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 Monday, September 14, 2009

Charlie drops his "pretenses of moderation"

    Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "To hear them speak, some Florida lawmakers have drill bits for tongues. That's how eager they are to open the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling within 10 miles from Florida's shore, ending a 20-year moratorium. They promise safe drilling and riches for Florida. Don't fall for it. It's not worth the gamble drilling has always been."
    Big Oil has three powerful votes on its side. State Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Indialantic, the Senate president in 2010, and Mike Cannon, R-Winter Park, who'll be House speaker next year, are sponsoring pro-drilling bills in their respective chambers. Gov. Charlie Crist, once an opponent of drilling, is now a proponent. Crist is dropping pretenses of moderation -- and sacrificing a history of sound bipartisan Florida policy for his electoral strategy.

    The renewed push for oil drilling is orchestrated by a group called Florida Energy Associates. There's not much "Florida" about it. The group is financed by Texas-based oil producers. It has contributed $35,000 to Republican lawmakers and $20,000 to Democratic lawmakers since May. It's producing most of the propaganda designed to soften public opposition to drilling.
    "Drilling threatens Florida's economic base".

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "The well-financed campaign to open Florida waters in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling should be greeted with great skepticism by state residents and their representatives in the Legislature." "Big Oil is back".

    Your tax dollars at work

    "Because Crist is careful to avoid using state aircraft to get to personal and political events, should Crist's campaign repay the state for security at nonofficial events? No, he says." "Charlie Crist: My campaign shouldn't repay state for security at nonofficial events".

    Related: "Florida taxpayers spent nearly $300,000 protecting visiting politicians" ("The FDLE said it cost $1.34 million for agents to provide security for Crist in the past fiscal year. First lady Carole Crist's security expenses totaled $78,000, and it cost $31,000 more to protect the 'first family,' which the FDLE describes as Gov. and Mrs. Crist, or times when Mrs. Crist's two daughters are in Florida.")

    After all, they're developers

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "In Florida, there is one thing tougher than fighting city hall: fighting a powerful developer." "People vs. powerful".

    Yaaawwwnnn ...

    "Gov. Crist's 'maestro' heads to Washington".

    Let's pretend it never happened

    "Former House Speaker Ray Sansom wants to quash perjury charges on grounds that State Attorney Willie Meggs had no right to ask him what the Legislature intended in funding a $6 million airport project." "Former House Speaker Sansom trying to quash perjury charges".


    "Florida among states trying to halt health care changes".

    Thank you, Mr. Obama

    "For all the debate about the federal stimulus program, of this Don Winstead is certain: Without the stimulus, Florida's budget problems would've been catastrophic." "Stimulus bails out state's bottom line".


    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami, and Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, D-Sarasota, are proposing a constitutional amendment that would:"

    # Require public notice for open meetings of two or more members of joint legislative conference committees — which is where important pending legislation is hammered into final form.

    # Require a three-fourths vote, instead of simple majority, to approve any nontechnical — that is, important and possibly sneaky — amendments in the final five days of a session.

    # Set a "reasonableness" standard for circuit judges to use in ruling whether a legislatively produced document is a public record — rather that perpetuating the Legislature's authority to shield many of its documents from public view.

    # Require the budget to be written in plain language showing the source and purposes of all funds instead of publishing a bare-bones document that rank-and-file members — especially new ones — can't translate.

    There isn't a thing wrong with any of these upgrades, and we urge an intelligent three-fifths of lawmakers to support putting this on the ballot in 2010. Then an intelligent 60 percent of voters should wisely vote "yes!"
    "More sunshine".

    Who needs taxes ... we have tourists

    "A mysterious ripple in the waters near West Palm Beach has a name - the Muck Monster - and has been fodder for David Letterman. Today, the Muck Monster may have something else: tourists." "Mysterious 'monster' may be cash cow for city".

    "Students who truly need financial help"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Now that skimpy budgets have led legislators to revise the 12-year-old program, lawmakers should look at limiting eligibility requirements and channeling more money to students who truly need financial help." "Reform Bright Futures".

    PSC follies

    "A shelved grand jury report from 1992 recommended ways to curb criticisms now facing state utility regulators." "Troubled PSC ignored past reforms".

    Oh yeah ...

    "Nearly lost amid all the candidate maneuvering in high-profile Florida campaigns for Congress, governor and others in 2010 is this bit of news: Some residents of Volusia and Flagler counties will be voting this week." "Don't forget about this year's elections". Related: "3 vie for New Smyrna mayor's post".


    "Number of kids missing from state custody dropping".

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