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 Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Let us count the ways things could go wrong"

    "Let us count the ways things could go wrong on Election Day in Florida:"
    - Thousands of new voters might not be able to cast ballots because of discrepancies between their registration forms and government records like driver's licenses.

    - An unprecedented number of new voters, combined with multipage ballots in some counties, will likely create long lines and confusion at the polls.

    - And there's always Palm Beach County. Using new voting equipment mandated by the state, the county lost 3,500 ballots in a close judicial race in an Aug. 26 primary. The ballots were eventually found but it took three recounts before a winner was finally declared a month later.

    Ah, Florida ...
    "Florida voting back in spotlight this Election Day" (ellipsis original).

    Florida breaking for Obama?

    "A new St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald poll shows Sen. Barack Obama leading McCain 49 percent to 42 percent in this state McCain cannot afford to lose. The biggest factor? Less partisan independent voters moving to Obama by a ratio of more than 2-to-1." "Polls show Obama ahead in Florida".

    "Florida voters overwhelmingly oppose offshore oil drilling closer to their state's shores, a rejection of one of John McCain's [supported by Crist and Martinez] major proposals in the presidential campaign."

    A statewide poll this week conducted for the Sun Sentinel and Florida Times-Union also found that most voters trust Democrat Barack Obama more than McCain to rescue the economy, aid struggling homeowners and help states recover from natural disasters.

    These findings would seem to point toward a clear Obama victory in Florida. Yet the sample of 600 likely voters shows him running just slightly ahead, 49 percent to 46 percent, a difference within the poll's margin of error. ...

    Obama bested McCain in the poll on other Florida concerns, though the Democrat has spent much less time campaigning in the state. ...

    The poll results point to another close finish in Florida, setting up a blitz of campaigning over the next 10 days.
    "Obama slightly ahead but he hasn't locked up Florida, poll finds".

    More "Republican attempts to suppress voting and vote-counting"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Florida's voters clearly love early voting. Florida's legislators clearly don't. Blame the Republican-led Legislature and former Gov. Bush for the long waits and inconvenient hours."

    The cramped early voting rules typify Republican attempts to suppress voting and vote-counting. Republicans are behind ID laws that have the greatest impact on the poor, who tend to vote Democratic. Republicans have pushed flawed "felon purges" that kicked legitimate voters off the rolls. Republicans mount often-frivolous challenges to voter registration. Florida's early voting limits cramp the big, urban counties - which have more Democratic voters - and can discourage the elderly, who in South Florida likewise lean Democratic.
    "Improve state's early voting".

    Early Voting Update"".

    Adam Smith:

    So far, of the more than 800,000 people who have voted by absentee ballot, Republicans have an advantage of nearly 130,000 ballots. But of the more than 482,000 who voted early between Monday and Wednesday, 55 percent are Democrats and 30 percent are Republican, a lead of 117,000 for Democrats. Of course, these numbers don't reflect how people voted, only the party affiliation of the voters.

    If the trend continues, Democrats should overtake Republicans on already cast votes any day now.
    "However, among those planning to vote on Election Day, the poll found McCain had a 10-point advantage over Obama."

    More early voting: "Early voters find ways to kill time in line", "Michael Mayo: Supporter gets thumbs and the occasional middle finger", "So far, voting in bay area glides on enthusiasm and patience", "If you want short election lines, today might be your day", "Early voting turnout remains heavy in Broward County" and "Broward County posting wait times to early vote".


    "During the meeting, Commissioner Bob Kanjian, a Republican, jokingly referred to Obama as 'the savior.'" "Commissioner's 'savior' remark on Obama brings rebuke".

    The forgotten race

    The very latest from The Cook Political Report:

    House Editor David Wasserman releases ratings changes in an additional 12 districts. The GOP internal “death list” memo, leaked to U.S. News and World Report’s Paul Bedard, exposes just how white-knuckled some in the Republican conference are. At this point, the choice Republican strategists face is not whether to play offense or defense, but rather where it’s still worth playing defense. All the signs of another big “wave” election are apparent, and our current outlook is a gain of 23 to 28 seats for House Democrats. ...

    FL-18 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Solid Republican to Likely Republican

    While there is some empirical evidence showing Democrat Annette Taddeo closing the gap late, she started way behind. Democrats are demonstrating strength in early voting here as they are everywhere, and Taddeo has plenty of money left to spend. She will need a truly huge wave in South Florida. Otherwise, Ros-Lehtinen remains in voters’ good graces and will win a ninth term.
    "GOP On Pace for Losses in Mid-Twenties".

    Check out Annette Taddeo's ActBlue page.

    "No, you're not stuck in a time warp"

    "The 2008 race for the District 11 congressional seat includes the same players as the 2006 contest: lawyer Kathy Castor and business owner Eddie Adams Jr." "Rep. Castor defends record against familiar rival".

    McBush om a McMission

    "Starting from a popular blue-collar beach, Republican John McCain barnstormed through Central Florida on Thursday, casting himself as the defender of small businesses and a fighter for regular Joes." "McCain plugs 'Joe' reforms in Florida". See also "McCain travels I-4 in hunt for votes" and "McCain rallies Florida faithful".

    "Not once has a fiend leaped from the shrubbery"

    Daniel Ruth on his marriage: "The last thing we ever needed is some dubious law, pushed by a bunch of Bible thumpers that pretends our marriage should be 'protected.' Protected? From what? During our years of marital bliss, not once has a fiend leaped from the shrubbery, put a gun to our heads and demanded we get divorced." "Marriage Protection? From What?".

    "And then there's Mahoney"

    Cook: "This race is the GOP’s only slam dunk."

    With Mahoney in hiding following admissions of multiple affairs and amid an ongoing FBI investigation, it’s unclear whether he would even withdraw from the ballot to let another Democrat inherit his votes. In any case, early voting is underway and it’s too late.
    Cook Political Report: "FL-16 Tim Mahoney Lean Republican to Likely Republican". See also "Mahoney 'probably' will not appear at Forum Club Friday".

    No "false light"

    "Florida residents cannot win damages in court simply because unwanted publicity casts them in a false light, the Florida Supreme Court ruled today, saying that legal standard 'has the potential to chill speech without any appreciable benefit to society.'"

    The Supreme Court sided with Florida newspapers, saying that the state's current case law on defamation is enough to protect individual rights. Plaintiffs can win defamation cases if the published material was untrue, caused harm and was disseminated with "reckless disregard" in the case of a public official or "negligence" in the case of a private citizen.
    "Florida Supreme Court rejects 'false light' damages". See also "Free speech gets room to breathe".

    Safe food

    "University of Florida lands contract to ensure U.S. soldiers get safe food".

    Amendment 2

    "Whether Florida bans gay marriage in its state Constitution could be decided by how much presidential candidate Barack Obama drives turnout among African Americans, according to a new poll underwritten by a trio of news organizations." "Amendment 2 fate lies with black voter turnout".

    "Expensive hot air"?

    Mike Thomas "Florida's global-warming goals look like expensive hot air".

    Still waitin'

    pThe Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Three years ago today, Wilma capped two awful back-to-back storm years and helped to push Florida into the downward economic spiral that is testing the state as never before. Just months after Wilma, the air began coming out of the housing bubble. Artificially high property-tax bills from the bubble years began arriving, along with dramatically higher insurance bills. School enrollment, tourism and in-migration from other states all have declined since Wilma."

    Florida did learn from Wilma. Florida Power & Light determined that its grid should be considerably stronger, and that work continues. There was a post-Wilma fuel crisis, but now select gas stations have generators, as do many Publix stores. The My Safe Florida Home program provided thousands of free inspections that helped homeowners harden their property and get insurance discounts.

    But the state still hasn't dealt fully with the insurance price spike that followed 2004 and 2005. Though almost every leading Florida politician supports national disaster insurance, creation of such a plan depends on Congress and the White House. A state-financed incentive plan has drawn more private companies to write hurricane coverage, but the state-run insurer of last resort, Citizens, still has nearly 1.2 million policies - almost 400,000 of them in the state-designated high-risk wind areas.

    For all the talk about taxes, insurance is the bigger issue for Florida and should be a priority for next year's Legislature. The 2007 plan that offered private companies more state-subsidized reinsurance needs to be updated, especially given the problems in the credit markets. The Hurricane Catastrophe Fund depends on the state being able to sell bonds. But the state's defeat of Allstate's 47 percent rate request, achieved by threatening the company with loss of its lucrative auto coverage, means that Florida doesn't have to be defensive.
    "Three years after Wilma, state's rebuilding remains".

    Mail ballots

    "More Hillsborough sites to drop off ballots".

    Did you say Pasco?

    "City officials and local politicians prepped Thursday for a possible visit by a member of a presidential campaign ticket — and this time, it's actually a Democrat. Vice presidential nominee Joe Biden was making plans for a rally Monday at Sims Park, local officials said, setting the stage for the first major appearance by a Democratic contender since Jimmy Carter noshed on peanut butter ice cream during a stop at Southgate Plaza three decades ago. " "Biden may visit North Suncoast".

    "Triple dipping"!!!

    "County Commission challenger accused incumbent of 'triple dipping'".

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