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 Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Obama to the rescue

    "Florida's depleted public school budgets will get a boost from the federal government, with a two-pronged shot of stimulus money helping to avert the drastic cuts feared a few months ago. Two local members of Congress announced Monday that the U.S. Department of Education will immediately send Florida $1.8 billion to help avert draconian cuts to school budgets. The state also is eligible for another $891 million in the fall." "Billions in stimulus dollars on the way to Florida schools".

    So nice of the adults to come in and clean up the mess left by the children in the Florida Legislature.


    Crist declares

    Updated: "It's official: Gov. Charlie Crist announces run for Senate"

    This is a bit much too soon for our serial bar exam flunker dontcha think?:

    If successful, the move could help Crist in a possible presidential bid and give the struggling Republican Party a top tier candidate in a competitive race.
    "Crist expected to run for Senate". See also "Charlie Crist plans to seek his fourth statewide elected office with his Senate bid".

    Bill Cotterell:
    Party leaders have been saying for months that Crist wants to be in Washington rather than running for another term as governor. Former House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, jumped into the GOP Senate race last week, casting himself as a conservative "alternative voice" to Crist's more moderate image.
    "Marco's a great guy," said Jason Steele, the Brevard County party chairman. "Unfortunately, when you're running against an icon who's been popular since the moment he's taken office, it'll be hard to out-fund-raise him, or match his appeal to rightwing conservative Democrats."
    "Updated: Crist to enter race for Senate". Mike Thomas has some good snark for us this morning: "Crist answers call to save country".

    Meantime, "For the next 18 months, as the state battles its worst financial crisis in at least half a century, Florida will be led by a bunch of lame ducks."
    Virtually every statewide leader in Tallahassee, beginning with Gov. Charlie Crist, is expected to be seeking higher office. Crist's anticipated announcement Tuesday morning that he's running for the U.S. Senate, rather than reelection as governor, will trigger one of the most chaotic and wide open election seasons ever in Florida.
    "Besides Crist and Sink, the other statewide elected officials expected to seek new office are Attorney General Bill McCollum and Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson, both likely to run for governor."
    Crist's bid could also leave the Republican Party of Florida in the lurch, putting at risk its control of the governor's mansion and Florida's Cabinet. And with Crist running for federal office, he no longer can raise corporate contributions or unlimited ''soft money'' for the state party. That means that the state GOP, already cutting staffers and facing fundraising challenges with the sour economy, loses its top money-raiser.

    ''It's a huge problem for Republicans, and it certainly plays into the other side's hands,'' said Republican consultant Brett Doster of Tallahassee. ``It's going to put the party in a more defensive posture than it has been in a couple decades.''
    But here's the best part:
    some Republicans are worried about their top contender for governor, McCollum. He has lost two of three statewide bids since 2000. Sink, considered the Democratic front-runner for governor if she runs, won her first and only statewide campaign in 2006.
    "Gov. Charlie Crist's run for Senate to set off a scramble". More: "Crist for Senate equals "chaotic" election season" and "Crist's Senate run expected to bring political change".


    Time for a pay cut

    "Fire crews from 4 counties, state battle Indiantown fires".


    Luvin' the corporate welfare

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Sticker shock might be a natural reaction to reports that state and local governments are offering $31 million in incentives to land a solar-panel manufacturing plant for Orange County — especially when the news has been dominated lately by the money woes of recession-battered governments." "Compete for solar jobs".


    The campaign for Governor begins

    "While mum on speculation she might run for governor, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink took a shot at potential gubernatorial rival Bill McCollum Monday at a Forum Club lunch." "Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink expected to seek Crist's job".

    Alex Sink: "For years, Tallahassee has failed to take a modern, businesslike approach to managing the people's money." "Fix state's financial oversight".


    Perhaps pay cuts will do the trick

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "A little boy in foster care is dead by his own hand, but a poorly functioning child welfare system also is responsible. Last month, 7-year-old Gabriel Myers hanged himself on an extendable shower hose while in a South Florida foster home." "DCF must do better".


    Bill would stop local government elections communications

    "The bill would not stop elected officials from individually voicing their opinions on ballot initiatives. It would stop local governments from using money under their control on political advertisements or other elections communications that provide anything other than statements of fact on local and state ballot initiatives."

    But a spokeswoman for the Florida Association of Counties said Monday the group would ask Crist for a veto of the bill, which opponents say would undermine city, county and school officials' ability to do what they think is best for their communities.

    The Florida League of Cities may also ask Crist to veto the bill.
    "Group wants Crist to veto bill halting government campaigns".


    "The state's needs are no longer his needs"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Ideally, Gov. Crist would announce today that he is resigning to run for the U.S. Senate. If that happened, Florida would get someone who is focused on being governor. Also, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp would have a real job, and might be better able to defend his serial misuse of the state's air fleet for personal travel. Sadly, the governor will announce only that he is running to replace Sen. Mel Martinez, who will retire after his term ends next year."

    Here are the real reasons:

    # Gov. Crist doesn't want to be in office two years from now, when the federal stimulus money runs out and the state's chief executive might face some very ugly choices;

    # Gov. Crist's new wife doesn't want to trade New York for Tallahassee, but she's OK with Washington;

    # Gov. Crist has designs on running for president in (maybe) 2012 or (more likely) 2016.

    If Gov. Crist really wanted to work on unemployment and the Florida economy, he would run for reelection. Unless he changed parties, he would be a first-term senator in a distinct GOP minority, and his ambition would make it hard to get favors from leaders of either party. But he could raise money and his national profile.

    For this next vital year, though, Florida will be an afterthought to a governor in a way the state hasn't been in anyone's memory. ...

    Since Gov. Crist was blinded by the national light last year, we have been struck by the rising bipartisan anger in Tallahassee - usually expressed privately - at his growing detachment. As this state needs long-term thinking, they say, Gov. Crist isn't thinking past November 2010. Now, Florida faces an election year with even more election-year politics.

    Given how little the chamber really does, Florida could get by with a distracted senator. Charlie Crist is the first governor since the state went to four-year terms in the 1960s to leave early on his own. The state's needs are no longer his needs.
    "Crist states his priorities".


    Kewl

    "Pain in the pocketbook as Florida gasoline prices rise".


    Pam stayin' put

    "Mayor Pam Iorio, a subject of speculation for months about the possibility that she would run for the U.S. Senate or state chief financial officer next year, has announced that she won't seek another office." "Iorio says she won't run for new office next year".


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