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 Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another Sansom jam

    "The special investigator hired by the Florida House of Representatives to investigate Rep. Ray Sansom's dealings with a Panhandle college has concluded that there is probable cause that the former speaker of the House violated House rules and could be sanctioned." "The special investigator hired by the Florida House of Representatives...". See also "Sansom faces House sanctions; committee named to consider case" and "House investigator: Sansom violated 'integrity' clause".

    Courtesy of the Tallahassee Democrat, the "Special investigator's report on Sansom".

    Sink orders review of plane use

    "As questions continue about state-plane use by Cabinet officials, Alex Sink orders an internal review of her own plane use." "Alex Sink orders her office to review her state-plane use".

    Meantime, this from the Orlando Sentinel editorial board:

    Officer Alex Sink, the Democratic favorite for governor, has taken hundreds of flights on state planes — more than $400,000 worth — over her two and a half years in office. They include side trips to Tampa, near her home, sometimes to pick up or drop off family.

    The investigation found that Attorney General Bill McCollum, the front-runner among Republican candidates for governor, had flown less on state planes, though still about $280,000 worth over the same period. His travel also included dispatching planes to pick him up or drop him off near his home. At least he didn't bring his family along.
    "Florida's frequent fliers".

    AP "in the tank" for McCollum?

    Steve Bousquet tips us to the politics of the plane use story:

    Days before our front-page story appeared Thursday, supporters of McCollum began circulating details on Sink's questionable flights to reporters, including the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau, on an off-the-record basis.

    No one from Sink's side was doing the same[*]. Republicans are usually more aggressive in Tallahassee at shopping story angles.

    But this involved public information that can be interpreted more than one way. We planned all along to research both officials' travel, but the people aligned with McCollum were rushing the timetable. A rule of thumb is that what's being pushed on us is being shopped to other reporters, and this was not a story we wanted to see elsewhere first.

    When I asked a person who was pushing Sink's trips how long it might before another paper went with the story, the person said: "You're good for 48 hours."

    The motives of the people circulating news of Sink's trips is not at issue here. Rather, it's how reporters avoid being manipulated for partisan advantage. My colleague Mary Ellen Klas and I quickly determined that while some Sink trips were questionable, it did not make sense to limit our review to her travel when her opponent also flies regularly and his travel data is in the same file as Sink's.

    What the McCollum side wanted was a blast against Sink that would provide the essential underpinnings for a mail piece or TV ad hammering her for travel abuses.

    To limit our reporting exclusively to Sink, we decided, would make us an accessory of the McCollum campaign, not to mention provide a poor service to our readers.

    McCollum's people may have seen it as another case of liberal media "in the tank" for Sink. Justin Sayfie of the Sayfie Review, a prominent Republican activist and fundraiser, Twittered thusly: "Could be wrong, but suspect that Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Lucy Morgan would have written today's Times story differently."

    When McCollum's people sensed that our reporting would not be a Sink-only expose, lo and behold, a story appeared on the statewide Associated Press wire Wednesday that focused almost exclusively on Sink's travel. AP beat us to the punch, all right, but with a story that made no mention of McCollum's use of state aircraft to and from his home.

    The AP story [by Brendan Farrington] was less detailed than our Thursday report, but did include a quote from McCollum's campaign manager, Matt Williams, describing Sink using a state plane as "shocking … a pickup and dropoff service for family members.
    Read the entire article here: "The story behind the story about Cabinet members' air travels".

    Note to readers: we made precisely the same point two days ago, in "Wrongwood Bill's campaign 'shocked'", noting that "Williams' shock was a bit premature. After all, his candidate [McCollum] seems 'guilty' of precisely the same thing".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *Politics ain't beanbag - Sink's crew needs to pick up its game, and do a better job of spinning the folks that pass for "journalists" in Florida these days.

    Hardly a shocker

    "In Florida's closely watched governor's race, EMILY's List aims to give Democrat Alex Sink a financial boost." "Sink wins backing from EMILY's List in Florida governor's race". See also "EMILY's List endorses Alex Sink for governor".

    Boyd grows a pair

    "House narrowly passes major energy-climate bill". See also "Obama praises Boyd for voting in favor of climate bill". Related: "Grayson vote traded to get storm center".

    Court nixes "campaigns of deceit"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Whether one agrees with Hometown Democracy or not, giving anyone the power to bombard petition-signers with pleas to revoke their signatures opens the door to campaigns of deceit. That was the case with AIF's targeting of signatories to Hometown Democracy's petitions." "Undermining voters".

    Bought and paid for

    "Negron widens money lead in special Senate race to replace Pruitt".

    Cretul apparently "hates" 170 House Republicans

    "When Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul recently criticized U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson for opposing a war-funding bill, the Ocala Republican maintained the vote was not aligned with the values of the freshman Democrat's constituents."

    Grayson, whose Orlando-based district includes much of eastern Marion County, stood by his vote. Voters, he retorted, knew he had been an antiwar candidate during the 2008 elections.

    But overlooked in the exchange - Cretul is considering challenging Grayson in District 8 - was the fact that joining Grayson and 31 other Democrats in opposing the bill were 170 House Republicans, including Reps. Cliff Stearns of Ocala and Ginny Brown-Waite of Brooksville.

    Now, one of Brown-Waite's Democratic challengers is trying to outflank the incumbent by accusing her of not supporting American troops in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq through her vote against the bill.
    "Area lawmakers trade barbs over war funding measure".

    Meek in Port Orange

    "Kendrick Meek, a congressman from Miami, brings his campaign for the U.S. Senate to a local Democratic event in Port Orange today. Meek is scheduled as the keynote speaker at the Volusia County Women's Democratic Club picnic at Cracker Creek Park, 1795 Taylor Road. The picnic begins at noon, and the political speeches are expected to be kicked off by Meek at 1 p.m." "Meek Senate campaign event set today in Port Orange".

    "TriRail finds money to fill a budget gap"

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "It's not the most satisfactory solution, but the plan TriRail's staff crafted to keep the trains running next year is probably the best response to the budget failures of the Legislature and the counties the train serves. The plan is to dip into TriRail's equipment reserves and federal stimulus money to keep all 50 trains running daily as well as to maintain the train's weekend schedule." "Staying on track".


    "It's not every day that civil rights watchdogs hold up Florida as a shining model of best election practices. But this month, the Brennan Center for Justice is urging other states to follow Florida's lead by allowing voters to update their addresses at the polls on Election Day. Ironically [not], it is a law that state lawmakers [to wit: 'leading House and Senate Republicans'] tried to weaken in the spring." "Florida voter law garners praise".

    Florida film caucus

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "While Floridians struggle to recover from a 10-percent unemployment rate, foreclosures and the scourge of credit-card debt, welcome indeed are ideas for encouraging and expanding business development that will lead to new jobs — ones that are an especially good fit for Florida." "Florida film caucus a welcome idea".


    This wisdom from the mind of a commercial real estate brokerage and development company owner: "Turtlebahn is hardly a priority".

<< Home