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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, November 07, 2009

Crist not so sunny these days

    Beth Reinhard: "The press release from the Florida Democratic Party called Thursday"
    "Charlie Crist's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.''

    The description also applied to Wednesday. And Tuesday. And Monday. And to the week before that. And to the entire month of October.

    Let's be clear: The governor/would-be U.S. senator from Florida known for his groundbreaking fundraising is stuck in a record-shattering slump.

    The only way things could get worse is if Gennifer Flowers, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the guy who videotaped former Virginia Sen. George Allen making an ethnic slur all showed up at his doorstep in Tallahassee.
    To review,
    Crist will do almost anything to erase the endless television footage of him and the president touting the administration's stimulus plan while sharing a stage and a smile in Fort Myers.

    Since then, the governor has endured an unbelievable string of setbacks. The straw polls he lost at about a dozen local Republican party meetings around the state. The slaps in the face from conservative interest groups like The Cato Institute, the Club for Growth and the Family Research Council. ...

    To make matters worse, three of Crist's top campaign fundraisers -- Palm Beach County businessman Harry Sargeant, Hollywood eye doctor Alan Mendelsohn and most recently, Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Rothstein -- have had embarrassing run-ins with the law in the past year.
    "Suddenly, skies are cloudy for Charlie Crist".

    It could get even worse for Charlie; William March reports that "parallels with the Florida Senate race made the upstate New York battle resonant here."
    Many of the national-level conservatives who backed [NY Conservative Party loser] Hoffman have either endorsed or spoken favorably of Marco Rubio, who's mounting a conservative challenge to Crist in the Florida Republican Senate primary. They include the National Review magazine, Limbaugh, former GOP House leader Dick Armey, the Club for Growth and others.

    Democrats have been eagerly watching and publicizing Rubio's attacks on Crist, thinking Rubio would be easier to beat than Crist.

    "The new ultra-right candidates are scaring even Republicans," said Ana Cruz, a Tampa strategist for Democrat Kendrick Meek in the Florida race. "We saw the ultra-right coalescing around this [New York] candidate – without them, he might not have ever come close."
    "Conservatives still hopeful in Florida despite Democrat win in N.Y.".

    Daniel Ruth: "The rap on Crist by the coterie of spats running the GOP these days is that not only is the governor an empty suit, wrapped in a nonentity, enshrouded by shallowness — but he is a RINO (Republican In Name Only) moderate empty suit."
    This has to be a maddening turn of events for the governor. After years of fending off the perception he was a man of less intellectual substance than a Brazil nut, a gaggle of right-wing harrumphs within his party throw their allegiance to a guy who makes the governor look like William F. Buckley — and it's Charlie Crist who finds himself in political exile?
    Much more here: "Elephants stampede RINOs".

    Meantime, "Crist changes tune on support for Obama’s stimulus". Same old, same old: "Fact check: 3rd Crist campaign spot features Connie Mack, same exaggerations".

    Where is Kosmas?

    Update:"Democrats hold 258 seats in the House and can afford 40 defections and still wind up with 218, a majority if all lawmakers vote. But all 177 Republicans were expected to vote 'no,' and Democratic leaders faced a series of complications trying to seal the needed votes for their complex and controversial legislation that would affect one-sixth of the economy and touch the lives of countless Americans." "Vote on health care may not happen Saturday".

    Congresswoman Kosmas claimed she would issue a statement yesterday on her last moment announcement to vote against HCR. Kosmas to vote no on health care bill.

    There was no statement. You may want to ask her yourself:

    Washington D.C. Office
    238 Cannon HOB
    Washington, D.C. 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-2706
    Fax: (202) 226-6299

    Port Orange Office
    1000 City Center Circle, 2nd Floor
    Port Orange, FL 32129
    Phone: (386) 756-9798
    Fax: (407) 208-1108

    Orlando Office
    12424 Research Parkway, Ste 135
    Orlando, FL 32826
    Phone: (407)-208-1106
    Fax: (407)-208-1108

    Toll free number: 1-877-9-KOSMAS

    At the trough

    "For lawmakers in Tallahassee this week, many big questions remained unresolved, but fundraising for campaigns continued." "Real work, cash hunt collide".

    Rothstein snaps his fingers ...

    "A bank central to the federal fraud investigation into Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Rothstein was ordered by a Broward judge Friday to turn over records to the receiver for Rothstein's embattled law firm."

    The law firm has about $300,000 in its operating account, including $200,000 from a returned check from the Florida Democratic Party.
    And isn't this sweet:
    When [Rothstein] flew to Morocco last week he called Broward Sheriff's Office Lt. David Benjamin to escort him from his car to the airplane at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Benjamin, who is executive officer to Sheriff Al Lamberti -- who Rothstein supported during his campaign last year -- is a longtime friend of Rothstein's, said BSO spokesman Jim Leljedal. ...

    Benjamin was not working that evening and escorted Rothstein as a favor to a friend, not as an off-duty detail. Rothstein did not disclose details of his trip, Leljedal said.
    "Bank ordered to turn over documents for Rothstein case in Broward County".

    Background: "Crist 'entangled with trio of scandals'".

    Not pure

    "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio is emerging as the champion of activists fed up with Republicans who don't stay true to conservative principles. But if those turning against Gov. Charlie Crist are looking for a pure, uncompromising conservative, Rubio's legislative record might give them pause." "Rubio record diverges from campaign rhetoric".

    FEC complaint

    A copy of the FEC complaint against a Crist consultant filed by Tampa Republican Club President Liz Wessel, with some "thoughts on the complaint from Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center". "Federal election complaint against Crist consultant".


    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Letting the Palm Beach County Commission continue to make decisions that shape the Everglades is like letting the Los Alamos (N.M.) County Commission design the nation's nuclear weapons." "Let state shape Everglades".

    Feel free to move to South Carolina

    "Firms critique state on reducing red tape".

    Puff piece

    Adam Smith puffs McCollum this morning: "Bill McCollum is the anti-Crist. As in Charlie Crist. The question is: "

    Will people in Florida be ready for such a jarring transition of styles in the Governor's Office? Or is McCollum the perfect act to follow the tanned and rested one?

    These two Republicans couldn't be more different. Where Crist exudes style, McCollum has substance.

    Crist is half Greek. McCollum is a geek — no sense in finessing it. Crist is tanned. McCollum is bland.

    Crist is a glad-hander. McCollum is glad to talk about the latest book he's reading. It's 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents, about Warren Harding, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and the two Roosevelts.

    Crist is tailor-made for TV with its seven-second attention span. McCollum has C-SPAN written all over him.

    Crist is a populist. (Remember "good riddance" to State Farm?) McCollum is a policy wonk who gives long, nuanced answers.
    "McCollum and Crist are both Republicans, and that's about where similarities stop".

    Anthony Kennedy Shriver who?

    "There's been lots of Buzz lately about Anthony Kennedy Shriver of Miami - son of Sargent and Eunice, brother of Maria - running for Florida governor. We haven't heard back from him, but it sounds like he is very seriously looking at the race." "The next Kennedy generation to challenge Alex Sink?".


    "A landmark environmental group founded by Everglades icon Marjory Stoneman Douglas is closing its Miami office, citing declining membership and donations." "Everglades group closes office".


    "State Sen. Dan Gelber says the proposed anticorruption package he unveiled earlier this week is more vital than ever in light of the Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation of possible fraud by the board that oversees the state pension fund." "Change sought in who oversees state pension funds".

    Related: The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board:

    Candor and transparency are two traits still missing from the state agency that oversees billions of dollars of Florida investments. It turns out the State Board of Administration has been under federal investigation for more than a year into whether its employees may have been collaborating with Wall Street firms that sold the state some $2.3 billion in risky securities before the mortgage market collapsed in late 2007. That should have been fully disclosed to taxpayers and to the local governments that trusted the SBA to invest their money.
    "SBA candor lacking".

    Still the same ...

    "King successor Sen. Thrasher sworn into office".

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