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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

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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 Thursday, October 16, 2008

    "Republican presidential candidate John McCain trails Democrat Barack Obama in Florida and national polls, but state Republican Chairman Jim Greer says his party's candidate still has a chance to turn around the dynamics of the contest and win."
    Greer said he's found Republicans around the state aren't despondent about McCain's status.
    "Florida Republican chairman, proclaims campaign's not doing so badly". See also "GOP anxiety builds as Obama holds lead in Florida".

    "Facing Barack Obama's massive Florida campaign, Republican John McCain is scrambling to regain traction with a Friday appearance." "Obama, McCain intensify competition for Florida".

    RPOFers joke about Obama assasination

    Update: Is there some reason the newspaper company with the story (The Tampa Tribune) is not revealing the names of the "two reporters" who received the "joke" from Austin, or the "two other individuals" the e-mail had been passed through before it got to Austin?
    - - - - - - - - - -

    The story:

    Al Austin, a high-level Republican fundraiser from Tampa, sent an e-mail to his list of his political contacts Wednesday containing a joke that refers to the assassination of Barack Obama.
    "Top Tampa GOP Figure Shares Joke About Killing Obama" (dateline October 15).

    "Austin acknowledged sending the e-mail to his list of political contacts, but [and here's the part where he abdicates vaunted GOPer personal responsibility] said
    he did so while distracted by a conversation with his doctor and didn't know what it said. That list included at least two reporters.

    According to the forwarding history on the e-mail, it had been gone through at least two other individuals before being sent to Austin on Tuesday. Those two individuals didn't immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment.

    Austin, a prominent real estate developer long known as one of the state's leading Republican campaign fundraisers, has served in recent years as finance chairman for both the national and state Republican parties.
    "Obama Slaying Joke Sent By GOP Fundraiser" (dateline October 16). Meanwhile, back at the ranch, "the Secret Service is looking into a second allegation that a participant at a Republican political rally shouted 'kill him,' referring to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama." "Secret Service looking into Obama threat at rally".

    Browning just another partisan hack ...

    "It has become a hot issue in the Republican presidential campaign and the conservative blogosphere: Is ACORN synonymous with voter fraud? For weeks, state and national Republicans have attacked the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and its voter-registration drives that have prompted complaints from North Carolina to Nevada."

    "On Tuesday, Democrat Barack Obama's campaign struck back, calling the recent attacks by John McCain and his surrogates efforts at voter 'suppression and intimidation.'"

    And they got support from an unexpected source: Kurt Browning, who as secretary of state oversees Florida's election system and who, at a Tuesday briefing of the Cabinet, was asked about allegations of fraud in voter registrations turned in by ACORN.

    "We have not seen a persistent problem across the state of Florida," Browning said.

    His comments followed questions by two Republicans, Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson and Attorney General Bill McCollum, who voiced concerns about the fraud allegations.

    "There is an impression that it's fairly widespread in our state," McCollum said.

    That impression has been fanned by RNC officials, who have said ACORN and Obama's campaign are "engaged in a systemic effort to undermine our election system."
    "Sentinel: Is there ACORN fraud in Florida?".

    Billy boy furious ...

    ... that voter rolls have not been sufficiently purged: "Florida's attorney general said Tuesday there is "no excuse" for the state's failure to purge tens of thousands of convicted felons from the voter rolls in time for Election Day." "Florida's effort to remove felons from voter rolls 'deeply flawed,' state senator says". See also "Florida elections new headache: felons on voting rolls".

    He might, ought express the same anger over his political party's voter suppression efforts.

    Florida's "Dire economic circumstances"

    "Dire economic circumstances call for severe responses, a fact reflected in contingency plans drawn up by state agencies as Gov. Charlie Crist begins his budget-building process." "Outlook bleak for Florida budget". See also "'Accelerate Florida' kicks into high gear" ("more than 179 projects worth more than $1.4 billion have been put on the fast track.")

    Republican pot holes

    The St. Petersburg Times: "GOP war chests swell in County Commission, House races".

    "Florida has its own versions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac"

    Mike Thomas; "Florida has its own versions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They are Citizens Property Insurance and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (CAT fund). And while they sell insurance instead of buying mortgages, there are striking similarities. Like Freddie and Fannie, they drastically underprice risk." "Insurance rates linked to votes? This can't go on".

    "Doo-dah, Doo-dah"

    "It is perhaps unwittingly fitting that the massive Confederate flag fluttering in the breeze is situated at Interstates 4 and 75, a proper reflection of the combined IQs that came up with this hickville idea in the first place." "Yet Another Dueling Banjos Moment".

    Green stuff

    "[A]s the state considers proposals to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and develop new sources of energy, a debate is building about what steps Florida should take -- and how much they should cost."

    The state Public Service Commission took up the issues this week when it conducted a hearing on a proposal that would require greater use of renewable sources of energy, such as solar power.

    Also, a panel appointed by Crist released a 123-page report late Wednesday that gives wide-ranging recommendations for reducing emissions.

    That report warns that the state's "resources, communities and economy are expected to experience significant impacts if the current trajectory of global greenhouse-gas emissions is not reversed."

    The debate ultimately could play out next spring when lawmakers deal with issues, such as requiring more renewable energy.
    "State panel weighs costs against gains of green proposals". See also "Climate change proposals can exceed Crist's goals".

    So far ...

    The Palm Beach Post editors are crossing their collective fingers: "Early returns justify hope for a glitch-free election".

    Battle 'o the "wealthy Republicans"

    "Two wealthy Republicans are the financial fuel behind both sides of the ballot measure that would ban gay marriage in the Florida Constitution."

    Backing the measure is the patriarch who founded Amway Corp. On the other side is a little-known telecom multimillionaire.

    Donald A. Burns, 45, of West Palm Beach, contributed 18 percent or $400,000 of the $2.2-million raised by Florida Red and Blue, the most prominent group fighting Amendment 2.

    On the other side, state records show billionaire Orlando Magic owner Richard DeVos, 82, of Grand Rapids, Mich., has given $100,000, or about 15 percent of the $676,700 raised by Florida4Marriage, the group that collected signatures to put Amendment 2 on the Nov. 4 ballot.
    "Two wealthy Republicans are fueling both sides in the fight over Amendment 2".

    "Domestic violence shelters"

    "DCF officials say current economic conditions are causing those who flee to domestic violence shelters to stay longer than normal. A 2007-2008 study showed victims were staying an average of five to 30 days beyond the normal six-week stay." "DCF awards money to domestic violence shelters".

    On the waterfront

    "At issue is Amendment 6, which would direct property appraisers to value marinas, boatyards, boat-launch sites and commercial fisheries based on their current business use, rather than at the premium condo developers are willing to pay for their land." "Florida marina industry asks voters for property tax lifeline".

    This just in ...

    from the Zell Corporation: "Scott Maxwell: McCain saves best for last, but Obama maintains his reach".


    "Facing an FBI investigation into how he paid off a former lover who had threatened to sue him, U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney on Wednesday offered proof that he did not use campaign funds." "Mahoney paid ex-staffer from own account, attorney says".


    "A political operative familiar with federal campaigns said that while many campaigns invest surplus cash, real estate investments are unusual. An FEC spokesman said there is nothing in federal law that prohibits investing campaign money in real estate as long as the candidate isn't the owner of the property." "Wexler campaign held second mortgage on West Palm home".

    Heaven help us

    "A protected loggerhead sea turtle that was repeatedly sliced with a machete has made a full recovery and been released in the Florida Keys." "Marathon: Turtle nursed back to health".

    Government jobs

    "A new military cargo plane will be built at Cecil Commerce Center in Jacksonville, bringing 300 new jobs to the former Navy base." "Plane to be built at former Jacksonville Navy base".

    Florida's booming economy

    "A Margate man suing a Pompano Beach club claims a performer's shoe flew off during a pole dance, shattered the mirrored ceiling and caused glass and the shoe to hit him." "Man sues strip club after injury".

    HD 60

    "By most standard measures, the race in state House District 60 is a classic mismatch." "Florida House District 60 a campaign of contrasts".

    Now we know

    "Stun gun fails to work on wild boar".


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