, state tax officials gave local property appraisers more leeway Friday in setting tax values." "Florida officials give property appraisers leeway".

    Less juice

    "Hurricanes, crop diseases and disappearing grove land have contributed to huge production drop-offs in the past few years. In turn, consumers have been paying record prices for orange juice." "USDA: Florida orange crop smaller than last year".

    This were'nt exactly ...

    Florida's best day: "crowd members shouted obscenities at reporters in a press area during Palin's speech, and that one crowd member shouted a racial epithet at a black sound man". "'Kill Him' Yell At Clearwater Palin Rally Being Probed". For a little fun with wingnuttery, take a look at some of the comments to this Tampa Trib story:

    - "If Obama is elected we will have people swinging from trees and scratching their armpits forever. Do you really want that? They will run wild as they will think they can do anything because the president is Negro."

    - - [in response to the above comment: "With Obama president we will not have to work as the rich are going to be paying for everything, right? We can just sit had home like mindless zombies and collect a govt check."

    - "A Negro woman driving a brand new BMW went in and noticing the display bought all McCain memorbelia. My friend mentioned she must be quite a fan of McCain and the Negro woman shot back 'hell no, I wouldn't vote for that honkey if he was the last man on earth. I am buying all this stuff to throw away and nobody will be able to buy it.' That's how the majority of Negros think and they don't even know what the issues are. Doesn't quite make sense voting for someone just because they are Negro."

    - "(This comment was removed by the [Tampa Trib]site staff.)"

    - "washington times [sic] is one of the most liberal newspapers in the country. They are not a credible source of information".

    - "Wake up America!!!....Reverend Wright...Bill Ayers....This guy is a bad character and is not who he pretends to be....Obama is NOT Presidential material!!!! Just listen to what he says when the cameras are not on.....giving money to ACORN ...accepting money from ACORN....Marxism failed in Russia and we dont need it here!!!!"
    One last poster shows there might be a little hope, even in Tampa Trib-world: "I challenge Republicans to read through these comments. You will easily find why for the first time in my life, I will be voting Democrat. My GOP is scaring me to death."


    Why does the The Miami Herald demean itself, and publish fools like Jonah Goldberg? "Rattling off gasbaggeries". He might start with himself.

    Another thing Palin don't read: the lyrics

    "McCain, Palin seem to mistake song's meaning". "Pop lyrics again snare the GOP".

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