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 Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Charlie still lives with his parents?

    "The self-styled 'people's governor' does not own a home or have any credit card debt. Crist's tax return lists his occupation as 'Florida elected government official' and lists his parents' St. Petersburg address as his home address. It also notes that he is married and filing separately from his wife, Carole Lynn Crist ."Governor's net worth held steady for 2008".

    Charlie's [millionaire socialite] wife, the former Carole Lynn Rome apparently still lives on ritzy Fisher Island in South Florida

    'Ya reckon?

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Gov. Charlie Crist seems to be more concerned with campaign contributions than protecting citizens' rights and the state's resources." "Crist crumbles on tainted water bill".

    Sarah, Charlie and Mike ...

    ... three peas in a pod.

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Sarah Palin, Charlie Crist and Mike Sanford don't make good advertisements for the GOP."

    Crist is more moderate and leads one of the country's biggest states. His leadership out of this economic crisis, with the enthusiastic support of his state and national parties, could have boosted the Republican brand.

    But not only did the Florida House in the most recent session refuse for ideological reasons to accept a much-needed $444 million boost for the state's unemployed, not a single Republican member of Congress from Florida voted for the stimulus package. As a result, as The Post reported Sunday, the state did not have any clout when it tried to change the formula for dividing stimulus money to give Florida a more favorable share.

    Imagine the concessions Florida could have received if the state's Republican delegation had offered a significant number of GOP votes.

    Gov. Crist did support the stimulus, but he had his own agenda. The stimulus brings more money to Florida for the next two years, which just happens to coincide with the period for which he will remain as governor. A courageous, competent governor would have run again to prove that he can administer a big, important state when a federal bailout no longer is available to prop up the budget.
    "Govs. Palin, Crist run away".

    This helps explain Florida's stim problem

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board, perhaps unintentionally, takes care of TaxWatch's transparent anti-Obama whining (see Stim cash and TaxWatch wingnuttery) in this editorial today:

    Florida has never been awfully competent at making the most of federal matching dollars, leaving its share on the table because it refuses to meet the local/state requirements particularly in transportation and health care.

    Florida had to mount a strong political appeal to get education stimulus dollars because for the last three years the state hadn't been funding education sufficiently to get the federal money without a waiver, which it got — eventually.

    In addition, Republicans in the Florida Legislature declined $444 million in stimulus money that was to go for unemployment benefits even as Gov. Charlie Crist was embracing the recovery program as a way to help Florida ease over and through its economic travails.

    Florida has always had a love-hate relationship with Washington and, despite a bipartisan effort by Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez to get a funding formula that would include unemployment and foreclosure rates and work better for this state, their effort was too little, too late.

    Our state will no doubt benefit from the federal package, but this distribution inequity shows once again that we need to work on a broader, more equitable state tax structure that doesn't rely on either using up trust funds, as we have, or federal relief to get us through difficult times.
    "Stimulus lament".

    Thank you Mr. Obama

    The Miami Herald editorial board: " Federal stimulus money is paying for more than roads and bridges during this economic downturn. Ecological projects are part of the mix -- and that bodes well for Florida. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received $167 million in February from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and Florida will get a fair share of that money." "Federal stimulus money for Florida's reefs a sound investment".


    "Miami Congressman Kendrick Meek wound up a holiday weekend Panhandle tour Monday with a reminder that, even in a long-distance U.S. Senate race, all politics is local." "Meek shakes hands, collects signatures in Panhandle". See also "Updated: Meek concludes Panhandle swing in Tallahassee tonight".

    Everyone's a Congressman

    "Third-term state Rep. Dorothy Hukill wants to become a first-term congresswoman. Hukill, a Port Orange Republican, announced Monday she will challenge U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas for the 24th District seat in 2010." "Hukill joins race for Kosmas' seat".


    As the potential RPOFer candidates line up, Mike Thomas is "pulling for Alan Grayson vs. Rich Crotty. It would be one of the most brutal, most followed congressional campaigns in the country."

    Thomas begins with these kind words (which he was for some reason never able to utter about Jeb Bush)

    Grayson is ruthless, self-absorbed, without remorse and deeply in love with being Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando.

    I'd take on Hannibal Lecter at dinner before I'd take him on in a political race.

    I can see him peeling Crotty's thin skin off ever so slowly, and then enjoying his liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti.

    The difference between the two is that when you attack Crotty, he takes it personally. Grayson is unencumbered by such emotions. He began campaigning for re-election the day he was elected. All he needed was an opponent.

    And when Crotty emerged as a possibility, he wasted no time going after him. Last month Grayson sent a seven-page letter to the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority, attacking a toll increase that Crotty supported. He liberally cited a grand-jury report that referred to a "culture of corruption" at the authority. He called on Crotty to return $62,900 in campaign contributions "extorted" from authority vendors.

    If Crotty runs, that report would be quoted more often than the Bible at the First Baptist Church of Orlando.

    Democrats already are referring to him as "Corrupt Crotty."

    Crotty did benefit from a sleazy relationship that has existed for decades in Florida between politically connected authority boards and campaign fundraising. But there is no proof he used his position to twist arms or extort money
    Thomas worries that the big dog GOPers don't like Crotty, and are
    contemplating the strategy of creating a candidate from scratch: House Speaker Larry Cretul.

    He has the personality of a plant. He fell into the speaker job because his predecessor resigned in scandal [ahem, he was indicted], and his home county of Marion only contains 10 percent of the potential voters. He is a sure loser, which shows how nervous Republicans are about this race.
    "Mike Thomas: A Crotty congressional run would unleash pit bull Grayson".


    "More proof that even though the 2010 gubernatorial election is 16 months away, the silly season is in full swing." "Web parody takes aim at Sink".

    The Sansom gang

    "Newly disclosed e-mails show that developer Jay Odom had an interest in leasing property from Northwest Florida State College. Odom, state Rep. Ray Sansom and college president Bob Richburg were recently indicted for conspiring to use state funds to build a college facility at Destin Airport that would double as a hangar. All are charged with felony misconduct, and Sansom and Richburg also have been charged with perjury." "New e-mails outline Odom's involvement".

    The usual suspects

    The AP doesn't exactly tell the whole story in this piece about the Miami cheerleaders for the recent military coup in the Honduras: "More than two hundred Hondurans lifted candles, waived their blue and white flags and chanted 'Zelaya must go,' outside the Central American country's consulate in a show of support for their interim government. ... Zelaya was elected as a centrist but moved closer to Chavez. He was ousted [in a military coup] hours before a referendum on whether to open the constitution to changes."

    They were joined by the usual - Batista was a fine man - crowd: "The twilight rally Monday on the edge of Miami's Little Havana was also studded with supporters from Cuba and Venezuela." "Miami protesters favor new Honduran gov".

    Ahem, ... folks ... Zelaya is already gone, via a military coup recently condemned by the UN: "A one-page [United Nations] resolution — sponsored by countries often at loggerheads, including the United States and Venezuela — passed by acclamation after sustained applause in the 192-member body. It condemned Mr. Zelaya’s removal as a coup and demanded his 'immediate and unconditional restoration' as president." "Miami protesters favor new Honduran gov".

    More from the military coups are kewl crowd: "Hold elections in August instead".


    The Tampa Tribune editorial board weighs in: "Similarly, McCollum has spent $59,597 to have an empty plane pick him up or drop him off at Sanford, near his Longwood home. Now some pundits are up in arms, calling for a law to make it clear state officials can't use state planes for commuting to Tallahassee. Their sense of outrage seems a trifle phony." "Politicians on the fly".

    "Euphoria fades"

    "A year later, U.S. Sugar deal euphoria fades".

    Betty Castor

    "Betty Castor, one of Tampa's best-known names in education and politics, is starting a new life chapter after leaving her position as director of the Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions at the University of South Florida. Castor wants to start her own education foundation and to work in East Africa, where her teaching career started some 40 years ago." "Betty Castor turning focus back to education, politics".

    Just warming up

    "Global warming forecast shows potential problems for Florida".

    Insurance veto

    Kevin McCarty: "Since Gov. Charlie Crist's veto of House Bill 1171, there has been considerable media coverage and commentary on the bill, its veto, and the Florida property insurance market in general. Unfortunately, a substantial amount of the commentary has included incomplete or incorrect information." "Insurance veto was to ease consumer pain".

    Not "following the rules"

    "A new state study found that child-welfare doctors and case workers aren't following the rules when it comes to the drugging of 6- and 7-year-olds in state care." "System faulted in boy's death in foster care".

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