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 Thursday, May 28, 2009

Charlie's got a new girl

    Mike Thomas: "Even in this time of budgetary sacrifice, Gov. Charlie Crist understands certain priorities. The biggest one is not to offend the NRA when running for the U.S. Senate. And so with a stroke of his veto pen, Charlie gave the very grateful gun lobby the $6 million it so loudly demanded. The Legislature provided Charlie with this golden opportunity. Lawmakers played the anti-gun saps so he could play the pro-gun hero."
    It's the old slippery slope. Make a guy in Florida wait an extra day for his weapons permit, and pretty soon Barack Obama will confiscate your Glock to prepare for the impending United Nations takeover of America.

    The e-mails to Charlie were followed up by a visit from legendary NRA leader and lobbyist Marion Hammer. Asked what he told her, Charlie responded, "That I love her."

    You bet he does.

    After socializing property insurance, giving felons voting rights, nominating a Democrat for the state Supreme Court and grabbing Obama's stimulus cash with both hands, Charlie is on shaky ground with many in the Republican base.
    "Paranoid gun lobby has a friend in Crist".

    Crist "breaking a pledge against raising taxes"

    "Breaking a pledge against raising taxes, Gov. Charlie Crist signed Florida's $66.5 billion budget". "Gov. Charlie Crist signs budget, restores state workers' pay". See also "Crist signs cigarette-tax hike, calls it a 'health issue'".

    Running government like a business

    "A grand jury investigating Ray Sansom's ties to a Panhandle college issued a second round of indictments Wednesday, accusing the ousted House speaker of lying about a developer's plans to store aircraft in a taxpayer-funded building. The felony perjury charge is based on newly surfaced documents, including an e-mail Sansom received from the college president indicating that developer Jay Odom, who was also indicted Wednesday, would use part of the facility." "Another indictment for former House Speaker Ray Sansom". See also "Grand jury adds perjury charge to list of Sansom's legal woes" and "Developer in Ray Sansom scandal indicted". Related: "Is this Willie Meggs' 'smoking gun'?".

    A The Saint Petersburg Times "special report": "The rise and fall of Ray Sansom"

    That didn't take long

    Last week we wrote: "wait till the editorial boards unload on this": "Grayson proposes requiring at least a week's paid vacation for many workers".

    The good little boys and girls on the Orlando Sentinel editorial board were of course the first to respond, with this predictable editorial: "Reason takes a holiday". Master Zell is no doubt proud.

    Perhaps this explains ...

    why the Orlando Sentinel editorial board spends so much time catering to the wingnut fringe: even though Orange County has been blue in recent preznit elections, the readers of the Orlando Sentinel (those that participate in online polls anyway) apparently spend a lot of time picking scabs from their knuckles. Consider the following responses to this Sentinel online poll question: "Is Sotomayor a good pick for high court?"

    No. She's a judicial activist and too liberal. 59.2%[*]

    No. If not for her ethnicity and gender, she wouldn't be under consideration. 9.8%

    Yes. She has solid legal qualifications. 28.4%

    Yes. Her humble background would give her the empathy that President Obama wants in a justice. 2.6%
    That's near on 70% that say Sotomayor ain't a "good pick", which speaks (sad) volumes about the Sentinel's online readership.

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *One must ask where these geniuses - almost 60% of the sample - get their information, so as to so quickly form an opinion as this jurist's life's work.

    "Florida's flawed system should be abolished"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial Board: "There are many ways to make the case for abolishing the death penalty in Florida."

    First, consider the extra $50 million that the state spends each year on death-penalty prosecutions and appeals.

    Then look at the deep flaws that the American Bar Association found with Florida's system of capital punishment -- and recognize that those legal inequities haven't been addressed in the three years since the Bar released its review.

    Finally, consider the haunting probability that the state has executed innocent people -- mistakes it can never correct.
    "Death penalty consequences".

    Wingnuts inflamed?: Charlie to appear with Salazar

    "A member of President Barack Obama's Cabinet is making his first official trip to the Everglades. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar joins Governor Charlie Crist and Senators Mel Martinez and Bill Nelson in visiting the swampland Thursday. They're scheduled to attend a briefing on invasive species and then take an air boat tour." "Interior Secretary visiting Everglades".


    "Will Frankel seek third term as West Palm Beach mayor? Nothing's decided, she says".

    Charlie hustling for Big Bend voters

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "When Gov. Charlie Crist Wednesday vetoed a $30 million pay cut for state workers, he undid years of morale-squashing actions by elected state officials who had habitually expressed little or no appreciation for the very workforce that carries out the policies they write and expect to be enforced." "A good day".

    "Patchwork budget"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board writes that "this is a budget patched together with federal stimulus money, gambling proceeds, higher cigarette taxes and increased fees. Without the federal money, public education would have faced further cuts instead of a $25 increase per student. A tuition increase of up to 15 percent covers up another cut of more than $100 million in general revenue to universities. Trust fund raids helped balance the budget, but siphoning away that money means road projects will be delayed and affordable housing units will be even more scarce." "Patchwork budget only short-term fix". Background: "Crist signs $66.5 billion state budget; vetoes pay cuts, gun-fund raid".

    Good luck

    "DOE worker responds to layoff with lawsuit".

    Storms urges nanny state

    "Haunted by stories of a 3-month-old baby boy tossed from a moving car on Interstate 275, state Sen. Ronda Storms wants answers."

    When she got involved with boyfriends who were criminals, why didn't someone step in? When McTear beat her up, why was Bedwell not told that she had to go to a domestic violence shelter with her son? And why was it up to the teen to follow through with obtaining orders to keep McTear away?

    "She should not have had a choice about her level of protection," Storms said.
    "Ronda Storms wants answers".

    The Crist rate increase

    "Crist has signed legislation that boosts property insurance rates by 10 percent on more than 1 million customers of the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp." "Crist signs sweeping insurance measure".

    Dems looking to "lock down the Hispanic vote in Florida"

    "President Obama's pick for the U.S. Supreme Court could boost Democratic efforts to lock down the Hispanic vote in Florida and nationwide." "Democrats likely to get a boost from Sonia Sotomayor pick".

    Will Alexander sue Charlie?

    "Senate budget chairman JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said today that Gov. Charlie Crist’s veto of budget language that mandated a 2 percent pay cut for state employees making more than $45,000 was unconstitutional."

    While the state’s constitution allows governors to veto line items in a

    budget approved by the Legislature, it does not allow the governor to

    veto “proviso” language that spells out how the executive branch shall

    carry out certain spending decisions unless each of those corresponding

    spending line items are also vetoed.

    “It’s clearly unconstitutional,” said Alexander.
    "Alexander Calls Crist Pay-Cut Veto Unconstitutional".

    We don't care how you do things up North

    Bill Cotterell: "Florida [is] one of only three states that licenses and regulates the practice of interior design? That's what the Institute for Justice would like to know. Representatives of the libertarian Washington legal foundation came to town Wednesday to file a federal lawsuit aimed at overturning the law. They contend that looking good is none of the government's business." "Designers have a point: Match regulation with a need for it".


    "State to release reading, math FCAT scores".


    "Property values nose-dive in Orange County".

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