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 Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Crist slithers under a RPOFer rock

    "Crist's plans for a third high-profile climate summit have been indefinitely postponed as the Republican weighs the political cost of the event's expensive price tag. But Crist's reluctance to appear out of touch with financially frustrated Floridians, and perhaps his party's conservative base, has not stopped him from asking the event's sponsors to help pay for his U.S. Senate campaign." "Crist averts GOP heat, tables climate summit".

    Obamanomics taking hold?

    "Florida just lost $147.1 million in tax collections."

    And that's good news in a state where tax-collection estimates had dipped by about $1.4 billion last November.

    Not only does the estimate issued Tuesday by state economists show that their forecasts are becoming more nearly accurate -- it suggests that Florida's economy is no longer unstable.
    "Florida tax revenues better than expected". See also "Central Florida's indicators point to an economy that's less grim". But see "Florida revenue forecast dims" ("Acknowledging a worse than anticipated recession, state experts on Tuesday reduced their official forecast of state revenues for this year by $147 million.")

    Fat kids

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "it's deeply disappointing that they dropped the ball on yet another sound idea. Instead of pumping up fitness, state lawmakers passed another legislative weakling, a requirement that lacks funding but includes an oversized opt-out loophole." "P.E.: A dropped ball".

    "Still spending"

    "Mel Martinez started collecting campaign donations immediately after his 2004 election and continued spending the money even after he announced he wasn't running for reelection." "Sen. Martinez not running, but still spending campaign funds".

    More trouble for Crist

    "Palm Beach County GOP considers censuring Crist tonight" ("Crist has been censured by the Volusia County GOP and lost straw polls of GOP committee members in Highlands, Pasco and Lee counties to Marco Rubio, his rival in the 2010 Republican U.S. Senate primary.").

    HD 47

    "Third Republican candidate files to replace Kevin Ambler in state House District 47".

    New regulator

    "Eleven months after Florida's top financial regulator was ousted for failing to stop criminals from fleecing borrowers in the mortgage industry, state leaders named a banking industry lawyer to head the agency entrusted with investigating financial fraud and protecting consumers."

    Crist and the state Cabinet appointed J. Thomas Cardwell on Tuesday to succeed Don Saxon as commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation.

    Cardwell has served as CEO of Akerman Senterfitt, one of the state's largest and most politically connected law firms. The Orlando lawyer -- who previously kept an office in Miami -- has close ties to the banking industry, serving 24 years as general counsel to the Florida Bankers Association.
    "Florida gets new financial regulator".


    "Well-traveled Florida bear put down in Georgia".

    Wingnut alert

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Back in June, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans President Tony Fransetta began inviting speakers to the annual members' forum. He scheduled this year's on health care. He scheduled it eight days from today at the South County Civic Center, west of Delray Beach. One of his first commitments was from U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, who represents the area."

    That was then. Now, protesters are disrupting such forums all around the country. Now, a mailer refers to Rep. Wexler as "our very own liberal progressive leftist socialist" and invites those opposed to the Democrats' health care reform proposals to attend the forum and "hear him rant about how he is going to force HR 3200 down our throats." A Republican who challenged Rep. Wexler in 2008 has called for "solidarity" at the forum to criticize this "further contraction of our freedoms."
    "Can this forum be saved?".

    Mel's "legacy — as a quitter"

    Scott Maxwell thinks that Mel's "decision to abandon his U.S. Senate seat before his term is up will help cement his legacy — as a quitter. He didn't complete his first term as Orange County mayor. He didn't serve throughout George W. Bush's tenure as housing secretary. And he resigned from leading the Republican National Committee after less than a year." "Mel Martinez leaves legacy of a quitter".

    Rove went after U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida

    "Documents show how Karl Rove targeted U.S. Attorney from Florida". See also "Testimony puts Rove at center of Justice firings".

    "Choose a temp wisely"

    The Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "It's disappointing that U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez chose to quit the Senate now, rather than complete his term. After all, it was the Florida Republican who asked voters to elect him to a full, six-year term back in 2004."

    In departing now, Martinez is leaving a lot of unfinished business. Not only is the contentious health care battle raging, but the Obama administration has said it wants to address immigration next year, and as one of the Senate's two Cuban-born members, Martinez's voice, knowledge and background would have been a plus.

    Gov. Charlie Crist is now tasked with choosing a successor to round out Martinez's term. It's a bit of thorny position for the governor to be in since he covets the same seat.
    Read what they think about a replacement here: "With lots left to do in Senate, Crist must choose wisely in replacing Martinez".

    Time Magazine
    : "Florida's Senate Seat: The (Premature) Martinez Opening".


    "Architect gives testimony that might hurt former Florida Speaker Ray Sansom".

    New nuke

    "Florida approved a nuclear plant for the first time in more than three decades. The plant would be built in Levy County." "Florida OK's plan to build nuclear plant". See also "Gov. Crist, Cabinet approve new nuclear plant".


    "Crist, McCollum: Insurance figures encouraging".


    "Everyone knows that Florida ranks at the bottom when it comes to education. Except when it ranks near the top."

    "One of the big problems in Florida is there has been a lot of complacency among citizens because they have been fed a line of gibberish,'' said Lawton ``Bud'' Chiles III, president of the Lawton Chiles Foundation, named after the late governor. The foundation's initiative Worst to First is trying to make health and education issues a priority in Florida.

    "It's bunk, it's just wrong to say that we're 10th in education or to say we're progressing nationally,'' Chiles said. "It's just clearly not true.''
    "Florida's education rankings difficult to fathom".

    Another one bites the dust

    "Fla. weekly cuts print edition, goes online only".

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