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 Sunday, November 09, 2008

Florida, "as red as ever"

    "Florida is just as red as ever in Tallahassee, where vital decisions are made on taxes, spending and the shape of 160 legislative and 25 (soon to be 26) congressional districts."
    So even as Florida Democrats toasted Obama's historic victory, they were flogging themselves over a missed opportunity that may not come their way again — and rightfully so. They had a chance to make much-needed gains in the Legislature, and they didn't, and that has consequences for the party and the state.

    Republicans control the Senate, 26-14, and the House, 76-44, with two Democratic House seats possibly headed for machine recounts.
    "Florida Democrats flub chance to gain seats in Legislature". See also "Mary Ann LIndley: That blue is an illusion; red (and sunshine) rule". Might there be hope?

    "Here's a map that says everything about how Barack Obama won Florida, and all those Democratic wins should make Republicans nervous. The map does not reflect the counties actually carried by Obama or John McCain, but rather where each party improved its showing from four years earlier. McCain and Sarah Palin gained in low-population, rural counties. Obama and Joe Biden increased their wins or cut their losses almost everywhere else." "Democrats altering Florida's voting map".

    Nevertheless, even
    Republican political advisors say Obama's campaign has strengthened Democrats and made Florida 'a different world.'
    "Florida GOP: Obama won with our playbook". Randy Schultz:
    So while they paid proper attention to Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the Obama people focused especially on the swath from St. Petersburg to Disney World to Daytona Beach. Known as the I-4 Corridor for the interstate that is the region's spine, it is vote-rich and less predictable than the Democratic strongholds of South Florida and the Republican base in North Florida. Gov. Crist is from the Corridor. So are the state's two U.S. senators.

    Usually, whoever controls the Corridor controls the election. Compare John Kerry and Sen. Obama. ...

    Republicans hold 16 of Florida's 25 congressional seats. The GOP controls the state Senate 26-14 and the state House 77-43. Control of the Legislature will mean control of redistricting in three years. Barack Obama won his battle for Florida, but the Democratic Party hasn't shown that it can win the wider political war for Florida. If the party decides to fight harder for the state, assume that the fight will start in the I-4 Corridor.
    "Will Dems fight for Florida?".

    Run, Charlie, Run!

    William March points out that

    John McCain's loss, ironically, reopens the national political scene for Gov. Charlie Crist.

    Many Crist supporters and allies were angry when he wasn't chosen as McCain's running mate. With McCain off the stage, they think Crist can be among the contenders for national leadership of the party.
    "That's some of the political fallout from Tuesday's election, in which Obama became the first Democrat to win the state's 27 electoral votes since 1996."
    His Florida win, proving a Democrat can win here statewide, may embolden Democrats to challenge Republicans in such contests as the coming 2010 governor and U.S. Senate races.
    "Alex Sink of Tampa, the state's chief financial officer, could be among them. She is considered a leading future electoral prospect for the Democrats".

    Greer and the Cristies hope to prop Charlie up nationally from a would-be (wannabe) position as RNC Chair. But Greer is facing an internal challenge from the "return to conservative roots" (read Bushco) faction of the RPOF. "Fracas at the top in GOP". The Jebbites ain't going away.


    "VETERANS DAY 2008: Tuesday, Nov. 11 Military veterans, retirees are marching to Florida".

    RPOFer hack: it was just a black thing

    Why does the The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board persist in going to the idiot well for quotes:

    Nonsense, says Brian Ballard, a Tallahassee lobbyist and a fundraiser and strategist for McCain.

    Ballard said the McCain forces were helpless against the force of history, he said. Black voters surged to the polls to elect the nation's first black president, he said.

    "I think Duval had a huge African-American turnout," Ballard said. "There was no way to compete with the historic nature of the campaign."
    "Expert: Black voters were major force in Obama's Florida win". Is this Brian Ballard person an "expert" on anything but familial connections? His expert analysis: Obama's election - it was just a black thing.

    With "strategist[s] for McCain" like this, McCain deserved to lose.

    Zombies remain "Unfazed"

    "At least in presidential politics, Florida is purple again after looking reddish for the past decade - but that doesn't guarantee Florida Democrats any resurgence in state-level elections."

    John McCain's loss, ironically, reopens the national political scene for Gov. Charlie Crist.

    Many Crist supporters and allies were angry when he wasn't chosen as McCain's running mate. With McCain off the stage, they think Crist can be among the contenders for national leadership of the party.
    The response from the zombies comprising the RPOF?: "GOP Remains Unfazed".

    Never mind

    "Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink suggested Friday that the state's Republican leaders are in denial about the dire economy and they should call a special legislative session now to deal with the impact on the state budget." "Florida leaders in denial about budget problem, Sink says".

    Perhaps the RPOF will amp up the racism thing or sumthin' ...

    "GOP plots course for return".

    The Gerrymandering thing

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "The election Tuesday once again demonstrated why our state needs a new system for drawing voting district lines. Floridians voted for Barack Obama over John McCain by about 200,000 votes. But you could barely tell that the state had shifted course politically by looking at the results of congressional and legislative races."

    Only a handful of incumbents lost their seats, and it's not because the rest are all doing a great job. One key reason: Gerrymandering has gotten so sophisticated that the computer-generated boundaries of the legislative and congressional districts virtually ensure that incumbents stay in office unless there is a scandal.
    "Give elections back to voters".

    Will Obama Kow Tow to Cuban extremists?

    Andres Oppenheimer thinks so:

    Obama will want to win a second term in 2012 and will seek not to antagonize some of the constituencies -- such as Florida's Hispanic community -- that helped him win Tuesday's election. Obama won a record 57 percent of the Hispanic vote in Florida, a major achievement in a state where no Democratic presidential candidate has won a majority of the Hispanic vote since the 1980s. Even among Miami's Cuban-American voters, who vote heavily Republican, Obama got a respectable 35 percent of the vote, according to a Bendixen & Associates poll of early voters. That's more than the 25 percent than Democratic candidate Kerry got in 2004, and than the 20 percent that Democrat Al Gore received in 2000.
    "Will Obama cozy up to Chávez, Castro? Not likely".

    Call us crazy, but perhaps Obama did as well as he did was because he wanted to build bridges, as opposed to continuing the current failed policies, and many Cubans thought that was a good idea? And then ... you know ... they voted for him.

    One step forward ...

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "In the presidential election, Florida voters demonstrated how far the state has come toward embracing diversity. On two constitutional amendments, they signaled how far there is to go. " "On amendments, voters disappoint". More: "Amendment 3 passes without recount in Florida".

    The sky is falling!

    "Obama and Russian president Medvedev chat on phone".

    "Move over 'Maestro,'"

    "And now, for the post-election roll call of winners and losers:"

    - Loser: Jim Greer. Florida's GOP chairman hurt his chances to go national by losing the state and frittering away party money on chartered planes. He also got written up for grandstanding, having promised at the convention to give $10,000 to Hurricane Gustav victims and then forgetting to cut the check.

    - Winner: Steve Schale. Move over ''Maestro,'' the aptly nicknamed campaign manager for Gov. Charlie Crist, George LeMieux. The director of Obama's Florida campaign is now the hottest political consultant in town. As for LeMieux, he predicted McCain would win Florida (wrong) and that U.S. Rep . Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami would lose (wrong again).
    "Time to tally real winners and losers". See also "Scott Maxwell: A look back at the champs, chumps of the '08 campaign".

    Poor "Jim Greer, [who] has been quietly angling for chairman of the Republican National Committee, but first faces the little matter of getting re-elected as state chairman in January." "Fracas at the top in [Fla] GOP".

    What are the baby knuckle draggers (a/k/a YRs) to do?!?

    "Election Yields New Hero For Youth".

    Live from Tampa: "Some of the most racist, virulent, inane hate speech one could imagine"

    Poor Dan Ruth, the racists who read [sic] his rag are all lathered up:

    "You said it about McCain, but I'm going to say it about your guy, insert sleazy, declasse racial image here, if he wins this race," wrote R. Vanhoose, who will never be confused with Coretta Scott King. "We're all doomed!"

    Thank you so much for that sensitive "We Shall Overcome" moment.

    As you might well imagine, while Tuesday night's election of the nation's first black president marked an important historical advance in race relations in this country, others took - to put it gently - a somewhat contrarian view.

    Teddy the Nazi, who is even crazier than Rudolf Hess parachuting into Scotland, slimed out of his box down by the river long enough to pass along a series of some of the most racist, virulent, inane hate speech one could imagine in the wake of the next president's election.

    I can't print any of it, but think David Duke meets Andrew Dice Clay. ...

    Solidier62 was annoyed with a recent column about a last-minute campaign visit to the University of Tampa by John McCain, which noted the candidate's police escort out-numbered his supporters.

    "Obama's best view of the White House will come if he volunteers to bus tables at McCain's first state dinner," soldier62 wrote, which made me wonder if he was hanging out at the barber shop with R. Vanhoose.
    "We Shall (Be) Overcome, With Chumps, Haters".

    'Ya think?

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "The governor's plan to restore Everglades isn't a done deal".


    "Rooney campaigned on a conservative platform of tax cuts, spending restraint, strong defense and offshore drilling. But if there was a ringing mandate from voters, it was to behave himself better than the last two representatives District 16 has sent to Washington." "Tenacity, hard work a Rooney trademark".

    Early Voting done right

    "Florida may be wary of a civics lesson from Las Vegas, but for early voting, Vegas is where the action is." "Next time, vote like Vegas".

    One assumes the Dems will get right out in front on this in the next Session. Imagine, "Clark County, Nev., home to Las Vegas and 814,000 registered voters (fewer than Palm Beach County), offered early voting at 88 sites, including grocery stores, malls, libraries and community centers. Palm Beach County, limited by state law to election offices, city halls and libraries, had 11 early-voting sites."

    "Stain removal"

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Crist and Secretary of State Kurt Browning might not be celebrating the outcomes of several elections — both are Republicans — but they have reason to be relieved and proud that voting throughout Florida was generally smooth." "Stain removal: Voting went well, but change still needed".

    More librul media garbage

    Who writes this garbage?

    Tearing down free-trade agreements? Hiking taxes for small businesses? Imposing new federal oversight of banks and insurance companies? Charging more for hotel rooms because of higher unskilled labor costs?

    Speculation is just heating up over how a Barack Obama presidency will impact area companies and the broader Florida economy.

    Obama's sweep into the Oval Office coupled with a strengthened Democratic majority in Congress could usher in an era of heightened regulation. Some economists and local business leaders predict the new administration could put a chill on defense industry spending, crimp international trade and force hotels, restaurants and retailers to pay more for unskilled labor — all issues hitting core industries in Florida.
    "Obama's effect on Florida's economy".

    The end of the world is at hand. Obama might somehow
    force hotels, restaurants and retailers to pay more for unskilled labor
    Actually, it was one of them libruls at the St. Pete Times that wrote that doggerel. And it appears that, in writing the "story" (little more than transcribing a Chamber talking points), he neglected to interview a single unskilled laborer who worked in a hotel, restaurant or retailer.


    "Minorities vastly underrepresented in Broward's highly politicized judiciary".

    "Remember how ..."

    "Remember how Obama was going to face a serious challenge winning Florida because he was weak with Jewish and Hispanic voters? Forget it. The Hispanic vote — 14 percent of the electorate — swung 27 points from 2004, with exit polls showing Obama beating McCain 57 percent to 42 percent among Florida Hispanics." "Poll, schmole".

    Cop costs

    "Now that the presidential election is over, here's another tally: what the candidates' visits cost taxpayers. With the Tampa Bay area being part of a key region in a closely contested large state, candidates and their surrogates came here often. At the same time, the economy is forcing local governments to reduce spending and eliminate positions. Even so, eight local police and rescue agencies spent at least $175,000 since April during campaign visits by Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain and Sarah Palin." "Candidates' Visits To Tampa Bay Area Cost Taxpayers Big Bucks".

    Perhaps the Hillsborough GOPers ought to chip in; after all, they stoked the fires of racism and hatred as best they could: see ""AFTER ALL, HE IS BLACK"; Updated".

    If they're rat employees from South Carolina ... they must be OK

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "2006 vandalism at FPL nuclear plant raises concern about worker screenings".


    "Voters Make Land Preservation Priority".

    Florida's contributions to the science of polling

    Dan Moffett

    - The Mahoney Effect. Voter deplores philandering congressman then votes for him out of envy. Formerly called The Bubba Effect during the Clinton years.

    - The Mark Foley Effect. Voter feels the congressional district is hopelessly doomed to elected officials with sex scandals and unseemly behavior, so it's always prudent to vote against the incumbent, just to be on the safe side. Also known as the Rooney Resurgence Effect, or as a verb, "to Rooney the vote."

    - The Susan Bucher Effect. Voter takes pity on term-limited Florida legislator and votes to make her Palm Beach County elections supervisor as a way to reduce the state unemployment rolls. Also known as the Shelley Vana Effect, and formerly known as the Anne Gannon Effect.
    "Poll finds voters want more polls".

    "Empty newspaper racks"

    Fred Grimm: "All those empty newspaper racks spoke to the history of the thing." "Beyond an old reporter's imagination".


    "Visitors to Florida might have a tough time telling whether it's an anything-goes playground or the tip of the Bible Belt." "Blackjack fight latest front in Fla. gambling saga".

    Alleged journalism

    When "journalists" write garbage like this ...

    "Obama was as charismatic as Gore was dull, and as forceful as Kerry was tentative."
    ... over and over again, people believe there must be something to it, and charismatic, forceful creeps like Dubya get elected, and people die.


    "The Palm Beach County canvassing board wrapped up its review of absentee and provisional ballots to meet the state's deadline today." "Palm Beach County canvassing board wraps up ballot reviews".

    Dan mean to Buddy

    "It's 1 Potato, 2 Potato For Spuddy, Er, Buddy".

    Betcha didn't know ...

    ... that Obama was really a conservative. This brilliance from the The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "The candidate who won Tuesday, the Heritage Foundation notes, promised to cut taxes for 95 percent of workers, to expand the Army and Marines, to cut federal spending, all core conservative beliefs. The conservative think tank correctly concludes that someone who says the election marks the end of conservatism 'simply was not paying attention to the campaign.'" "Conservatives Feel Forsaken By Party, Not Defeated".

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