FLORIDA POLITICS
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 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 Wednesday, October 28, 2009

That's our Charlie ...

    "It was a bizarre Tuesday for Charlie Crist."

    He began by burnishing his reputation as being dumb as a box of rocks by saying
    he didn't know where President Barack Obama was in his state Monday. And he laughed off a report suggesting he might be "America's worst governor.'' ...

    On Monday, Forbes.com columnist Reihan Salam began a story on Crist by calling the governor "an extraordinarily gifted politician.'' But things went downhill from there, as the writer called Crist's heavy reliance on stimulus money to balance the state budget a "fiscal nightmare'' and said Crist might be "America's worst governor.''

    What does Crist think of a piece labeling him a "lightweight?''

    "I only weigh 165, so that's true,'' he said. "They have a right to say whatever they want. The First Amendment says so.''
    "That wasn't all:"
    The Washington Post's political blog The Fix is running a highly unscientific poll that nominates Crist as one of six choices for the nation's "most overrated'' governor. So far, Crist is running slightly ahead of Texas Gov. Rick Perry for the "honor,'' based on more than 5,000 votes.

    Earlier Tuesday, Crist rejected the idea of a "public option'' healthcare plan and refused to be pinned down on whether Florida should take advantage of a proposed opt-out provision for states.

    Reminded that through Citizens Property Insurance Corp., he favored a government takeover of Florida's private property insurance market, Crist said: "It is and it isn't.'' Citizens has created more competition in the private market, he said, and rates have dropped by 16 percent on average, and "we've been blessed by not having any hurricanes the last three years.''

    Questioned on the public option subject a second time, Crist said: "I would prefer that it didn't pass on public option. I don't support it.''
    "Gov. Charlie Crist shrugs off criticism".


    Traditional media goes after Grayson

    "The Associated Press is outraged: "'Die quickly' Democrat kicks up new controversy".

    And so is the reliably anti-Grayson Orlando Sentinel: "Alan Grayson apologizes for remarks about woman lobbyist -- but he may have crossed a line".

    Merriam Webster:

    Main Entry: whore
    Pronunciation: \ˈhȯr, ˈhu̇r\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English hore, from Old English hōre; akin to Old Norse hōra whore, hōrr adulterer, Latin carus dear — more at charity
    Date: before 12th century

    1 : a woman who engages in sexual acts for money : prostitute; also : a promiscuous or immoral woman
    2 : a male who engages in sexual acts for money
    3 : a venal or unscrupulous person
    Do you think Grayson meant the lobbyist was a "a woman who engages in sexual acts for money" or "a venal or unscrupulous person"?

    This reminds one of the kerfuffles over the use of the word "niggardly".


    Charlie denies he's lazy

    "Crist: I'm working every day".

    Background: "He takes off about 10 weeks a year".


    "Only Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink ..."

    "The big-money battle between Florida counties and online hotel booking companies reached the apex of state government Tuesday, but there's still no solution in sight. Only Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink expressed an urgency to resolve the long-running dispute." "Cabinet discusses whether online hotel bookers are skirting tax rules".


    "The unenlightened in the state capital"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board:

    As the nation focuses on renewable energy, an army of lobbyists and consultants hired by a secretive oil-drilling group are joining with incoming legislative leaders to push for lifting the ban on drilling in state waters in the gulf. At the Florida Public Service Commission, the staff is inexplicably recommending leaving in place meager energy conservation targets that most utilities already have met. So in the middle of the state Tuesday, the president stood amid solar panels and envisioned a world of electric plug-in cars, smart meters and clean energy. And in Tallahassee, the PSC postponed the vote on a lousy conservation policy.

    Perhaps there is still time for the progressive energy message spreading nationwide to reach the unenlightened in the state capital.
    "Surge from D.C. as state dithers".


    As employees take it in the shorts ...

    "Orange County wants $50 million more for convention center".


    Thank you, Mr. Obama

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "In Florida, we have occasional flashes of futuristic well-being even though our default position tends to be doing things the same way and hoping for a better outcome."

    But ... thanks in large part to Mr. Obama, this may be changing:

    # The $1.2 billion SunRail that would stop at 17 stations, linking DeLand in Volusia County to downtown Orlando and Winter Park to Poinciana in Osceola County, is expected to create 6,700 jobs from its five years of construction— if the Legislature gives it the high sign.

    # The $2.5 billion high-speed rail, which is seeking federal funds, would connect Lakeland, Orlando and Tampa and could mean 23,000 construction-related jobs while stimulating the economy around the stations.

    # Meanwhile, the $152 million DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, the largest photovoltaic solar plant in the U.S., is opening this week on 180 acres north of Arcadia. It's Florida Power & Light's 25-megawatt contribution to the cleanest form of energy generation known, and it too will create thousands of jobs. Those megawatts are enough to power 3,000 homes and, along the way, reduce the need for fossil fuel. When operational, it will continually and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 4,500 cars from the highways every year for the life of the plant.

    # Finally, President Obama on Tuesday dropped a $3.4 billion Smart Energy Grid Investment Grant on Florida, intended to spur energy-saving technologies and create tens of thousands of jobs along the way to getting 20 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2020.
    "Think energy".

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "The news that Florida is getting $200 million in federal stimulus money to create a smart grid couldn't come at a better time. Florida Power & Light is looking to increase rates as a way to pay for bigger projects, like a nuclear power plant, in the future, but conservation and renewable energy sources, like solar, should be at the forefront of energy efficiency." "Smart grid a smart solution". See also "Florida 'smart' power gets a jolt with U.S. funds". Related: "$267 million Florida energy grants leave out USF, Tampa".


    "P" for "pusillanimous"

    Could this wimp - who despite his age and bellicose politics, has managed to avoid putting a boot on the ground in his family's "war on terror" - pick a less courageous time to pad his resume? His Navy Reserve unit is off to fight the non-existent naval foe in Iraq and/or the landlocked Taliban in Afghanistan.

    George P. Bush, or "P" as he's known to some, is thought to be the biggest hope for a fourth generation of Bush family political leaders, with some suggesting that he might run for statewide office in Texas at some point in the next four to eight years. But, as The Daily Beast points out today, any future George P. Bush political ambitions will have to be put on hold as his Navy Reserve unit is set to be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan in the coming weeks.
    "Bush family political heir is shipping off to war". See generally, "Operation Yellow Elephant".


    Another Daddy's little boy

    "Pat Rooney Jr. launches bid for state House".


    RPOFer blather

    "Brown-Waite to Obama: Don't pick up that Peace Prize so fast".


    Leadership?

    "Boyd, Miller stay put on health care".


    Water wars

    "Lawmakers from Georgia, Florida and Alabama are putting new pressure on their governors to start negotiations on resolving a court ruling that could rob Atlanta of its primary water source." "Lawmakers urge governors to start water talks".


    Outa there

    "Trial lawyers’ executive director Scott Carruthers quits over racial mailer".


    Effort to rebuild Haiti on the ropes

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "A political maelstrom is brewing that could destroy the international effort to rebuild Haiti following a series of storms that ravaged the island last year. This menace takes the form of an effort in the Senate to remove Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis, who has managed the government capably in the 14 months since she was appointed by President René Préval." "Playing politics in Haiti".


    Miami

    "It's back to basics for Miami mayoral candidate Tomás Regalado".


    On hold

    "Taking their cue from Gov. Charlie Crist, state regulators agreed Tuesday to postpone ruling on major rate increases for Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy Florida." "Regulators postpone ruling on utility rate increases".


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