Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crist "praises" Nazi film; claims he was duped

    "Despite the content of a letter bearing his signature, Gov. Charlie Crist does not want to share an anti-Semitic movie with all Floridians.
    Crist's office sent a letter thanking John Ubele for providing the governor with a copy of the film "Jud Suss." The film is recognized as one of history's most incendiary."*
    "Gov. Crist's office says he was tricked by anti-Semitic group". See also "Fla. gov's office mistakenly praises Nazi film".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *The film is more than "incendiary", it is considered the "most successful anti-Semitic film the Nazi's ever made".

    No doubt we'll be hearing an apology about this too ...

    "Will Charlie Crist digorge his McKalip contributions?"

    "Untold stories" of Rosewood

    "A South Florida historian hopes to rediscover remains of a black-settled town razed in the throes of racial violence in the 1920s -- and tell its story in more detail than ever before." "Historian Marvin Dunn digs for untold stories of black Rosewood settlement, and its massacre".

    RPOFer show trials

    "Republicans make up nearly two-thirds of both the state House and Senate. They hold two of Florida's three Cabinet posts and have had a decade-long lock on the Governor's Mansion. Yet one former state GOP chairman warns that infighting has weakened his party so badly that it is verging on becoming irrelevant. Other party leaders say current Chairman Jim Greer and, by default, Gov. Charlie Crist are out of sync with what grass-roots Republicans want." "Post: Party squabbling saps GOP strength, some say".

    More: "Tony DiMatteo, Chairman of the state GOP's Grievance Committee and apparently not a big fan of brevity, released the following statement about the party's Grievance Committee hearing held today in Orlando:" "About the RPOF's grievance hearing".

    "Crist has a lot of wealthy friends"

    "And many of them, from plaintiff lawyers and corporate executives to New York socialites and Tallahassee lobbyists, have cut checks to his U.S. Senate bid for the full $4,800 they're allowed to give to a federal candidate, according to Crist's fundraising report.

    More than one-fourth — 580 — of the 2,100 contributors who helped Crist raise a whopping $4.3 million have now maxed out for both the 2010 primary and general elections, meaning they can't be asked to give again.

    And the vast majority of Crist's donors gave checks larger than $1,000 — many giving the full $2,400 allowed for the primary election — meaning the governor won't have as many names to turn to in his fundraising Rolodex during the next 16 months.

    But Crist advisers say the campaign hasn't tapped out its home state.

    "There's still plenty of money left in Florida," said Crist adviser and lobbyist Brian Ballard, who along with his wife, Kathryn, gave the maximum $9,600. But he put a big dent in Florida.
    "A quarter of Gov. Charlie Crist donors max out at $4,800".

    Rubio draws a crowd

    "Rubio came to Pasco County to speak about faith and family values Thursday night, but his audience had plenty of other issues on their minds as well. They wanted to hear the U.S. Senate candidate's views on President Barack Obama's health plan. They wanted to learn his philosophy about the role of government."

    More than 200 people turned out Thursday night to hear Rubio's remarks at the Word of Life Conference Center.

    The organization that hosted Rubio, the Faith and Values Republican Club of Pasco County, is a new group that held its inaugural meeting May 28. The president is John Tracy, who is music pastor at Hillsdale Baptist Church in Tampa. ...

    Three groups of people - Christians, gun owners and veterans [?] - should always support the Republican Party, Tracy said.
    "Rubio champions family values".

    "A sad commentary on Crist's political leadership"

    Maurice Ferre, former Miami mayor, Miami-Dade County commissioner and state legislator had this to say about Charlie in a The Miami Herald opinion pages:

    - America is poised to confirm our first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor. Yet, with this historic nomination pending, Gov. Charlie Crist, who deigns to be our U.S. senator, delayed until the last minute to tell Florida voters whether he would vote for or against Sotomayor's confirmation. Floridians deserve better.

    - Crist's wobbly status is easy to understand politically. He doesn't want to offend the right wing of his party before the Republican primary by supporting Sotomayor, nor did he want to offend Democrats and independents, whom he will need in the general election by strongly opposing her earlier. It took Republican candidate for the Senate and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio's opposition to Sotomayor to force Crist into a "me too'' position. This is a sad commentary on Crist's political leadership, and a preview of how he would act as a senator.

    - Despite claiming to be busy working, Crist's duties as governor have not prevented him from attending nightly fundraisers, including multiple out of state fundraising events .

    Even worse, The Tampa Tribune reported last month that Crist has been coordinating his official duties around his fundraising schedule, traveling to campaign events up and down the state with a security detail paid for by his constituents.

    The Miami Herald recently wrote that Tallahassee is the one place you're least likely to find Gov. Crist. The only place you're less likely to find him is taking a stand on important federal issues, until he's forced into it.
    "Crist avoids taking stands on major issues". "Former Miami major blasts Crist for his Sotomayor excuse".

    Grade inflation

    Jac Wilder VerSteeg: "Schools inflate their grade".

    Daily Sansom

    "Proclaiming he did not misuse his power, former House Speaker Ray Sansom is hoping a five-member legislative panel will put off its probe until after he faces criminal trial." "Sansom wants panel to delay probe till after criminal trial".

    Kosmas sits back and enjoys RPOFer feeding frenzy

    "State Rep. Sandy Adams, an Orlando Republican whose district includes part of western Volusia County, has joined the already-crowded 2010 race to try to unseat first-term U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, a New Smyrna Beach Democrat. ... Also in the race are state Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange; Karen Diebel, a Winter Park city commissioner; and Ken Miller, an anesthesiologist whose campaign is headquartered in Goldenrod. All are Republicans, as are Tom Garcia of Melbourne and Jim Heinzelman Sr. of Orlando, who also are in the race, according to the state Division of Elections." "List of challengers grows for Kosmas' congressional seat".

    Atomic Tunnel

    "A Port Orange tourist attraction that closed its doors more than a half century ago is finding new life on the Internet as a symbol of a lost era of roadside tourism." "Atomic Tunnel lives on!".

    "No rushing changes"

    "President Obama won't commit to allowing undocumented Haitians in the United States to stay, and says any changes to U.S.-Cuba policy may be a while in the making. " "Obama: No rushing changes to Cuba policy, Haiti immigration laws".

    Miami-Dade development

    The Miami Herald editorial board:"The governor and Cabinet have final say over whether cities' and counties' changes to their growth plans violate the law."

    In these two [Miami-Dade County] cases, Mr. Crist and the Cabinet should find both amendments noncompliant. Given that two Cabinet members -- Attorney General Bill McCollum and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink -- are running for governor and Mr. Crist is running for the U.S. Senate, their decision could be fraught with politics.

    It shouldn't be. Mr. McCollum, Ms. Sink and Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson can rise above the urge to pander to development interests and support smart planning and the environment, specifically Everglades National Park, as well as Miami-Dade's agricultural interests.

    This would also be a chance for Mr. Crist to redeem himself, somewhat, after signing into law SB 360, which would gut the state's growth management laws. Using the recession as an excuse, the Legislature approved SB 360 to ``jump-start'' growth by removing state oversight of Developments of Regional Impact and making cities and counties, rather than builders, liable for the costs of new infrastructure. Several cities are suing to get the law overturned.

    Rejecting the two amendments also would vindicate Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and the county's planning staff. The planners vigorously opposed the two amendments, using convincing numbers to show the county had plenty of in-fill development room inside the UDB. Mr. Alvarez twice vetoed the amendments, only to see the commission's pro-development bloc override him both times.
    "Hold the line on development".

    Florida style

    "It has taken three years for Miami-Dade County officials to focus on shutting down the shantytown of sex offenders forced to live under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. Three years of pass-the-buck finger-pointing, two lawsuits and embarrassing national and international media attention to this state-and-local conspiracy of inaction don't add up to leadership." "Get rid of sex offender shantytown". See also "Unlike Florida, Iowa reworked sex offender law".

    The Zell Corporation wants you to know ...

    ... that unions are evil. The The Orlando Sentinel editorial board fully inserts its collective nose into the Chamber of Commerce's ample derriere yet again:

    Desperate to keep the so-called Employee Free Choice Act alive, supporters in the U.S. Senate have cut out its heart — a provision that would let unions represent workplaces without first winning majority support from employees in secret-ballot elections.

    That makes the bill better, but not good enough [for the Chamber of Commerce]. The bill would still give a government arbitrator the power to dictate wages and benefits for a business if management and labor can't agree on a contract within 90 days. And in return for reviving secret ballots, supporters insisted on speeding up the timetable for elections so much that employees might not get a full and fair presentation from both sides before voting.

    There are worthier provisions in the legislation, such as stricter enforcement of laws against intimidating or firing workers for union activities. But unless supporters bend more on the objectionable parts, the Senate should kill the bill.
    "Labor wish list".

    Sans mustache

    "Kottkamp will have to win on his own, out of Crist's shadow".

    "Cramming 10 pounds into a 5-pound bag"

    Joel Engelhardt: "If Mary McCarty were not in prison but still making her opinions known on the Palm Beach County Commission, it's easy to guess what she would say about the latest controversy over plans for biotech in the northern part of the county: 'What do you expect? You're cramming 10 pounds into a 5-pound bag.' She wouldn't be right, but she wouldn't be entirely wrong, either." "How to fill the Scripps bag".

    Lake O

    "Army Corps begins dumping Lake O water as drought turns to fears of a glut".

    Poor little privateers

    "The state decided against privatizing its controversial aircraft services, prompting a low bidder to question an agency chief's motives." "State keeps air service despite possible savings".

    "Journalist" can't get over Silas Marner

    Mark Hohmeister: "Back when I was in high school, we didn't have the FCAT to torment us. But we did have 'Silas Marner.'" "Let's match education to real-life situations".

    "State should limit cell-phone use in cars"?

    Daytona Beach News Journal editors: "It took Florida longer than most states to make seatbelts mandatory. It shouldn't take as long to regulate use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving now that much evidence dispels assumptions (or hopes) that electronic devices don't necessarily affect driving." "Safety on the line". The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Ban texting and driving".

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