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 Sunday, August 02, 2009

Crist "governing" in the Hamptons and in Aspen

    "The day after Florida's unemployment rate climbed to 10.6 percent, the highest in the state since the mid-1970s, Gov. Charlie Crist was in the Hamptons, the tony millionaire enclave in New York."
    Crist was gathering tens of thousands of dollars at a fundraiser for his U.S. Senate campaign. ...

    In the past few months, Crist raised more than $4 million around the country. He is spending this weekend in Aspen, Colo., at yet another fundraiser. ...

    The difference between the dismal state of Florida's economy and the success Crist is having raising campaign cash has created unusual alliances, with people who are usually political foes uniting to attack the governor.

    Says Alex Burgos, a spokesman for Crist's GOP primary opponent Marco Rubio: "While Charlie Crist audaciously claims he is busy 'governing' in Aspen, Floridians await his substantial answers on how to address double-digit unemployment and a stimulus that has yet to stimulate the state's economy."

    Says Eric Jotkoff, a spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party: "As governor, Crist has had time to jet-set around on his cronies' private jets, attend cocktail parties in Washington, D.C., and hobnob with celebrities, yet he continues doing nothing to create jobs."
    Much more here: "Is Crist fundraising while Florida burns?".

    "The last Gladesmen"

    "The last Gladesmen: Survival, they say, hinges on historical, recreational renewal" "Everglades outposts struggle to keep 'swamp culture' alive".

    22 minutes

    "A legislative panel will begin investigating Tuesday whether ex-House Speaker Sansom damaged public confidence in his dealings with a North Florida college."

    Winning the support of state Rep. Ray Sansom to use more than $8 million in taxpayer money on a "leadership institute'' at his hometown college took only 22 minutes.

    The formal proposal arrived in his e-mail box at 10:33 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2007, and after trading e-mails with college president Bob Richburg, Sansom pledged at 10:55 a.m. to "get to work on funds.''

    Richburg counseled that getting the money would ``involve some special legislative strategy,'' and Sansom quietly delivered for his future boss at Northwest Florida State College.
    "Florida House to investigate ex-Speaker Sansom's dealings with college". More: "Interviews undercut Sansom's claims".

    "The House investigation of the conduct of Rep. Ray Sansom is a rare and uncomfortable occurrence:
    The Legislature seldom turns its attention to punishing one of its own. The dethroned speaker from Destin is believed to be a first in the annals of the Legislature, too, as a presiding officer being investigated by his peers. History shows such events can be tense and embarrassing as lawmakers judge a colleague's conduct under the glare of TV cameras, while facing possible criticism that they went soft on a friend and colleague."
    "In Ray Sansom's case, the system itself is on trial". See also "Sansom faces House inquiry".

    Entrepreneurs in action

    Randy Schultz: "Yes, there were victims".

    "Simple-minded battle cry"

    Scott Maxwell: "Government-bashing has become quite the rage lately. We hear it when one political party wants to trash the other's plans. We hear it from corporate America when profit margins are threatened. We even have candidates essentially basing their entire campaigns on it. They want you to let them head government — so they can dismantle it. The problem is that many of those who trumpet this simple-minded battle cry aren't consistent." See what he means here: "Dismantle government? Not so fast".

    What's wrong with Tampa?

    The laff riot never ends - William March:

    The accusations come fast and furious on Web sites and talk radio: President Barack Obama is a socialist, a communist.

    Is he? Is his health care proposal socialist?

    "Yes. Next question," said Michael Steele, chairman of the national Republican Party, speaking to reporters in Washington on Monday.

    "He has surrounded himself with people that have been for the redistribution of wealth. That's part of the communist mindset," said Ted Webb, a rightist Tampa radio commentator.

    "'Communist' is not the correct word, and 'socialist' is debatable - the correct word is 'Marxist,'" said Rick Klepal, a Tampa commercial investment manager with an interest in politics.
    "If Obama is a socialist, what was FDR?".

    "Red tape"

    "The federal stimulus package promised a massive infusion of jobs and money. But so far in South Florida, the aid has formed a trickle, not a gush." "Florida's federal stimulus cash caught up in red tape".

    Yee haw!

    Aaron Deslatte:

    Congress is offering Florida potentially billions of dollars in royalties if the state bows to the growing clamor to expand oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. The new guard of leadership in the Legislature is more than willing to play.

    Future state House Speaker Dean Cannon, R- Winter Park, and Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Indialantic, plan to co-sponsor legislation in the 2010 session to allow the Cabinet to issue more offshore leases to oil companies.

    The idea's political supporters — mostly Republicans — argue they're reflecting a tidal shift in public support for oil drilling.
    And then there's Billy:
    With the Legislature possibly ready to endorse drilling, all eyes will be on Cabinet members who would have the final say-so.

    Last summer, Attorney General Bill McCollum actually hardened his position against drilling, even as Gov. Charlie Crist and presidential wannabe John McCain were embracing the "Drill, baby, drill" movement. ...

    Chief Financial Officer — and Democratic gubernatorial candidate — Alex Sink called last session's House push to drill "unconscionable" without "significant debate, serious study or real time to hear from Florida's citizens." But like her rival [McCollum], she has said nothing recently. ...

    Crist, who shocked environmentalists last year by flip-flopping to endorse drilling (once polls started showing voters supported it), will also have a vote next summer, when he would be in the heat of his U.S. Senate race.
    "Chance at $2.3B a year spurs Florida politicos to rethink oil-rig opposition".

    Adventures in Neo-Babbittry

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Nearly two years ago, a headline in the Wall Street Journal asked ominously,"

    "Is Florida over?"

    The answer then was no and still is. Florida in many ways is just getting started in a new direction. Unfortunately, many of its leaders have been slow to discover the new course.

    The real-estate troubles anticipated in 2007 have hit harder and longer than almost anyone expected, and the political response has been disappointing.

    But had we known then what we know now, our editorial response would be the same. Seeing our state described as a "less-appealing destination," we said, true enough, but "if you're looking for a cut-rate retirement haven and are happy with mediocre education and environmental degradation, go somewhere else."

    [That boosterism would make George Babbitt proud]

    The over-selling of Florida is largely responsible for diminishing the state's appeal and overwhelming its resources. We said two years ago that Florida is determined to better manage its growth, improve its public schools and universities, build better transit systems and attract the best jobs. We still believe that's what most Florida residents want, but wish we had more evidence to show that's what state leaders are trying to give us.
    "Advancing Florida's comeback".

    "The group with perhaps the most on the line"

    "They're an invisible force in the high-stakes Seminole gambling talks, but they're the group with perhaps the most on the line: the pari-mutuel gambling industry, which has deep roots in South Florida." "Pari-mutuels have much riding on gambling negotiations".

    Travel time

    "Legislators’ travel proves costly".

    "Ignorant and offensive"

    Mike Thomas: "The advertisement stunned readers of the Florida Bar News."

    The headline reads: "What's so gay about it?"

    What follows is every vicious stereotype known to homophobia, portraying gays as little better than wharf rats: filthy, diseased and promiscuous.

    Leesburg attorney George Metcalfe placed the ad but politely declined to talk about it. Apparently it was in response to the Bar Association's implicit support of a gay foster parent who wants to adopt two children rescued from a crack house.

    This has upset a handful of socially conservative attorneys. Those in the Liberty Counsel, a socially conservative law center in Maitland, have filed a legal brief in opposition to the adoption.

    In many ways, the brief is more ignorant and offensive than Metcalfe's ad.
    Read it all here: "LibertyCounsel is anti-family".

    Times are tuff

    "Florida highrise has 32 stories, but just 1 tenant".

    "A chance to stay"?

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Immigration law might not let Fredy Avellaneda stay in the United States."

    A judge will determine that. But immigration law ought to give people like him a chance to stay.

    As John Lantigua reported last week in The Post, Mr. Avellaneda was detained July 16 by Customs and Border Protection agents who stopped the van in which he was riding to work. Mr. Avellaneda, 27, came to this country illegally with his parents when he was 10. He graduated from Pahokee High School and has worked in construction, agriculture and landscaping. According to his mother, his status kept him from attending college. He has not been in trouble with police.
    "This illegal should be legal". Related: "Administrative policy changes can help smooth way for complex immigration reform".

    Lowest bidder

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board doesn't want the citizens of Hillsborough County to be deprived of the opportunity to have public projects built by itinerant South Carolinian scab construction workers who sleep in their trucks and obtain their health care from local hospital emergency rooms. See "Local preference is bad policy".

    Bought and paid for

    "Senate money blowout: Negron has 12-to-1 edge for Tuesday’s special election to replace Pruitt".

    RPOFer base luvs Rubio

    Adam C. Smith: "If local Republican executive committees decided statewide primary elections, Charlie Crist's Senate campaign would be in big trouble."

    "People were very conservative, and they don't like what's going on. They're just upset with the way things are going with Crist. They think he's abandoned us," said [RPOF] state committeeman Chuck Oakes, noting Crist's support for President Barack Obama's stimulus plan, among other issues.
    "Local Florida Republican activists cool to Gov. Charlie Crist's Senate campaign".


    "Raul Castro announced [yesterday] that Cuba will cut spending on education and health care, potentially weakening the building blocks of its communist system in a bid to revive a floundering economy." "Raul Castro: Cuba won't undo communist system".

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