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 Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Conservative insurrection in Florida"

    William March: "An increasingly fractious challenge to the Republican Party from its own conservative base could relegate the party to indefinite minority status, some Republicans fear."
    It's showing up in the form of conservative primary challengers against candidates blessed by the party establishment - a strange phenomenon in a party known for tightly controlled, wait-your-turn politics.

    Some Republicans fear the divisive primaries could leave GOP voters divided and dispirited, or push to the party so far right it alienates mainstream voters.

    "If you tried to devise a strategy for destroying the Republican Party in Florida, you couldn't do much better than this," said retired University of South Florida political scientist Darryl Paulson, a Republican and a former Heritage Foundation fellow.

    "The kind of narrow appeal they're offering would almost guarantee Republicans would become the minority party in Florida," Paulson said. ...

    The Florida Democratic Party, considering Rubio easier to beat than Crist, regularly sends out news releases highlighting attacks on Crist by Rubio or by other conservatives.
    "The signs of the conservative insurrection in Florida politics are multiplying:"
    •State Sen. Carey Baker of Eustis, challenging U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam of Bartow in the primary for state agriculture commissioner, casts his race as a conservative "battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party" like Rubio's - even though Putnam has an established conservative reputation.

    •Conservatives, including Rubio backers, have challenged the leadership of state GOP Chairman Jim Greer, a Crist ally.

    •A tea party organizer, Orlando lawyer Fred O'Neal, has formed a political party he says will target Republican state legislators who voted this week for the SunRail project involving a state deal with CSX railway. They back SunRail opponent Sen. Paula Dockery of Lakeland, who is challenging Attorney General Bill McCollum for the GOP nomination for governor.

    •In the wake of a November visit to Florida by rightist talk-show host Glenn Beck, tea party activists inspired by Beck have filed to run in primaries against two of the state's most strongly entrenched GOP Congress members, C.W. Bill Young of St. Petersburg and Ginny Brown-Waite of Brooksville. Neither are known as moderates.
    "GOP infighting shakes party". More from William March: "Proposed GOP 'purity test' out-Reagans Reagan".

    "A drool of rednecks"

    Daniel Ruth: "This is just swell. Just perfect. "

    Florida routinely ranks somewhere between Dogpatch and Haiti when it comes to our educational system, and now a drool of rednecks may well win the opportunity to officially advertise the state's ignorance on yet another specialty license plate. Yee-haw!
    Ruth continues:
    A few days ago a federal judge — and by the way, irony abounds here — ruled in favor of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, allowing the group to pursue a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to permit a "Slavery! It's a Pip!" specialty license plate.

    The Sons of a Parallel Universe sought relief in the courts to have their "Slavery! Yes!" specialty plate after the Florida Legislature refused over the past two years to consider approving the application, motivated perhaps by the idea that it is probably not a good idea when you are trying to attract investment and tourism to be seen as promoting a racist symbol of oppression and violence.
    Much more here: "A license to promote ignorance".

    Entrepreneurs in action

    Jac Wilder VerSteeg: Republican State Rep. Carl Domino "has made it his business to see that the Legislature takes away $20 million it put up this year for one of Mr. [John] Textor's new ventures."

    Other people think that Mr. Textor fairly oozes credibility. As The Post reported last month, key lawmakers helped Mr. Textor bypass normal review procedures in his quest to obtain $20 million from the state to open an animation/computer game studio in St. Lucie County. Meanwhile, honchos in that county and in Port St. Lucie chipped in another $51 million in incentives, including about $20 million in federal stimulus money. In return, Mr. Textor promises to create at least 500 jobs at an average annual salary of almost $65,000.

    Rep. Domino says Mr. Textor has glommed whatever credibility he has from hanging around with the right people — big-time Hollywood producer/director Michael Bay (Transformers), former Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino — and by schmoozing with politicians such as Gov. Crist and Reps. Kevin Ambler, R-Tampa, and David Rivera, R-Miami. Those three helped Mr. Textor bypass the usual state reviews; he helped them with fund-raisers.

    The documents Mr. Textor used to persuade legislators of his credibility are not yet public. State law allows — requires, actually — a period of confidentiality, so more businesses will feel comfortable applying for economic development aid.

    Rep. Domino also says that Mr. Textor is coasting on the reputation of businesses that he either is not actually affiliated with or which had their successes before his affiliation. Rep. Domino says he has seen no evidence that Mr. Textor ever has created the kind of jobs he's promising now.
    The rest of the story: "Motive doesn't matter".

    After all, he is black

    What is it with West central-Florida? Background: "Derrick Brooks for state Senate?" Related: "'After All, He Is Black'".

    At the federal trough

    "Florida lawmakers invested in commuter rail this week, believing the support would help the state win a slice of federal stimulus money set aside for rail projects. But the competition is stiff." "Florida, others battle for federal rail grants".

    Reflected glory

    "Crist will hit the road next week amid much fanfare on a multi-media-market bill-signing tour."

    Is this a bold, progressive and long overdue vision?

    Or is it a wildly expensive boondoggle — the ground transportation version of the Cross-Florida Barge Canal?

    Time will tell. But if rail becomes a reality, one of the people who deserves a share of the credit is an obscure second-term state representative from Cape Coral named Gary Aubuchon.
    "Aubuchon — the Florida lawmaker who helped keep rail on track".

    Judge Steven Leifman, "hero"

    Fred Grimm: "It shouldn't require a hero to fix this."

    Judge Steven Leifman certainly qualifies for the appellation, leading (or, more accurately, dragging) Miami-Dade away from ineffective, costly, cruel policies that turned the Miami-Dade County jail into the nation's second-largest mental-health ward (after the Los Angeles County Jail).

    Judge Leifman spoke at a symposium Wednesday morning about considerable progress that Miami-Dade has made these past few years, diverting the mentally ill, many of them serial recidivists, out of the criminal justice system.
    "Justice for mentally ill must evolve".

    Daily Rothstein

    "The disbarred Fort Lauderdale attorney faces another accusation of fraud, this time -- for legal malpractice against a high-profile car dealer." "Car dealer Ed Morse sues Scott Rothstein for malpractice". More: "Scott Rothstein, former partners sued for legal malpractice".

    Award for Teaching Excellence from the Florida Education Association

    "Fla.'s teacher of the year started on 'Miami Vice'".

    "Just what is a Haridopolos?"

    Bill Cotterell puffs a little Haridopolos this morning: "Senate Republican caucuses are well-scripted testimonials, and the Merritt Island lawmaker’s installation last week as the chamber’s next leader had the customary effusive flattery from fellow members and aw-shucks humility from the man whose name was spoken 24 times when the roll was called."

    A Haridopolos is a son, husband, father, Christian and politician who wants to restore the values of Ronald Reagan to Florida government, he said with a big smile never leaving his face. ...

    This is a man who named his youngest daughter Reagan.
    "Haridopolos the 'Energizer bunny of Florida politics'".


    "Manatees dying at a record pace".

    "Facebook Turns Unfriendly"

    "Florida's judges and lawyers should no longer 'friend' each other on Facebook, the popular social networking site, according to a ruling from the state's Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee." "Facebook Turns Unfriendly For Florida Judges, Lawyers".

    Sounds like a plan

    "The Florida high court has been asked to launch an investigation into why several people have been wrongfully convicted in the state." "Petition calls for creation of Florida innocence review board". See also "Petition notes 11 convictions reversed through DNA testing".

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