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 Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Will 2008 be the year of the failed sorting machine?"

    "If 2000 was the year of the 'hanging chad' in Palm Beach County, will 2008 be the year of the failed sorting machine?" "Concerns mount about accuracy of Palm Beach County's ballot counting machines".

    Update: "Problems with Sequoia voting equipment not limited to Palm Beach County". See also "County to rescan Ormond ballots".

    A bit early for a recount, ain't it?

    No match mess; expect litigation

    "The state released a new and larger "no match" list Monday of 12,165 names, compared with 8,867 on an earlier list released Oct. 16."

    More than 2,000 new Tampa Bay voters are on the state's "no match" list of unverified identities, and their votes in next week's election may not count as a result.

    Those people, part of more than 12,000 statewide, must cast provisional ballots unless they can quickly resolve discrepancies between their completed voter registration forms and driver license or Social Security numbers in government databases.
    "The new list includes unverified names from the previous list, and is again disproportionately made up of African-Americans, Hispanics, Democrats and residents of South Florida."
    African-Americans and Hispanics combined account for 55 percent of would-be voters on the latest list, which includes 6,194 Democrats and 1,440 Republicans.

    The new list reflects unverified new voters from Sept. 8 through Oct. 18, the last day county election supervisors could process registration forms.
    "12,165 now on Florida's 'no match' vote list".

    Numbers game

    "Voters in Florida and Ohio determined the last two presidential elections, but this time only Republican John McCain must win both swing states to claim victory." "With the election 1 week away, it's all about Florida, Ohio voters".

    "After showing John McCain with a 1-point Florida lead a week ago, the latest Rasmussen poll shows Barack Obama with a 51-to-47 percent lead in the state." "Rasmussen: Obama +4 in Fla." ("poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken Sunday and has a 3 percent margin of error").

    Early voting fiasco

    Tom Blackburn is "flabbergasted." He doesn't think he

    ever wrote that word in public before. But flabbergasted is the word to describe [his] reaction last week to seeing people lined up in the parking lot at the Palm Beach County Election Supervisor's Office waiting to vote.
    "Early voting is marketed as a convenience, but where is the convenience in standing around for two hours to avoid standing around for two hours?"
    And how many found it more convenient to vote on Tuesday, Oct. 21, than on Tuesday, Nov. 4? No, my friends. This is the convenience of the salad bar and self-serve gasoline stations.

    Tell me our leaders decided that we don't want to pay for efficient elections. Tell me that it's part of the Republican strategy to hold down the vote among suspected Democrats. Tell me that it's simple incompetence. I can believe any of that. Just don't tell me that standing in line in October for a November election is a convenience.

    Voting on a weekday is indeed hard for many working people. The simple solution, used in several countries, is to have a two-day election over a weekend. Since that is simple, we can't do it. For one thing, some polling places would not be available on Sundays. Elections supervisors may inconvenience school kids but not churchgoers.

    Early voting is limited on weekends. You get eight hours to vote on a Tuesday if it is hard for you to make it to the polls on Tuesday but only four hours to vote early on Saturday if that is a good day for you.

    Again, if convenience was taken into account, it wasn't the voters' convenience.
    "An inconvenient convenience". Ralph De La Cruz: "Pondering the mystery of the rush to vote early".

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "Yes, the lines are too long. No, it shouldn't take two or three hours to cast a simple vote. And yes, election officials had plenty of time to anticipate and minimize the large crowds they've been expecting for months." "Long lines greet anxious early voters".

    More: "Nearly 2 million Floridians cast ballots in the first week of early voting, and the partisan breakdown gives a slight edge to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama." "Florida early voters favor Dems; GOP leads state in absentees".

    Brain dead

    "Crist confident about Republicans on Nov. 4".


    "Colleagues say he's harnessed the goodwill his father built during 24 years in the U.S. House. He also inherited some of his dad's top aides." "It's like father, like son for Rep. Gus Bilirakis".

    Mail ballots

    Michael Mayo: "Absentee ballot pitfalls".

    Blah, blah, blah

    "With one week to go before Election Day, Barack Obama and John McCain are focusing their last-minute pushes on the same place: Florida." "McCain, Obama bring last-minute push to Florida". More:

    - "Bill Clinton to join Obama in Kissimmee". See also "Obama plans encore stop in Sunrise before heading to Orlando to campaign with Bill Clinton".

    - "McCain echoes Crist in populist message to Floridians".

    - "Police estimated about 3,200 people gathered at Sims Park and its outskirts Monday evening in anticipation of a visit by Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden." "Many came just to listen". More: "Biden stumps in Florida, as poll shows race tight", "Joe Biden starts final campaign push in Florida", "Biden returns to Florida this week" and "Biden brings Democratic message to Pasco".

    - "Bethune-Cookman University students, faculty rally to vote early".

    - "Central Florida Palin rally focuses on key area for swing-state voters" See also "Palin in Osceola: It's not over yet" and "At Tampa rally, Palin addresses clothes controversy". Mr. Ruth has more: "Look! The Empress Is Wearing New Clothes".

    - Caroline Kennedy will "make stops in Naples and The Villages on Tuesday." "Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, to attend local rallies"

    Amendment 2

    "Gay marriage issue inflames tensions".

    "So sweeping and so lavishly funded "

    "Across Florida, there are about 60 such offices, an estimated 500 paid organizers and tens of thousands of Ervin Bakers on the front line. Florida Republicans have been fielding daunting get-out-the-vote programs for years, but this is the most massive organizing operation Florida has seen from a presidential campaign. So sweeping and so lavishly funded is the volunteer-focused campaign that many Democrats think, win or lose, Obama's efforts will reverberate well beyond this election cycle in Florida." "Obama assembles a volunteer army in Florida".

    Cuba ... what's that?

    "A trio of congressional contests billed as a referendum on Miami's evolving Cuban-American community have largely ignored the issue of Cuba." "Economy, not Cuba, at heart of 3 congressional races".

    War ... what war?

    "Congressional candidates Joe Garcia and Annette Taddeo criticized their GOP opponents for not helping war veterans. " "Garcia, Taddeo rip rivals on vets".

    Joe 'three-pack

    "The Florida Democratic Party's lawyer defended a "three-pack" advertisement aimed at Republican Peter Boulware on Monday and said backers of the GOP legislative candidate are trying to intimidate local TV stations." "Lawyer for Democratic Party defends 'three-pack' ads".

    Good luck

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "There are several good environmental reasons that Florida's Environmental Regulation Commission on Wednesday should approve new fuel efficiency and anti-pollution standards for new passenger vehicles — not the least of which is the Sunshine State's high level of greenhouse gas emissions." "Legislature should debate auto emissions".

    Voter protection

    "The Barack Obama campaign will deploy hundreds of bilingual attorneys to Central Florida polling places on Election Day to deal with potential problems Hispanics might encounter with the state's "no match, no vote" law." "Obama campaign aims to ensure Hispanic vote counts".


    "Next president may drop shuttle successor Ares I".

    "Independent" this

    "Since barely winning his Republican-leaning congressional district after the Mark Foley implosion of 2006, Mahoney has downplayed his party affiliation. He skipped the Democratic convention, refused to formally endorse Barack Obama and describes himself as "an independent voice" in campaign literature that doesn't mention he's a Democrat."

    Many local Dems have been cool toward Mahoney. He didn't come up through the local ranks, switching his registration from Republican to Democrat in 2005 after being recruited to run by U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., and other inside-the-Beltway Democrats.
    "But now that Mahoney is embroiled in his own mushrooming scandal, Capitol Hill Democrats have largely abandoned him. Instead, it's local Democratic partisans who are Mahoney's staunchest backers." "Party support for Mahoney is mostly local".

    State University System Chancellor

    "Florida's 11 public universities will head into this year's legislative session hurting financially, struggling to compete academically, and leaderless, following the resignation this fall of 3-year State University System Chancellor Mark Rosenberg. Members of a search committee charged with finding Rosenberg's replacement met for the first time Monday, giving themselves until July 1, 2009 to fill Rosenberg's seat." "Interim university system chancellor expected to be named Tuesday".

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