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 Monday, June 29, 2009

Here come the knuckle-draggers

    "The Club for Growth, a conservative anti-tax group, is considering running ads in the Republican Party's Senate primary race against Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for supporting higher state taxes and President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus spending package."
    Mr. Crist's opponent for the Republican Party's nomination next year is former state Speaker of the House Marco Rubio, a young conservative running on cutting government spending and taxes who recently met here with the Club for Growth, which has a strong reputation for defeating liberal and moderate Republicans in party primaries with its aggressive ad campaigns.

    "We recently interviewed Marco Rubio and were impressed. We are very concerned about the two major tax increases Charlie Crist recently signed and believe there's no excuse for his active support of the Obama big-government 'stimulus' spending bill," said David Keating, the club's executive director. "We are actively considering the race."

    "There's not a set timeline for endorsement, but we look forward to completing our research on his record and that of his opponent, as well as our assessment of the competitiveness of this race before making a decision," Mr. Keating said.
    "Anti-tax group at odds with Crist".

    Water power

    "Florida's water management districts are poised to act quickly if Gov. Charlie Crist signs a controversial bill that would give staff members working behind closed doors even more power to grant lucrative water rights." "Officials await decision on water rights".

    Charter schools flop

    Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Charter schools were seen as an innovative alternative for parents who feared their children were trapped in failing public schools. But for too many families, that shining promise proved to be an illusion."

    While some Florida charter schools made good on their pledge to serve students whose needs weren't being met, others faltered. This year, more than half the charter schools in Florida operated at a financial loss even though they were exempt from many regulations governing public schools. Some schools were in unsafe buildings. Others had unqualified teachers, or failed to document student progress.
    "A real alternative".

    Moving day

    "On his way to winning the state House District 78 seat last year, state Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, often reminded voters that he actually lived in the district while Democratic primary rival Steve Nichol did not and candidate Steven Perman had merely rented an apartment there while owning a house in Broward County."

    Now Rader is entertaining thoughts of running next year in a state Senate district where he doesn't live.

    He has plenty of company.

    The only announced candidate for the Senate District 27 race, Wellington Councilwoman Lizbeth Benacquisto, lives about 1,000 feet outside the district. Likely candidate Sharon Merchant lives miles away in Palm Beach Gardens. And Fort Myers attorney Peter Burkert doesn't live in Senate District 27 either.

    Florida law requires legislators to be residents of their districts at election, so the District 27 hopefuls have plenty of time to establish new addresses.
    "Florida office seekers often must seek new home, too".

    So obvious ...

    ... even "business leaders" and "taxpayer watchdogs" get it.

    The Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "Criminal justice reform has long been a cause championed by civil libertarians. Now that business leaders, taxpayer watchdogs and law-enforcement veterans in Florida have joined in, Gov. Charlie Crist and legislators have no good excuse for ignoring this imperative." "Prison reform efforts ramping up".


    "Figuring how much a new cap-and-trade system might cost the average Floridian and who will win and lose in business proves as complex and controversial as the climate." "What will carbon caps cost Florida?".

    "Everglades watershed gets sicker by the day"

    "The foul waters of Lake Okeechobee, the failing health of the Everglades and even sick dolphins along the South Florida coast might seem like troubles so distant they could hardly be the Orlando area's responsibility."

    Yet a Florida law — which environmentalists say is being thwarted by state officials — says otherwise, banning a decades-old practice set in motion when a toilet is flushed or a kitchen sink is drained in Central Florida.

    Treatment of that watery waste produces sludge, which local sewage utilities at least partly disinfect and dispose of as fertilizer. A lot of that fertilizer winds up on cattle ranches and citrus groves south of Orlando, where rain runoff and flooding can release chemicals that poison the wetlands and waterways from here to Florida Bay. ...

    [E]nvironmentalists are accusing state officials of sidestepping the law, even as the Everglades watershed gets sicker by the day.

    "There's a continued buildup of a pollutant that's wreaking havoc with the ecosystem," said Eric Draper, Audubon of Florida's policy director in Tallahassee. "It's going to be extremely expensive to clean up."
    "State still lets Central Florida's sludge foul Everglades, critics say".

    Failed wingnuttery

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "At last, Florida's zero-tolerance mandate for schools is starting to look like something other than an exercise in zero judgment. Gov. Charlie Crist earlier this month signed a law that forces Florida school districts to revise their zero-tolerance policies to distinguish between minor infractions and serious threats so the punishment fits the offense." "No more zero judgment".

    DNA dispute

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "A new law that takes effect Wednesday eventually will require DNA samples, probably from saliva, from all people arrested on felony charges." "Disputed DNA law will protect public".

    The "Polo Club" ... how appropriate

    "Wearing patriotic clothing and accessories, including a red, white and blue flower headband, Sarasota resident Carole Holland held the sign high as she paced the grounds of the Sarasota Polo Club."

    She was one of about 1,000 people who rallied Sunday at the First Tailgate Tea Party.

    The afternoon was full of speeches, patriotic music and fellowship in which attendees discussed issues including fiscal accountability, national health care and freedom of speech.
    "Tea Party: ‘Give me liberty, not debt’".

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