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."

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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 Monday, November 16, 2009

Sink supports gay adoption

    "Alex Sink, Florida's chief financial officer and the leading Democratic candidate for governor,"
    told the state's largest gay rights group Sunday that homosexuals should be allowed to adopt if it's in the children's "best interest.''

    Florida is the only state with an outright ban on adoption by lesbians and gay men. Sink said it should be up to a judge to determine whether it's in a child's best interest to be adopted, on a case-by-case basis. ...

    The issue offers a contrast between Sink and the Republican front-runner for governor, Attorney General Bill McCollum, whose office is defending the state's ban on gay adoption. A state appeals court is weighing the case of a North Miami gay man seeking to adopt his two foster children.

    Sink's speech at the Equality Florida fundraiser comes as she tries to chart a politically moderate path to the governor's mansion in 2010. She denied the crowd an obvious opportunity to applaud by using legal jargon about the ``best interest of the child'' instead of calling for an outright repeal of the state law.
    "Sink backs adoption by gays, lesbians".

    Defined contribution scam just won't go away

    Bill Cotterell: "Under Fasano's 91-page bill (SB 660), all new employees would have to join the defined contribution plan after Jan. 1, 2011. All current Florida Retirement System members, whether they work for the state or one of the hundreds of school boards and local governmental units whose pension funds are invested by the State Board of Administration, would still be guaranteed their regular pension benefits." "Fasano says goodbye pensions, hello savings".

    Tiny steps ...

    "Florida's constant search for more money could mean a tougher approach to businesses that fail to file annual reports on time."

    By law, the 1.2 million corporations in Florida must file an annual report with the state, which can charge a $400 fine on every company that skips the May 1 filing deadline. The state, however, must waive the fine for most businesses if the company says it never got a reminder notice to submit a report.

    Last year, 136,400 businesses requested a waiver. ...

    Browning suggests lowering the fine to $200, but making it mandatory. That could result in an additional $30 million a year flowing into the state treasury, which would be a small boost at a time when the state is facing another shortfall of more than $2 billion.

    The state also charges $600 to reinstate a corporation after it has been dissolved, for various reasons. But the same waiver provision applies to reinstatement, and 45,000 companies last year sought a waiver. Browning wants to reduce the reinstatement fee to $300 and make it mandatory, which he estimates could generate an additional $14 million a year in revenue, for a total of $44 million.
    "Florida may crack down on corporate fees".

    Surface water pollution standards

    "A judge is considering objections to an agreement by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to set surface water pollution standards for Florida." "Judge hears objections to Fla. pollution agreement".

    Yaawwnnn ...

    "Taking a cue from President Barack Obama's successful campaign, and from their children and grandchildren, elected officials and candidates are increasingly harnessing the popular social networking tools to drive home campaign platforms and reach voters." "Campaigns tap Twitter, Facebook".

    "A bad joke that ... shows no signs of ebbing"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "In July, we added this side-splitting entry to Florida's Big Book of Water Conservation Jokes: the South Florida Water Management District's plan to impose thrice-weekly lawn irrigation restrictions."

    Whoa. Talk about tough. And the fear that hard-as-nails restriction must have struck in the hearts of the millions of residents in the district who water their lawns just once or twice a week.

    It ranked right up there with this supreme laugher from the St. Johns River Water Management District. Perched on its soapbox, the District tells everyone that they need to conserve. Then it delivers this punch line: "Everyone" doesn't mean the California-based Niagara Bottling company. It gets to take nearly 500,000 gallons a day from the aquifer.

    Why does it get to? Because Niagara asked; because the District said it could. Funny.

    Seminole County asked, too, and got to pump 5 million gallons a day from the St. Johns River. Ha. To add to the laughter, Seminole County then sued the nearest straight man, the St. Johns Riverkeeper advocacy group, which had labored to block the water withdrawal. "Pay our $1.4 million in legal expenses,' said the county. Funny.

    Only the continuing mockery of the importance of conserving Florida's dwindling water supply is a bad joke that needs to end, though it shows no signs of ebbing.
    "Water folly in S. Florida".

    RPOFer pusillanimity

    "Few targets in the country are more appealing to Republicans than freshman U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando. Not only does he represent a district that could easily swing to the GOP, but the flamboyant freshman Democrat has spent much of his first year attacking Republicans on health care."

    Yet with less than a year before Election Day, GOP leaders still find themselves without an experienced contender even as Grayson is parlaying his heated partisan rhetoric into national media time -- and money. An appeal on his campaign Web site has raised nearly $530,000 in the past month, according to the Web site.
    "So far, no big name for GOP to fight Grayson".

    A Walmart thing

    "Arrest at Walmart leads to charges of racism".

    Even the Trib ...

    Even The Tampa Tribune editorial board believes "Juvenile lifers deserve second look".

    Cuba cash

    "Supporters of the U.S. embargo against Cuba have contributed almost $11 million to members of Congress since 2004 in a largely successful effort to block efforts to weaken sanctions against the island, a new report shows."

    In several cases, according to the report by the nonpartisan group Public Campaign, members of Congress who had supported easing sanctions against Cuba changed their positions -- and then got donations from the U.S.-Cuba Democracy Political Action Committee and its donors.

    All told, the political action committee that champions the embargo and its contributors have given $10.77 million nationwide to almost 400 candidates and members of Congress, the report says.

    The contributions include more than $850,000 to 53 House Democrats who earlier this month sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposing any change to U.S.-Cuba policy. The average signer, the report says, received $16,344.

    The top five recipients of the cash: Miami's three Cuban-American Republican members of Congress; 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain; and New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, whose parents fled Cuba before his birth.
    "Money affects Cuba policy".

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