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 Friday, August 21, 2009

Crist plays politics with an execution

    The Tallahassee Democrat's Paul Flemming writes a courageous piece this morning: "The state of Florida, on behalf of me and you, executed John Richard Marek on Wednesday for the 1983 murder of Adela Marie Simmons."
    It's about politics.

    On Wednesday, Crist allowed an Associated Press reporter to sit in his office with him as the execution was carried out. ...

    Crist's first death warrant as governor — for the execution of Mark Dean Schwab, a child rapist and murderer from Brevard County — was notable in part because it was the first after nearly two years of a moratorium to address legal challenges to the state's methods.

    I requested to watch Crist and his team at work during the execution. That didn't fly, for what struck me as reasonable points. It was a sober moment and there were important legal matters to attend to. I'd be in the way, I was told.

    I should have saved my request until Crist was running for U.S. Senate
    "Death, politics mix with execution".

    Here's the AP story to which Fleming refers:
    Crist silently held two framed photos of Adela Marie Simmons as a voice came over his speaker phone Wednesday evening, telling him the next in a series of eight syringes was being injected into the arm of the man who killed her.
    "Crist monitors Marek's final minutes".

    That bit of political stagecraft alone should disqualify Crist from holding public office again.

    "New economic strategy required for Sunshine State"

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "Sure, we're still a nice place to visit, but fewer people want to live here. Because the state's economy is driven by population growth, some see the decline as heralding a diminished future for Florida, a milestone suggesting that it's all downhill from here." "Florida's future".

    Republican Party reptile

    "Ousted House Speaker Ray Sansom racked up about $173,000 on his Republican Party-issued credit card, taking his family on a trip to Europe, making visits to Best Buy and spending thousands on flowers, clothing, meals and hotels."

    As a recession tightened on Florida families, Sansom was spending freely, records show, on tuxedo rentals, Chinese food and a steady flow of coffee — $839 at Starbucks alone.
    "Records of GOP-sponsored credit card reveal lavish spending by Sansom".

    "'No Obamacare! Free market. Free America ...'"?

    "A lone heckler left after a sheriff's deputy told him to cut it out. The audience listened quietly to a PowerPoint presentation on 'single-payer' healthcare. And the two South Florida congressmen on stage received standing ovations."

    But outside the closed doors of the South County Civic Center was the hollering, finger-pointing and sign-waving that has defined public meetings on healthcare this summer as Congress contemplates sweeping reforms. "No Obamacare! Free market. Free America,'' shouted Everett Wilkinson, chairman of the South Florida Tea Party, over a bullhorn. ``Yes we will!'' responded a chorus of healthcare reform supporters.
    "Quiet inside, conflict outside at Delray Beach healthcare forum". See also "Older Voters Reassess Obama Amid Health Reform Debate".

    Vern speaks

    Here's a surprise: "Buchanan critical of Obama’s approach".

    Thrasher thrashed

    "The race for the seat of the late Sen. Jim King continued to heat up Wednesday, as a slate of high-profile Republicans announced their support for former House Speaker John Thrasher at the same time a new ad assailed the perceived front-runner."

    The ad, titled "Enough," uses ethics charges against Thrasher from the 1990s in an effort to tie the former speaker to disgraced South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who misled his staff and others while visiting his mistress in Argentina, and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached in the wake of allegations he tried to sell a U.S. Senate seat.

    "Demand an end to scandal and corruption," the ad says in text on the screen. The only spoken words in the 30-second spot tell viewers the sponsor is Conservative Citizens for Justice Inc., a group with ties to state trial lawyers. Thrasher earned those lawyers' ire with his work on changes to the state's civil justice system during his tenure as speaker. ...

    Headlining the list of endorsements for Thrasher are former Gov. Jeb Bush; Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach; Atwater's expected successor, Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne; U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., and several local lawmakers.
    "Thrasher gets endorsements from major figures".

    "'Duckbill platitudes'"

    "In 2003, after spending $2.1 million and 18 months on a sweeping seven-county vision for the future, the architect of myregion.org stood before a ballroom of officials and acknowledged an obvious question."

    "People are going to ask, 'How are you going to do this?'" said then-Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce President Jacob Stuart.

    "I don't know," Stuart said. "We don't know yet."

    Six years and an additional $2.67million later — half of it public funds — myregion.org is still looking for answers — and more public money.

    Though credited with sparking interest in regionalism, the organization has failed, critics say, to formulate concrete plans or significantly influence the direction of growth in Central Florida.

    In nine years, it has produced a community consensus that Central Florida needs better schools, smarter growth, improved transportation and more regional cooperation. But its glossy reports offer only broad guidelines for how to do that.

    "I describe them as duckbill platitudes," said John Byron, a former myregion board member from Brevard County. "Anything that attracts that level of support has to be along the lines of 'praise for sunshine!'"

    Stuart, now president of the Central Florida Partnership, the chamber's parent organization, said critics miss the point when they complain about a lack of tangible results.
    "Does myregion.org have enough to show for effort?".

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