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 Thursday, October 29, 2009

The best they can do?

    "National Republicans met with two potential challengers to U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson on Wednesday as the GOP establishment continued to search for a candidate who can topple the outspoken freshman Democrat from Orlando."
    State Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando, and businessman Bruce O'Donoghue sat down with GOP lawmakers and strategists from the National Republican Congressional Committee in meetings that participants described as productive -- although no verdict was reached.

    "It's great to see that these folks are very serious about the direction that this country is going," said O'Donoghue, who wouldn't commit to run. "This race is going to draw national attention, and they wanted to prep me on what that meant."

    The Capitol Hill meetings reflect a growing unease among national Republicans with the early field assembled to challenge Grayson, a GOP target since the wealthy attorney unseated former U.S. Rep. Ric Keller, R-Orlando, in a bruising election last year.

    These include Orlando attorney Todd Long and three Tea Party activists: Dan Fanelli of Orlando, Patricia Sullivan of Eustis and Peg Dunmire.
    "National GOP vets new challengers for Grayson".

    Billy getting desperate

    "Hoping to capitalize on President Barack Obama's declining popularity in Florida, Republican governor candidate Bill McCollum is trying to tie his Democratic opponent, Alex Sink, to Obama and national issues pushed by Democrats."

    McCollum has pressed Sink to take stands on whether a national health care reform plan should include a public option, and on the "card-check" proposal now in Congress that would make it easier for workers to organize unions.

    Those proposals, he notes, are backed by national-level Democrats and organized labor, who support Sink.

    Sink has refused to take the bait, even after a McCollum backer in a duck suit showed up at a Sink news conference last week to suggest she's "ducking" questions.

    She responds that McCollum is trying to divert attention from a failing state economy and that she's focusing on state issues that matter to Floridians.
    "National issues creeping into Florida governor's race".

    Charlie desperate to kill someone

    "Though Gov. Charlie Crist had signed a death warrant, court stays execution".

    "The entire state economy ..."

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: A "UF survey found the confidence level among Floridians flattened off in October after rising a little in August and September. Concerns about the state's jobless rating, now at 11 percent, and pessimism about the lack of jobs and lower salaries fuel a reticence to spend, even among those currently employed."

    Without robust sales over the holidays, it's not just retailers and their employees who are pinched; it's the entire state economy, which unfortunately, shortsightedly and yet historically runs off of sales tax revenues.

    Without holiday sales growth, a $2.6 billion state budget deficit will be on the table for lawmakers to confront in the spring. That could mean either an increase in fees and taxes and more budget slashing. Or, more wisely, it could lead to the tax revisions that have so long been needed and so long been avoided because, quite simply, it's not easy to say it's time to expand the tax base — make it not necessarily deeper, but wider.

    That is, it's well-past time to get rid of many of the sales tax exemptions on goods, to make sure that remote online sales are taxed (in fairness to brick-and-mortar merchants), and to tax certain services that in today's service-driven economy are as much a retail product as boots and bicycles.
    "Our Opinion: Recession-numb buyers make the case for change".

    Warning, some may find this offensive

    "The Charlie Crist video Marco Rubio says you shouldn't watch".

    Brown-Waite, Stearns embarrass themselves and Florida

    What is it with Florida's Republican Congress-critters? They keep embarrassing themselves. First we had Brown-Waite and her chicken bones international incident. Then, we had Bill Posey and the Birthers; now this:

    One professor called it spiteful.

    Another said it was far-fetched.

    Those were the reactions today to U.S Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite's request that President Barack Obama get the permission of Congress before he accepts the Nobel Peace Prize.

    On Monday, the Brooksville Republican sent Obama a letter, first congratulating him, and then requesting him to "obtain Congress' consent before formally accepting the Nobel Prize."

    The letter, co-signed by Republican Reps. Cliff Stearns of Ocala and Ron Paul of Texas, cites a little-known provision of the U.S. Constitution they argue prohibits a president from accepting a gift from a foreign entity.
    "Brown-Waite: Obama needs Congress' OK to receive Nobel Prize". See also "Stephen Colbert demands a DNA test to determine whether Congressman Bill Posey is part alligator."

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "A partisan ploy fit for the wastebasket".

    Thank you Mr. Obama

    "Speaking to The Miami Herald editorial board, Smith expressed optimism about the future of public education in Florida -- even amid an economic downturn -- in part thanks to federal stimulus money." "Commissioner of Education discusses 'very conservative' budget proposal".

    Drilling promises "landed with a thud"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Fortunately for Florida, Rep. Dean Cannon's quest to lift the state's offshore drilling ban is slowing. Credit the growing number of dubious claims for dragging it down."

    The latest came last week during a hearing before the House Select Policy Council on Strategic & Economic Planning, when promises about the riches drilling would produce for Florida landed with a thud.
    Read what they mean here: "Caveat emptor on drilling".

    See also "Oil drilling debate conjures images of utopia, disaster". More: "Cash cow or curse? Drilling experts offer familiar promises, warnings".

    Rubio moves North

    "U.S. Senate candidate Rubio tours Northwest Florida".


    "With Congress poised to extend jobless benefits, the red ink flooding Florida's unemployment compensation system is deepening and now also spurring renewed calls for change from both Democrats and Republicans. Florida will already owe the federal government $126.9 million in 2011 and another $199.4 million the next year on the almost $500 million in loans received so far to cover benefits for the state's jobless, a new state report shows." "GOP lawmakers may be warming to changing Florida unemployment system to get more federal stimulus cash".

    Stop the presses!

    "Burger King profit slips for first quarter".

    "The new Katherine Harris?"

    Jamie Miller, a political consultant, former campaign manager for Katherine Harris’ U.S. Senate race, and former executive director for the Republican Party of Florida, asks: "Is Marco Rubio the new Katherine Harris?" (via The Buzz).


    "Growth watchdog group asks state to leash county, protect Everglades".

    "Florida is worse off than most states"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "It doesn’t matter that the Great Recession may technically be over. For millions of American families facing foreclosure and unemployment, the figures showing nascent GDP growth are of little comfort. Florida is worse off than most states, with an 11 percent unemployment rate that translates into more than a million people out of a job. The state also ranks fourth in the nation in the proportion of households in foreclosure." "More help on economy needed".

    Biden in PBC

    "Vice President Joe Biden will travel Thursday afternoon to Palm Beach County for a Democratic National Committee event in Boca Raton, the White House announced tonight." "Biden headed to Palm Beach".

    "Concocting real-estate scams"

    Mike Thomas: "Developers have unlimited imagination when it comes to concocting real-estate scams." "Nothing 'new' here — just same old sprawl".

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