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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Dockery makes a RPOFer mess of it

    "Casting herself as a 'fresh face' not connected to what she calls a troubled Republican establishment, state Sen. Paula Dockery of Lakeland jumped into the race for governor Tuesday."
    Dockery's maverick style will attract followers from voters fed up with politics as usual. But her criticism of the state's political culture, largely controlled by her fellow Republicans, may offend party regulars.

    She referred to herself as someone "who is going to clean up the act in Tallahassee'' and said many voters are frustrated with the Republican establishment.

    She also criticized the party for misspending money and misusing American Express cards doled out to party officials and powerful legislators -- details of the expenses have not been made public.

    "What needs to be done is to say, 'Hey, we've made mistakes. Let's lay it all out there. Let's get it in the sunshine. Let's share our credit card reports with you, and let's move on,' '' Dockery said.

    She criticized the Republican Party for "anointing'' McCollum for the GOP nomination for governor and said voters are entitled to a choice without interference from party leaders.
    "GOP senator enters Florida governor's race".

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "State Sen. Paula Dockery's decision to challenge Attorney General Bill McCollum for the GOP gubernatorial nomination may upset the party's elders, but the competition will be good for the Republican rank and file."
    Just look at what former House Speaker Marco Rubio has accomplished in his effort to overtake Gov. Charlie Crist in the Republican U.S. Senate primary. Although Rubio doesn't have Crist's money or name recognition, his challenge is making things interesting.

    The same thing could happen with Dockery.

    She has a long way to go in this campaign. She doesn't have the name recognition of her primary opponent, who has run statewide three times. But neither does she have McCollum's baggage.
    "Competition good for Republicans". See also "McCollum shrugs off GOP opponent Dockery" and "Dockery enters governor's race, vows to change Florida politics".

    Crist has "as much substance as a bowl of Jell-O"

    Scott Maxwell: "After nearly three years of wooing Floridians with doe-eyed gazes and pretty words, residents seem to have finally woken up to the fact that their charmer-in-chief has about as much substance as a bowl of Jell-O."

    Crist is beginning to look like the ER of Florida politics. People still tune in — just not like they used to. The novelty has worn off.

    In trying to explain Crist's decline, I don't think the problem is that he's done much to tick people off.

    It's that he hasn't done much, period.

    The guy is one big ball of feel-good platitudes and namby-pamby catch phrases.

    Even if Crist has vowed to do something you really like, there's a good chance he undermined or later abandoned that vow as well. ...

    The list of things about which Crist talked big but came up short goes on — with property insurance, health care and more.

    And people are finally starting to notice.
    "Crist isn't taking action, but who is?".

    PB Dems give Landrieu the boot

    "Palm Beach County’s Democratic Party has dumped moderate Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu as its keynote speaker for next week’s annual fund-raising dinner because party activists are displeased with Landrieu’s stance on health care." "Palm Beach County Dems’ dumping of health care skeptic Landrieu 'news to us,' her office says". More: "Louisiana Sen. Landrieu out as Democratic keynoter; locals disliked her stance on health care cloture".

    "'New management' mettle"

    The Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "The Public Service Commission can show its 'new management' mettle by establishing new energy efficiency standards. The current standards used by the utilities under the PSC's supervision are far too inadequate and are an impediment to establishing a 'green economy.'" "PSC must set meaningful efficiency standards".

    Rubio emulates Obama

    "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio may bemoan Barack Obama, but not in every area."

    The underdog rival to Gov. Charlie Crist is striving to emulate the small-donor fundraising model that helped propel Obama past another money-raising titan, Hillary Clinton, in the 2008 presidential election.

    A closer look at the Senate candidates' latest campaign finance reports shows Crist has relied so heavily on large donors that his financial advantage over Rubio is less enormous than it might appear.

    The Crist campaign did not respond to questions about its donors, but the Rubio campaign said its average donation so far this year has been $119.
    "Rubio has generated a ton of national publicity since conservative third-party candidate Doug Hoffman knocked liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava out of a congressional special election in upstate New York. Conservative activists and media figures have been casting the Rubio-vs.-Crist contest as the next big fight."

    But this could be the kiss of death, as it was in upstate New York* :
    You've got a down-the-line Reagan conservative in Marco Rubio,'' radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said this week, contrasting him to Crist.
    "Rubio attracting lots of small contributors".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    * Dem "Owens defeated [Conservative] Hoffman despite a voter registration edge of 45,000 for Republicans and big-name endorsements for Hoffman from former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former Republican Sen. Fred Thompson and others." "Democrat wins in N.Y. House race that split GOP".

    For more on this see the Reid Report's "Dede’s revenge: Hoffman concedes in New York 23", and particularly the excellent "News from the Republican Putsch".

    Reid writes that "either a Doug Hoffman win or a Doug Hoffman loss in New York will embolden the teabag brigade to attempt to Scozzafava every 'RINO' they see — starting with Governor Crist. Crist has been derided as a 'loser,' and marked for political death by the RedState storm troopers, who have been at war with the Republican establishment for months over their endorsement of him over nascent fire breathing right winger Marco Rubio."

    TPM: "[T]he big loser as of this moment is Charlie Crist and, potentially, a string of other moderate Republicans angling for 2010 nominations. Already [Monday], folks on the right who were most vocal in pushing Hoffman's candidacy were explicitly pointing to Crist as their next target and seeming genuinely confident they could deny him the Florida GOP senate nomination and hand it to Marco Rubio." "The Big Loser: Charlie Crist".

    More, courtesy of the Reid Report, here and here.

    Knuckle-draggers look South

    The Wall Street Journal: "Conservatives, energized by their role in shaping Tuesday's New York congressional election, have set Florida in their sights as the big battleground for 2010."

    That state's Republican Senate primary in August is emerging as a focal point in the wider debate over the future course of the Republican Party. ...

    Taking down Mr. Crist in Florida, who only last year was considered a potential running mate for Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, would be an achievement for the conservative movement. Mr. Crist, who enjoys substantial advantages in money and voter recognition, appears to be responding by stressing in new radio ads his conservative positions on government spending and taxes.

    New polling shows Mr. Crist could be vulnerable, with Mr. Rubio rising in Quinnipiac University surveys from single digits last year to 35% among GOP voters, 15 points behind the governor.

    The Club for Growth has been studying the Florida Senate race for months and is weeks away from deciding on whether to begin airing anti-Crist TV ads -- a decision that could shrink the governor's big money advantage. The group reported Tuesday that its members poured $1 million into the New York congressional race in support of Mr. Hoffman.

    FreedomWorks, a conservative group led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, has identified the Florida race as the conservative movement's biggest primary prize of 2010. It is laying plans to marshal thousands of volunteers to target GOP voters with charts contrasting Messrs. Crist and Rubio on fiscal issues.

    "If you take a look at the people who are committed in that race, it's the same cast of characters, all the Republican establishment that haven't spent a great deal of time on the ground in the state," Mr. Armey said.

    Grover Norquist, head of the group Americans for Tax Reform, said, "You're going to see a whole bunch of energy, and it gets directed toward Rubio."
    "Crist Faces Test From Right in Bid for Senate" (via "What does GOP butt-kicking* mean for Crist v. Rubio?").

    Billy holds a press conference

    "McCollum says Expedia, Orbitz cheated state, local governments out of tax revenue". See also "Internet travel companies are being sued by Fla.".

    Zell speaks

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Prepare yourself for the biggest sale to hit Central Florida in a generation — one liable to overwhelm you by the sheer number of choices put before you."

    Candidates mustn't pretend to be something they're not. Those doing so insult voters who know better. But candidates often do it anyway. Take Florida's centrist governor, Charlie Crist, who's busily trying to recast himself as Jeb Bush in preparation for the Republican primary. Come on. He's bashing runaway federal spending — and ignoring President Obama when he visits Florida — when in February he praised the president and his stimulus package?

    Candidates should put pragmatism before partisanship. Single-mindedness and blind obedience to one's party guarantees gridlock in government, but it's the path Mr. Crist's opponent in the Republican primary often takes. Marco Rubio talks not about compromise but of "standing up" to President Obama on his approach to stimulating the economy, insurance reform and energy policy. Compromise, to Mr. Rubio, is anathema.
    And get these fine words from Al Zell's employees, who stood idly by for decades as Reaganite stooges populated the central Florida Congressional delegation:
    Most members of Congress manage to hold onto their seats as well as Tom Brady's receivers hold onto his passes. But some let go of them, as could Rep. Alan Grayson if enough of his constituents tire of his Darth Vader routine. His office vows he'll use the dark side against anyone running against him. They deserve an honest debate instead. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, meanwhile, didn't do herself or her constituents any favors when she failed to take firm positions on health care during a recent forum. Public service isn't an entitlement. Those wanting to do it well must work at it.
    "The coming election".


    "Crist, Rooney, state Dems and GOP pledge to return Rothstein contributions". More: "Rooney returns Rothstein contrib but not wife’s; Dem challenger calls it 'shameful'".

    HD 57

    "Stacy Frank has filed to run for the District 57 state House seat currently held by Republican Faye Culp. Frank joins a Democratic primary against Clifford Somers, but she'll be the best-known of the two candidates - she's a longtime lawyer and the daughter of Clerk of Court and longtime prominent political figure Pat Frank and retired appeals court Judge Richard Frank." "Frank joins state District 57 House race".


    "Democratic plans in the U.S. Senate and House would expand the number of people on the Florida Medicaid program from 2.7 million to more than 4 million, a new report by the Agency for Health Care Administration says. The federal-state program provides health coverage to the disabled and poor."

    Fortunately, Florida's got this genius - who surely has great HCR ideas of his own - representing it in DC:

    "It's nowhere near affordable - we're talking about a billion dollars, potentially," said Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples. "It's an unrealistic expectation and burden to place on the states."
    "Health care overhaul could cost Florida $1 billion a year".

    Get a life

    "'When the Republican Party threw Sarah Palin under the bus, I knew they just did not have the soul they used to,' said McKain, who is running to replace U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, D – Monticello." "Whig candidate running for Boyd’s seat".

    "Florida leaders backing the wrong horse in gaming debate"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Key leaders in the Florida Legislature have been doing everything in their power to stonewall a casino accord between the state and Seminole leaders. It's time they folded. The tribe holds all the cards in this game and Florida can't afford to leave millions of dollars on the table." "Taking a chance".

    Related: The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Making a mockery of their own anti-gambling rhetoric, lawmakers continue to look the other way while storefront cyber-cafes, which offer rows of Internet terminals that strongly resemble slot machines, proliferate across Florida." "Storefront operations deserve attention"

    Going Local

    "Foster elected St. Petersburg mayor" (The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "St. Pete voters chose steady progress" and Troxler: "Victory represents the status quo, columnist says"), "St. Pete elects first openly gay council member", "Miami Beach mayor coasts to reelection; commission races head for runoff"; "Hialeah mayor, 2 City Council incumbents easily reelected" and "Voters elect officials in 3 Volusia cities".

    Who writes these headlines?

    GOP press releases are transformed into headlines at the Orlando Sentinel: "Republicans sweep governor races in Virginia, New Jersey _ troubling sign for Dems, Obama".

    Here's a troubling sign, buried in the story: "Democrat Bill Owens captured a GOP-held vacant 23rd Congressional District seat in New York in a race that highlighted fissures in the Republican Party and illustrated hurdles the GOP could face in capitalizing on any voter discontent with Obama and Democrats next fall.".


    "Miami voters demanded a breather from eight years of fast-paced development Tuesday, ushering in Tomás Regalado as mayor on a wave of support from residents who said they were tired of uncontrolled growth and unchecked spending." "Regalado wins Miami mayoral race".

    Getting ya' coming and going

    "Miami-Dade officials are proceeding with a plan to install slot machines at the airport. Commissioners voted Tuesday to apply for a permit, despite staunch opposition from local casinos and race tracks and the long odds it would be approved in Tallahassee." "Officials seek slot machines at Miami airport".

<< Home