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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Saturday, August 01, 2009

Charlie at the "special interest" trough

    "For evidence of a sitting governor's power to generate campaign contributions, take a look at the donors to Charlie Crist's record-shattering $4.3 million fundraising haul for U.S. Senate."
    From a prison-building company to a high-powered lobbying firm to Big Sugar, the top contributors to Crist's campaign represent some of the biggest special interests in the state Capitol. The most generous city to the governor's campaign: Tallahassee.

    Big chunks of campaign money also came from law firms. Lawyers at Orlando-based Morgan & Morgan -- where Crist's lieutenant governor, Jeff Kottkamp, previously worked -- contributed at least $87,400. And employees of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt, Adler of Fort Lauderdale gave about $77,750, according to a Herald/Times analysis of contributions Crist received between April and June.

    These figures don't include "bundled'' checks collected by the lawyers from family members, friends and clients.
    "Crist's top donors represent special interests".

    So nice to see those librul Demo "trial lawyers" pouring money into Charlie's campaign.

    Rubio crushing Crist among the RPOFer faithful

    "If Republican Executive Committees decided statewide primary elections, Charlie Crist's senate campaign would be in big trouble. The Pasco and Lee county RECs have held informal straw polls lately, where Marco Rubio blew away Crist among the party faithful. Last night, the Highlands GOP held their own vote that produced 75 votes for Rubio and one for Crist." "Marco Rubio crushes Charlie Crist in another straw poll".

    Alleged "journalism" alert

    This from an alleged journalist writing a supposed "straight news" story: "Most private-sector employers no longer permit workers to save leave or vacation time -- or be paid for it when they leave. But for Orlando employees, it's still allowed."

    Charlie firmly ensconced behind Lemieux's skirt

    "The Legislature's leading voice on the Seminole gambling deal, Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said legislators won't play a role in negotiations between the governor's office and the tribe, casting more doubt on whether the high-stakes deal will come together." "Lawmaker: It's up to Crist to cut Seminole gambling deal". See also "Gambling talks start and stop again with no resolution" ("Lawyers for Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe met on Wednesday for the second full day of talks since they began negotiations in early July and many of the same issues that divide them remain, said George LeMieux, who is representing the governor.")

    CD 7

    "Sponsored by the Progressive Democrats of America, the event is expected to include 10-minute statements, as well as five-minute question-answer periods with candidates Heather Beaven, Fay Armitage, Peter Silva and Stephen Bacon. ... The winner of the Democratic primary in 2010 would run against John Mica, R-Winter Park, in the general election." "Candidates forum set for 7th District".

    That's our Charlie

    "Charlie Crist chooses cash over Jim King memorial".

    While Crist cruises for cash

    "The state promised to test water, and the county promised to test soil."

    Still, Acreage residents shouted in anger and frustration during a Thursday night meeting updating residents on the state Department of Health investigation into a potential brain-cancer cluster in The Acreage.

    Why aren't government agencies more closely scrutinizing nearby Pratt & Whitney, the jet engine company that for decades has soured its Beeline Highway land with contaminants, they demanded.
    "Acreage cancer concerns spur testing promises".

    Feeney avoids criminal charges

    Tom Feeney, the disgraced former Congressman and Black Jack Abramoff associate, infamous for, as state Republican House Speaker during the 2000 election, "scheming to award Bush the state’s 25 electoral votes via an arcane legislative procedure", has managed to avoid criminal prosecution. The Obama Justice Department was nicer to Feeney - - than the Rove-Bush Justice Department was to Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

    The The Orlando Sentinel reports that the "Feeney [criminal] investigation was part of a broad federal inquiry into Abramoff, a Washington influence-peddler whose web of corruption led to the convictions of several Capitol Hill aides and one congressman, former U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio."

    Last year, Abramoff got four years on corruption charges for trading luxuries such as golf junkets for political favors. Feeney was a target because of the 2003 Scotland trip, one of three that Abramoff took with lawmakers in the early half of the decade.

    The trip, a $160,000 junket for eight that was paid for by a think tank connected to Abramoff, came during Feeney's first year in Congress. At the time, his résumé as a former Florida House speaker and fiery conservative made him a rising star among newly elected Republicans.
    Oh ... and let's not forget this:
    A House ethics committee determined in 2007 that the golf junket — luxury-hotel accommodations and a round of golf at the famed Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews — violated congressional rules.

    Feeney agreed to pay $5,643 to the U.S. Treasury for what he said was his share. But he hotly denied ever doing any favors for Abramoff and said he paid his own airfare and greens fees.

    The ethics ruling triggered a federal investigation.
    "Feds end inquiry of Tom Feeney's 2003 golf trip to Scotland with lobbyist Jack Abramoff".

    Florida looks for another $85 million in federal stim help

    "Florida's welfare rolls grew 15.2 percent over the past year, according to the latest data, a trend many economists say will continue even after the recession ebbs."

    Don Winstead, deputy secretary of Florida's Department of Children and Families, "estimates the welfare program will need about $85 million in federal stimulus help over two years." "Florida's welfare rolls just keep growing".


    "More details emerge in the criminal investigation into relationship between former House Speaker Ray Sansom and the North Florida college that gave him a $110,000-a-year, part-time job the same day he was sworn in." "New details in Sansom case".

    Related "Florida House investigation into former Speaker Sansom to begin next week" and "Sansom case: FBI sat in on interviews" ("An investigator for the Leon County state attorney’s office has interviewed 16 people in Okaloosa County over the last two weeks and an FBI agent sat in on two of those sessions.")


    "When Alex Sink became Florida's top financial watchdog almost three years ago, she put her assets in a blind trust, which she said would help her avoid conflicts of interest."

    Yet Sink's effort to avoid potential conflicts and hold herself to a self-proclaimed higher standard has an unintended consequence: There is less public disclosure about her finances than other officials and greater uncertainty as to whether she is deciding matters in which she may have a financial interest.

    Why? Because blind trusts are not regulated in Florida and there are no rules guaranteeing that officeholders' financial dealings are being handled independent of their public duties.
    "CFO Alex Sink's blind trust limits public financial disclosure". See also "Former ethics commissioners defend Sink, blind trusts".

    Entrepreneurs in action

    Those hard charging, risk takers never cease to amaze: "Altamonte Springs executive convicted in $7 million fraud" and "Disney World price hike takes effect tomorrow".

    Obama administration resolves 'Glades dispute

    "After eight years of bickering, the state and the federal government have finally shaken hands on how to split the massive bill to restore the Everglades." "Dispute over Everglades funding finally settled".

    Thank you, Mr. Obama

    The federal government continues to save Florida from itself: The Miami Herald editorial board writes: "In all, Florida will get around $87 million from the feds' $1 billion COPS program. South Florida communities on the receiving end include Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Lauderhill and the Seminole Tribe in Broward; Miami Gardens and North Miami Beach in Miami-Dade and the Monroe County Sheriff's Department."

    Thank's again, Mr. Obama

    "The U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday outlined specific projects Miami-Dade Transit will finance with federal stimulus money." "Miami-Dade announces projects funded by stimulus money".


    Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "By approving the $2.7 million purchase of a conservation easement on almost 700 acres of the Gene Evans family ranch in Flagler County, the Florida Cabinet has commendably protected the southern shore of pristine Lake Disston from development and preserved critical wildlife habitat adjacent to the Heart Island conservation area." "Evans tract a Forever good deal".

<< Home