FLORIDA POLITICS
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 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 Monday, May 18, 2009

FlaDems just got their dream candidate

    "'Loser'" McCollum thinks he can be Governor.

    "Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum will announce that he's going to run for governor instead of seeking a second term. The announcement Monday will be held in McCollum's hometown of Orlando and comes less than a week after Republican Gov. Charlie Crist said he will run for Senate." "Florida AG McCollum to enter governor's race". More: "McCollum set to announce for governor; Bronson still considering".

    Related: "McCollum likes Sink's transparency, wants more".

    Yesterday: "McCollum: the best they can do?"


    A tuff one for Charlie ...

    ... who doesn't want Rubio to lock down the Chamber and AIF money.

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial Board:

    If legislators were serious about reducing workers compensation premiums, they could have followed the recommendation of Florida's official consumer advocate, and busted the cartel that files rate requests for every workers comp insurance company in the state. That practice helps pad insurance-company profits -- which average more than 30 percent in Florida.

    Instead, they, along with the state's two largest business lobbies, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida, catered to insurance-company interests.
    "Anti-worker bill deserves a veto".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Veto would help protect workers" ("The Florida Chamber of Commerce pushed for HB 903 as a legislative priority this session.")

    Meantime, Charlie's got to dance for people like Bill Herrle, the Florida executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business, who warn that
    Business owners are watching Gov. Crist's bill-signing pen more closely than his senatorial campaign, awaiting his decision on House Bill 903 regarding workers compensation.
    "New workers comp bill will help Florida businesses".

    Shouldn't be a tuff call if you're really "The People's governor".


    Mean words ...

    The Orlando Sentinel editors are starting to sound like ... jou know ... editors:

    It might come as a shock to those who didn't closely follow this year's Florida Legislature. But to those who tracked the session, our rankings — dropping a powerful House member from first in 2008 to about worst in 2009, and lifting another scraping the bottom of the barrel last year to lofty heights this year — should surprise no one.
    They continue:
    The House's next speaker, Dean Cannon proved a huge disappointment, trumpeting the need to expand offshore drilling instead of getting Senate leaders to pass SunRail. He had his hands full negotiating the budget — all the more reason to not busy himself with dismantling growth laws. He funded local projects — what a future speaker would be expected to do.

    Too bad for their constituents that fellow Republicans Dorothy Hukill, Bryan Nelson, Chris Dorworth and Pat Patterson pursued what they did. Ms. Hukill weakened growth-management laws; Mr. Nelson put off protecting the springs and pushed aside regulators' ability to protect homeowners; Mr. Dorworth helped weaken growth laws and with Mr. Patterson, tried to create obstacles to voting.

    Mr. Patterson also blocked penalties for insurers that bilk seniors of their savings.
    Much more: "Leaders and letdowns in the Florida House". Yesterday: "Leaders and letdowns in the Florida Senate".


    No wonder they oppose single payer

    Scott Maxwell: "For all the stories we hear about cash-strapped health-care providers, running a nonprofit hospital can be quite, well, profitable. Especially in Central Florida."

    Florida Hospital CEO Lars Houmann made $1.1 million, according to IRS filings for 2007, the most recent year available.

    And then there's the man who runs Florida Hospital's parent company — Winter Park-based Adventist Health — where CEO Don Jernigan earned $3.5 million.

    Not bad for a faith-based nonprofit.

    Jernigan's compensation package for 2007 was actually more than what was paid to the top administrators of the famed Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Health System ... combined.

    Local hospital officials say they simply pay their executives what they're worth and that the community receives top-notch care and philanthropy because of it.
    Blah, blah, blah ... that's the party line.
    But there are many who find such massive paychecks excessive — if not downright obscene — for companies that have philanthropic missions, as well as the tax breaks that accompany them.

    "This whole concept of a not-for-profit status may be an anachronism," said Dr. Steven West, the president of the Florida Medical Association. "Most hospitals have done very well for themselves, despite their claims of poverty."
    "Nonprofit hospitals' CEOs' pay will make you sick".


    Good luck with that

    "Memo to the state's top elected officeholders: Don't forget your day jobs! The last thing the state needs amid its ongoing budget woes and lingering issues, like property insurance coverage, is a Florida Cabinet that's shifted into campaign mode when the state needs its top elected officials to govern." "State's top elected officials need to pay attention to their day jobs, not their campaigns".


    Rock, paper, scissors

    "State Sens. Dave Aronberg of Greenacres and Dan Gelber of Miami Beach and former state Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua have all been eyeing campaigns to replace Republican McCollum. They've been talking to each other, professing friendship and respect for one another and saying they hope to avoid a candidate-scarring, money-draining primary. Whether they can succeed remains to be seen." "Democratic bloodbath inevitable in Florida attorney general primary?".


    Still listening

    "A 'listening tour' stopped in Central Florida on Saturday to ask residents — many of whom volunteered during the primary and general-election seasons for Obama as a candidate — to bring change to their communities by rallying support and educating people about the president's plans. Kissimmee and Winter Park were among the 38 tour stops scheduled throughout the state." "Obama's still seeking change: Listening tour comes to Kissimmee".


    Facebook minefield

    "Saying Facebook is a minefield of potential Sunshine Law violations, Fort Lauderdale Is your Fort Lauderdale restaurant clean? - Click Here.'s attorney has advised city politicians to stay off of it." "Florida cities risk violating Sunshine Law by using Facebook".


    See you in Havana

    "What if Cuba travel, recently eased for family, was within reach for all?" "Cuba: Island so near is so far for Southwest Floridians".


    King

    "Sen. Jim King, a Jacksonville Republican who has served more than two decades in the legislature, has been diagnosed with advanced-stage pancreatic cancer, his spokeswoman confirmed Saturday." "Longtime Florida lawmaker has pancreatic cancer".


    Gambling

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Crist's agreement called for the Seminoles to pay a minimum of $100 million per year in return for the right to operate blackjack and baccarat and other table games at all seven casinos. "

    The Legislature's pact not only ups the minimum payment by $50 million per year, it prohibits blackjack and baccarat from three casinos, including Immokalee.

    "I don't see any reason for doing that," said Jerry Straus, Washington, D.C. attorney for the tribe. The measure hurts the state and the Seminoles because both parties will get less revenue.

    Strauss said the tribe wants to work out a deal with the Legislature, but reserves the right to go over the state's head and appeal directly to the Interior Department.

    Crist needs to be open to negotiate and not let Immokalee be a deal-breaker if the Seminoles insist on its inclusion. The state can't afford an all-or-nothing gamble on this compact.
    "Lower the stakes".


    "Misguided ruling"?

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "A misguided ruling the other day by the 2nd District Court of Appeal that the Pasco-Pinellas judicial circuit's electronic recordings aren't public record denies citizens appropriate access to the courts."

    The opinion is important because it sets precedent in the district, which also includes Hillsborough, Polk and Manatee counties, not only for media but the public. The appeal by The Tampa Tribune came after 6th Judicial Circuit officials denied a Pasco reporter's request for an audio recording of a sentencing hearing on the grounds it wasn't a "record."
    "Ruling a blow to access to public court system".


    "Budgets should consider long-term stability"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial Board: "In the coming budget year that begins in September, local governments across Volusia and Flagler counties expect their financial outlook to go from bad to worse." "Tough times ahead".


    Stanton catches a break

    "The new city manager in this quirky little town has a lot on her mind: water rates, slumlords, gangs, a tricky redevelopment project - and, of course, the fact that when she takes a quiet moment to consider city affairs, she often glances down." "She was a man who struggled with that identity, now she's at home in her body and in Lake Worth, as the new city manager".


    Hillsborough

    "Religious holidays, including Good Friday, remain school days under an academic calendar the Hillsborough County School Board will consider Tuesday. ... Not every school board member is happy with that." "Good Friday remains a school day in new calendar".


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