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 16, 2009

Crist becoming "a radical conservative"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Crist is running for a U.S. Senate seat."
    To win it, he must first win the Republican primary, where it pays to be a radical conservative. Crist signed a no-tax pledge and took off his green tan. He was due to hold a second climate summit this summer. Now he's postponed it indefinitely. He's worried about the costs of a summit, even though environmental groups and utilities are willing to sponsor the summit this year as they did last.

    Crist should be more worried about the cost of his posturing to the state's future -- a future Crist himself painted accurately in his 2007 State of the State message: "With almost 1,200 miles of coastline and the majority of our citizens living near that coastline, Florida is more vulnerable to rising ocean levels and violent weather patterns than any other state. Yet, we have done little to understand and address the root causes of this problem, or frankly, even acknowledge that the problem exists. No longer," he promised. "Florida will provide not only the policy and technological advances, but the moral leadership, to allow us to overcome this monumental challenge."

    What moral leadership, governor?
    "So long, Gov. Green, vanishing in political smog".

    RPOF's Hispanic woes

    Jane Healy: "Certainly Republicans have not been helped by U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez's sudden resignation. In Florida, it's only the latest problem in the party's effort to attract and keep Hispanics in the fold."

    Problem No. 1: Martinez's departure. Cuban-Americans in Miami could not have been happy with Martinez's decision to quit early because he was homesick. ...

    Problem No. 2: The Castros' imminent departure. ... When the Castros go, so will a lot of that animosity. Plus, Obama won Florida without kowtowing to hard-liners in Miami. ...

    Problem No. 3: Finding a new leader. It doesn't appear that there is an heir apparent to Martinez as far as Hispanic leadership goes.
    Much more here: "GOP's wooing of Hispanics fraught with challenges" (underscoring supplied).

    "Nothing less than deception" from Crist

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "It was bad enough to learn earlier this summer that the overwhelming majority of $4.9 billion in new capital in Florida's property insurance market — a number trumpeted relentlessly by Gov. Charlie Crist — had come from unregulated carriers. But here's an even more shocking number: $277 million. That's the paltry amount of capital provided by regulated companies that didn't get a taxpayer handout to set up shop in the state."

    State lawmakers never heard that fact as they contemplated insurance reform during the last legislative session. Instead, they got relentless spin from Crist and Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty implying that the private homeowners insurance market was on a healthy rebound. Their pitch, in hindsight, was nothing less than deception.
    "Florida insurance numbers deceive".

    Grayson plays with Keller

    "Speaking at a Netroots Nation convention event Friday, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) had fun at the expense of the Republican incumbent he ousted in 2008." "Alan Grayson: My foe hired from Hooters".

    As Charlie campaigns ...

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "The federal government is all but begging Florida to apply for federal funding for high-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando."

    U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has named Florida as a leading contender for some of the $13 billion the federal government wants to spend on high-speed rail in the next five years. The chairman of the U.S. House Transportation Committee has given Florida a plug. The state's senior U.S. senator, Bill Nelson, is working the phones, too. But the state's political leadership is AWOL.
    "Dawdling while cash sits waiting".

    Where's Marco?

    "Rubio visits Ponte Vedra, hopes for conservative vote".

    Miller (yet again) "befuddled"

    "Miller, R-Chumuckla, said there does not seem to be many representatives in Congress, and very few of the majority Democrats, who understand that filling a bloated government’s coffers means increasing the burden on taxpayers." "NWF Daily News: Miller says he's befuddled by congressional overspending".

    SD 8

    Pamela Hasterok: "Now that pancreatic cancer has claimed [Jim King], four Republicans -- two former state House members, a Jacksonville city councilman and a businessman -- will try to fill his shoes."

    John Thrasher, former speaker of the House, will leave his highly lucrative role as one of Tallahassee's most powerful lobbyists. Stan Jordan, also a former House member, resigned his Duval County School Board seat. And Art Graham, an environmental engineer, relinquished his post on the Jacksonville City Council.

    Only Dan Quiggle, who owns a title insurance company, will stand pat as he attempts to claim King's seat. Quiggle and Jordan are aiming for the Christian conservatives and bedrock Republicans with appeals for family values, support for the military and promises to never raise taxes....

    Conventional wisdom gives Thrasher the edge because many voters are familiar with him and he's raised the most money. Yet he's been out of office nine years and didn't represent the district when he served. He only recently moved into a townhouse in St. Augustine. Plus, Thrasher is an opposition marketer's dream, having lobbied for the state's biggest special interest groups.

    Both Graham and Jordan represented parts of the district and maintain strong ties with residents. Graham and Quiggle have raised enough money to get their messages out -- crucial in a district that spans five counties -- and while Jordan hasn't yet (he just entered the race), he'll likely be able to compete.

    So it comes down to who can get his supporters to the polls. Special elections are notorious for lack of voter interest. A few hundred ballots can make the difference. This is a primary where your vote will truly count.

    If you're looking for a candidate who mirrors Jim King's moderate politics and amusing temperament, you won't find him. But you just might find someone who can do the job.
    "Replacing King won't be easy".

    Astro-tea baggery?

    George Bennett asks, "Health care forums: Is crowd fury honest or orchestrated?"

    Never mind the "slumlord" thing

    The Saint Petersburg Times reports that Right wing radio host Fabian

    Calvo doesn't hide his politics. His weekday talk show, broadcast on 1340-AM from 3 to 4 p.m., discusses daily news with a conservative nationalist viewpoint. His Web sites and Twitter feed rail against socialism, liberal policies and the Obama administration.

    He hopes his conservative platform will win him the state House District 45 seat, represented by Dunedin businessman Thomas Anderson. Three other Republicans — Kathryn Starkey, Carl Folkman and Richard Corcoran — have filed to vie for the position in next August's primary election.

    Calvo lives outside of the borders of District 45, which covers parts of north Pinellas and Pasco counties. He said he would move to Dunedin if elected.

    Though considered a newcomer to the race, Calvo on Thursday earned his biggest endorsement yet: Pinellas Clerk of the Circuit Court Ken Burke.

    "He's conservative," Burke said. "He's energetic. I think he's a person of values."
    Fabian has a bit of a problem, though.

    "Renters and former property managers of Calvo say that's precisely his problem. He's a slumlord, they say, alleging he fails to pay his debts and lets property degrade into disrepair. Two ex-employees are taking him to court." Radio host and Florida House candidate Fabian Calvo is slumlord, critics say

    Where the cash is

    Randy Schultz: "When it comes to charging customers more, Florida's property insurers and agents are like spring break men seeking spring break women: They just don't give up, no matter how bad the chase makes them look." "Where the rate hikes are".

    Cretul does everyone a favor

    "Rep. Cretul will pass on congressional run".

    St. Pete

    "Corporate executive Deveron Gibbons and real estate investor Scott Wagman easily maintained their positions as financial frontrunners, further expanding the gulf between them and the other candidates, according to the campaign treasurer's reports that were due Friday." "Gibbons, Wagman still lead cash race". Related: "How candidates are trying to reach voters".

    Same old, same old

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Florida Power & Light's pitch for a rate increase sounds like the one we heard in 2003 from three major phone companies: Pay more immediately for the promise of savings later." "FPL asking for too much". See also "FPL, Progress want rate increases".

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