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 Sunday, January 25, 2009

"This may be a week of reckoning" for Sansom

    Troxler on the Sansom scandal(s): "To keep track, let's divide the "things to investigate" list about House Speaker Ray Sansom into three categories:"
    The Job.

    The Meeting.

    The Building.

    The first topic has gotten the most attention. The second is the most comical. Yet the third might end up being the worst.
    It's all here: "For it's 1, 2, 3 Sansom scandals".

    "For House Speaker Ray Sansom, plagued by two ethics complaints and a possible state attorney probe into allegations he misused his public office, this may be a week of reckoning."
    Leon County state attorney Willie Meggs plans to impanel a grand jury Monday that will hear two citizen complaints alleging Sansom violated state ethics and corruption laws by using his office to benefit a Destin developer and to win a lucrative community college job. Meggs expects the panel to decide Monday if it wants to investigate, he told the Herald/Times.
    "Meanwhile, "
    the Florida Commission on Ethics is considering an an official misconduct complaint against the speaker. The Clearwater man who filed the complaint, Dave Plyer, said he was told Friday that the complaint was found ''legally sufficient'' and now is under review. The commission, which met Friday, must then decide whether there is probable cause to continue hearing the complaint.

    A third investigation, by Sansom's own House Rules Committee, is continuing to examine allegations that the speaker "damaged the integrity of the House.''

    And Attorney General Bill McCollum has said he is looking into a potential violation of the state's open-government laws relating to a meeting Sansom held with college officials.
    "Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom faces complaints, state probe". See also "Grand jury to consider probe into Sansom's college job" and "Grand jury up next for House Speaker Sansom".

    Over his lawyers' objections, no doubt: "State House Speaker and Destin resident Ray Sansom sits down with the Daily News editorial board to discuss the controversy that has surrounded his jobs". "Ray Sansom: The full interview".

    "Miracles are still for sale ... if you know whom to call"

    Carl Hiaasen: "Florida schools are confronting nearly $480 million in budget cuts because Republican lawmakers would rather invest in new asphalt than in your children."

    That's because kids, unlike road contractors, don't give thousands of dollars to political campaigns. Consequently, money for new highways and roads will survive this year's sweeping budget axe, while money for education has been marked for radical amputations.
    "But maybe all is not lost."
    If I were a school superintendent or college president faced with such brutal cutbacks, the first thing I'd do is pick up the phone and offer Ray Sansom a job. He's the new speaker of the House, and he can magically make money appear out of nowhere, even in the hardest of times.
    You must of course go read it: "Money flows in when you hire right lawmaker".


    Myriam Marquez: "Will an Obama administration blow up Cuba policy and push for open trade, and allow American tourists to travel there like they can in China and Vietnam, both human rights abusers? Or will President Barack Obama only tinker around the edges, keeping the embargo but restoring family-friendly travel policies for Cuban Americans?"

    This is a relief:

    The most important factor in any policy change isn't the Cuban exile vote, which Obama didn't need to win in Florida.
    In any event,
    What Washington worries about most -- whether there's a Democrat or a Republican in the White House -- is another rafter crisis.

    Anytime a new U.S. president has tried to be bold, the Castro regime has done something to further strain relations.

    For now, just having Obama as president sends the strongest signal ever to ordinary Cubans about democracy's promise.
    "Obama's rise has already sent a message to Cubans".

    "Parents across ... the state are starting to stir"

    "Outraged by statewide cuts in public-school funding, and fearing the loss of clubs, art classes and electives, parents across South Florida and across the state are starting to stir." "'Angry moms' speak up over school cuts". See also "video", "YouTube video of 'Florida Funding Funeral'" and "Sunny Crist faces glum cuts".

    The The Palm Beach Post editorial board wants Charlie to "Veto Florida Forever cut" ("With property values down, land-buying money would go further than ever. Gov. Crist should veto the $4 million cut. The program is called Florida Forever, not Florida For A While.")

    Spare us ... the "Obama did a Charlie!" crap

    The hubris coming outa Tally these days is too much to bear. The latest, via the The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board:

    The Charlie Crist administration was quietly taking a bow Wednesday when President Obama signed three executive orders opening public access to records and documents, reversing restrictions that had been put in place during the previous administration.
    "Sunday's Editorial: Obama public-records order echoes Crist's".

    Yeah, that Obama cat can't get help but mimicking his secret idol, Chain Gang Charlie.

    "Political corruption is becoming a signature commodity"

    Dan Moffett: "Political corruption is becoming a signature commodity in Palm Beach County. Boise has potatoes, Roswell aliens and Palm Beach crooks and scoundrels in high places. It's reached the point where it makes sense to measure candidates' ankles when they file to run." "Moral-less on the homeless".

    Musta ran outa shells

    "With nine people wounded, two fatally, police called it one of the largest mass shootings in Miami history. A mystery gunman who unleashed a hail of bullets on a street dice game underscored on Saturday the same themes woven through much of Miami's urban violence." "Manhunt continues after mass shooting".

    RPOFer hypocrisy, Part 398

    Scott Maxwell: "It's amazing how flexible some of these folks' morals can be when they actually need the money." "Double-dealing: Sin-stained cash OK for GOP but not you".

    Senate race

    Adam Smith: "It's an axiom in Florida politics that if you want to win a statewide election, you have to win the Tampa Bay area. "

    So the strongest statewide candidates tend to come from this swing voter mecca, or at least somewhere on the Interstate 4 corridor. ...

    Democratic Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio expresses zero interest, and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer doesn't seem to be doing anything but encouraging the floating of his name. More and more Democrats doubt that U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Monticello, ultimately will give up his influential perch in Washington, though there's chatter about former gubernatorial candidate Rod Smith of Alachua sniffing around for some race in 2010.
    "Another name for the mix:"
    1998 gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Rick Dantzler, D-Winter Haven, says he may run for the strongly GOP U.S. House district held by Republican Adam Putnam (who is expected to run for agriculture commissioner in 2010) but he is also keeping an eye on the Senate race.
    "I-4 corridor yields no U.S. Senate crop for Democrats so far".


    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "There's growing bipartisan support for the notion that Florida's mechanism for funding public schools isn't sufficient. In Seminole County, the longtime Republican stronghold north of Orlando, there is talk about raising property taxes for schools. The state Board of Education has suggested it would appeal to the Legislature to improve schools' fiscal future. ... As public education weathers severe spending cuts and searches for more revenue, taxpayers need to feel confident that public money is spent efficiently and that as much of it as possible reaches the classroom." "More for classes; less for offices".

    To be a lawyer

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Even those who claim to oppose 'judicial activism' should hope that the Florida Supreme Court liberally interprets the state constitution and rules that someone who can't be a lawyer can't be a judge."

    In December, after two recounts and two court rulings, William Abramson defeated incumbent Richard Wennet in the race for a Palm Beach County circuit judgeship. One day after an appeals court upheld his 61-vote win, however, the Florida Supreme Court suspended Mr. Abramson from the practice of law for 91 days, starting Jan. 2. The six-year term of the seat began Jan. 6.
    "Court should reject letting suspended lawyer be a judge".

    RPOFer flip-floppery, Part 952

    Aaron Deslatte: "Crist, who said repeatedly earlier this year he wasn't 'warm and fuzzy' about a smokers tax, sounded less hostile last week -- after Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, and even House Speaker Ray Sansom, R-Destin, had indicated Florida may need the revenue in this bleak budget year." "Florida should hurry if it wants cigarette-tax hike".

    That's a relief ...

    The Zell corporation wants you to know that "We take pains not to let ourselves become a tool for the union" representing teachers.

    Should Detroit bail out Tampa?

    "The city has a big plumbing problem, and a hefty price tag to go along with it. Miles of water and sewer pipes throughout Tampa, many dating back nearly a century, have reached the end of their life and will need to be replaced in coming years. By modest estimates, the price tag for fixing the system tops more than $200 million." "City Turns To Feds For Help With Plumbing".

    InSync (not)

    "Fla. Cuts, Fed Plan Not in Sync, Critics Say".

    That glowing debate

    The Daytona Beach News Journal has a guest article by Braulio Baez, a former chairman of the Florida Public Service Commission in response to "several points" in a recent The Daytona Beach News Journal "editorial on the safety, costs and value of nuclear energy." "Delaying nuclear power plants will hurt state in long run".

    Now that the election is over

    Mike Thomas: "All Crist accomplished by suppressing premiums for Citizens policyholders was to make their day of reckoning more painful." "Economic reality catching up with Crist's insurance pipe dream".

    Off topic: "I hope he fails"

    Leonard Pitts is pissed: "Far-right Obama critics get a reply".


    "If a car dealer offers to fudge the credit application on your new or used car to make sure you qualify for the loan, you'd better think twice. You could get burned." "Falsifying of auto loans 'widespread'".

    But I thought Chavez was "evil"?

    "Colombia, Venezuela form $200M fund to boost trade" ("As he arrived for the meeting, Chavez was asked about his alleged support for leftist rebels who have been trying to overthrow Colombia's government.")

    Real men don't need AK47s

    "Wildlife officials say two men putting up a fence in Martin County on Florida's east coast fended off and killed a 30-pound bobcat with a hammer." "2 Fla. men kill attacking bobcat with hammer".

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