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, March 29, 2009

"Raising questions about [Crist's] leadership"

    Steve Bousquet:
    Crist's policy of disengagement is testing the limits of lawmakers' patience and raising questions about his leadership. As the legislative session nears the midway point, Crist keeps at a safe distance from the politically turbulent talk of painful budget cuts and higher taxes swirling about him.
    "Waiting for Crist's word on budget". See also "Waiting for Crist's leadership".

    The opinion makers are starting to slam Charlie on a regular basis. On a different issue earlier this week, The South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial board had this to say: "Crist's response to flights is dismissive, weak".

    "'Taking Advantage of Economic Crisis'"

    The RPOF is outa control in Tally. Howard Troxler clues us in: "The unifying theme of this year's session is not just "Economic Crisis" — more accurately, it's 'Taking Advantage of Economic Crisis.'"

    A strong deregulatory thread runs through this session. Telephone companies seek to escape most of the rest of their controls. There's a bill for fewer inspections of nursing homes. Yep, that's what we need.

    There's even a bill to stop regulating nursing schools. Nobody likes this idea — except the for-profit schools that would benefit.

    But the biggest and most important trend of all in the 2009 Legislature is the use of this crisis to justify gutting a big part of the regulation of growth in this state.

    Remember the example of an ex-smoker relapsing in a crisis? That's exactly what's going on here. Florida's growth machine is hoping to use the crisis to send this state back to the 1950s and our old addiction to growth.

    There are bills to abolish the state agency that regulates growth, the Department of Community Affairs, and if that doesn't work, bills to take away its powers.

    Other bills are aimed at the law we've had since 1985 requiring that there be enough schools, roads, water and other resources to handle growth.

    There are bills to gut the protection of Florida's wetlands, to handcuff local control of growth, to kill impact fees, and to ban new local rules to protect wildlife or the environment.
    "It's a crisis! Quick, throw out the rules!".

    "High-stakes action"

    "If the Florida Senate has its way, the state's poker rooms will soon usher in an era of high-stakes action." "It's a big deal: No-limit poker on state's horizon".

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Two bills advancing in the Senate would greatly expand gambling in Florida. Like all similar attempts, the lure is money for education. Like all similar attempts, the claims are suspect. Like all similar attempts, the House is grumpy about the idea of more gambling." "The Senate's bet is too big, but House bet is too small".

    Welcome to Florida ... now leave

    "Central Florida teachers got recruited, soon might get booted". Related: "Florida teachers face tough fight for raises amid economy".

    "The darkest side of the grinding recession"

    "The darkest side of the grinding recession is showing up in a spike in domestic violence, including a 37-percent increase in the demand for emergency shelter services across the state." "Domestic violence in Florida spikes".

    Sink talk

    Gary Fineout: "Republicans speculate CFO Sink wants to run for governor".

    Chiles Endowment Fund

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "What's changed in the intervening years besides the economy and the habits of the smoking public — youth smoking has dramatically declined, but about 20 percent of adults still smoke — is that the cigarette market has become more competitive. Today 20 percent of cigarettes sold in Florida — instead of 2 percent in 1997 — are manufactured by companies that were not required at the time to pay into the Chiles Fund." "Include 'Little Tobacco'".

    Will the dedotprs care to share the details ...

    ... of their benefit packages with us?

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board:

    Few private employees enjoy free health insurance anymore. They shoulder the cost of premiums right alongside their employer. But that's not true for some state employees, particularly those at the upper echelons of pay and power. As Florida lawmakers look for a way to balance the state's budget — including proposals to cut employee pay — a more just idea would be to look at curbing outdated health insurance benefits for those at the top.
    "Curb health benefits for those at top".

    "One major storm away from disaster"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editors: "If you live and work in Florida, you likely have seen reports warning that our state's property insurance market is teetering dangerously on the brink -- it could very well be one major storm away from disaster." "Bold solutions to hurricane exposure".

    "Where there is the public will, there is also another way"

    Aaron Deslatte: "Count on Florida lawmakers to prove that where there is the public will, there is also another way."

    Florida's budget crisis is putting a bright spotlight on the Legislature's conflicting impulses to either ignore public preferences on taxes, gambling and budget cuts — or, conversely, ask voters themselves to make those big-ticket decisions.

    Last year, in the midst of what now seems like an annual billion-dollar budget crisis, a Quinnipiac University poll showed Florida voters clearly wanted lawmakers to avoid tapping reserves, take the cash generated by Gov. Charlie Crist's gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe and raise the state's 34-cent-per-pack cigarette tax by $1.

    Lawmakers did the exact opposite. They tapped reserves, cut spending and ignored taxes or the compact.
    Much more here: "Florida legislators hear voters, then do the opposite".


    Mike Thomas: "We would be better off opening the city's water hydrants and flushing a half-million gallons into the street every day than letting Groveland use it to pave over more of rural Lake County." "In bottler battle, Groveland ignores real issue: Its thirst for sprawl".

    'Ya reckon?

    The Tampa Trib editors: "Jails are the wrong place to warehouse the mentally ill. Yet for years Florida has taken this approach toward those who are sick and turn to crime: Lock 'em up and don't worry about the treatment they need" "Jail Wrong Place For Mentally Ill".

    "Urging residents to spend their dollars in state"

    "Florida leaders and businesspeople are taking the 'buy American' philosophy a step further: They're urging residents to spend their dollars in state." "Floridians asked to spend dollars in state".

    Endangered Species Act

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "If the Endangered Species Act were a polar bear, it would look eviscerated and bleeding on ice. The act was so bowdlerized during the Bush administration as to be itself endangered by irrelevance. There's hope of a recovery." "From brink of extinction".

    Passing the hat

    "Florida State University students are raising money in hopes they can save some professors' jobs." "FSU students raise money to save professors' jobs".

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