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 Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Secret meetings"

    "As House and Senate leaders continue to grind away at the budget in secret meetings, their legislative colleagues will meet in session Wednesday to decide the fate of dozens of bills that depend on the outcome of the talks." "Bills take center stage in Florida Legislature".

    "Bigger cuts"

    "At the center of the talks: a gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and $1-a-pack cigarette tax hike that the formerly antitax House appears ready to accept. But the House wants something from the Senate in exchange: bigger cuts to higher education, state worker pay and a transportation fund." "Away from prying eyes, Florida's legislators work on compromise budget".

    "Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul drew a line in the sand Tuesday, saying his chamber would consider new taxes and more gambling if the Senate agreed not to spend as much money." "House might back tax, gaming plans if Senate spends less".

    Drill! Baby, Drill!

    "The House Policy Council voted 17-6, along party lines, for a bill that opens state waters to exploration." "Florida House panel OK's oil drilling bill". See also "Legislators back lifting ban on offshore oil drilling" and "House GOP proposes lifting Florida's ban on offshore drilling" ("Catching opponents off guard in the waning days of the session, House Republicans unveiled a dramatic proposal Tuesday to lift Florida's offshore drilling ban.")

    The Saint Petersburg Times editors:

    House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon's attempt to pitch his legislation to open waters off Florida's shores to drilling as the beginning of a "mature, thoughtful conversation" about the state's energy future is an insult to Floridians and disingenuous.
    "House Republican leaders are showing a shameless willingness to put the interests of a powerful industry over their constituents' in pursuit of an easy buck." "Shameful oil drilling ploy".

    The Miami Herald editorial board argues that the "greased bill should be allowed to die a quiet death".
    A bill passed by the House Policy Council on Tuesday was the first crack in the heretofore impenetrable wall against oil and gas drilling off Florida's coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Supporters, however, used a stacked deck to get the job done.

    Council members heard a well-prepared, carefully calibrated pitch from oil and gas officials using facts and figures, and a favorable industry-supported poll showing weakening opposition to drilling. The amendment, however, wasn't made available for the public to see until Monday night -- leaving no time for real debate.
    "Drilling off Florida coast still a bad idea".

    "A flagrant example of power politics at its worst"

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "The sweeping rewrite of Florida's election laws by the Republican majority last week is a flagrant example of power politics at its worst. Here we have legislation authored in secrecy and haste, which has been bereft of meaningful public input or comment." "Voting-law rewrite on the wrong track".

    Charlie keeps his finger in the air: "Crist hints at vetoing bill to rewrite Florida election laws".

    Bear watch

    "Bear spotted in Broward County a 3rd time".

    "Culture of corruption""

    "The fallout from a fundraising scandal and toll hike at Central Florida's expressway authority has inflicted some of the worst scars that its chairman, Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty, has suffered in his long political career."

    But the Republican National Committee may be a victim as well. The party had confidently looked to Crotty to topple freshman Orlando U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson — considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the House — in the 2010 election.

    Instead, during the past seven weeks, Crotty has spent his time responding to a grand-jury report citing a "culture of corruption" at the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority. The report said agency vendors were pressured for political donations, including $63,000 for Crotty's 2006 re-election race. Crotty became chairman in 2007.
    "Expressway fallout may hamper Rich Crotty if he tries to oust U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson".

    More from Scott Maxwell, who
    think[s] conservatives have a much better shot at ousting Grayson with someone like Dan Webster -- who would do better in a Congressional race than a mayoral one. (Hard-liners haven't fared particularly well county-wide, but are common place in Congressional campaigns. And I sense local conservatives are eager for a return to their roots ... the likes of which Webster represents.)

    Crotty has thrived and survived throughout the years. But he simply hasn't been as savvy or made as politically astute decisions lately -- and his would-be opponents know it ... and have opposition-research files that are getting thicker all the time.
    "Scott Maxwell: Crotty for Congress? Maybe tax collector".

    The latest from the Zell Corporation

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "If SunRail doesn't pass the Legislature, it won't be because of the traps laid for it by Lakeland Sen. Paula Dockery. Or the short-sightedness driving some special interests, like the unions." "SunRail: Time to lead".

    Lobbyists at work

    "Bills would shield tobacco companies from posting huge bonds".

    Stop the madness

    Scott Maxwell:

    With unemployment at sky-high levels in this state, Florida officials were forced to admit they were using tax dollars to subsidize jobs — in India.

    What was even more appalling was that the jobs were at a call center for the state's food-stamp help line, part of a multimillion-dollar contract with JP Morgan Chase.

    That meant Floridians who had lost their jobs were connected with someone halfway around the world who had a job, thanks, in part, to Florida tax money.

    One of the people astonished by all this was Michelle Brown, an unemployed real-estate agent from Jupiter. "It's like a slap in the face," Brown said in an interview with The Palm Beach Post, which broke this boffo story. "That's a job I'd be qualified for."
    "For a few decades now, privatization has been a running theme."
    People sick of paying taxes point to Wal-Mart and other mega corporations who do things cheaper and scream: Government should be run more like a business!

    Overlooked in the cacophony of catchphrases were all the reasons private businesses can do things cheaper:

    By offering fewer health benefits.

    By not paying living wages.

    And yes, they outsource jobs from America to countries that have no problem paying their workers sub-poverty wages or asking them to work in conditions that citizens of this nation would not tolerate.

    Quite simply: It costs more to treat people humanely, to pay them enough to live — and to do it all in America.
    Much more here: "Here's why your tax money provided jobs in India".

    "People ready to tell them what they want to hear"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial Board: "Crist's expressed commitment to diversity on courts is laudable. But the best way to address that is to fix the way candidates for judicial office are chosen and screened."

    At one point, Florida had one of the most balanced judicial-selection processes in the nation, with nominating commissions chosen jointly by the Florida Bar and the governor's office in a process that emphasized candidates' experience, legal reputation and community service. But when former Gov. Jeb Bush took office, the Legislature changed that, giving the governor sole control over the makeup of the nominating commissions. As a result, governors can now stack commissions with people ready to tell them what they want to hear -- and when they thwart the governor's will, the animosity can flare as it did in the 5th District.
    "Impasse over judges".

    Another kinda protest

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "'Tea Party' protests got a lot of attention last week. A group that had gathered in Tallahassee struck some of the same themes, but this was no mere media event. "

    "The Legislature needs to remember that they do not print money," these protesters wrote, "and that whether it is general revenue dollars, federal grants, matching funds or (school construction) dollars, it is all taxpayer money and it needs to be spent wisely."

    Then the protesters indicted former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom, R-Destin, and James Richburg, president of Northwest Florida State College. Both face official misconduct charges. Mr. Richburg also was indicted for perjury.

    These "protesters" were members of the Leon County grand jury. They were angry that Rep. Sansom, as the House's top budget negotiator in 2007, inserted more than $30 million into the state budget to benefit Mr. Richburg's college, which then offered him a $110,000-a-year job. The money included $6 million to build an airplane hangar for Jay Odom, a jet company owner and [BTW] a major contributor to Rep. Sansom and the Republican Party of Florida.
    "Sansom grand jury right on need to change system". See also "Meggs: Get the $6 million back" and "Richburg yet to turn himself in".

    Gay adoption

    "The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments this morning on whether a department of the Florida Bar should be able to weigh in on a Miami appeals court case that will decide whether gay people can adopt children in Florida." "Florida Supreme Court considers Miami-Dade gay adoption arguments".


    "'Rachel's Law' diluted for vote".


    "Lawmakers are adjusting a bill that would give parents more authority to delay the pace at which their children are vaccinated." "Fate unclear for bill allowing a delay of child vaccines".

<< Home