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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Sunday, February 22, 2009

Charlie's a dead man walking

    "Crist: Obama good leader for Republicans".

    And it was a real yawner ...

    ... "It's Crist vs. Jindal on 'Meet the Press'". More: "Video: Crist, Jindal on Meet the Press".

    Wingnuts trash poor Charlie

    "George P. Bush may not be ready to follow his father, grandfather and uncle into politics just yet, but he is trying to help the Republican Party regain a conservative message, which on Saturday included criticism of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist."

    Bush, the son of former Gov. Jeb Bush, grandson of former President George H. Bush and nephew of former President George W. Bush, addressed a national conference of young Republicans and told them there is a rift in the party between fiscal conservatives and what he calls "D light" - Republicans who are trying to appeal to the political middle.
    This being born on third base and believing you hit a triple thing must be genetic:
    "I want to obtain success in my own right. I want people to look at a record of accomplishment that I've put together in my own right and not based on family name," Bush said.
    "Younger Bush not ready for politics, but works on conservative message".

    This over-affirmed punk has some real cojones: "Jeb's son criticizes Crist". Related: "Former Broward Republican chief who guided Crist's election dismisses criticism".

    Wonder if immediate past National Young Republican Preznit attended the event? Probably not, he got sentenced to two years last June for sexually assaulting another man. "Punishment set for Republican operative known for 'special wake-up calls'". More: "Young Republicans leader faces charges of sexual assault on man". This apparently was not the Young Republican star's first sexual assault on a man: "Republican Oral Sex Creep Will Go To Prison".

    Meantime, "Gov. Charlie Crist writes off Republican criticism".

    Ugly visual: "under the skin of Republicans in Tallahassee"

    "Good-government groups are starting to get under the skin of Republicans in Tallahassee".

    The 1986 state law that helps finance statewide politicians willing to accept spending limits is under threat of repeal again this year, as legislators scrambling to close budget gaps take aim at the requirement designed to help poorly funded and unknown candidates compete with big-money politicians.

    A report released Friday by the Los Angeles-based Center for Governmental Studies stated Florida's law "faces growing problems" thanks to the Legislature's changes in 2005 that more than doubled the amount of private cash a candidate could raise and still qualify for taxpayer funds.

    "The current program allows candidates to raise and spend large amounts of private contributions and still receive public funds," the report says.

    Gov. Charlie Crist is the poster child, raising $19.8 million for his 2006 gubernatorial race including $3.3 million in public financing. In the 2006 elections, Florida devoted $11.1 million to the campaigns of statewide candidates who still raised tens of millions of their own money from private contributors.

    But government-watchdog groups want to reform the system without abolishing it.
    "Groups irk GOP over campaign-finance law".

    Al Zell says ...

    "Federal money shouldn't delay smarter state government".


    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "Four of every 100 adult Floridians now has a permit to carry a concealed gun, and 95,000 are awaiting action on their application for one. But while the number of concealed weapons permit holders has jumped 56 percent in four years, no one knows their names. In 2006, the Florida Legislature exempted the concealed weapons permit database from public view. Permit holders may like that no one knows they may be carrying a gun. What about the other 18 million Floridians? The right to carry a concealed weapon should not trample the right to know who has a permit to carry one." "Guess which ones carry guns".

    "Sansom Air"

    "For years, Odom has navigated the higher reaches of Florida power, befriending former Gov. Jeb Bush, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and others. The connections have earned Odom spots on the Citizens Property Insurance Corp. board, where he helped turn back a move to eliminate builders' risk coverage, and on a powerful transportation board Sansom helped create and that may be steering a highway near one of Odom's housing developments."

    Odom also frequently lends his eight-seat Cessna jet to the state GOP. Sansom has used it so often some locals call it "Sansom Air.''
    "Panhandle developer's ties to Ray Sansom date back to 1994".

    More: "Developer Jay Odom's public persona is varied: hardworking, persuasive, charming, litigious, Type A. Raised in the Panhandle, he has built a mini real estate empire from scratch, but also through a mastery of the political process." "Sansom's key friend avoids spotlight".

    O ... Bama to the rescue ...

    "Governors meet to discuss stimulus".

    Worth the cost?

    "Florida's lieutenant governor is racking up travel expenses by flying in a state plane and driving with a personal body guard, charging the brunt of it to taxpayers." "For Florida's No. 2, travel comes with cost".

    Don't let the door hit you in the ass, Joe

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "It is time for state legislators, and the voters who elect them, to get serious about the business fixing of public education."

    Then again, perhaps they've been serious all along. In June 2007, Rep. Joe Pickens, then chairman of the House education spending committee, publicized his unwillingness to support proper funding for education.

    "Do they have the right to expect that they will be held harmless or made whole? No," he said.
    "Though term limits have rendered him absent from the House roster this year, Mr. Pickens' objections to properly funding education — a right indeed ensconced in our state constitution — are still being perpetuated by lawmakers who refuse to talk about ways to find a dedicated stream of revenue for schools."
    Leon County Schools Superintendent Jackie Pons said it well: "There's a big difference between good politics and good leadership." The leaders will show themselves as the legislative season begins in earnest in nine days.

    They will be the ones who will make education funding a top priority rather than choosing — through action or passivity — to systematically condemn our schools, and generations of Florida's children, to a legacy of failure.
    "Held harmless".

    As Charlie smiles ...

    "Many South Floridians hoping for a chance at subsidized housing went home disappointed. Authorities said as many as 6,000 people were believed to have crowded outside the Robert P. Kelley building in Fort Lauderdale early Saturday, but police shut down the line at 8:15 a.m." "Huge crowd for subsidized housing applications".

    Where's Charlie?

    "It has been another tough week for Plant City, with the announcement Tuesday that Smithfield Foods is closing, meaning another 760 people without work. The meat processing plant, the city's largest private employer, will begin layoffs in June and close its doors in September." "Plant City Wonders If Closure Means The End".

    Brain dead

    Sleepy's dad, while on a junket in the mideast, is talking outa both sides of his ample derrierre:

    Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty said he opposes the almost $790 billion stimulus bill Congress has passed -- of which Florida could get $12.2 billion, Gov. Charlie Crist says.
    On the other hand,
    there's no chance the mayor is going to turn away any of it if it ever arrives.
    "Crist: Crotty opposes federal stimulus bill".


    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "The Legislature needs to trim the cost and shift CSX's liability back to CSX. But the project is still strong enough to warrant attention this legislative session." "Put commuter rail on the right track".

    "Steely resolve"?

    The Tampa Trib editors: "It's unfortunate Gov. Charlie Crist didn't possess the steely resolve of former governors Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush when it came to combating efforts by the Seminole Tribe to turn Florida into a casino-gambling state." "Don't Let Gambling Conquer State".

    Heads I win ...

    ... tails you lose: "State transportation officials paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to companies that lost bids on big projects after they were denied authority to do so by the governor's veto. This year, they are again asking lawmakers to give them permission to pay losing bidders, a practice they have been doing for years without authority, spending nearly $6 million." "State bill again seeks to pay for losing bids".

    What a bargain

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "In the past five years, Palm Beach County and the state have committed about $700 million to lure researchers and add a biotechnology component to the state's tourism/agriculture/construction economy." "Celebrate Scripps opening, then face the hard reality".

    I stopped reading at the "chicken coop"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "In 2007, the state agreed to pay a former Boynton Beach couple $10 million for failing to tell them of the horrific abuse their three adopted children had suffered in state care."

    Because the system that compensates victims of state negligence is itself negligent, the adoptive parents are still waiting for the money that will pay for their sons' mental-health treatment. The brothers were raped, beaten and caged in a chicken coop while in foster care. Since being adopted in 1998 - all are still under 18 - they have molested classmates and each other, attempted suicide, and terrorized their adoptive parents, threatening at one point to kill their adoptive mother. The middle child gave the adoptive mother a drink that he had poisoned with contaminated chicken blood.

    Last year, legislators failed to act on a bill that would have given the couple $9.5''million, the balance owed after a payment of $500,000, the maximum without approval from the Legislature. This year, there's also no certainty.
    "The cost of a nightmare".


    Randy Schultz: "In recent days, Gov. Crist has filled an opening on the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend Region. He's filled two slots on the Miami River Commission Policy Committee. He's chosen five people for the Children's Services Commission of Martin County. After nearly eight months, however, Gov. Crist still hasn't filled a seat on the South Florida Water Management District board." "Crist gives Glades empty feeling".

    By one

    "Palm Beach mayoral recount decided by one vote".

    Now, had they come from Cuba ...

    "Cecia and Ronald Soza tugged at the heart strings when the South Florida youngsters went on a ''hunger strike,'' hoping to keep their Nicaraguan mother from being deported."

    The media -- particularly Spanish-language media nationwide -- loved the drama. Captured by the cameras were tears in between sips of Pedialyte, and 9-year-old Ronald's pleas to President Barack Obama to spare his mom because "she's not a criminal.''

    That may seem like a debatable fine point for Congress and the new administration. But Obama owes much of his victory to strong support from Latino voters -- often in extended families that include U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants.

    Maricela Vallejo Soza, 32, didn't steal, hurt or kill anyone, but she did break U.S. immigration law. She's now back in Managua, unable to care for Cecia, a bright young lady who's in an international baccalaureate program at her middle school, and the rambunctious Ronald, whose playful nature has turned more melancholy.
    "Kids risk health to fight mom's deportation".

    No S*** Sherlock

    "Auto industry and its workers worth saving".


    "Powdery letter sent to tabloid publisher in Boca Raton is harmless".

    Getting ahead of the problem

    "A client sticks feet, hands or other body parts in a bowl or pool, and the small fish chow down on soft decaying skin." "Fish pedicure is banned in Fla.".

<< Home