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, July 06, 2009

Floridians have "created a revolving door"

    "Floridians overwhelmingly approved eight-year term limits for Florida lawmakers in 1992, but they have unwittingly created a revolving door that leaves the Senate rich in experience and the House filled with aspiring senators."
    Of the 40 Florida senators who began the year, 34 have served in the House previously. Of the 120-member House, only two served in the Legislature before they began their time in Tallahassee.

    Spurred by the eight-year sprint, the trend is only accelerating. With 20 Senate seats up for grabs in 2010, at least 18 former lawmakers are in the running and more are expected to join. With Senate terms running as long as 10 years because of clever shifting of the timing of elections, many lawmakers in the "eight is enough" era will serve 18 years or more.
    "Senate Full of Familiar Faces".

    Laff riot

    Michael Peltier: "Florida’s Speaker of the House [(would-be Congressman Larry Cretul, R-Ocala)] says lawmakers can be more efficient in how they handle the state’s business and can spend less time — and taxpayer money — in the process." "House leader pledges more efficient session".

    Charlie on the campaign trail

    Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "In one swoopy signature, Gov. Charlie Crist muddied his environmental and open-government credentials last Tuesday by signing a bill that endangers Florida's fragile water supply and shuts the public out of crucial growth-management decisions."

    Crist can't claim ignorance. His office received 4,243 e-mails and letters asking for a veto, and only 70 in support of the legislation. And he hinted at a veto for weeks, saying he was "troubled" by provisions that will lead to crucial water-supply decisions being made by executive directors of water-management boards, rather than the districts' appointed governing boards.
    "Blocking sunshine on Florida water".

    Sink unsuccessful with the "'what, me worry?' crowd"

    The Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "In several other states, investment agencies are overseen by boards of nine or more members. Sink, to her credit, acknowledged last year that the current system of leaving just three Cabinet members as trustees of the SBA is inadequate. She proposed expanding the agency's board to incorporate investment and financial experts. Such a change would require legislation and a constitutional amendment. But so far, the CFO hasn't persuaded the 'what, me worry?' crowd in the Legislature to go along." "Pension system needs better oversight.".

    "Jeb!" and the "unqualified crony" thing

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "A Jeb Bush-era change gives the governor effective control of all nine members of every nominating commission. If the governor could ignore the commission, he could hold out for an unqualified crony." "Crist lost, but state gained".

    Florida's infant mortality rate on the rise

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "If the death of a baby is heartbreaking, then the untimely deaths of hundreds of babies in Florida each year ought to inspire a lot more than just hand-wringing."

    Particularly if death is a more likely outcome simply because of the skin the child is in. It's a festering issue in Florida — where a black baby is more than twice as likely to die as a white baby, a gap that's been increasing since 1970. It's a reeking disparity, but one that's finally being confronted with fresh commitment.

    Last year, the state Department of Health's Office of Minority Health adopted the national "A Healthy Baby Begins With You" campaign, with an eye to reducing the state's shameful overall toll of 7.5 deaths per 1,000 live births — higher than the national average of 6.8.

    That's something, at least. But it's going to take more than billboards and community fairs to get at such an intractable problem in a state where rising black infant mortality rates between 2000 and 2004 contrasted with a nationwide drop.
    "Florida needs to do more to save babies".

    Wage Seizure

    "While bankruptcy rates vary for many reasons, the five states that prohibit or strongly limit wage seizures - North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida and Texas - all have drastically lower rates than their neighbors, with particularly striking differences along borders, where economic conditions are similar but bankruptcy rates are not."

    South Carolina's bankruptcy rate is almost one-quarter that of Georgia's; Pennsylvania has half the rate of Ohio; North Carolina has about one-third the rate of Tennessee; Texas has a smaller rate than all its neighbors; and Florida has just about half the rates of Georgia and Alabama.

    The Carolinas, Pennsylvania and Texas prohibit wage garnishment, except in special circumstances such as unpaid taxes or child support. Florida prohibits garnishing wages from the head of a household.

    The nationwide bankruptcy rate is 42 percent higher than the rate in those five states.
    "Bankruptcies low in states that don't seize wages".


    Troxler: "If you think it's weird in Florida now, just wait".

    "Citizens Property Insurance faces tough fiscal choices"

    "The Citizens Property Insurance board will decide Wednesday how to move toward greater financial soundness, including a proposal to reject rate cuts for policyholders to get there faster and cost some ratepayers thousands in cheaper premiums." "State-run Citizens Property Insurance may reject rate cuts".

    "Under the laws of political reality ..."

    George Bennett: "Under Florida's Truth in Millage law, a 15 percent property tax-rate hike proposed by Palm Beach County Administrator Bob Weisman for the coming year is not a countywide tax increase. That's because real estate values have plummeted and the higher rate would leave revenues relatively flat. Under the laws of political reality, however, bumping the rate from the current $3.78 to Weisman's $4.34 per $1,000 of appraised value would irk many homesteaders - the county's core voting bloc - when they see double-digit increases in their tax bills." "Tax-rate puzzle perplexes wary Palm Beach County officials".

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