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 Tuesday, October 14, 2008

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    Oops! Glitch tells 1,245 residents they can't vote

    "Another voting embarrassment"

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "You probably figured the voting situation in Florida couldn't be any more of an embarrassment. Wrong."

    The ultimate irony is Florida is now enforcing the "No Match, No Vote" law, under which a voter whose driver's license or Social Security number doesn't match government records would be rejected until the discrepancy is cleared up. There is concern that new voters might not have their ballots counted.

    So thousands of felons who shouldn't be voting on Nov. 4 might. And other voters, who for whatever reason can't immediately pass the "No Match, No Vote" test, won't have a voice.

    After Florida's voting debacles, you would think getting it right would be a top priority for Crist and Browning. Yet there surely will be legal challenges if the election is close again. At least we'll know who to blame if there is another embarrassment.
    "Another voting embarrassment for Florida". See also "At least 30,000 felons eligible to vote in Florida", "Palm Beach County voting equipment passes tests" and "Palm Beach County election officials prepare for worst".


    "Poll results show a late shift among independent voters, which has helped Obama overtake Republican John McCain in Florida and open a clear lead in other battleground states." "Florida independent voters likely to have the last word".

    ... and an ultraliberal terrorist to boot

    "A volunteer with Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart's campaign was dismissed Monday after warning a Miami voter not to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama because 'he's a Muslim.'" "Volunteer dismissed over lie".

    More: "Congressional candidate Joe Garcia had early interest in politics" and "Mario Diaz-Balart unfazed by challenge to seat".

    Even Mr. Happy Face gets it

    From the Maitland housewife: Charlie

    would rather twiddle his thumbs than stump for McCain.

    He has decided that high-profile support of McCain could hurt him more than help him in his 2010 race. And that tells me he is writing off McCain's chances of winning Florida.

    He is putting in a token effort to play the role of good Republican. But we have seen enough of Crist in action to know when he's going through the motions.
    "Crist knows that Obama is going to beat McCain".

    "Take Mickey Mouse"

    "Nationwide, ACORN is a favorite GOP target for allegations of voter registration fraud this year. That's not new. Similar complaints followed the 2004 elections. A criminal investigation in Florida found no evidence of fraud. ACORN even has a cameo role in the scandal over the 2006 firings of several U.S. attorneys by the Bush Justice Department. Under attack again, ACORN leaders defend their work. Often, they say, things are as not simple as they're portrayed. Take Mickey Mouse." "ACORN defends voter registration".


    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "The time is now for U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Palm Beach Gardens, to address allegations that he had an affair with a member of his congressional staff, moved her to his campaign staff when word got out about the affair, then paid her to keep quiet." "Mahoney response lacking to very serious allegations". See also "Fla. congressman seeks probe after affair reports". More: "Mahoney seeks inquiry after report of affair" ("Mahoney, married with a child, declined to say Monday whether he had carried on an affair with a former aide and paid to keep her quiet, then called for an investigation by the House ethics committee into his own conduct.")

    Cook Political Report "House Editor David Wasserman releases ratings changes in two districts. New allegations against freshman Democratic Rep. Tim Mahoney move Florida’s 16th CD from the Lean Democratic column to the Lean Republican column."

    In two years, so much has changed, but some things have stayed the same. If it’s election season, you can count on ABC News’s investigative unit to break a sex scandal in Florida’s 16th CD. “Foley Friday” (Sept. 29, 2006), meet “Mahoney Monday” (Oct. 13th, 2008).

    Private polling in the past few months has shown Mahoney in surprisingly strong reelection position. Even some Florida Republicans have admitted Mahoney’s centrist voting record and strong presence in the local news have made him a tough target for GOP businessman Tom Rooney, who has had to explain why he was registered to vote for a time at his father’s dog racing track. But today’s revelation, complete with an expletive-filled audio tape, that Mahoney likely paid a former mistress a $121,000 settlement to keep quiet about their extramarital affair after firing her from his congressional staff, is certain to turn this race on its head.

    At this point, the story is still breaking and Mahoney has yet to respond publicly to the charges. And it’s true that a scandal can appear to be more devastating on the day it breaks than it ultimately is. But it’s almost impossible to imagine a scenario in which he could avoid severe political damage as a result of these allegations, even with a significant cash-on-hand advantage over Rooney.

    Plenty of members of Congress have won reelection after sex scandals have broken. However, the same voters who were livid at former GOP Rep. Mark Foley’s double life two years ago are unlikely to see Mahoney’s transgressions as anything other than grossly hypocritical. Mahoney’s 2006 ads played up his own “faith in family” in contrast with Foley’s misconduct. The ABC News story cites former and current Mahoney staffers who say the affair with the former staffer, Patricia Allen, began before the 2006 election.

    Early voting in Florida begins one week from now, so all voters will have had a chance to digest the latest developments in the race by the time they cast their ballots. This scandal moves FL-16 to the Lean Republican column and the top of the list of GOP takeover opportunities.
    "Mahoney, Shadegg Move To Lean Republican" (subscription requited).


    "Floridians in November will decide on six proposed constitutional amendments. Less than a month before the election, most voters don't know much about them." "Poll: Floridians unsure about new amendments".

    Budget blues

    "Leaders of state law-enforcement organizations are urging Gov. Charlie Crist to spare the Florida Department of Law Enforcement from major budget cuts, warning that criminals will go free without FDLE's technical assistance." "Budget cuts hit FDLE hard Lottery results".


    "GOP incumbent Keller called Grayson an 'ultraliberal' whose 'kooky ideas . . . inch toward socialism.'" "For Keller, Grayson, WMFE debate is mud fest".

    Say what?

    "Thirty percent of Floridians enrolled in Medicaid reform [sic] said they didn't realize it, and more than half didn't know they could opt out, a new report says." "Florida Medicaid Reform Often A Mystery".

    Soft money

    "At issue are so-called committees of continuous existence, or CCEs, similar to national '527' groups. In Florida, these committees operate under vague, warm-and-fuzzy names, like Folks for Florida's Future, but they serve as vehicles for legislators to circumvent the $500 limit and raise vast sums. They are allowed under state and federal elections law that let political parties and committees raise unlimited contributions known as soft money." "Groups' accounts enable lobbies to ante up millions for legislators".

    Consider: "A Tallahassee police union [sic] group paid for radio and mail ads to voters touting Orange County commission candidate Shannon Gravitte as a 'true crime fighter,' a key plug in a race where crime is a top issue. But records indicate that both ads -- though attributed to the PBA Voice of Law Enforcement Fund -- were bankrolled by local development and theme-park interests who had already given heavily to Gravitte's campaign." "Electioneering groups make contribution limits irrelevant".

    A "blessing"

    "At the Broward Democratic Party's monthly meeting Tuesday night, it started at the beginning — with the invocation, delivered by Mike Moskowitz, the state committeeman for the county. He called for a 'blessing on the elk and moose in Alaska who have been decimated by Sarah Barracuda' and included a prayer that Palin doesn't turn her sights on the squirrels in Washington, D.C." "Broward Democrats poke fun at Sarah Palin".

    Warning! "Political experts" ahead

    "Florida Trend asked some of the state's political experts to predict what will happen in Florida on Election Day 2008." "Who will take Florida? McCain or Obama".

    HD 28

    "When William Smalley, the Democratic challenger for state House District 28, attacks Republican incumbent Dorothy Hukill, he goes after what Hukill considers her strength -- her record as a two-term state representative. " "History key in District 28 race".

    Must be balanced

    This just in from the Zell Corporation: "But we wish Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama would approach the issues more and their campaigns' dark sides less." "Voters deserve better in the race for president".

    Not a hard call

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "Busansky for elections chief".

    Back on the ballot

    "Ruling puts judge candidate back in race, but ballots lack her name". See also "Ballot printing in Broward County halted until dispute settled".

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