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 Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Jeb!" speaks from on high

    "Jeb questions crowning Crist from Washington, but encourages similar treatment for McCollum".

    As Charlie raises campaign cash ...

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Three years ago, the American Bar Association released a Florida Death Penalty Assessment Team report that raised serious concerns about the state's death penalty process. Since then, neither state government nor The Florida Bar has done much to remedy the problems."

    Among the report's findings was that legal representation of death penalty defendants in post-conviction proceedings, particularly by certain private registry counsel, is often abysmal. The report makes several related recommendations, including reinstating the capital collateral regional counsel office, or CCRC, in the Northern Region of Florida. That office was disbanded as part of a still-ongoing pilot project launched during Jeb Bush's tenure as governor. ...

    Another one of the report's recommendations embraces a Florida Supreme Court opinion that unanimously called upon the Legislature to revisit the death penalty statute. The report, like the opinion, observed that Florida is the only one of 35 death penalty states that allows a jury to decide that aggravating factors exist and to recommend a sentence of death by a majority vote. Despite the court's strongly worded opinion, the Legislature has been unresponsive.

    It was reported that Gov. Bush said that the issue was "definitely worth consideration" and cautioned legislators not to ignore the court. Gov. Crist has voiced opposition to the recommendation.

    Another alarming problem with Florida's death penalty is the number of defendants on death row who have been exonerated. The Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that provides independent analysis on issues concerning capital punishment, advises that Florida has exonerated more death-sentenced inmates than any other state since 1973. One inmate was exonerated after he died of cancer on death row.
    "Flaws in state's death penalty process".

    Charlie's idea of a good job

    While crucial issues of public policy languish, like flaws in Florida's death penalty (see above), Charlie campaigns in South Florida:

    Said Burger King CEO John Chidsey: "We love having you in South Florida.''

    Crist noted that Burger King employs about 20,000 people. Roughly 700 are at the corporate offices, while the rest are mostly lower-paid restaurant employees.

    "They provide an awful lot of jobs for people in Florida and that's really the point,'' Crist said after meeting with top executives. "It's the economy, economy, economy, and any time I have the opportunity to visit a great Florida company that's international in scope and that really represents Miami and provides jobs . . . I'm very grateful.''

    Asked about his fundraiser, Crist quipped, "Isn't that convenient?''
    "Florida Gov. Crist back at Burger King in Miami for seconds" ("campaign fundraisers are frequently keeping the governor in South Florida these days.")

    As Charlie rolls in campaign cash ...

    ... The Miami Herald editorial board reports that Florida's "the system for insuring homes and businesses against disaster remains badly flawed." "Storm warning: Prop up insurance".

    He's baaack!

    "Former US Rep. Foley to make talk radio show debut".

    Special session?

    "South Florida pari-mutuels want a November special session of their own, whether or not a gambling deal with the Seminole tribe comes together." "Tracks and frontons seek special session".

    "Some fared better"

    "For the most part, Florida's elected officials suffered through the economic downturn like the rest of us. But some fared better." "Report: Net worth of your politicians".

    Nelson on HCR

    "Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said he is prepared to offer 14 amendments, including one to protect proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage. Nelson wants to effectively phase out the extra benefits - which include vision and hearing care -- but help those that currently enjoy them." "Bill Nelson preps for health care debate".

    A Florida story

    "Rifqa Bary's family files complaint against pastors".

    "An exodus"

    "Reflecting hard economic times, census figures released today show that there's an exodus of people leaving Florida, that a sizable segment of the state's population lacks health insurance and that many families live in multigenerational households." "We're struggling -- and fleeing Florida".

    NRA goes local

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "What part of illegal does the National Rifle Association not understand?"

    In April 2006, the mayors of New York City and Boston hosted a summit for about a dozen of their peers to discuss ways to stem the trafficking of illegal guns in their cities. (Guns are involved in the deaths of 30,000 people a year in the country.) Mayors Against Illegal Guns then grew into a coalition of 450 mayors, 40 of them representing Florida cities -- including Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Tallahassee, Oak Hill and Ormond Beach.

    This month, the coalition lost more than 50 members. The number of its participating mayors is down to 393 following a bullying campaign by the National Rifle Association to target participating mayors as "anti-gun" and equating all gun-control measures, including those targeting criminals, as infringing upon Second Amendment rights.

    The NRA's claims are bogus. Its methods aren't. One of its targets is Ormond Beach Mayor Fred Costello, an avowed gun advocate who nevertheless sees the clear line between legal and illegal gun ownership -- as the NRA refuses to. ...

    It's a testament to the NRA's power that some elected mayors are begging it to clarify their status in the public's mind. It's also a testament to the NRA's power of misinformation that its fanatical distortion of reasonable and necessary gun laws (or proposed gun laws) still drives lawmakers' agenda. ...

    The Second Amendment isn't in danger from any of these proposals. People's lives will continue to be, however, as the NRA does its part to make criminals' trades easier.
    "Fanatics for guns".

    Your electric bills at work

    "FPL goes to court to keep salaries secret". See also "FPL goes to court to keep salaries secret".

    Speaking of utility bills ...

    "With nearly $2 billion of combined electricity rate hike proposals, ethical scandals and election-year politics at stake, the Public Service Commission has almost replaced football as the talk of Tallahassee. " "PSC scandals, rate-hike proposals draw scrutiny".

    Capitalism in the classroom

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Desperate to patch yawning budget holes, school officials strongly are considering the noxious notion of throwing students to the marketing wolves by selling ad space on everything from gymnasiums to school Web sites. They should scrap those plans." "School ads: No sale".

    ACORN follies

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board wants you to see its right-wing stripes this morning: "ACORN smears itself".

    SoFla "immigrant population dropped slightly"

    "In both Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the immigrant population dropped slightly between 2007 and 2008, according to new data from the Census Bureau." "Foreign-born population dips in South Florida".

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