Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Cretul snubs black legislators

    "House leaders stuck today to their schedule for a special legislative session starting on Thursday, despite complaints that it conflicts with a major conference for black legislators."
    House and Senate leaders are calling their members back to the Capitol that morning to begin a special session on state support for commuter rail. House Speaker Larry Cretul has scheduled the first meetings of the session in his chamber even though it conflicts with the National Black Caucus of State Legislators' conference. That long-anticipated event, which will take place this year in Fort Lauderdale, lasts tomorrow through Saturday.

    Senate President Jeff Atwater has delayed most Senate action until next week, but House leaders maintained that their meetings must start this week to keep the rail session on track -- and without pushing it into the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which starts at sundown on Friday.

    House Democratic Leader Franklin Sands blasted the "insensitivity" of the GOP toward the concerns of black House members, all but one of whom are Democrats.
    "Special session delay sought for black legislators conference". See also "UPDATE: Cretul says no way to session delay".

    Daily Rothstein

    "Rothstein pleads not guilty - for now - to racketeering charges in Fort Lauderdale court". See also "Rothstein arrested on racketeering charge".

    Publicity stunt ver. 2.0

    "The Florida Supreme Court said Gov. Charlie Crist's request for a grand jury to investigate political corruption fell short of requirements, so the governor refiled the request." "Court rejects grand jury".

    Time for a press conference

    "Attorney General sues medical equipment firm".

    Yee haw!

    "Prosecutor Pam Bondi of Tampa jumped into the Republican race for attorney general today, saying she has the legal experience needed to be Florida's top attorney. She could be a serious challenger to Republican rivals Jeff Kottkamp and Holly Benson." "Pam Bondi enters state attorney general race".

    "It may be tied up in fancy constitutional arguments ..."

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "It may be tied up in fancy constitutional arguments, but a Florida case before the U.S. Supreme Court today boils down to whether beachfront property owners can keep the public off a sandy strip of paradise." "Florida should win battle over beaches".

    "Atwater is on to something"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Florida Senate President Jeff Atwater is on to something when he argues for shifting the state's transportation network from an obsession with roads to an investment in rail." "Atwater takes over the train". See also "High-speed rail in Fla.? Debate Thursday".

    From the "values" crowd

    "Libraries in danger of closing".

    Why is this man laughing?

    Jim Saunders: "For insurance executives such as Security First President Locke Burt, sending millions of dollars to far-flung companies is simply part of doing business in Florida." "Why a company in Bermuda can raise your rates".

    Brilliant ... a lobbyist

    "The Florida Public Service Commission picked former state senator and Tallahassee lobbyist Curt Kiser to serve as the agency's general counsel Monday, vowing to make a "clean break'' at the embattled agency." "Ex-Dunedin legislator will take job as PSC counsel".


    "While two high-profile Republican candidates battle for headlines in the race for a Florida U.S. Senate seat, Democrat Kendrick Meek has the luxury of building a voter base from the ground up." "Democrat Senate hopeful visits Panhandle".


    "Broward Schools construction chief out".

    What goes around ...

    "President Barack Obama intends to nominate former Tallahassee City Commissioner Allan Katz to serve as ambassador to Portugal." "Obama taps Katz for Portugal post".

    Drooling union haters

    The drooling union haters on the The Orlando Sentinel editorial board sing the same old song: "As expected, Florida's legislative leaders this week called on lawmakers to attend a special session in Tallahassee, where they'll vote on substantially expanding the state's commitment to passenger rail."

    What's surprising — and nerve-racking for backers of SunRail, Tri-Rail and high-speed rail — is that Senate President Jeff Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul called the session even though there don't appear to be enough votes to make the trains run.

    Blame the uncertainty on opposition from the state's labor bosses, who would rather see Floridians unemployed than working in non-union jobs. No wonder Americans are disillusioned with organized labor. ...

    ... the Florida AFL-CIO on Monday branded SunRail as anti-labor.

    And because organized labor holds sway over so many Democrats, South Florida Sens. Dave Aronberg and Ted Deutch also are now on the fence right alongside Mr. Lawson, despite signaling earlier that they were leaning toward backing SunRail. Either is considered a contender for the 21st vote needed to pass the rail legislation.

    Of SunRail, Mr. Aronberg last month said, "I would like to get it done. I think we can get it done."

    It can get done if people like Mr. Aronberg, Mr. Deutch and Mr. Lawson show leadership by staring down the unions if labor continues to take an anti-jobs position in opposing SunRail.

    SunRail is projected to create 6,700 construction jobs. It's needed before federal officials will entertain giving Florida as much as $2.5 billion for a high-speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa. That line would create another 23,000 construction jobs. That's about 30,000 construction jobs between the two lines, many of which could be filled in as little as two months. Quite an Rx for the state's 11.2 percent unemployed.

    But the union says lawmakers need to promise in writing that the jobs of union members working the lines will be protected — even though they get those protections once the state secures money it's expected to get from the Federal Railroad Administration.

    It's galling to think that a few legislators would grovel at the feet of Big Labor instead of standing up for Floridians everywhere.
    "Put Florida to work".

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