Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dumb and Dumberer

    "While Senate President Jeff Atwater is doing the hip-hop, his dance partner, House Speaker Larry Cretul, is doing the hokey pokey at the other end of the hall." "Tallahassee's legislative 'dance partners' can't agree on the music".

    The latest from the "values" crowd

    "With Florida's real-estate market in shambles, this would seem to be a good time to buy environmentally sensitive land and protect it from development. But those same real-estate problems are drying up tax dollars -- and threatening to block additional money next year for the state's key land-buying program. " "State land-buy program in danger".

    You don't think ...

    "The Green Party has gotten an official go-ahead to investigate five mysterious candidates who ran as Greens without the knowledge or blessing of the party. One ran in District 27, represented by Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, and another ran in District 25, represented by Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach."

    Some believe the five may have run for office to peel away votes from Democrats.

    Pasco County Circuit Judge Stanley Mills is allowing the Greens to subpoena testimony and records to get to the bottom of who, if anyone, was behind the effort, although the candidates ultimately had little or no impact on the elections.

    The mysterious candidates suddenly filed for the races shortly before the June 20 cut-off date. The Greens went to great lengths to track them down, for the most part to no avail.

    Tallahassee election law attorney Ron Meyer is representing the state Green Party in the motion against Sarah Roman, a 23-year-old waitress with a net worth of less than $5,000. Meyer wants to know how she was able to afford the $2,000 filing fee to enter the state House race in Pasco County against Republican incumbent Robert Schenck.
    "Green Party gets OK to probe races".

    Another fine Jebacy

    "Florida's jobless rate highest in 33 years". See also "Heavy Job Losses Hurt Polk, State" and "Big Bend jobless rate soars".

    But the lottery is OK?

    "The hidden costs of expanded gambling in Florida include more compulsive gambling, increased crime and a government addicted to revenue generated by people's losses, a former House speaker and an economics professor warned lawmakers Friday."

    Marco Rubio, former House speaker and U.S Senate candidate, joined leaders of the Christian Coalition and the Florida Baptist Convention at a news conference to condemn legislators for considering allowing more gambling in the state.

    ''There is a real moral issue with asking government to expand its operations to be increasingly dependent on an activity we should be discouraging, not encouraging,'' said Rubio, a Republican from Miami.
    "Florida lawmakers hear from gambling foes". See also "Former House Speaker Rubio warns against state expanding gambling".

    Related: "Bill Gives Seminole Tribe Slot Monopoly".

    "Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Asphalt"

    Ruth's on fire: "Here's the problem with all of these annoying wetlands: They're so …so … uh, well, they're wet is what they are."

    So you really have to admire the profile in porridge House Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Asphalt, demonstrated when he summoned up the courage of a thousand snipes to introduce a bill that would render the effectiveness of wetlands protection regulations to the pain and suffering one risks from removing a mattress tag.

    Under the provisions of Patronis' "Real Estate Developer Protection Act of 2009," anyone who wishes to destroy one of those bothersome wetlands thingies need only to submit an application that has been signed off on by "scientists, engineers, geologists, architects or other licensed professionals," such as hairdressers, dog groomers, plumbers, manicurists, tree trimmers and/or morticians.

    And as long as the licensed professional — such as a real estate broker — signs a document noting the paving over of a wetland won't lead to water pollution, the onset of Armageddon or David Caruso getting another television series, the application shall be deemed to be in perfect working order and thus must be approved. It's as easy as that.
    Much more here: "The Strip Mall Protection Act of’09".


    "''Critical analysis' is the latest buzzword in the creationist movement to sneak intelligent design or creationism into the curriculum,' said David Karlen, a Tampa biologist and a member of the Florida Academy of Sciences." "Anti-Evolution Bill Still A Fruitless Exercise".


    "Central Florida's $1.2 billion commuter rail project looks like it's once again tied down on the tracks as the final deadline of the 60-day legislative session steams closer." "SunRail headed toward a late-session budget fight".

    "How Florida can lead against 'libel tourism'"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "State Sen. Ted Deutch, the Delray Beach Democrat, is sponsoring a bill that would protect authors from foreign courts' judgments in defamation or libel cases. The bill seems out of place:"

    What have foreign courts got to do with Floridians' freedom of speech? Before the age of the Internet, maybe nothing. Not anymore.

    Every Floridian who writes virtually anything on the Web that's accessible abroad, or who happens to publish or author books that sell so much as one copy abroad through Web sites like Amazon (or are excerpted on the Web and readable abroad), is vulnerable to being sued for libel or defamation. The legal standards wouldn't be those that apply in the United States, where the First Amendment provides broad protection for speech, but those of the nation where the suit is filed. People who want to silence authors writing damagingly about them (even if the information being published is correct) can shop around for a court system where libel or defamation standards are low, and sue for damages.

    Deutch's bill would enable writers or publishers to have local courts annul the judgments of foreign courts. It sounds arcane. It may instead be timely for the next blogger or author whose idea of free speech is a foreigner's excuse for intimidation and censorship.
    "Free speech shield".

    What about that "former schoolmate of Newt Gingrich"?

    "As a grand jury reconvenes this week in Tallahassee to continue examining Sansom's ties to the school, some wonder why Richburg has not endured equal scrutiny."

    It was Richburg who urged Sansom to get millions in state construction money for the college. It was Richburg who pushed Sansom to get favorable legislation passed. It was Richburg's idea to set up a meeting of the board of trustees that has raised the specter of a Sunshine Law violation.

    ''Why is Ray Sansom the only one being brought on the carpet?'' asked Judy Byrne Riley, a former member of the college foundation. ''Ray bears some responsibility,'' she said. ``But the sympathy in the community is with Ray Sansom. I don't hear any sympathy with Bob Richburg.''

    Richburg, 64, is the son of educators and a former schoolmate of Newt Gingrich ...
    "Sansom scandal raises questions about college head involved in deal".

    The Grover Norquist effect

    Wingnut Grover Norquist infamously said his "goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." Florida's veterans may be paying the price for GOPer adherence to Norquist's insane philosophy of selfishness, forcing government to operate on the cheap.

    "A five-member team of doctors and administrators arrived at Miami VA Hospital to investigate how veterans were exposed to risk of HIV and hepatitis through contaminated colonoscopies." "Colonoscopies suspended at Miami VA Hospital as investigation opens".

    Related: "Drowning America in a Bathtub: The Republican Doctrine" and "“Drown it in a Bathtub?” - How Grover Norquist, the Club for Greed, and Arnold Let SoCal Burn".

    "That question deserves a response from the Legislature"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editors:

    The fresh water beneath Florida is an ever more precious public resource as demand outstrips rainfall's ability to replenish the aquifers. So why is the state allowing companies to bottle 2 billion gallons of it a year, practically for free? That question deserves a response from the Legislature, now in session.
    "Out of the ground, bottled into profits".

    The not-as-big dig

    "The Florida Department of Transportation on Friday had been expected to complete a review of a stalled project to build a $1 billion tunnel under Biscayne Bay to the Port of Miami." "State review of Port of Miami tunnel options is delayed".

    Imagine that?

    "Eleanor 'Leisa' Adderley, 45, is accused of firing a bullet into the couple's bed while her husband, Frank, lay in it last July and then firing two more shots as he ran to a neighbor's house. The impetus, according to court records: She had discovered that her husband of 17 years had a recent affair with another woman." "Critics contend special treatment given to Fort Lauderdale police chief's wife".

    Washed up

    "Once a power couple, Kevin and Mary McCarty pay for ill-gotten gains".

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