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 08, 2009

What about Bob?

    "Former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith, now of Sarasota, has filed to run for Florida's open US senate seat: 'I can no longer sit on the sidelines in the fight for the soul of the Republican party.'" "A GOP challenger to Crist and Rubio for senate".


    Tom Blackburn: "Every few years Florida lawmakers reform the workers' compensation system again. Every time they do, they find something unreasonable to do with it. This year they topped themselves. The reform consisted of taking the word 'reasonable' out of the law." Please take a look at this extraordinary column: "Injured workers are crooks (and other wisdom from the Legislature)".

    Checkbook Charlie "could take a hit"

    "Crist's long-standing reputation as an environmentalist could take a hit because of his signing last week of a controversial bill on growth management."

    Supporters say the bill will help stimulate the real estate development and construction industry.

    Critics, including local governments and environmental organizations, say it won't help the economy but will undercut attempts to limit sprawl and traffic congestion.

    It was a top priority for business and industry groups that likely will be a major source of political contributions in next year's elections, when Crist will leave the governor's office to run for the U.S. Senate.

    "We were disappointed, particularly the economic reason for it," said Eric Draper [who's running for agriculture commissioner], longtime official of the Florida Audubon Society, about Crist's approval of the bill. "Florida "grew like crazy under the existing rules - to weaken them to help the economy doesn't make sense."
    "Law could damage Crist's environmental reputation".

    AG race

    Although "Aronberg's bid may muffle county's voice", some folks (who should know) suggest that the lineup card may not quite yet be complete, and that we should keep an eye on that feller from Gainesville.

    "The devil's in the details"

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "The devil's in the details for Florida children who have legal representation through the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program. In signing Senate Bill 1018, Gov. Charlie Crist expanded the ability of guardians ad litem to represent children in court during divorce or related proceedings. Before the bill's signing, the court system had to appoint an attorney pro bono or one paid for by the parents. GAL volunteers are likely a child's best bet for having his or her voice adequately heard in court." "Kind cuts".

    "Democratic giant killer"?

    "Community banker. Democratic giant killer. Fundraiser extraordinaire. With a resume like that, it's little wonder that Republican Senate President Jeff Atwater hasn't yet drawn a Democratic opponent in the race for Florida chief financial officer." "Republican Senate President Jeff Atwater drives the state to get his CFO message out, 17 months before the election.".

    Poor Vern

    "Flush with cash and buoyed by a big reelection victory last fall, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan seemed a prime Republican contender for U.S. senator or Florida governor. But on May 12, the millionaire Sarasota car dealer announced he would forgo a run for statewide office in favor of seeking a third House term."

    "Representing Florida's 13th District in the U.S. House is an honor and a privilege," Buchanan said. "I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving the people.''

    What Buchanan didn't say: Just three days earlier he had been in Orlando, giving a deposition in a lawsuit that accuses him of breaking his promise to reward a former employee who saved a real estate deal involving Buchanan's Sarasota Ford. It was a deal in which Buchanan and his company "made out like bandits,'' the seller says.

    And it is just one of 14 lawsuits — all accusing Buchanan and his auto stores of shady practices — that may torpedo any ambitions for higher office, at least in the foreseeable future.
    "Lawsuits cloud Rep. Vern Buchanan's political future".

    Still waitin'

    "The county was awarded $5.3 million, and Palm Bay was granted $5.2 million. But paperwork filing, database entry and federal approvals are ongoing." " Paperwork clogs federal funds for fixing Brevard foreclosures".

    "Like a gust that topples a fortress"

    Jackie Bueno Sousa: "Expectations are like a gust that topples a fortress -- an invisible yet mighty force."

    Just consider the damage it's about to do to cities and counties throughout South Florida, where nearly every local government is considering cutting back expenses or raising taxes, or both.

    Many will blame dwindling property values, but that's only partly true. Yes, the decline in property values will reduce the revenue coming into some public coffers, but it's a lack of planning for such a decline that will cause the greatest damage. Many local governments, despite plenty of warning signs, just weren't expecting the steep downturn they now face.

    Take, for example, Miami-Dade County. As far back as two years ago, real estate experts were predicting property price declines of as much as 20 percent in metro Miami. Yet, the county's forecast, as stated in its five-year financial outlook, was that property tax rolls would simply remain flat in the 2009-10 budget year.
    "Seeds for current economic crunch planted long ago".


    "Cuba has launched a bold policy of oil development that could turn the country into an important supplier of fuel in the Caribbean -- and the United States, should the embargo be lifted in the future." "Cuba could supply oil to U.S. in post-embargo future".

    "Wait 'til next year"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "If Palm Beach County commissioners don't like the budget they consider for the first time today, wait 'til next year." "EDITORIAL: Start budget interrogations".

    "If it keeps on rainin, levee's goin to break"

    "Huge South Florida levee needs repairs".


    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "he $9.8 million project, using hand-held gizmos modeled after the ones that shipping companies use to track parcels, promised to reduce paperwork and raise accountability by arming 7,000 child- and adult-protection contract workers and DCF investigators with the means to instantly update client data and upload new photos into the state database after each home visit. Why such a mechanism wasn't already in place is unfathomable. Yet, now, when the agency finally was poised to do right by these kids, DCF managed to botch a plan for keeping tabs on the thousands of children under state supervision." "Stop letting kids down".


    "Florida, famous for shipping orange juice all over the country, may yet be known for a very different kind of export: criminals." "Fla. legislature gives corrections OK to ship inmates to other states".

    "World's seas face myriad threats "

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial Board: "In observance of World Oceans Day, take a quick look at the land around us in the United States. For all the commerce, consumption and other human activity on it, we've still managed to protect one acre in 10 through parks, wildlife refuges, conservation trusts and the like. Now look to sea. Despite commendable efforts to establish marine sanctuaries in recent years, not even 1 percent of the surface area of the world's oceans are similarly protected." "Oceans in peril".

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