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 Friday, October 02, 2009

And Ferre makes two

    "Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre is expected to announce Wednesday that he is running for the U.S. Senate, becoming only the second Hispanic Democrat to run statewide in Florida."
    Ferre is assembling a campaign team and seeking a speaking slot at the Florida Democratic Party convention in Orlando that begins next week, infringing on turf all-but claimed by the front-running Democratic Senate candidate, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami.

    Ferre would enter the race months and millions of dollars behind. The 74-year-old business consultant has been out of public office since 1996.

    "The challenges to Ferre's campaign being a success are many and great,'' said Miami Democratic political consultant Jeff Garcia. "However it would be foolish to underestimate him . . . There's obviously not unanimity in the excitement for Kendrick.'' ...

    Ferre is Puerto Rican. ...

    After serving in public office for much of three decades as a mayor, city commissioner, Miami-Dade county commissioner and state representative, Ferre lost three bids for county mayor in 1996, 2000 and 2004. The last time he won an election, in 1993, people were referring to a new technology called the "information superhighway.''
    "Ex-Miami mayor Maurice Ferre expected to enter Senate race".

    In whose lap is this going to land?

    "A well-known political campaign consultant and former aide to a Florida governor is tied to a federal corruption investigation touching the highest levels of state government, the Herald/Times has learned."

    Stephen D. Hull [here's his business facebook page], a Tallahassee-based lobbyist and consultant, helped establish a political committee whose records were seized by the FBI before Wednesday's indictment of Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, a Broward ophthalmologist and high-profile fundraiser for dozens of current and former state lawmakers.

    Hull, a lobbyist for the Florida Society of Ophthalmologists, did not return messages to his cell phone, office phone or e-mail. He worked as the press secretary to then-Gov. Bob Graham for seven years in the 1970s and '80s.

    Two of the political committees under investigation -- the Alliance for Florida's Future and the Alliance for Promoting Florida's Future -- share a phone number or address with Hull's offices, records show.

    An officer with one of those groups told the Herald/Times that Hull directed payments from its accounts. Both committees paid thousands of dollars in consulting fees to companies controlled by Hull in Tallahassee and Georgia, according to records and interviews.
    "Florida lobbyist tied to FBI corruption probe". See also "Top lobbyist tied to Broward corruption probe".

    Charlie boots two Jebbites

    "In a move designed to reshape the embattled Public Service Commission, Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday named a former newspaper editorial board member and the former finance director for the Escambia County sheriff to the utility regulators' panel, ousting two incumbents."

    Crist appointed David Klement, former Bradenton Herald editorial page editor, and Benjamin ``Steve'' Stevens, former chief financial officer for the Escambia County sheriff's department, to serve on the five-member panel. He rejected two commissioners originally appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush who were seeking new four-year terms: Commission Chairman Matthew Carter and Katrina McMurrian.
    "Troubled Public Service Commission injected with 'new blood'".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Fresh start for utility regulator". See also "PSC nominees bring diverse experiences", "Crist tilts utility reg panel to the consumer side", "Crist's 2 appointments cut FPL experience from panel considering rate hike", "Crist appoints new chairman, official to PSC" and "Crist replaces 2 on utilities commission".

    Related: "Dominatrix night at Ricks Cabana Lounge" ("Crist utility reg pick owns hot Panhandle nightclub, doesn’t work for sheriff").

    Believe it, or not

    "No joke: UF officials remove zombie plan from site".

    A weak RPOFer bench

    "Love him or hate him, America quickly learned U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson's name this week after the freshman Democrat from Orlando used a pair of House floor speeches to galvanize — or further polarize — the raging debate over health-care reform."

    It was exactly the kind of liberal Democratic flamboyance that had prompted local Republican leaders on election night last year to "guarantee" that the GOP would regain in 2010 the seat that Grayson took from four-term Republican Ric Keller.

    Yet, 13 months before the next election, Grayson still has attracted no major Republican candidate, as such widely touted challengers as [ethically challenged] Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty and [lightweight] former state Sen. Daniel Webster have remained mum about their intentions.

    And with a growing war chest — thanks in part to his floor speeches — Grayson is in far better shape than many had expected he would be. ...

    Calls to the GOP's top three hopefuls — Crotty, Webster and state Rep. Stephen Precourt, R-Orlando — were not returned. ...

    The only challenger to step forward was a retired pilot, Dan Fanelli, who brought a few dozen "Tea Party" protesters with him as he declared his candidacy in front of Orlando City Hall.
    "GOP quiet on who might face Alan Grayson in 2010".

    Related: "Grayson Pulls in $100,000 Since Remark".

    Wingnuts of the world unite!

    "'Sicko' film at a Miami-Dade middle school angers some parents, Cuban-American activists".

    "That's not justice. It's cruelty"

    Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Violent felons should not be taking care of young children or old people. In Florida, they do. Contradictory state laws, lax regulations and poor enforcement have enabled thousands of ex-convicts, many with violent pasts (including rape, murder and predatory crimes against children) to hold jobs in child care centers, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities."

    Florida law can be too restrictive regarding ex-felons' rights to work (or even vote). For example, ex-felons may not hold jobs in schools. The state law that mandated criminal background checks for workers in child care centers and elder-care facilities, however, includes an exemption for most ex-felons who prove that they are reformed. The second-chance exemption is loose. Applicants can obtain an exemption with a cursory expression of remorse, a promise to behave and a few reference letters. Statewide, 82 percent of those who apply for an exemption are granted one.

    Ex-felons should get those second chances. It is unjust to prevent an individual who has paid his or her debts to society from having a chance to re-integrate the community with the same opportunities as anyone else. Otherwise, serving a sentence in prison or on parole becomes only the first of an open-ended punishment. That's not justice. It's cruelty.
    "Ex-felons as caregivers".

    Entrepreneurs in action

    "Don Reinhard, former Florida State Seminole Booster president, was sentenced Thursday to 51 months in federal prison on federal tax and bankruptcy fraud charges. Reinhard, 48, pleaded guilty earlier this year to multiple charges of falsifying tax returns and hiding assets in a bankruptcy that followed the collapse of a multimillion-dollar investment scheme that snared some of the state capital's most prominent players." "Ex-FSU Booster leader Don Reinhard sentenced to 51 months on fraud charges".

    Rail boost

    "Disney backs high-speed train in central Florida".

    Thank you Mr. Obama

    "UF getting $93 million in stimulus money".

    "A grand, unifying theory"

    Paul Flemming: "Traffic tickets: A grand, unifying theory of Florida government." "Traffic tickets redux (the money angle)".

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