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 Friday, July 24, 2009

Rubio campaign on the skids

    "In a sign of turmoil in Marco Rubio's underdog campaign for U.S. Senate, two of his top campaign staffers are dropping off the campaign."
    Campaign manager Brian Seitchik will fall off the payroll in a week, while fundraising consultant Ann Herberger will no longer be his chief money raiser.

    ``Due to budgetary and monetary constraints, I am becoming a volunteer consultant,'' Herberger said. ``I will be available to Marco to provide guidance and advice on all matters of finance should he need, and I'm still 100 percent behind Marco Rubio and his candidacy.''

    With Republican front-runner Charlie Crist trouncing Rubio in fundraising and Rubio trying to bat down rumors that he'll drop out to run for attorney general, the staff shake-up is likely to fuel new questions about Rubio's long-term viability.

    The Miami Republican downplayed the staff changes, saying it merely reflected the campaign's need to run an unconventional, grass-roots campaign against Crist.
    "Rubio's top advisors become volunteers". See also "Crist's lean campaign machine".

    Florida's "After All, He Is Black" saga continues

    Florida "conservatives" racists are at it again: "A prominent St. Petersburg doctor and conservative activist has drawn a flood of criticism for e-mailing an image depicting President Obama as a witch doctor with a loin cloth, exotic head dress and bones in his nose. 'ObamaCare, coming soon to a clinic near you,' reads the caption on the e-mail forwarded earlier this week by St. Petersburg neurosurgeon David McKalip.

    Several popular liberal blogs, including Talking Points Memo, Huffington Post and Daily Kos, highlighted McKalip's e-mail Thursday and castigated him for racism." "Doctor criticized over Obama e-mail".

    RPOFer follies

    "A member of the dissident faction challenging Orange County Republican Party Chairman Lew Oliver has filed a complaint with the state attorney's office, saying the party chief may have put party funds in his own pockets and fudged contribution and expense reports. Keith Recine, a former vice-chairman of the Ax the Tax group run by activist Doug Guetzloe, also accused Oliver of failing to explain the expenditures to the party's executive committee and possibly lying about the account activity on financial reporting records." "Orange GOP infighting now includes money-laundering complaint" ("Here's the entire Recine complaint.")


    "In what is becoming a trend, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson is all over YouTube again for a clip of his tough questioning of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about a half-trillion dollars in 'liquidity swaps' made to foreign banks. Grayson harped on the fact that the decision to move the money was made without input from elected officials, even though the authority was given to the Fed more than a century ago." "Grayson puts another banker on the grill".

    "First, keep state employees working"

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "As the state's unemployment rate reveals, one in 10 Floridians are now out of work. And while the economy is bouncing along the bottom, occasionally showing signs of upward mobility, every business, industry, association or agency that can hang on to its employees should try."

    We can't diminish the importance of one of the steadiest work forces there is, the public sector's academic, safety and law enforcement, transportation, environmental protection, health and human services teams who keep our state and community's running.
    "Lesson to lawmakers". See also "" and "".

    "Birther" Posey on "vulnerable"

    "National Republicans today plan to add U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, to their list of vulnerable incumbents that could need fund-raising help for the 2010 cycle, said one official with the National Republican Congressional Committee. According to a report published in Roll Call today, Posey would be one of 15 new Republicans added to the list, which now includes 25 GOP members. " "GOP puts Posey on 'vulnerable' list -- but why?".

    "They have lost faith"

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "Few issues confronting government galvanize public opinion like corruption. That was on full display at Tuesday's Palm Beach County Commission meeting. A range of residents - from business representatives to longtime critics to those who never have addressed the commission - delivered the same forceful message: They have lost faith." "Corruption cleanup begins".

    Where's Bill?

    "The Democratic party sought Thursday to make the political debate over healthcare personal, inviting the sick and uninsured to share their struggles at rallies in South Florida and across the state."

    The stakes are so high for President Barack Obama that the party is publicly pressuring its own members in Congress to get behind sweeping changes. Small rallies were held at the offices of Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Sen. Mel Martinez across the state. The party is also airing television ads that demand ``It's time'' in eight states with fence-sitting senators, including Florida.

    In Coral Gables, about 50 people gathered on the sidewalk in front of Nelson's office holding signs and chanting when a lone television camera approached. Democratic party officials insisted the low-key events were not ``protests,'' but some participants said Nelson was tiptoeing around the healthcare debate.
    "Florida crowds want Sen. Bill Nelson's healthcare stance". Related: "Boyd, Blue Dog Democrats in the middle of health-care debate".

    RPOFer cat fight

    "A multimillion-dollar land deal pitting Orange County GOP chairman Lew Oliver against then-Seminole GOP Chairman Jim Stelling and Florida Rep. Chris Dorworth has fallen apart again. This time it will cost Stelling and Dorworth $2.7 million. The three Republican power players quietly settled their dispute a year ago. They refused to disclose terms, but according to new court filings, Stelling and Dorworth didn't make good on their settlement agreement: They failed to make payments on time. So Oliver's company went back to court." "2 GOP power players must pay $2.7M for Oviedo land-deal debt".

    Another RPOFer lightweight enters the Kosmas fray

    "State Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Orlando, sent out a press release late last night declaring what she's pretty much already declared: she's running for the 24th District Congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach. She's joining a crowded field that already seems to have a frontrunner in Winter Park Commissioner Karen Diebel, who reported last month she'd raised about $77,000 and loaned herself an additional $25,000. State Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, is also running." "Sandy Adams: I'm running for Congress".

    Not a deep bench

    Scott Maxwell: "Let's recap some of the news that state Rep. Chris Dorworth has made since taking office."

    •He's trying to fight off foreclosure on his 8,000-square-foot, $1.2 million home.

    •He racked up some of the highest residential water bills in all of Seminole County — sometimes more than 100,000 gallons a month.

    •And in Thursday's paper came word that he was on the losing end of a $2.7 million court judgment that he seems currently unable to pay.

    Ladies and gentlemen: I introduce you to the man who wants to be your speaker of the House.

    No, I'm not kidding....

    what may be most frightening is that Dorworth's GOP peers seem to think it's a boffo idea to hand him the speaker's chair. He is already considered the front-runner, if not heir apparent, in the intraparty battle for the 2014 speakership. (Yes, that's a long way off. But remember that 2010 Speaker Dean Cannon locked up his support in 2005. That's what these guys do — start dreaming of the speaker's office before they're even unpacked.)

    And it's not as if Dorworth's any kind of legislative dynamo either. Would you like to guess how many of the seven bills he sponsored became law last session?

    "Chris Dorworth as House speaker? Puh-leeze".


    "Tougher sentencing laws and restrictions on parole in Florida and other states have resulted in a record number of criminals serving life sentences, according to a new national study." "Report points to growing number of inmates in for life".

    Somethings gotta give

    "Bear killed by cars on Interstate 4".


    "Florida's legislative black caucus could be heading toward a feud over a ballot initiative aimed at stopping lawmakers from gerrymandering their political districts." "Siplin, Black Caucus at odds on redistricting strategy". Related: "Money pouring in to finance redistricting reform".

    Scrambling for more federal handouts

    "Politicians from Nevada and Florida expressed outrage today at a report that some federal agencies have put the two tourist hotspots in the states on a "blacklist" when deciding where to hold conferences or meetings. A Wall Street Journal article published Wednesday cited e-mails from the FBI and Department of Agriculture encouraging conference locations that aren't resort destinations and don't appear to be 'lavish.'" "Nevada, Florida officials protest travel 'blacklist'". See also The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Don't blacklist Orlando for business travel".

    Fish kill

    "The chief of biological resources at Everglades National Park said the thousands of fish floating dead in Florida Bay this week may have died from the heat. " "Heat may have killed fish in Florida Bay".

    Water war

    The Miami Herald editorial board: " An important court ruling on water resources may end a nearly 20-year fight between Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The gist of the decision, by U.S. District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson, favors Florida's claim to the water and also offers words of wisdom to government decision-makers throughout the rapidly growing Southeastern United States." "Poor urban planning to blame for water dispute".

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