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 Thursday, January 08, 2009

Budget Blues

    The Tampa Trib editors: "Democrats in both chambers, as well as some Republicans, such as former Senate President John McKay, have fought for years to convince the majority party of the need to study the state's tax structure. In good times, most Republican lawmakers chose to ignore them, and now that tough times have arrived, difficult choices await." "Republican Leaders Poised To Consider Tax Reforms".

    "The Senate Ways and Means Committee debates the Senate budget plan in the morning and the full House votes out its version in the afternoon. The two versions slash spending on everything from schools, roads and affordable housing to healthcare and will be merged into a final $63 billion budget next week."
    Hardest hit will be Florida's healthcare system. After weathering back-to-back budget cuts for years, hospitals now face another $137 million reduction. The cuts could jeopardize the state's healthcare system and force the closure of some facilities, according to hospital officials and the senator in charge of negotiating the cuts.
    "Florida Legislature expected to slash hospital budgets". See also "Updated: Florida Forever on Senate's budget chopping block" and "Florida land-buying program could be on chopping block" ("The Florida Senate is considering halting the state's premiere land-buying program, Florida Forever, to stave off more pressing budget cuts.")

    "Florida lawmakers are poised to hand Gov. Charlie Crist a $10 million loan program to rescue struggling small businesses in the state, but another $35 million in economic stimulus could be headed for the chopping block." "House, Senate face budget battle over small-business aid".

    Under pressure

    "State Attorney Willie Meggs said Wednesday he will ask a grand jury to look into House Speaker Ray Sansom's dealings with Northwest Florida State College late this month." "Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom faces grand jury probe". See also "Grand jury may investigate House Speaker Sansom" and "Florida House Speaker Sansom May Face Grand Jury".

    "Political experts say Florida's race is a toss-up"

    "It's likely Jeb Bush could have tapped his reputation as governor and an extensive fundraising network to keep a key U.S. Senate seat - and possibly a filibuster-proof majority - out of Democratic hands in 2010."

    But the president's younger brother said he won't run for Republican Mel Martinez' Senate seat, and political experts say Florida's race is a toss-up. Neither party has come up with a name as big as Bush, the only Republican elected to two terms as the state's governor.

    It could prove a challenge for the once-dominant GOP in the wake of President-elect Barack Obama's victory in Florida, as Democrats widened their grassroots operation and stepped up their fundraising efforts.
    "2010 Senate Race Seen As Tossup Without Bush".

    "When it comes to Florida Democrats dreaming of a U.S. Senate seat, it's Alex Sink's world. Most everybody else is just waiting for her utterance." "Other Democrats wait as CFO Sink ponders Senate bid".

    "Pixie dust"

    "In 2001, Dick Cheney met with the dark lords of fossil fuel to concoct an energy policy. In 2006, Charlie Crist met the enlightened greenies of global warming to concoct an energy policy. I don't know which is worse. One relies on dirty dead dinosaurs and the other on magic pixie dust." "Crist's energy policy for Florida is made of pixie dust".

    Neverending story

    "Florida's presidential primary scheduling fiasco has been settled for months, but upset state Democratic party activists still want a federal court to rebuke the national party for stripping the state of its delegates. Activist Victor DiMaio asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta Thursday to rule that the Democratic National Committee disenfranchised Florida's Democratic voters by taking away the state's delegates when it defied the party by scheduling its primary before Feb. 5." "Fla. activist targets DNC over primary mess". See also "Appeals Court To Hear Florida Democrat Delegate Case".


    "Mr. Stearns, an Ocala Republican, had the gall to ask Speaker Nancy Pelosi to reschedule House business so he could go to tonight's college football championship game between the University of Florida and the University of Oklahoma. In a letter to the speaker, he requested that House votes set for the next two days be accelerated to conclude by this morning. Ms. Pelosi refused, showing the responsibility and common sense that Mr. Stearns clearly lacked." "We think: Stearns' choice of the Gators over governing is outrageous".

    "Welfare for politicians"?

    "Saying the state can't afford "welfare for politicians," a powerful Senate leader has filed legislation to end public financing of statewide election campaigns." "Florida Senator Haridopolos files legislation to end election public financing".

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