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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, November 06, 2009

"Epic struggle for the soul of the" GOP

    Update: The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza writes this morning that the "new ad being run in Florida by the Club for Growth should send shivers down Gov. Charlie Crist's (R) spine." "Crist and the Club for Growth".

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "For Floridians, the most significant news to emerge from the off-year elections around the country is that the outcome of an obscure congressional race in upstate New York ensures that the Sunshine State will be a key battleground in the 2010 election cycle. Oh, dear."
    As a political bellwether state, Florida's races always draw national attention. But the fight over the Republican nomination for an open seat in the U.S. Senate between Gov. Charlie Crist and former House Speaker Marco Rubio of Miami is shaping up as epic struggle for the soul of the Republican Party ...

    Now the conservatives have set their sights on Florida, where Gov. Crist is deemed to have strayed from the fold of true believers by adopting a moderate stance on such issues as President Obama's stimulus package and efforts to pass climate-change legislation.
    "Florida a battleground state . . . again".

    "Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham was the keynote speaker Thursday at the Alachua County Republican Party's annual fundraiser, but Florida's U.S. Senate race was the main event." "Crist, Rubio spar at local Republican fundraiser".

    Kosmas a "no" on HCR

    "Why Kosmas has decided to vote against the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which was introduced by Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi, was not clear Thursday. Her spokesman said he would have a statement on it this morning." "Kosmas to vote no on health care bill". See also "Orlando-area House Democrat Kosmas opposes health bill".

    Here's The Kosmas campaign site, and facebook page. Her local office numbers are: (386) 756-9798 and (407) 208-1106; Her toll free number: 1-877-9-KOSMAS (1-877-956-7627)

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "On Nov. 4, the Republican leadership in the House presented its alternative."

    The timing is suspect. The content is familiar. It sums up several decades of Republican prescriptions for the consumer end of health care: Do nothing. (The Medicare prescription-drug benefit Congress approved in 2004 looks like the exception until it's revealed for what it's been: a boon to private insurers and Big Pharma.)

    The House Republican proposal, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, would not affect the number of uninsured individuals. There are 47 million people without insurance today. By 2019, under the Republican plan, there would be 52 million. Nor would the proposal improve matters for the insured. It would, however, use federal law to get around state regulations so insurers can operate with less oversight and seek fatter profits across state lines.
    "Just don't call it reform". More: "Republicans' analysis distorts health bill". Related: The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Edge goes to House health care plan".

    Crist will say anything

    Aaron Sharockman: "Last week Crist told reporters he didn't know Obama was traveling in Florida. On Wednesday, Crist told a national television audience he didn't endorse the $787 billion federal stimulus bill pushed by Obama and passed by Congress in February."

    Crist's comments about the stimulus startled conservatives, Democrats, and frankly, us, who all remember things differently. ...

    Let's go back to earlier this year, to see what Crist had to say then. ...
    "Crist did support stimulus plan".

    See also "Crist waffles on support for Obama stimulus plan" and "Crist critics pounce on his denial of supporting stimulus".

    Good luck with that

    "Democrats ask Tampa to apply to host convention".


    "A Republican activist from Tampa has filed a federal complaint against the Charlie Crist for Senate campaign, alleging that it was involved in the creation of an anti-Marco Rubio Web site." "Elections complaint filed against Crist campaign".

    The best they can do?

    "Amid a federal investigation into allegations that Rothstein was running a massive Ponzi scheme, his law partners at Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler invited the media to tour the private office Thursday. A hired PR man and a lawyer portrayed the office's opulence, security and compartmentalized layout as evidence that even the partners were bamboozled by their hard-charging friend and colleague." "Tour of Scott Rothstein's office reveals gallery of who's who".

    The story that keeps on giving: "Former Republican Party finance director lobbied for Rothstein firm in Tallahassee".

    SEC investigates SBA

    The Florida State Board of Administration, the "agency that manages $132 billion in pension and local government investments is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission." "Report: Fla. investment agency under investigation".


    The Miami Herald editorial board: "It's back to the future for Miami-Dade mayors".

    Trib editors and their usual Tea-Bag blather

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board this morning: "During the worst recession in modern times, as workers were enduring pay cuts, losing benefits and being required to take furlough days, the city of Tampa's unions sacrificed ... nothing." "No time for additional perks".

    More Chamber of Commerce pap from the Trib, this time in the guise of "breaking news" - the Trib breathlessly reports that "Canadian couple opt for U.S. health care system".


    "Crist renews call for special session on SunRail project".

    Bought and paid for

    "It wasn’t the double layers of chocolate that had everyone abuzz, nor was there anything particularly special about the white chocolate placards that read: "

    “Happy Birthday, Gov. Charlie Crist. From Scott and Kimberly Rothstein.”

    Rather, the fact that Rothstein paid $52,000 just to have his name there surprised some of the lobbyists and honchos with the biggest special interests in Florida: Florida Crystals, The GEO Group, Mardi Gras Race Track and Casino. They all paid a mere $5,200 each to sponsor just one of the cake’s candles on that beautiful July 24th day in 2008 at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach. Their donation is denoted in the little silver flags that stand by the candles.
    "Crist had Rothstein's cake and ate it, too".

    Volusia County domestic partnership ordinance

    "The Volusia County Council took no action Thursday on a potential domestic partnership ordinance. That was likely because discussion of the issue took a broader course than some expected and some council members said they didn't have enough information to come to a decision." "Council debates partnership law".

    Let the games begin

    "Club for Growth comes after Crist".

    Crist-Rubio race "more divisive than ever"

    "Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer's involvement in Gov. Charlie Crist's U.S. Senate race against Marco Rubio is proving more divisive than ever. The Hillsborough County REC just sent [a] hard-hitting letter, which a Republican forwarded to us, to Greer telling him to cut it out." "Hillsborough Repubs to RPOF chief Greer: Cease and desist". More: "Dinerstein, Republican chiefs tell party boss to back off".

    The response?: "Jim Greer: I will not cease and desist".

    "A passel of promises"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "To end school busing 13 years ago, Orange County district officials made a passel of promises to a federal judge. ... What is now clear, however, is school officials might just as well have made those promises with fingers crossed." "Orange Schools' broken desegregation promises show pattern of mendacity".


    "A House panel rejected a request Thursday from former Speaker Ray Sansom that it suspend its investigation into his conduct while criminal charges against him are still pending." "House will continue inquiry into Sansom".

    Yaaawwwnnn ...

    A "story" we missed the other day: "Jeb Bush endorses McCollum".


    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: federal "stimulus money for education helps in two ways."

    First, it pumps money into the economy much more quickly than the construction projects that will be completed this year and early next year. ...

    Protecting schools from chronic budget cuts is the second benefit from stimulus money. Legislators have cut school spending so much that the state had to get a waiver to obtain the federal money.
    "Find a state stimulus plan".

    Bush crook off the hook?

    "Next week's federal insider trading trial of a major Broward GOP fundraiser with close ties to former President George W. Bush has been called off while a possible settlement deal is worked out."

    Dr. Zachariah P. Zachariah, his physician brother and a third Fort Lauderdale doctor are accused of hauling down more than a half-million dollars in illegal profits during a fraudulent stock trading scheme in 2005.

    A trial on the civil charges that was set for Nov. 9 was cancelled to allow time for the Securities and Exchange Commission to decide whether to accept signed offers of settlement from co-defendants Dr. Mammen P. Zachariah and Dr. Sheldon Nassberg, according to court records.

    The SEC informed the court it also has reached a "memorandum of understanding" with Zach Zachariah, but said it was "unclear" whether the charges against him could be resolved without a trial. None of the agreements are public.
    "Fundraiser's trial called off".

    Never mind

    "Crist sent out a stern letter late Friday night, asking Ubele to pull a copy of Crist's original form letter from the website."

    "This letter is written to correct an inexcusable mistake made by staff in my office. reflected in a letter of June 30, 2009 regarding the DVD Jud Suss. Unfortunately, that letter was sent by staff prior to any review of the content of the DVD. Subsequently, my staff has reviewed the DVD and advised me of the content.

    "I am now writing to unequivocally advise you that neither I, not anyone in this administration agree with or condone the anti-Semitic content of this DVD. This DVD contains anti-Semitic propaganda filmed in Nazi Germany. It is laden with crude, anti-Semitic stereotypes and was unfortunately used by the Nazi regime to facilitate the Holocaust. The murder of over six million Jews in World War II is an abhorrent but real episode of man's inhumanity to man.

    "I am advised that you have posted by June 30, 2009 letter on your Web site. Since that letter was sent in error and does not reflect my view, I request that you immediately remove it from your Web site, and any other representation therein that I or anyone in my administration agree with or condone the anti-Semitic content of this DVD."
    "Crist to 'pro-white' candidate: 'Thanks for the video!' UPDATED".

    The audacity

    "Exonerated man seeks cash for 27-year sentence".

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