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 Sunday, September 13, 2009

"A sense Crist could be in trouble"

    "Crist's popularity as governor doesn't always extend to members of his own Republican Party, and that might make him vulnerable as he runs for U.S. Senate."
    Charlie Crist is swimming in campaign money, and polls consistently show him to be among the most popular politicians in America.

    But something ominous and unpredictable is brewing in Florida, and a growing number of Republicans are starting to consider the unthinkable: the people's governor could lose his campaign for U.S. Senate.

    "It's rare that I talk to anyone that's got a good thing to say about the governor right now. It's hard to find a real Charlie Crist ally,'' said former state Republican Chairman Tom Slade. "Charlie Crist is a marvelous politician, but rarely do you use the word statesman with Charlie Crist. That's his vulnerability, getting branded as another self-centered politician, and he doesn't have many more opportunities to muff up before that happens.''
    "It's a testament to Crist's remarkable political skill, of course, that the entire world doesn't view him as politically vulnerable. Consider the climate."
    His state is losing population for the first time in 60 years. Unemployment and foreclosures are soaring. Taxes haven't dropped like a rock as he promised, and Florida remains one hurricane away from bankruptcy. County Republican parties are openly revolting against Crist, while a charismatic young rival, Marco Rubio, is being hailed on the cover of William F. Buckley's National Review magazine as the future of the GOP. ...

    [T]alk to veteran Republican activists across Florida, from local organizers to elite operatives to big-money bundlers, and there's a sense Crist could be in trouble. Probably not, but just maybe. ...

    The polls don't show it yet, but warning signs abound for Crist. Local Republican executive committees and clubs in every corner of the state are holding symbolic "straw poll'' votes where Rubio doesn't just beat Crist, but consistently trounces him 8- or 9-to-1.

    "I do think Charlie is vulnerable. People are really unhappy in general, but Republicans seem very, very unhappy with Crist,'' said state Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, recounting that 200 people showed up earlier this month to see Rubio at a Lakeland Republican club meeting that normally would have drawn a few dozen.

    "When that was over, I don't think one person left there planning to vote for Crist,'' said Dockery, who is neutral in the Senate primary.

    Crist knows he has problems with the Republican base
    "Charlie Crist could be vulnerable in race for U.S. Senate".

    'Ya think?

    The Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "Nelson playing it too safe on health care".

    Wait until FDLE investigation is over

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "The integrity and impartiality of the Public Service Commission is under well-deserved scrutiny for a series of allegations about improper relationships with utility officials it regulates. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the agency for possible ethics violations involving PSC staff and some commissioners. The state Senate may hold hearings with an eye to reform the agency, too. With its integrity and impartiality in question, the PSC should table for now the rate increases requested by Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy until after the FDLE probe is finished." "Put rate hikes on hold".

    Related: "Troubled PSC ignored past reforms" and "Turmoil at Florida's PSC has familiar ring to it".

    "Low voter turnout expected for Tuesday election"

    "The late state Sen. Jim King took pride in cutting deals and working across party lines. But as four Republican candidates prepare for a special election Tuesday to succeed King, they have offered almost-unflinching conservative messages to try to attract loyal GOP voters in what is expected to be a low-turnout race." "Primary may decide King successor".

    "The Sunshine Socialist State"

    Stephen Goldstein: "Tallahassee is the capital of a 'corporate socialist state,' thanks to Republicans!"

    The party of no always says yes to redistributing taxpayer money to private corporations. Give a buck to a single mother, and you're branded a Marxist. Give taxpayer millions to a single business, and you're hailed a captain of capitalism.

    So, let's take a break from all the propaganda about keeping Obama from socializing medicine, and start making the case for ending rampant "corporate welfare" throughout America — starting right here in the Sunshine Socialist State.
    "Corporate welfare: Officials go overboard with handouts".

    Billy getting desperate

    Aaron Deslatte: "Republican Bill McCollum and Democrat Alex Sink want to go national, baby."

    Last week, the two 2010 gubernatorial candidates got into dust-ups over — of all things — what McCollum thinks about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and how Sink feels about the Obama administration's health-care push.

    Putting aside the fact that neither state officeholder has or will wield much influence over either issue, it makes for interesting theater.

    And it's enabled both candidates so far to say little about the state's economy, tax policies and budget. Instead, each is trying to tap into voter emotion about national issues in hopes of costing the other votes next year.
    "Florida's governor candidates tackle federal issues".

    There's always Palm Beach: "McCollum campaign passes the hat in Palm Beach".

    Delusions of grandeur

    "Florida governor's race need more choice, says possible candidate Dockery".

    It's the workers fault, stupid ...

    Chamber shill Jackie Bueno Sousa has just solved public employers' economic problems:

    Too often, local-government hiring is insular and prone to cronyism. Furthermore, government-employee turnover, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is about a third that of the private sector. Generally, losing many employees is bad; but too little turnover is equally problematic, as it prevents the replacement of stale workers and trite ideas.
    "The pay system, not just salaries, is the problem".

    Typical claptrap from a "writer at The Wall Street Journal, editor-in-chief of The Daily Business Review and editor of Business Monday at The Miami Herald."

    Related - The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Stand up to the firefighters".

    "They looked microscopic"

    Randy Schultz: "If you want to follow the race for governor next year, break out the Red Bull."

    At this point, Attorney General Bill McCollum (Republican) and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (Democrat) are the prohibitive nominees. Mr. McCollum will run as the Lifetime Achievement candidate. He spent 20 years in the U.S. House and lost a Senate race in 2000. Ms. Sink will run as Chief Bookkeeper. In civilian life, she ran Bank of America's Florida operations. Now, she invigorates supporters by sending out e-mails about how her office has saved the public some money here and there.

    But campaigns for governor are about big ideas, not line items. Last week, offered a chance to look big, Mr. McCollum and Ms. Sink looked small. In fact, they looked microscopic.
    "Where the wimp things are".

    Thank you, Mr. Obama

    "A recent report by a presidential panel urged stronger cooperation between the United States and other nations trying to make advances in human spaceflight." "Presidential panel urges global space effort".

    Funny how that is ...

    "More than a third of the customers, politicians and business leaders who praised Florida Power & Light at three South Florida forums on a proposed $1.3 billion rate hike have financial or family ties to the company and its employees, a Sun Sentinel analysis found. Nearly another third who backed the utility have connections to FPL through business and civic organizations." "Backers of FPL often have ties to utility".


    Scott Maxwell doesn't think RPOFer Rich Crotty can put up a sufficient fight against Alan Grayson:

    That's why Republicans should look elsewhere for their candidate.

    Instead of cycling through the same old list of possible contenders like Crotty and state Sen. Dan Webster, they should look for new blood — someone, for example, who started in politics less than three decades ago.

    State Sen. Andy Gardiner comes to mind.

    The 40-year-old is a rock-solid conservative with a good reputation — a guy who cut his teeth helping small businesses with the Apopka Chamber of Commerce and who now works as an executive with Orlando Health.

    Republicans would be wise not to underestimate Grayson, who's making a name for himself in Washington, and a savvy campaigner to boot.

    But this community needs a good race with solid candidates and healthy debate.

    And some fresh candidates with fresh ideas might just make that happen.
    "If Crotty's the frog, GOP needs a prince".


    "Gas prices continue slow decline".

    Health care rally

    "Unlike the protesters who marched to the U.S. Capitol [yesterday*], it was supporters of the president's health care reform plan who gathered for a rally at Al Lopez Park. The skies cleared for the arrival of the Health Insurance Reform Now! tour bus on a nationwide trek to push for the president's plan. The stop in Tampa followed a 14-city tour, including a stop in Orlando this morning." "Health care reform supporters rally in Tampa".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *These geniuses carried "signs — reflecting the growing intensity of the health care debate — depicted President Barack Obama with the signature mustache of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler."

    Yee haw!

    - "Dr. Robert Dreyfus, a retired dentist, spoke before Barber, decrying the state of public education, which he compared to Zimbabwe’s education system despite America’s sizable spending advantage. He also rebuked President Barack Obama. 'Within 200 years we went from ox carts to the moon,' he said. 'And now Obama and his crew come along and they want to create a thugocracy.' 'Yes, they want change,' he said. 'They want to change our nation from a democratic republic to a socialist facist (society).'" "Tea Party speakers urge crowd to take back government".

    - "Protester Doug Caton ... held a sign suggesting Obama wasn’t born in the United States, a long-discredited rumor." "Naples holds anti-Obama tea party, participants are 'ready for a revolution'".


    "State lawmakers try to halt health care changes".

    "In the absence of responsible political leadership"

    Carl Hiaasen: "The place has been totally out of control for too long. In the absence of responsible political leadership, it took a crushing recession to expose the Ponzi formula that made Florida look so prosperous. Now, hundreds of thousands of homes and condos sit empty -- unfinished, unsold or foreclosed. Local governments that run on revenues from sales taxes and property taxes are slashing services. Many small businesses are closing, big businesses are laying off workers, and new jobs are scarce." "Yeah, we're shrinking, but not enough".

    Another view from Jane Healy: "Local politicians can't ignore drop in state's population".

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