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, December 02, 2008

Mel's out!

    "Hittin' the bricks".

    image description

    "Jebbie waiting in the wings"?

This is truly a stunner: "Martinez won't seek re-election". Which kinda renders this beside the point: "Sink not running against Martinez".

Charlie's "timid half-step"

"Gov. Charlie Crist and representatives of major lenders announced Monday a 45-day moratorium on [some?] new foreclosure filings, which critics called a timid half-step toward helping homeowners in tough economic times." Picture this:

Pounding his lectern, Crist stressed that the moratorium does not mean people can just skip their house payments ... .
Jeez Charlie, I thought I were gitin' sumthin' fer 'nuthin.
"Florida has the third-highest foreclosure rate in the nation. More than 166,000 households were impacted by foreclosure activities last month alone," ... .

Democrats scoffed at the agreement, saying it would do nothing for homeowners who lose their jobs or have fallen far behind in their house payments. State Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff said Crist "is only offering tone-deaf optimism and more of the same failed policies that left the Sunshine State in recession for the first time in 16 years and an average of 1,750 Floridians receiving foreclosure notices every day."
"Crist suspends foreclosures". See also "Crist says banks agree to delay foreclosures" and "Foreclosure Freeze Is Voluntary".

Let them eat cake

"Crist's fiancee is set to walk down the aisle in a floor-length classic silk gown by a Spanish designer and train-length veil. That's according to Carrie Hung, who owns Wedding Atelier in Manhattan, where bride Carole Rome bought the duds. The 39-year-old will be teetering on 3-inch heels by British designer Filippa Scott and accessorize with items from her mother. Hung wouldn't reveal the gown's designer." "Crist's fiancee to wear silk gown to the nuptials".

No word on whether Charlie intends to follow the lead of the Wasilla hillbillies and, like Todd, slip into a pair of Republican silk underpanties "boxer shorts" for the affair.

While Charlie preens ...

"Food-stamp distributions are at an all-time high. Medicaid costs are on the rise. The jobless are lining up for unemployment checks."

Nearly 100,000 people unexpectedly became eligible for Medicaid this year, hiking the sprawling program's yearly cost to $15.7 billion, a $300 million increase. Now, 2.3 million poor and disabled Floridians are eligible for last-resort, government-paid health care.

A record 1.7 million Floridians received food stamps in October. With a family of four getting $588 a month, the state distributed $189 million in federal food assistance in October, a 43 percent increase from a year ago.

And the number of families on a welfare program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families climbed, indicating families are struggling to pay for basic necessities such as rent and clothing.
"Demand for state aid explodes - with less money to go around".

As the DCA Turns ...

"The Florida Supreme Court is hearing a first-of-its-kind ethics complaint against an appellate judge for criticizing a colleague in a written opinion. The oral argument Tuesday stems from a 1st District Court of Appeal ruling that upheld the bribery conviction of former Florida Senate President W.D. Childers. In a concurring opinion, Judge Michael Allen suggested Judge Charles Kahn had dissented because he is a former law partner of Fred Levin, a friend of Childers who also represented him on other matters." "Fla. justices hear complaint against appeal judge".

For a little background, see "Hawkes in Hot Water?" and "As the First DCA Turns". It truly has become a soap opera, although Hawkes and Rubio seem to have received their usual passes.

A Klan thing

"The son of a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard is one of about half a dozen Palm Beach County Republicans who are ineligible for party leadership posts because they didn't sign a partisan loyalty oath on time, GOP officials said today as they braced for a potential Wednesday showdown over the seating of Derek Black." "Son of former KKK leader not the only Republican who didn't sign oath".

"No rational basis"

The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Judge Lederman is right: The ban contradicts the state goal of placing every foster child in a permanent home. Since 'the professionals and the major associations now agree there is a well-established and accepted consensus in the field that there is no optimal gender combination of parents,' the judge wrote, there is 'no rational basis' for the ban. On to the Florida Supreme Court, which can strike it down for good." "New blow to adoption ban".


"Nelson: Clinton perfect for post".

Money, money, money ...

"Jeb Bush to sit on Rayonier board of directors".

Perhaps they'll swap Law Review stories ... or maybe not ...

"Florida's Charlie Crist is joining his fellow governors for a meeting with President-elect Barack Obama in Philadelphia." "Crist, other governors to meet with Obama".


"Crist Appoints 7 To Florida Panel On Energy And Climate".


"Crist has stabilized the size of Florida government but, for the first time, average earnings for most rank-and-file state employees have declined under his administration."

To make matters worse,

The Annual Workforce Report, a 66-page compendium of facts and figures about state employment, shows that for the fiscal year ending in June, Florida ranked last in the nation in both [1] its per-taxpayer cost of state personnel and [2] its ratio of state employees to residents.
"Earnings down under Crist".

Meanwhile, a "Tampa hospital is cautioning cash-strapped parents against watering down baby formula, after a 5-month-old almost died from the money-saving strategy." "Tampa baby almost dies from watered-down formula".

But retirees working as Publix bag boys is OK?

The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Florida has tiptoed into the double-dipping arena, in part due to reports last spring in The St. Petersburg Times that the state has more than 8,000 double-dippers and 121 'triple-dippers' — workers enjoying two pensions and a salary." "Double-dipping".


The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "A glimpse of what could be came recently when Tampa hosted the International Retailers of the Americas Conference. It was the first time the convention of business leaders from throughout Latin America was held on U.S. soil - a coup for Tampa and a sign of the city's good standing throughout Central and South America." "Tampa's Global Future Arrives From Latin America".

"Car emissions limits"?

"A state commission is scheduled to vote on whether Florida should require tough emissions standards for new cars sold in the state." "Fla. commission considers car emissions limits".

The The Miami Herald editorial board: "Adopt emission rules". The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Florida Should Demand Clean, Efficient Vehicles".

"As full a disclosure as possible"

"If you're going to mandate a Buyers Guide disclosure statement, you might as well authorize one that offers as full a disclosure as possible." "More disclosure needed on used cars".

The powerful mobile home owners lobby at work

"Trying to ease a years-long standoff between mobile home park owners and occupants -- with Miami-Dade stuck in the middle -- county commissioners Tuesday will ask the state for financial help." "Miami-Dade seeks state help to protect mobile home residents".

Good luck

"The former Miami-Dade County coordinator for the state's gay marriage ban amendment will meet with area pastors Tuesday to voice opposition to a recent court ruling allowing adoption by a gay man." "Foes of gay marriage oppose North Miami adoption ruling".

".570 batting average"

The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board: "In baseball, a .570 batting average would be extraordinary. But compliance with the open-record law isn't a game, and a 57 percent success rate also means that government agencies failed to comply with the law 43 percent of the time." "More open, less suspicious".

"Pocket change"

"The last time we checked, new House Speaker Ray Sansom had just accepted a $110,000-a-year job with Northwest Florida State College."

We noted that the Destin Republican had helped the Niceville college get $200,000 from the Legislature last spring for a "leadership institute."

Turns out, that was just pocket change.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, the institute ended up getting $750,000. But Mr. Sansom, who was in charge of the House budget during the last session, managed to do so much more for the benefit of his employer-to-be. He turned what was a $1 million allocation for a building project into $25.5 million -- this in what supposedly was a tight budget year.
Read it all here: "The House speaker's credibility takes another hit".

Florida Panel On Energy And Climate

"Crist Appoints 7 To Florida Panel On Energy And Climate".

Maitland Housewife on a tirade

This whole idea of spending public dollars to jump start the economy escapes the Maitland housewife - "Hey, Buddy, can you spare a billion bucks?".

It would appear that Mikey, like his ideological soul mates, believes the New Deal was a failure? See also "New Deal or Raw Deal" by "Burton W., Jr. Folsom" of the fabulous "conservative citadel", Hillsdale College, and author of, among other things, the silly "Myth of the Robber Barons", now in its third edition.

Hot, hot, hot!

"Florida Power and Light will soon start construction on the first of three solar power projects that will eventually make the state No. 2 in the nation for energy from the sun." "Construction to start on innovative solar plant".

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