Tim Nickens, The Saint Petersburg Times Editor of Editorials: "Crist's political radar went haywire last week when he decided to become the governor who killed growth management in Florida." "Crist loses his bearings".
Kosmas gets another challenger
"Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel is planning to run for Congress against U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, according to various messages the Republican has sent out. A bare-bones website [claiming 'Proven Conservative Leadership'] is already up, her Facebook home page says she plans to run, and she's sent out Twitter messages in recent weeks signaling similar intentions." "Winter Park's Diebel to challenge Kozmas".
"In what may be the toughest state primary of 2010, state Sen. Dan Gelber announced his candidacy for attorney general Monday with a promise to help shape Florida's 'renewal' in a new political era." "Gelber enters race for attorney general".
"The political fallout from Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to run for the U.S. Senate continued Monday as former prosecutor and state Sen. Dan Gelber launched a bid for attorney general. ... Gelber's attorney general bid requires him to resign from his current post. The jockeying began for his Senate seat just hours after his announcement, with former state. Sen Gwen Margolis launching a campaign for her old job when Gelber steps down in 2010." "Gelber begins campaign for state attorney general". See also "Gelber to run for attorney general" and "Dan Gelber joins race for attorney general" and "State Sen. Gelber in run for Florida attorney general". Related: "The return of Gwen Margolis?".
Another fine Jebacy
"A new report places Florida's high school graduation rate among the lowest in the nation". "Report: Fla. graduation rate 5th lowest in nation". See also "Graduation rates fall in Brevard".
Confederate battle flag at Chamber events?
"Mediators will take another stab at resolving a controversy over the Confederate battle flag flown by the Sons of Confederate Veterans during a Veterans Day parade in Homestead. ... The Dade chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People launched a campaign against the city and the Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce, the parade's sponsor. The NAACP wants the flag banned from display in Homestead and at Chamber events." "Straight to the point".
"Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer and a candidate for governor, launches her campaign with a speech aimed at letting voters know who she is." "In first big speech, Sink stresses the personal".
Charlie on the campaign trail
"Young horse riders must soon wear helmets on public roads and trails. Gov. Charlie Crist on Monday signed 'Nicole's Law' as he sat a few dozen yards from an equestrian ring at Hamlin Park in Palm Beach County." "Gov. Crist signs horseback-riding helmet law".
"Republican politicians doing the bidding of Big Oil"
The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial Board: "About the best that can be said for the FloridaOil.org petition initiative is that its chance of making the 2010 state ballot looks slim. If it makes it, voters will be asked to end the state's 20-year ban on offshore drilling for oil and natural gas and mandate that Florida build infrastructure to support the industry. They might also be asked to expand the state's seaward boundaries -- presently 10 miles --in the Gulf of Mexico, a questionable legal claim to give Florida leverage in drilling disputes with the federal government."
Launched by Don Baldauf, a Bradenton Republican businessman who ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year, the initiative is just getting organized, with citizen volunteers in Tallahassee and several Gulf coastal counties. The group will have to obtain 676,811 valid signatures on its petition by Feb. 1 to qualify for the ballot, a daunting challenge even with the money likely to pour in from the industry."What next, an oil-smudged ballot?".
Meanwhile, drill-baby-drill state senators like Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, have been quick with praise for Baldauf's efforts ...
Baldauf was quoted in the Tampa Tribune saying "the people have spoken loud and clear; they support this." Most of the people in Florida live in coastal counties. They've elected leaders who have kept the offshore drilling ban in place through two decades. We don't hear a clamor from them for drilling rigs. But it seems unceasing from a few diehard Republican politicians doing the bidding of Big Oil.
"A Florida Keys landholder charged in 2000 for the illegal hacking of thousands of mangroves on three of his lots is seeking millions in damages from the people he says were responsible." "The unkindest cut? Mangrove case heads to court".
The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Say what you will about the federal stimulus plan, but thanks to it Washington finally is keeping its pledge to share the costs of the Everglades restoration project." "Washington dollars flowing to Glades".
Mike Thomas has a little fun this morning: "We knew this was coming. 'In Orlando, the best restaurant is a Dairy Queen,' wrote Los Angeles Times columnist Chris Erskine. 'Orlando has cockroaches the size of Reese Witherspoon.' That's us — a bunch of goobers in our stained white T-shirts, whacking at roaches with a rolled-up Hustler because the kids have gotten too darned fast to hit."
But Thomas hits back; hard: "This is what I do know: We may be getting our butts kicked in basketball, but we are winning the bigger war. We are replacing California as the center of the universe."
[L]ook at Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. He is youthful, tanned, glowingly vacuous, thinner than Reese Witherspoon.Much more here: "Tinseltown vs. O-town: Enjoy it while you can, L.A.".
He is Sarah Palin's future vice president.
He is Speedo material.
Our governor looks more like a governor of California than the governor of California.
Such comparisons can go on. ...
Access to Florida brainpower is the real reason California biotech firms such as Scripps and Burnham are opening facilities in Florida — not the hundreds of millions in bribes we give them.
Scientists aren't dumb. Why pay high taxes if you're not getting anything for them?
We make it simple. No taxes. No services.
"The story of William Dillon is a nightmare"
The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "The story of William Dillon is a nightmare of injustice. The Satellite Beach man spent 27 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit and was released last year when new DNA evidence finally proved his innocence. Since then, he has worked at an auto parts store in Palm Bay and striven to reclaim his life. There's no way the state of Florida can give those 27 years back to Dillon, but it should provide monetary compensation to make amends. However, a legal technicality is preventing that from happening and must be reversed." "Still seeking justice".
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "At least 130 times in recent years, the Florida State Board of Administration has signed auxiliary agreements with private firms that were investing billions of dollars for the state and for local governments. But aside from the assurances of the agency's executive director, there is no way for the public to verify if any of those so-called 'side letters' contained improper kickbacks similar to those being uncovered in pension plans in New York and elsewhere."
The agency has stonewalled public records requests for the side letters. More disheartening, the three statewide politicians who oversee the SBA — Gov. Charlie Crist, Attorney General Bill McCollum and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink — appear to have no interest in pressing the matter. They should reassess their positions."Public left in dark on finances".
Q Poll has Sink ahead
"With 17 months to go, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows Democrat Alex Sink with a 38-to-34 percent lead over Republican Bill McCollum in the 2010 governor’s race." "Sink edging McCollum, 38-34%, in new poll on 2010 governor’s race". See also "Sink leads McCollum for governor in Quinnipiac poll".
"Former New Hampshire Republican Sen. Bob Smith formally announced his run for Florida's open U.S. Senate seat Monday, two months after filing the legal documents." "Former NH Senator runs for Flaorida's open seat".
Bottom of the barrel
"Former U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney, R-Ovideo, is hosting a fund-raising reception for U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, June 27." "Feeney to host reception for Posey".
"Hillsborough schools see more red ink".
"One of the Legislature's few major accomplishments"
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "One of the Legislature's few major accomplishments began drawing new criticism before it got to Gov. Crist. That criticism should not keep him from signing the legislation."
Senate Bill 462 creates a database for monitoring prescription painkillers. Thousands of Floridians have died because they obtained high amounts of such pills from multiple doctors - "doctor shopping" - or bought pills from rings that obtain them illegally. Seven years after the Legislature made doctor shopping a felony, the Legislature approved a bipartisan plan that will allow the Florida Department of Health by the end of 2010 to create a monitoring system of Schedule II, III and IV drugs for pharmacies and physicians."A bill Crist can sign easily".
"Roll Call is reporting that U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, has spent more than $6,700 in campaign contributions this year on attorneys to help answer questions about his residency." "Wexlers spends nearly $7k on lawyers to figure out where he lives".
"Backers of a proposed state constitutional amendment that would give residents control over changes to local land-use plans believe they have enough signatures to get onto the 2010 ballot. But that's only if a pending Florida Supreme Court decision goes their way." "Anti-development 'Hometown Democracy' amendment has enough signatures for 2010 ballot, supporters say".
"The average full-time Florida Atlantic University undergraduate will see a $525 education price hike this fall under proposals that increase tuition, raise fees and add a new technology charge." "FAU fees expected to take a jump".