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 Monday, October 06, 2008

"Prepare for the absolute worst, hope for the best"

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "South Florida voters should treat the November election the same way they treat a hurricane forming in the Atlantic."
    Prepare for the absolute worst, hope for the best.

    Officials are painting a perfect storm scenario that could produce a nightmare on Election Day, Nov. 4: huge voter turnout, a surge in registrations, the first big election using paper ballots, and, oh yeah, an exceptionally long ballot, particularly in Broward.

    Combine that with all the people waiting to show their ID's, along with South Florida's history of election day foul-ups, along with the huge number of senior voters and potential first-time voters, and it's easy to see how we are smack in the middle of the election's cone of uncertainty.
    "The eye of the election storm will be right over us".

    A lot of people voting and such is sumthin' even a The Palm Beach Post employee recognizes as "the democratic dream" [both upper and lower case "D"].
    A record number of first-time voters, many younger than 30, crowd the polling places for an opportunity to be part of the election process.

    Today is the deadline for voters to register or change their addresses in time for the Nov. 4 election. The number of applications in the last week has been overwhelming and unlike any other buildup to a recent presidential election.

    But some experts fear that Palm Beach County, and other counties around the state and nation, will struggle to process so many new registrations in only 29 days.
    Here's the thing - the RPOFers want as many voters as possible to have their ballots dumped into provisional ballot envelopes, which means their votes will not count unless the voter makes another trip (to the SOE office), and waits in another line.

    You see: "If there are any problems, a voter will be given a provisional ballot and will have two days to return to the elections office to prove identity." Yeah, I'll be right back.
    Opponents say the law discriminates against black and Hispanic voters, who often have nontraditional spellings of names that can be entered differently in various databases.

    "Someone registers 29 days before the election, counties are overloaded with paperwork, and because someone incorrectly enters data into a computer, that person will not be able to cast a vote and will be handed a provisional ballot," [Pamela Goodman, president of the Palm Beach County chapter of the League of Women Voters] said.
    Too bad Florida can't emulate more progressive states ... like ... Ohio (?). Florida's system is
    in stark contrast to another presidential swing state, Ohio, which just passed a law allowing voters to register and cast a ballot on the same day.

    "Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing, under the Help America to Vote Act (of 2002), if Florida could actually be a state to enable voters to do the same?" Goodman said. "We're not, unfortunately. We're one of the most voter-suppressed states in the country."
    "Late voter surge thrilling, but chilling". Background: as of Friday, "430,000 new voters register in Florida".

    When the League of Women Voters is saying "we're one of the most voter-suppressed states in the country", you know we're in trouble.


    "Biden cancels Monday and Tuesday campaign events after mother-in-law's death". See also "Biden, Palin plan Florida visits" and "Palin, Biden return to Florida".

    "Veteran Democratic strategist Karl Koch remembers the 1996 presidential campaign, when he could count the paid staff in Florida for Clinton-Gore on one hand — five." "McCain, Obama step up strategies in Florida".

    Laff riot

    "Citing the worsening economic climate, Associated Industries of Florida -- one of the state's largest business-lobbying organizations -- threw its endorsement to Republican John McCain for president Friday." "Florida lobbying group backs McCain".

    Charlie soils himself

    "As Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin arrives in Clearwater this morning for a blockbuster tour of Florida, she will be flying around with Gov. Charlie Crist, while scooping up campaign cash and enthusiasm for the Republican presidential ticket." "Palin in Florida at critical time for McCain". See also "Palin arrives in Clearwater", "Sarah Palin to hold rallies across Fla. this week" and "Sarah Palin's task: Regain lead for McCain in Florida".

    "Key bloc"

    "In 2004, there were 4 million foreign-born Hispanics citizens of voting age. Today, that number is more than 5 million, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by the nonprofit Pew Hispanic Center."

    These new voters are especially important in swing states like Florida and New Mexico, said Jeffrey Passel, the center's senior demographer. ...

    Overall, the Hispanic vote seems to be coalescing behind the Democrats.

    Hispanic registered voters supported Obama over McCain by a 66 percent to 23 percent margin in a nationwide survey conducted by the Pew center in June and July. The survey found that Latino voters have moved sharply into the Democratic camp in the past two years, reversing gains made by the GOP earlier in the decade.
    In Florida, a state known for its conservative Cuban-American Republicans,
    this year marked the first time that more Hispanics are registered as Democrats than Republicans. At least part of that comes from new citizens. Still, recent polls show McCain ahead among Florida Hispanics overall, making support from new Hispanic citizens in the Sunshine State all the more crucial for Obama.

    After the Miami citizenship ceremony, Panama native Graciela Hidalgo stood with her 11 year-old son Jesse waiting to sign up with the Democrats. Hildalgo, 46, has lived in the United States nearly half her life but waited to become a citizen, first because she had arrived illegally and later because she was too busy working and raising her son.

    She said she was most worried about the economy, the Iraq war and, to a lesser extent, immigration.

    "I would have liked Hillary," Hidalgo said wistfully of Hillary Rodham Clinton, "but McCain for me is not an option. He's all war, war, and the Republicans haven't done much."

    Those new Florida citizens interviewed who did support McCain tended to be older and to come from communist Cuba or socialist-leaning Nicaragua and Venezuela, where their experiences made them more sympathetic to the Republican candidate, a former Vietnam prisoner of war.
    "Campaigns woo new Hispanic citizens as key bloc".

    "An ounce of decency left?"

    This is an interesting local story we've been following. The The St. Petersburg Times editorial board takes it up again this morning: "Do the old bulls on the Hillsborough County Commission not have an ounce of decency left?" "They get the award for nerve".

    The Zell Corporation ...

    ... keeps pimping this story: "McCain leads in Florida, Chamber of Commerce poll shows".

    School of hard knocks

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: universities' "complicity in getting students hooked on credit cards is unseemly, but not at all unusual. Universities throughout the state and the nation cut ... deals with credit-card providers, either directly or through alumni or booster groups that serve as middlemen." "We think: Deals between universities and credit card companies need controls".

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