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 30, 2009

Young under ethics investigation

    "About half the members of the House subcommittee in control of Pentagon spending are under investigation by the House ethics committee and the Office of Congressional Ethics, a new investigative arm of Congress, for possibly accepting contributions or other items of value from the PMA Group in exchange for official acts", including the ranking member, Florida's own, Republican "C.W. Bill Young". "Under Scrutiny". See also "Congressional ethics report leaked, reveals names".

    RPOFer AG slugfest

    "Former state Health Secretary Holly Benson made official Thursday her run for Florida attorney general, pitting herself against Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp in the Republican primary next fall." "GOP adds Holly Benson to Florida attorney general race". More: "Benson enters GOP attorney general race".

    Bought and paid for

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "University of Florida scientists omitted a key fact when they weighed into the debate several local governments are having about whether to ban fertilizer in the rainy summer months. Florida's turf industry not only asked the scientists to intervene but helped pay for research by UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Such duplicity taints the research. UF must require its scientists to play it straight, including telling the public who foots the bill for researchers masquerading as independent." "In this turf war, science loses".

    Biden in town

    "About 150 attended the Miami Beach event, which raised funds for the Democratic National Committee. In the crowd were Miami Police Chief John Timoney, basketball star Isiah Thomas and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. Ticket prices ranged from $1,000 to $10,000." "Biden touts accomplishments in South Florida stops". See also "Biden: Florida economy still in trouble".

    Poor PSC

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board:

    So in this month alone, the Public Service Commission has rejected FPL's request to build a $1.5 billion natural gas pipeline to Martin County, rejected FPL's request to start collecting the rate increase on Jan. 1 even if the commission hadn't acted and rejected the company's request for a December vote. Four of the five commissioners deciding on that $1.2 billion will be appointees of Gov. Crist, who said publicly that he wanted commissioners who would reject the increase. FPL's consolation prize at the moment is a tiny rate increase for the expense of applying to build new nuclear reactors.
    "New score: Crist 4, FPL 1".

    Zell says "jump!" ...

    ... and his "journalists" ask "how high, sir?" "Scott Maxwell: Grayson gets his spankin' — and it's well-deserved".

    Don't forget ...

    John C. Hall, executive director of the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, reminds us that

    Tens of thousands of people are on waiting lists for services the state agencies are supposed to provide but are not. Those include more than 20,000 seniors and more than 18,000 people with developmental disabilities who wait for community services and support. More than 17,000 people wait for substance abuse services, as do close to 400,000 adults and children with mental illness or serious emotional disturbances that need but do not get services. And at least 300,000 children whose families need financial assistance for child care services are not getting any help. ...

    In the end, the governor will make his budget recommendations and the Legislature will appropriate funds as it sees fit. But before they do, they — and the public — should have budgetary information, based on independent judgment, on the programs and services needed by all people in the state. As a result, they will be in a better position to exercise their responsibility to Floridians and make Florida a better state to live in. No one should be afraid of open, honest debate.
    "Don't overlook Florida's needy".

    Entrepreneurs in action

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "Builder's arrest offers lessons, lost promises".

    Florida Forever

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "This week, gubernatorial candidates Alex Sink and Bill McCollum seemed the last people capable of agreeing on anything, given their freewheeling attacks on each other for failing to stop rogue debt collectors from threatening Floridians."

    But there they were on Tuesday, singing a duet on the need for legislators to fund Florida Forever, the state's premier land preservation program. If they can rise above their grudges and ambitions to support the critically important program, so can lawmakers.
    "Forever isn't political".

    "Economy grew at a 3.5 percent pace in the third quarter"

    "Congratulations. The recession is over."

    Uncle Sam (a.k.a. the Department of Commerce) reported Thursday that the economy grew at a 3.5 percent pace in the third quarter, the first positive upswing in 15 months.

    But few are buying the argument that our economic winter has ended, particularly in Florida. Not with rising, double-digit unemployment and surging credit card defaults.
    "Five signs that will signal Florida's recession is ending".

    From the "values" crowd

    "Florida has more vulnerable seacoast areas under construction than any other state".

    Luv 4 sale

    "Former Attorney General Bob Butterworth [a member of the Fort Lauderdale law firm of Atkinson, Diner, Stone, Mankuta & Ploucha] will advise FPL on its controversial request to increase base electric rates 30 percent."

    FPL said Thursday it hired Butterworth for his "advice and feedback'' on the rate case. Butterworth said he initially discussed the idea of working for FPL with Eric Eikenberg, Gov. Charlie Crist's outgoing chief of staff, followed by a meeting two weeks ago in the West Palm Beach office of FPL President Armando Olivera.
    "Crist's spokeswoman Erin Isaac said during Butterworth's conversation with Eikenberg, "
    the ex-attorney general asked if he could be helpful. "Eric [Eikenberg] said anything Butterworth was willing to do in both the rate case and ongoing PSC issues would be greatly appreciated,'' Isaac said in an e-mail.

    FPL issued a statement saying: "Certainly there are some things we would like to have changed about the way in which we approached this case. We recognize that we have not been sufficiently sensitive to perceptions, no matter how sincerely felt, that our proposal was positive and constructive for our customers and the state.''

    Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, an outspoken critic of FPL's request for higher rates, said it looked like the company was trying to buy goodwill.
    "Ex-Attorney General Bob Butterworth to advise FPL on rate case".


    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Both sides of this debate have the attention of many Floridians; but every Floridian has a stake in this debate." "Complex issue". See also "Cash cow or curse? Drilling experts offer familiar promises, warnings" and "Paul Flemming: Two sides are entrenched in oil debate".

    Related: "Australia oil spill fuels debate here".

    End of an era

    "Jai-alai fronton closing after 48 years in Seminole".

    Rail advice

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Charlotte jumped ahead of Tampa in competition for federal funds to build rail transit, but falling behind has its advantages. Leaders of the North Carolina city are generously sharing what they learned in laying an urban train line through a sprawling metropolis in love with the automobile. The most important message is: Built right, trains work." "Rail rival turns teacher".

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