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, June 18, 2009

Cretul' delusions of grandeur

    "Florida state House Speaker Larry Cretul is seriously considering a challenge to Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, a development that could shake up the race and provide the outspoken Orlando-area freshman with a top-tier GOP opponent in one of the nation’s most competitive House seats."
    Four other Florida Republicans have expressed interest in the race — Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty, state Sen. Andy Gardiner, former state Sen. Daniel Webster and state Rep. Steve Precourt — but Cretul has suddenly emerged as a leading contender after spending two days in Washington meeting with officials from the National Republican Congressional Committee and Republicans in the Florida delegation.
    "Florida Speaker mulls Alan Grayson challenge". See also "House Speaker Larry Cretul may take on U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson" and "Florida House Speaker Cretul eyes run for Congress in 2010".

    Yee haw!

    "Florida's GOP congressional delegation endorse McCollum".

    "Business and development interests" lose one

    "The Florida Supreme Court has struck down a law that let voters revoke their signatures on petition drives. The 4-2 ruling Wednesday was a victory for Florida Hometown Democracy. The group is sponsoring a ballot proposal that would give voters a say in how their communities are planned. The revocation law was sought by business and development interests opposed to Hometown Democracy." "Hometown Democracy wins challenge to petition-revocation law". See also "Fla. justices strike signature revocation law".

    Look ... a black helicopter!

    "Property appraisers to use aerial photos under new bill".

    Charlie's betrayal

    "A decade ago, then-Gov. Jeb Bush created the Lawton Chiles Endowment Fund to use market earnings from the Florida tobacco settlement as an ongoing source of money to finance anti-smoking campaigns and the state's KidCare health insurance program."

    The trust fund is a testament to the late Mr. Chiles' passionate defense of children even under the most trying fiscal times in the early 1990s when the state faced a recession. He pursued tobacco companies with a vengeance, and the state's multibillion-dollar suit became a national model to raise money for health programs for kids.

    Fast forward to Gov. Charlie Crist, who has promised to protect the state's most vulnerable. Again this year the Legislature raided the Chiles trust fund to cover other state needs. And again this year Mr. Crist didn't fight the move.

    Instead of expanding healthcare insurance for kids whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy private insurance, with its ever-escalating costs, legislators raided the trust for $700 million.

    They made a stealth move this session and inserted obscure language into the budget that allows the governor to extract $700 million from the fund. ...

    Mr. Chiles' son, Lawton ''Bud'' Chiles III, rightly calls this latest raid of the fund a betrayal of his father's legacy.
    "Raid on Florida's tobacco fund betrays kids".


    "But the solicitation for legal support, through a new trust monitored by Tampa CPA Nancy Watkins, is already making some elected officials uneasy. Tallahassee lawyer Mark Herron, who has set up several such funds for elected officials, said the Legislature's 4-year-old ban on lobbyists' gifts has made creating such funds more difficult." "Some potential donors uneasy".

    You gotta problem wit dat?

    "Expect higher fees, longer waits as clerk-of-courts offices cut staff and budgets".

    A Brooksville thing

    "Fla. city dress code requires underwear, deodorant".

    Never mind that glowing stuff

    "After more than two million pounds of nuclear waste has piled up in South Dade over 35 years, Florida Power & Light is quietly seeking a zoning change to allow six acres of its Turkey Point site to be used for new above-ground storage casks." "With nuclear waste piling up, FPL seeks Turkey Point rezoning".

    Entrepreneurs on the run

    "State officials plan to announce the findings of a Medicaid fraud investigation in Miami-Dade County at a news conference. ... Both federal and state governments have recently cracked down on Medicaid and Medicare fraud." "FL officials discuss Medicaid fraud investigation".

    Everybody's above average!

    "Broward, Palm Beach County schools graded A overall".

    Bean headed

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "The recession has forced both public and private employers to shed millions of workers. So it is no surprise that Hillsborough County Administrator Pat Bean finds more layoffs will be necessary to balance the county budget through 2011. But the spending plan she brought to the table comes nowhere close to meeting the challenges of a fundamentally changed economy." "Bean's bungled budget plan".


    A bit much from the The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Wetherell's legend".

    Poverty on the rise

    "The number of low-income children who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches is on the rise in Florida, costing $62.8 million more than budgeted this year." "School lunch aid for kids is on the rise".

    Good luck

    "Scholar, fundraiser sought to lead Florida State University".

    "Only about 100 Florida panthers survive"

    "A rare Florida panther has been caught on camera in the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary." "Rare panther caught on camera in SW Florida".

    Rail revival

    "Efforts to revive Florida's high-speed rail line hit a milestone with the state's decision to review guidelines issued Wednesday on applying for federal money for the project." "Florida high-speed rail plan revived".

    Tuition increase

    "The board that oversees Florida's public universities will decide whether to approve a 7 percent differential tuition increase recommended for approval earlier this month. ... The board will also hear from university presidents on budget reductions." "Board to vote on state university tuition increase".

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