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 Friday, March 13, 2009

State "revenues are expected to remain in a dive"

    "State economists are meeting to revise their estimate of Florida's revenue - and the news isn't expected to be good. ... Preliminary estimates show Florida's collections from taxes and other revenues are expected to remain in a dive." "Economists to release new Fla. revenue estimate". See also "A bad omen: Updated budget numbers due today, Friday the 13th".

    "Ergo, ipso facto, the current resolution"

    Paul Flemming:

    The only relevant question is who stands to benefit. In 2005, Republicans embraced public finance and jacked up its rewards because they figured they could work the system effectively. They did.

    Now, with Obama's fundraising prowess as a model, maybe Florida Democrats can get their act together and raise a bunch of money themselves. Ergo, ipso facto, the current resolution.
    "Campaign financing is suddenly a bad idea".

    "Florida bill seeks to cloak union-busting in ballot secrecy"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Two bills introduced in the Florida Legislature aim to more clearly define state law regarding labor unions. Neither should be necessary where workers' rights and management practices don't clash. But pronounced federal pressure against unionization since 1981 on one hand, and a congressional bill designed to reverse the trend on the other, are bringing the issue to a head nationally and in Florida."

    One bill, sponsored by Sen. Tony Hill, D-Jacksonville, urges Congress to enact the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for workers to unionize and harder for companies to obstruct the effort. Another bill, by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, seeks to scuttle the proposed federal law (which President Barack Obama supports). Richter claims his bill is a "declaration of rights" on workers' behalf, ensuring that their rights to vote secretly in union elections are not infringed. It's anything but. ...

    [U]nion workers earn more, have better health benefits and narrow income gaps between minorities and the rest than in nonunion workplaces. They also set standards that no-union companies sometimes feel compelled to match, to the benefit of their workers. Making it harder to unionize, as the Richter proposal would in Florida, may please chambers of commerce across the state. It won't improve the workplace or, ultimately, a state economy disproportionately tolerant of low wages and cheap or nonexistent benefits. Unions are part of the solution, not the problem.
    "Labor's free elections".

    Session news

    - "A state senator worries that litigation in Florida could jeopardize Big Tobacco's ability to pay hundreds of millions to the state each year." "Big Tobacco seeks appeals-bond cap". See also "Tobacco tax increase hits early".

    - "TaxWatch suggests ways to tax services, cut exemptions".

    - "Though Gov. Charlie Crist has made it easier for some ex-felons to get back their civil rights and vote, the process is still muddled and needs improving, critics argued Thursday." "Reform, improvement sought on civil-right restoration of ex-felons".

    - "Senate leaders vowed to revamp the tax structure in order to better fund education." "Florida Senate leaders target sales-tax exemptions".

    - "2009 Legislature roundup".

    Storms "pisses on" Smith

    - "A mixed bag: From saving our schools to pretty beastly talk in the Florida Senate".

    "The debate over Florida's public campaign financing program turned ugly Thursday when Republican Sen. Ronda Storms mocked President Barack Obama as "The Messiah" and a Democratic colleague made a vulgar retort."

    "They don't want to talk about The Messiah having a flaw, but actually it was a flaw," she said.

    Sen. Mike Fasano, a New Port Richey Republican who is chairman of the committee, told Storms, "Please be respectful of the president. ... He is the president of this country."

    Then Smith had his say.

    "My concerns weren't that we debate President Obama or things that he's doing. I could care less. We have four years to do that," Smith said. "My concern is always doing the people's business and the business before us."

    His next remark angered Fasano and caused loud murmurs in the room.

    "Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining. I know what you were doing, and I called you on it."
    "Sen. Storms Scolded For Obama Insult". See also "Republican, Democratic senators take gloves off over Obama" and "Campaign finance resolution passes after heated partisan feud".


    "The agency that oversees Florida's six privately run prisons needs to ensure that problems found during audits -- such as broken alarms and unsanitary infirmaries -- are quickly fixed, lawmakers were told Thursday. Audits of private prisons by the Florida Department of Corrections had previously found broken escape sensors and buildings that had not been checked for any attempts by inmates to tunnel out. Audits also found delays in medical care and problems involving contraband." "Quick fix urged for prisons' problems".

    "Local" jobs, please

    "Officials want proof I-595 work will create local jobs |".


    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Crist stood up to his party's base in naming a new high-court justice". See also The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Crist's supreme politics".

    "Success fees"

    "South Florida water managers want U.S. Sugar Corp. to disclose any 'success fees' attached to its pending sale of 180,000 acres of farmland to the state. The demand comes amid a crescendo of rumors circulating among opponents of the sale that a cabal of U.S. Sugar executives, lawyers and lobbyists stand to collect multimillion-dollar bonuses and "golden parachutes" should the taxpayer-funded, $1.34 billion land deal close." "Water managers to U.S. Sugar: Disclose payments to lobbyists, execs".

    Not good

    "Florida's public employee pension fund plummets".


    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "By inviting Palm Beach County commissioners to tell a grand jury whether official misconduct can be addressed "through existing enforcement programs," State Attorney Michael McAuliffe has taken a first step toward changing Corruption County's image. In refusing to appear, Burt Aaronson, Addie Greene and Shelley Vana have taken a step in the other direction." "No-shows: No good excuses".

    Good luck

    "Treatment agencies await budget news".

    Have a beer

    "Chief of Medicaid fraud unit, three staffers suspended over use of alcohol at event".

    That took courage

    "Faced with slashing half a million dollars from his budget, an Orange County elementary school principal turned to fundraising but went way beyond the traditional wrapping paper and cookie sales. He asked parents to chip in $500 per child so the school could avoid laying off teachers in the coming months." "Principal causes stir by hitting up parents for money".

    Collateral damage

    "Some fear Navy sonar may harm Fla.'s right whales".

    Poor Buddy

    "A state agency will hire an independent auditor to determine how former Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson spent federal funds meant for voter education and equipment." "Audit Will Look At Johnson's Use Of Federal Voter Education Funds".

    To bad this guy didn't "Go Galt"

    "Fla. man accused of Ponzi scheme on trial in Va.".

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