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 Friday, December 12, 2008

Florida's paparazzi running wild

    Scott Maxwell breathlessly reports that
    for the first time in more than four decades, a sitting Florida governor is getting married. ...

    As for who is on the 200-person guest list, well, that's been Tallahassee's favorite guessing game of late.

    Rarely has a secret been so guarded.
    "Spotlight-gaga Crist plays coy with his big day".

    The Palm Beach Post breaks the story wide open, trumpeting that Charlie has actually invited the sensational "CNN anchorman Wolf Blitzer, MSNBC morning personality Joe Scarborough and Fox News pundit Sean Hannity [which in turn] suggests there's also a political purpose to this 'private' affair. Could he be planning for 2012?". Not to be outdone, the courtiers at the Times proudly publish for the masses an actual, "(partial) Crist list of wedding guests".

    Back at the ranch, George Diaz - more power to him - takes a stab at journalism:
    Politicians can always talk a good game about leadership. That's the easy part. What defines leadership is how someone reacts in a crisis, when difficult choices must be made: Take a stand when the political squeeze is on, or poke a wet finger in the air and see which way the wind is blowing.

    Raise your finger, Charlie Crist, if that sounds like anyone you know.
    "Crist fiddles while possible budget cuts burn seniors, kids".

    Bonnie King Charlie

    The Orlando Sentinel editors write that "It's good to be the governor."

    So good, you can almost live like a king. Gov. Charlie Crist did just that over the summer, getting the royal treatment during an all-expenses-paid 12-day visit to London, Paris, Madrid and St. Petersburg.
    "The governor met with a couple of princes (Charles and Andrew),"
    stayed in princely palaces (a $2,179 suite at the Hilton London Metropole; a $1,385 suite at The Westin Paris; and suites costing about $1,200 in Madrid and St. Petersburg) and ran up princely tabs. His first-class jet fare cost $8,000. Room service and minibars topped $1,300 (can't get enough of that Evian!). And looking good [sic] didn't come cheaply, either.

    For the people's governor, that meant $320 for electric fans to help him manage the heat while delivering speeches.
    "It's also good to work for the governor."
    Four Ladies in Waiting aides, two Grand Chamberlains agency heads, nine Groomsmen bodyguards, a spokesman Grand Master of the Hunt, a Master of the Pastry photographer and several others got to accompany Mr. Crist to Europe.

    But it's bad, inexcusably bad, how the governor made his way overseas, and the way he and his staff -- whose tab ran to nearly $500,000 -- supported themselves while there.
    The editors continue, writing that "Floridians won't want to pay for Mr. Crist's visits abroad if he and his companions carry on like nobility on a binge. "
    His bodyguards including The Premier Master of the Horses and Mewsran up a nearly $630 dry-cleaning bill. Was it because they had to look their best for the photographer he thought necessary to bring along?

    And nine Groomsmen bodyguards? Nine?

    Mr. Crist thought it acceptable to stick taxpayers with the entourage's $430,000 bill. We're not convinced it should have run half that much.
    ."Gov. Crist lost his bearings on his summer trade mission to Europe"

    The Palm Beach Post editors point out that "first-class airfare and a $2,179 per-night London hotel suite - were paid by Charlie's patronsbusiness executives who went on the excursion to London, Paris, Madrid and St. Petersburg."

    "Stealing from Florida's elderly, and from our children's future"

    The Miami Herald editors:

    The temptation to tap into the Lawton Chiles Endowment Fund to help offset a projected $2.3 billion shortfall in budget revenues is strong -- but Gov. Crist and state lawmakers should resist the urge. Raiding the fund would be stealing from Florida's elderly, and from our children's future.

    Desperation can make even normally reasonable people do nonsensical things, and the mere fact that Gov. Crist and state lawmakers are considering borrowing from the fund is evidence of their clouded judgment. Money from the fund is invested largely in long-term securities that have lost nearly half their $2.1 billion value since June. Borrowing from the fund at this point, when the fund's assets are at record-low values, would eliminate the fund's chances for a full recovery.
    "Don't be a Grinch, Gov. Charlie Crist". See also "Florida's budget gap surges to $2.3-billion" and "Florida lawmakers list options for dealing with nearly $2.3B budget deficit".

    "Stealing from Florida's elderly, and from our children's future"? Why, that's just another day at the RPOFer office.

    Lock 'em up

    "Some prison inmates in Florida - which locked up more new ones last year than any other state, according to a federal report released Thursday - soon could be living in tents." "Fla. _ No. 3 in prison popluation _ turns to tents".

    Tired of the private sector

    Jebbie's raring to get back on the government payroll:

    Jeb Bush is leaning toward doing something he always said he never wanted to do: run for the U.S. Senate.

    Bush has said publicly only that he is considering running for the seat Florida Sen. Mel Martinez will leave when his term is up in 2010.

    But friends and political associates say that behind the scenes, he's being deluged by Republicans urging him to.

    "I can't tell you the number of people who have asked me for his contact information, saying they want to tell him they want him to run," said Fort Lauderdale lawyer Justin Sayfie, a former Bush administration official and GOP activist.

    Those doing the urging include his brother, President George W. Bush.

    At a White House Christmas party Thursday, "the president was just effusively promoting it to all the Floridians, and so was Laura," said accountant and GOP financial consultant Nancy Watkins of Tampa. "He was saying, 'We've gotta get Jeb going for the Senate.'"

    Some of those friends say Jeb Bush doesn't need much arm-twisting.
    "Buzz Builds For Bush Senate Run". Yee Haw!


    "The state overcharged for the amount of backup insurance it was offering in its hurricane catastrophe fund, says a property insurance company." "Property insurance company wants refund from state's hurricane catastrophe fund".

    Can't live on sunshine

    "Authorities call attention to US homelessness".

    Paulites nearly pull off Orange GOP coup

    "The longtime chairman faced a challenge from Deon Long, who was backed by coalition of disaffected Republicans, namely those who supported U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's failed presidential bid. " "GOP chief Lew Oliver barely holds onto Orange post".


    "A lawsuit that could have thrown the controversial county mayor issue back into the courtroom was rejected Thursday by Hillsborough County commissioners. The lawsuit would have challenged the legality of giving a county mayor veto power over county budgets. Hillsborough voters on Nov. 4 approved an amendment to the county charter giving veto power to a county mayor, but no such position exists." "County Mayor Lawsuit Rejected".

    The private sector

    "State employees having consumer problems with their insurance coverage often complain about long waits on hold when calling one of Florida government's health-maintenance organizations — followed by cold, impersonal service from some bored bureaucrat." "AvMed typo leads state workers to call sex line".


    "Complaints about remittances never being delivered to Cuba by a Hialeah business led investigators to charge three people running the place." "Two held in alleged theft of money bound for Cuba".

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