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 22, 2009

Desperate RPOFer laff riot

    "What do you get when you cross a dethroned beauty queen, an Olympian-turned-reality-show wannabe and a pubescent pundit?"
    Maybe the start of the GOP's revitalization. Or maybe a sign of how desperate Republicans are about stemming the departure of young voters from their fold.
    "More than 500 people have registered for the full-day event, though the main speakers have prompted head-scratching and snickers: Carrie Prejean, the former beauty queen best known for her opposition to same sex marriage; Bruce Jenner, the 1976 track and field gold medalist; and Jonathan Krohn, a 14-year-old prodigy who wowed a conservative conference in Washington earlier this year."
    "I was shocked by the guests,'' said Jordan Raynor, a Republican political consultant in Tampa. "I'm 23 years old and I guess I'm supposed to know whoever that guy [Jenner] is, but I've never heard of him.''

    Jenner, 59, may have won his gold medal before Raynor was born, but his more recent work includes stints on such TV shows as Keeping Up with the Kardashians, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, and Skating with Celebrities.

    If it takes reality show characters to reel in twenty-somethings to the GOP, Republicans are happy to give it a shot. They can use all the help they can get, because the party will be in deep trouble if they continue losing heavily among increasingly important groups like Hispanics and young voters.
    "Florida's GOP tries for youth vote at Orlando conference".

    And so it begins

    "Democrat Alex Sink and Republican Bill McCollum are more than a year away from their expected collision on the 2010 gubernatorial ballot. But with the economy hanging over the political landscape, both politicians made their first appearance together as candidates Friday night at the Florida Association of Realtors annual conference in Orlando." "Sink, McCollum, tackle economy at first candidate forum together".

    "After so many tumultuous Florida elections, maybe it's time for a snoozer. Bill McCollum vs. Alex Sink for governor might just provide the anxious and economically ravaged Sunshine State with a giant, calming dose of Ambien." "Florida governor's race may be a snore".

    "Florida a 'dropout factory'"

    Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "The state has been using the program -- which gives students a standard diploma if they pass the national General Educational Development test and the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test after coursework in an alternative setting -- to mask the depth of its dropout problem."

    Counting Exit Option certificate holders as graduates, Florida claims its graduation rate rose significantly from 2000 through 2006 and stands at more than 70 percent. Federal officials say differently, calculating the state's graduation rate at 63.6 percent. And Education Week, which tracks graduation rates using a methodology that starts when students enter ninth grade, projects an even more dismal rate of 57 percent.

    That explains how one national study could label Florida a "dropout factory" even as state education officials were painting the situation as sunshine and orange blossoms. And the grimmer picture is a fairer reflection of the state's high schools. Students with exit option diplomas haven't truly met the requirements that Florida demands of regular high-school graduates, including 24 credit hours and a 2.0 GPA.
    "No more graduation games".

    Weak bench

    "Is Florida ready for not one, but two Charlie Crists?"

    The governor says he would never appoint himself to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez. That would be an outrageous power grab, which the appearance-conscious Crist knows all too well.

    But the next best thing would be for Crist to pick George LeMieux to keep the seat warm until January 2011, when Crist himself hopes to take over.

    LeMieux now finds himself at the ultimate fantasy camp for politicians in Florida. Seven people comprise the field of dreamers for a once-in-a-lifetime appointment to the world's most exclusive club.

    The others are U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young; former state Attorney General Jim Smith; University of North Florida president John Delaney; state Rep. Jennifer Carroll; Coral Gables lawyer Roberto Martinez; and former state Sen. Dan Webster.

    Each represents a key Republican constituency whose support Crist covets as a Senate candidate: Smith is a party elder statesman; Carroll is an African-American with a solid military pedigree; Webster is a hero to evangelical Christians.
    "Crist could have his alter ego keep Senate seat warm". See also "Crist interviews former state Rep. Daniel Webster for U.S. Sen. Martinez seat" and "Crist releases Senate applications from Tallahassee attorney, former Navy commander".

    SD 8

    "Former Florida House Speaker John Thrasher will compete against Jacksonville City Councilman Art Graham, Duval County School Board member Stan Jordan and Jacksonville businessman Dan Quiggle." "Four Republicans vying in special primary to fill Jim King's state Senate seat".

    Crist's pusillanimity

    "Crist's primary opponent, former House Speaker Marco Rubio, wowed a crowd of 500 real estate agents with a speech that included remarks that called into question Crist's motive for running for Senate instead of a second term as governor."

    Then the only major Democrat in the Senate race, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, also questioned why Crist wouldn't bother showing up at the event, which also included remarks from the two major candidates for governor, Democrat Alex Sink and Republican Bill McCollum.

    Crist addressed a smaller group at the Florida Association of Realtors convention, but declined the invitation to talk about his Senate campaign Rubio and Meek later in the day.

    "They invited me to come speak as governor and I wanted to honor their invitation," Crist told reporters. "I've got other stuff to do tonight. I've got a busy job."
    "Crist criticized for skipping Senate forum". See also "Challengers take turns roasting absent Crist at candidate forum", "Candidates speak at Florida Association of Realtors forum" and "Crist: 'I'm not ducking' Rubio ...".

    "Sorry for being a nitpicker"

    Daniel Ruth:

    In the end, after all the whereases and ipsos and factos and habeases and corpuses, isn't the whole idea of the criminal justice system to make sure the folks who are behind bars deserve to be behind bars? And if the state is going to kill somebody, uh, shouldn't they actually be guilty of the crime for which they are about to forfeit their life?

    Sorry for being a nitpicker.

    But according to U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, potential evidence exonerating Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis isn't enough to not carry out the sentence.

    What would we call this? Death by glitch?
    "Justice trumps the law in this death case".

    RPOFers in a tizzy

    Florida's "Republicans are in an unusually fractious state for a 2010 campaign season that is already well under way."

    Although the party comfortably controls both chambers of the Legislature, two out of three Cabinet seats and the governor's mansion, there are signs of resurgence on the Democratic side:

    - By a small margin, the Democrats raised more money than the state GOP in the last quarter.

    - Coming off a massive voter-registration and volunteer-networking drive that delivered Florida's 27 electoral votes to President Obama, the party out-paced the GOP in voter registration for the first half of 2009.

    - Perhaps most bothersome for Republicans is a grassroots backlash against efforts to ramrod the nomination of Gov. Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate and Attorney General Bill McCollum for governor. Crist faces an underfunded but nagging primary challenge by former House Speaker Marco Rubio, and McCollum may draw intra-party opposition from Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland.

    The Democrats, by contrast, are uncommonly placid — united behind Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink for governor and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek for the Senate. Both are trailing in polls but not having the negative attacks and expense of nominating fights is a big boost for the primaries one year from Monday.
    "State GOP converges for fundraising, outreach".

    The Zell Corporation says ...

    "The decline in Central Florida's population over the past year isn't shocking, despite what some alarmists and folks with a taste for melodrama are claiming." "The way forward for Central Florida".

    "In wake of Ray Sansom revelations"

    "News of Rep. Ray Sansom's questionable American Express charges reverberated through the Republican Party on Friday with two top senators voluntarily giving up their party-issued cards and the party chairman making moves to eliminate all cards, including his own." "Giving up their GOP credit cards".

    Have another beer

    Our serial bar exam flunking Governor-would-be-Senator, Charlie "Crist credits prayer with sparing Florida from the rath of hurricanes".

    In addition to praying away hurricanes, Charlie wants to go to DC and

    " ... have some fun,'' he said. "Let's cut our taxes. Let's shut down that health care cockamamie idea. Let's keep lowering your property taxes. Let's keep locking up criminals and keep you safe with a strong national defense."
    "Crist wants to 'shut down that health care cockamamie idea'". Oh, and by the way, "Nearly one million Floridians are now out of work."

    Meantime, "Florida's still head over heels for Charlie Crist".

    Stopping the madness

    "Megahed had been held in Glades County since he was arrested by immigration agents in April, three days after his acquittal on federal explosives charges." "Megahed freed after judge tosses deportation case".

    Stop the presses!

    "FPL, seeking an increase in its base rate from PSC, says customers would see a drop in their overall monthly bills in 2010 because of declining energy costs. " "FPL bills might dip $9 in '10".

<< Home