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 Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Democrats have a conscience"

    "While he may be making Republicans sick, Rep. Alan Grayson's popularity with Democrats isn't dying quickly."
    Neither are his attacks on the GOP.

    The first-term congressman from Orlando who gained instant notoriety by saying Republicans' plan for health care reform is wanting people who get sick to "die quickly" told a wildly enthusiastic crowd of about 2,000 Democrats on Saturday that the GOP should change its name to "The Selfish Party."

    Grayson would have been just another politician if the Florida Democratic Party held its annual convention last month. But Grayson gained national attention for his "die quickly" remarks late last month, and then later for apologizing to the dead and calling the inability to fix the health care system the "holocaust in America."

    And the crowd loved him as he repeated some of his hits on Republicans, calling them knuckle-dragging Neanderthals and nattering nabobs of negativism. He also added to the partisan attacks.

    "If the president has a BLT sandwich tomorrow, the Republicans are going to try to ban bacon," Grayson said. "Well, you can't say no to everything."

    He told the crowd that the difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Democrats have a conscience.
    "Alan Grayson: GOP should change name to "The Selfish Party"".

    "Big Oil's backers in the Legislature couldn't care less"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "It's time legislative leaders stopped pretending they're committed to airing a proposal that would lift the drilling ban off Florida's coast."

    Past time, really, now that the spouse of a lobbyist for the oil industry has been named to head a Senate committee that will help determine whether oil rigs appear five miles off the Gulf's beaches.

    The proposal couldn't be more controversial. Supporters promise drilling's safe and dangle its revenues as a cure for what ails Florida's economy. But a major spill could cripple it, spills are still happening — the rig that blew off the coast of Australia in August released oil spanning more than 5,800 square miles — and tankers, storage facilities and pipelines lining Florida's coast could threaten its wildlife, beaches and bays.

    At minimum, it needs an honest airing. Floridians need proof — and not from the oil industry — that making Florida's coastline resemble Louisiana's won't do it more harm than good.

    But they've yet to get it. And naming Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla to chair the Senate's energy committee, when his wife Claudia represents the oil and gas industry, suggests Big Oil's backers in the Legislature couldn't care less about giving it to them.
    "Rigging offshore drilling".

    Dockery digging in

    "With each passing day, the Republican state senator from Lakeland sounds closer to jumping into the race with both feet, creating a primary within the GOP and potentially causing a lot of headaches for Attorney General Bill McCollum." "If Dockery enters race for governor, expect fireworks".

    Crist speaks

    "Fla. Sen. LeMieux to make GOP radio address".

    "Widely respected" by who?

    David Damron wants you to know that "no matter what the widely respected (but not as well-known) [Dan] Webster decides, Republicans increasingly face the unwelcome prospect of a costly primary to pick off Grayson in 2010."

    The anti-Grayson candidate carousel started spinning early Friday, when Armando Gutierrez Jr., a South Florida real-estate developer who recently moved to Orlando, issued a statement declaring his intent to run. He declined interview requests but plans a public announcement Monday.

    Gutierrez said Grayson's recent take on the GOP's position on health-care reform -- "Don't get sick....and if you do get sick, die quickly" -- prompted his candidacy.

    "The only thing that's going [to] ‘die quickly' is Grayson's political career," his statement said.

    Moments later, Barry Watson, a long-time Central Florida builder of affordable housing, said he was putting a campaign together and could announce his candidacy in the next month.

    By lunch time, CNL Financial Group President Tim Seneff had dropped out of contention. The son of Jim Seneff, CNL's CEO and a major Orlando political fund-raiser, the younger Seneff was expected to bring a fresh face and a fat wallet to the race. But it wasn't in the cards.

    "I believe my foremost responsibility during this season of my life lies here in Orlando serving my wife and young children, our community and CNL's associates," a statement issued by the company quoted him as saying.

    So far, two Grayson challengers have formally filed federal paperwork to run.
    "Waiting for Webster: GOP challenge to Alan Grayson may depend on him".

    Although Webster may be "widely respected" by some knuckle-draggers, some of us are not particularly respectful of this record:
    A conservative Southern Baptist, Webster and his wife, Sandy Jordan of Orlando, home-schooled their six children, guided by the Scripture-based teachings of the ["cult-like"] Institute in Basic Life Principles, a fact that prompted some criticism that Webster's religious views were influencing the public policies of the Legislature. In 1998, he won election to the Florida Senate, where he would become the chief sponsor of legislative attempts to prolong the life of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Pinellas County woman who died in 2005 when her feeding tube was removed following a protracted legal and political fight in the Legislature, Congress and the Florida Supreme Court.
    Do Republicans really think a home-schooling, "conservative Southern Baptist", Terri Schiavo exploiter is the way to beat Grayson? We certainly hope so.

    "Looking downright dreamy"

    "Florida Democrats gather in Orlando this weekend feeling flush with cash, staring at a buffet of open legislative seats and unified behind their strongest gubernatorial candidate since 1998. History suggests the 2010 midterm elections trim the Democratic majorities in Washington. But the timing and electoral map for Florida Democrats are looking downright dreamy." "Florida Democrats confident about 2010 odds, but hurdles loom".

    Greer doth whine too much

    "Sink had eye on expense cuts early".

    Hukill changes mind

    "State Rep. Dorothy Hukill said Friday she has dropped her bid for a congressional seat and will run again in 2010 for the Florida House. Hukill, R-Port Orange, announced this summer she would try to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas in Congressional District 24, which includes parts of Volusia and three other counties." "Hukill drops Senate bid, aims to keep House seat".

    Yaaawwwnnn ...

    "Crist focuses on GOP unity in Reagan Day speech".

    "How special-interest cash taints lawmaking in Florida's Capitol"

    "The web of influence and deceit portrayed in the federal indictment of Broward County fundraising powerhouse Alan Mendelsohn tells the story of how special-interest cash taints lawmaking in Florida's Capitol." "Alan Mendelsohn indictment shows how special-interest cash taints lawmaking in Florida's Capitol".

    Sea cows

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "By announcing this month that they intend to modernize the habitat list, federal officials are acknowledging reality. Scientists know much more about manatees now than they did in 1976, when the list of critical habitat areas was drawn up -- and as a result of a concentrated preservation effort, the species is making a slow climb back to sustainability. Once the state population resumes growth, the threats to the gentle, beloved manatees will also increase -- and thus, it's essential to have a realistic picture of the habitat needed to keep them safe." "Manatee habitat poorly defined".

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