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 Sunday, August 23, 2009

The best they can do?

    If you've ever wondered how to get a baby RPOFer excited, here's your answer: "The lineup of speakers included Olympic medalist Bruce Jenner, former beauty queen Carrie Prejean and teenage pundit Jonathan Krohn." "Florida's GOP tries to put on unified front at Orlando rally".

    More on the special Ms. Prejean, who had a coming out party of sorts with her new baby-RPOFer buds: "She has butted heads with celeb blogger Perez Hilton and negotiated with Donald Trump. Surely Carrie Prejean is ready for a rough-and-tumble political career."
    "I definitely have a high interest in politics," she said Saturday during a state Republican Party [of Florida] conference. "I love Sarah Palin. I think she's amazing."
    "Speaking to Florida Republicans, Carrie Prejean tosses tiara into political ring". See also "Ex-Miss California USA talks to Fla. Republicans".

    "The effort underlies a serious turn:"
    Florida exit polls showed Obama won 61 percent of voters aged 29-and-under compared to 37 percent who went for Republican John McCain. Since the election, 40 percent of new voters under the age of 35 have been gravitating to the Democratic Party compared to 23 percent registering GOP, according to the Democratic Party's data through June.
    "Florida GOP tries to re-connect with younger voters".

    But is the solution really "staging a first-of-its-kind youth summit in a ritzy resort, bringing in controversial beauty queen Carrie Prejean, Olympian-turned-reality TV star Bruce Jenner, and talking a lot about the Internet"? The RPOF apparently thinks so.

    "[E]xperts say the GOP has good reason to be worried"

    "The Cuban-American's impending departure could leave no Hispanic Republicans in the Senate and three in the House - compared to 21 Democrats in Congress - and a sense that the national GOP is at a major crossroads with the nation's fastest-growing demographic group." "Martinez departure part of GOP schism".


    "Crist calls Obama health care plan 'cockamamie'".

    Fun with ECOs

    Aaron Deslatte: "Voters who live in the sprawling state Senate District 8 that stretches from Jacksonville down to Daytona Beach are getting a fresh taste of free speech. TV ads paid for by two now-unregulated elections-communications organizations, or ECOs — Conservative Citizens for Justice and Stop Tax Waste Inc. — are attacking former lobbyist and state House Speaker John Thrasher as he attempts to rejoin the Legislature."

    One ad blasts Thrasher for his spending and travel while in office (he retired in 2002); another raises old ethics violations.

    The groups behind the ads are at least partially funded by trial lawyers bent on taking out Thrasher in a Sept. 15 special primary, in which he faces state Rep. Stan Jordan and others.

    But thanks to a federal court ruling earlier this year that tossed out the state law requiring these groups to disclose who finances their ads, voters are left to their own devices to try to find out which interest groups are behind the mudslinging. ...

    Here's the best part: Thrasher's backers have their own stealthy committee, the Committee for Responsible Representation — a Newberry organization with ties to Alachua County Republican Chairman Stafford Jones. The group has put out its own ad blasting cigar-smoking trial lawyers for the attacks against Thrasher.
    "Federal court ruling unleashes stealthy election ads".

    "Home values down but spending stays high"

    "Get ready for higher taxes".

    Three more wannabes

    "Days after he said the list was closed, Gov. Charlie Crist has announced three more candidates for Republican U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez's job. According to a statement Sunday, former U.S. Reps. Mike Bilirakis, Lou Frey and Clay Shaw will be considered." "Fla. Gov. adds 3 to list of Senate candidates".

    RPOFers cut themselves off

    "State Republican Party to cut up American Express cards". See also "Chairman Jim Greer cuts spending for GOP" and "Times' editorial: RPOF should show donors the money".

    "Cowardice and homophobic rage"

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "Thirty-two years ago, the Legislature made Florida the only state to ban adoptions by all homosexuals. Legislators acted not because of research showing that gays and lesbians would be bad parents but out of cowardice and homophobic rage." "Repeal gay adoption ban".

    Time for the RPOF "to back-fill with the substance"?

    Take a look at what passes for RPOFer "leadership" these day:

    On health care, Crist said, "What's going on in Washington is nuts."

    "The prosperity we enjoy as a country is not because of government," he added. "It's because of free enterprise, and entrepreneurship and hard work."

    He said the Republican Party is the one that wants to keep spending down and taxes low.

    "It's why we're going to do so damn well next year and win," Crist said, the first of two times he punctuated his remarks with mild profanity. He ended his speech by saying, "God bless you, God bless Florida, and let's win these damn races."

    Several party leaders mentioned the health care debate as a key to rebuilding enthusiasm for Republican candidates.

    "This August has seen an emotion, a passion that cannot be contrived, that cannot be manufactured by any political party," said U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, who is running for agriculture commissioner. "It is raw emotional reaction to something that is wrong for America."

    Now the party needs to tap that emotion, he said.

    "It gives us this window of opportunity to say, first of all, 'See? I told you so,'" Putnam said, adding that Republicans can then discuss the differences they have with Democrats.

    "We have their attention. Now we to back-fill with the substance of who we are and what we believe," Putnam said.
    "Fla. GOP: Anger over health care will help in 2010".

    "[P]olitics had nothing to do with it"

    "Michael Rudisill has been out of law school for less than eight years."

    And yet, thanks to Gov. Charlie Crist, the 33-year-old is now Seminole County's newest judge.

    He will be serving in the 18th Judicial Circuit , which handles everything from felony crimes to child-custody cases -- all of which are life-altering matters, and some of which Rudisill's own résumé shows he has absolutely no experience dealing with.

    How could such a thing happen?

    Because what Rudisill lacked in experience and qualifications, he made up for in political connections -- to everyone from high-ranking members of the Republican Party to members of the judicial nominating commission that recommended him. ...

    Now, just in case you're starting to think that some of this looks just a wee bit political, don't you worry. Because Crist's in-house lawyer assured the Sentinel that said politics had nothing to do with it.
    "Much more here: Qualifications take back seat in judge's case".

    "Grow up"

    Randy Schultz: "In Florida, we've got our vital signs reversed, and not in a healthy way. We're near the bottom in education spending, and last week we got two unpleasant firsts. Between 2008 and 2009, according to the University of Florida, the state lost population for the first time since World War II. Then came news that Florida ranks first in the rate of home foreclosure." "How will Florida grow up?".

    "It's been a hot August"

    "It's been a hot August for Florida members of Congress who spent their summer recess listening to constituents about health care, but several say the sometimes raucous outpouring of public emotion is useful." "Health debates 'useful,' despite rancor".

    "Florida's latest cultural clash"

    Mike Thomas: "Fathima Rifqa Bary is playing a familiar role in Florida's latest cultural clash, a symbol who personalizes a much broader conflict." "Anti-Muslim bias obvious in girl's case".

    "Liberty City 7"

    "Acquitted 'Liberty City 7' member talks about case".

    "Call it the Crist magic touch"

    "Perfectly understandable, you might assume, that Florida would be souring on the president, given that 23 percent of the home loans in the state are either past due or in foreclosure. But consider this: Gov. Charlie Crist enjoys a 60 percent approval rating in the same poll — 66 percent among Republicans, 54 percent among Democrats and 63 percent among independents. Call it the Crist magic touch." "Obama setting up shop".

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