Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 04, 2009

"Crist sold ... Florida right down the river"

    Howard Troxler: "In the defining moment of his career Monday, Gov. Charlie Crist sold the state of Florida right down the river."
    He did it in a gutless fashion, too, waiting until the close of business to send out a brief announcement that he was signing Senate Bill 360.

    Look. If you're going to destroy your state to get elected to the U.S. Senate, be proud of it. Do it at a news conference. Surround yourself with bulldozers and smiling developers. Order a cake.

    But apparently he couldn't quite fit this one in with all those other bill-signing ceremonies he's been racking up:

    The battle for Florida is finished now. It's over.

    From here, it's just a matter of how soon the banks are willing to lend money to developers. Sure, the economy is bad now, but this is a long-term game. The prize was the rest of the century.
    "Crist sells the state down the river".

    The Miami Herald editorial board an Charlie's signing the bill that "practically promises that harm will come to Florida's remaining open spaces. "
    It poses such a threat that even some pro-growth commissioners on the Miami-Dade County Commission approved a resolution asking the governor to veto it. One of the bill's biggest flaws is removal of state oversight of a Development of Regional Impact. Until now the Department of Community Affairs has had authority over DRIs, which are just what they imply: developments of such large scope that they impact an entire region.

    They bring more traffic, more demand for classrooms, more use of water and sewer systems. Their swelling of the local population can even affect hurricane evacuation times. ...

    Mr. Crist, who is running for the U.S. Senate, has made a bad call at a time when his leadership was most needed.
    "Gov. Charlie Crist made a bad call on growth limits".

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Now that Gov. Charlie Crist has signed into law a major weakening of growth rules, Hillsborough and other urban counties appear to have lost the power to force developers to help pay for new or improved roads." "Toothless growth law".

    Mike Thomas: "Charlie Crist and his Republican cohorts just depressed the future value of your house. They did this by gutting the state's growth-management law. We tend to equate rampant paving with crowded schools, traffic jams and environmental destruction. But this time around, the impact extends to home prices." "Crist & Co. pave way for lower home values".

    She's in

    "U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown joins race for Senate seat".

    Big of him

    "Crist said Wednesday he likely will reject legislation allowing large national companies to charge whatever rates they wish for property insurance in Florida." "Crist likely to veto insurance bill".

    Charlie jumps on Jebbie's $200 million boondoggle

    "The state's decision to consider a no-bid contract extension for a controversial human-resources company has renewed criticism from a leading state senator who says privatization initiatives have cost taxpayers $200 million with little to show for the money."

    Senate budget chairman J.D. Alexander persuaded fellow lawmakers during the spring legislative session to increase scrutiny of large state contracts -- only to see Gov. Charlie Crist veto the proposal last week.

    When Alexander got word Tuesday that the state's Department of Management Services might offer a five-year extension on a contract for state human resources services to Ohio-based Convergys, the Lake Wales Republican urged Crist to solicit bids for the contract.
    "Senator criticizes Florida's privatization initiatives".


    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Local governments throughout Florida are urging Gov. Charlie Crist to veto a bill that would bar them from using taxpayers' money to influence elections. They claim it is a violation of free speech. It is nothing of the sort." "Putting fairness in electioneering".

    Election law

    "One-time city commission candidate Robert Avila likely violated campaign finance laws when he used a credit card to pay for campaign signs and filed a false treasurer's report, according to the Florida Elections Commission."

    The commission voted unanimously last month to find probable cause that Avila committed two infractions during the 2008 municipal election when he charged $966 on a personal credit card to pay for his campaign signs. Each count carries a maximum $1,000 penalty. ...

    Only candidates for statewide office are permitted to use credit cards. Municipal candidates are required to pay for goods and services by campaign check or with petty cash.
    "Former candidate on hot seat".

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "Now that the hemisphere's diplomats have opened the door for the readmission of Cuba to the OAS, the question is whether Cuba is ready to come in from the cold. Don't bet on it." "Door is open, but will Cuba walk through?".

    Clearing the decks for Negron

    "Former state representative Joe Negron will face off against Democratic challenger Bill Ramos and a virtually unknown write-in candidate in a special election Aug. 4 to replace retiring Sen. Ken Pruitt."

    Negron avoided a potentially nasty GOP contest when his political nemesis Art Argenio suddenly dropped out of the race last week under pressure from Republican leaders to avoid a divisive primary.
    "No primary in Senate District 28 special election to replace Pruitt". See also "Negron, Ramos to square off to replace Pruitt".

    Desperate measures

    "Trying to make the best of a bad situation, federal officials might use foreclosed homes as temporary housing for hurricane evacuees in Florida as soon as this summer." "Foreclosed homes could become hurricane shelters". Related: The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial Board: "Worst problems from 'cane season could be fiscal".

    High-speed rail hopes

    "Florida's hopes for high-speed rail got a jolt from the vice president, who hosted states interested in an $8 billion pot of cash for transit at the White House." "Vice President Biden lifts Florida's high-speed rail hopes".

    Disaster plans

    "Crist gave a pep talk to workers at the Florida Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday, and reminded Floridians to update their disaster plans." "Crist: Have a disaster plan".

    "'Embarrassment for everyone'"

    Frank Cerabino: "It looks like Florida has dodged a self-inflicted wound."

    According to some projections, the $2.50 toll would have gone as a high as $10 in a decade so that the foreign bid winner could make money off the deal.

    Of course, there's no guarantee that the state won't raise the toll on Alligator Alley, but at least if that happens, you know where to find the people who are responsible, and they can be held accountable.

    Same goes with road maintenance.

    Hocking Alligator Alley would have been one of those short-sighted moves instantly regretted as soon as that upfront cash disappeared.
    "Bino finds silver lining in failed plans to raise $500 million by leasing Alligator Alley to foreigners".


    "Former Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty should stop minimizing her 'brazen,' years-long pattern of manipulating her public office for profit, federal prosecutors said today in a memo demanding the maximum five-year prison term at her sentencing Thursday." "Prosecutors unload on McCarty in pre-sentencing memo, seek 5-year maximum". Related:pThe Palm Beach Post editorial board: "McCarty, out of sight".

    "A tough slog"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "It's a tough slog getting water managers today to meet or even think about meeting their responsibility to safeguard Florida's water supply. But what's difficult today would soon become impossible if Gov. Charlie Crist fails to veto a bill that would give unprecedented power to a handful of bureaucrats." "Kill destructive water bill".


    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "It must be a joy in the Florida Legislature when, in the midst of the usual battles — economy vs. environment, companies vs. consumers — lawmakers can tackle an issue that draws support from all quarters. Such was the case with the KidCare legislation (SB 918), which Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law on Tuesday." "Editorial: An easy victory".

    Runnin' gubment like a bidness

    "Florida's child welfare chief says his agency botched the bidding process to develop a portable device to help caseworkers keep track of kids in state care." "DCF chief says agency botched tracking program process".

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