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 Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Winners in this GOP comedy routine are the Democrats"

    The Sun Sentinel's ditzy Kingsley Guy: "Rubio apparently has closed the gap in the race for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate seat. A recent Rasmussen poll has Gov. Charlie Crist and former House Speaker Rubio neck-and-neck in their quests for the nomination, with each attracting 43 percent of likely Republican voters."
    The public backlash over federal bailouts and a $1.4 trillion deficit, however, has hurt Crist, and his efforts at spin have been disastrous. He even told viewers of CNN recently that he didn't endorse the stimulus, which is hard to square with his appearance in Tampa with Barack Obama in support of it.

    For his part, Rubio recently told a Tampa television station that, despite all of his criticism, he would have accepted the federal money, or at least most of it, but that he wouldn't have hugged Obama as Crist did. I guess that means Crist's support wasn't all that bad after all.

    The big winners in this GOP comedy routine are the Democrats, who justifiably criticize both Crist and Rubio for flip-flopping.
    "Here's some advice for both candidates:"
    Forget the past, and cast the debate forward. Advocate a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Get behind a proposal for an independent panel to address budgetary and entitlement reform, with its recommendations given to Congress for an up or down vote. Back a strong defense, but insist the nation begin to wind down its unsustainable defense and aid commitments to other countries so it can get its own economic house in order.

    In 1994, Newt Gingrich engineered a political shift of tectonic proportions through the Contract with America. The contract stressed economic and government reform, but Gingrich insisted it leave out social issues such as prayer in public schools.

    Republican candidates should copy Gingrich's game plan. The surest way for the GOP to blow its momentum is for it to engineer another Terri Schiavo escapade, or in any way look as if it wants to turn the United States into a theocracy.
    "2010 election: Rubio's rise shows concern among voters".

    Evil "union bosses"

    "Former Broward union boss to leave prison in May".

    Charlie's latest

    Aaron Deslatte: "Crist's campaign is finding it increasingly necessary to blast Washington in order to protect his right flank from GOP rival Marco Rubio, whom polls show is now neck-and-neck with the once-unbeatable Crist." "Can it be? Charlie Crist, Marco Rubio agree bill raises taxes".

    Imagine that

    "States that have already broadly expanded health care coverage are pushing back against the Senate overhaul bill, arguing that it unfairly penalizes them in favor of states that have done little or nothing to extend benefits to the uninsured." "States With Expanded Health Coverage Fight Bill".

    Mercado to take on Cannon and "the culture of corruption"

    "Conventional wisdom says the likelihood of successfully taking on the speaker-designate of the Florida House — especially someone with the fund-raising abilities of Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park — ranges from poor to … you get the picture. But that's not stopping Amy Mercado. The Democrat and Hispanic activist has picked up the endorsement of U.S. Rep. (and U.S. Senate candidate) Kendrick Meek of Miami and promises a vigorous campaign against 'the culture of corruption' in Tallahassee. " "Cannon faces challenge".

    Do you tip your hotel housekeeper?

    "Of all the workers travelers encounter, hotel maids are most likely to be stiffed at tip time."

    Often unseen by guests, they are known only by the crisp pillows they plump or fluffy towels they hang.

    "Sometimes they slip under the radar, but they are incredibly deserving," says Dan Post Senning of the Emily Post Institute in Burlington, Vt. "They deserve a tip of $1 to $3 a day."
    Even the most seasoned travelers ignore those people that do the dirty work.

    Here's how: "because the maid who cleans your room might be different each day ... leave a tip daily, Senning says. Leave it on the pillow or on a table with a note. 'Be really clear. Don't leave loose change on the bedside table,' he says. 'And if you make a real mess, leave a little more.'"

    So, don't be a putz, tip your housekeeper, and the rest of those people who serve us when we travel - follow these rules:
    Hotel maid: $2-$5 per day, left daily

    Bellhop: $2 first bag, $1 per additional bag

    Skycap: $2 first bag; $1 per additional bag

    Doorman: $1-$2 for carrying luggage or hailing a cab

    Concierge: $5-$10 if they get you tickets or reservations

    Taxi driver: 15 percent plus $1-$2 if they help with your bags

    Room service waiter: 15 percent

    Private excursion or tour guides: 10-15 percent

    Group tour guide or driver: $2 daily

    Airport or hotel shuttle drivers: $1-$2
    "Hotel maids don't exactly clean up on tips".

    If "government is the problem", why not resign?

    The Tallahassee Democrat editors: "Both Mr. Cannon and Mr. Haridopolos have said they want bipartisan participation. That would be ideal, if a bit hard to finesse in an election year."

    The two men, in a My View published in Wednesday's Democrat, curiously paraphrase Ronald Reagan, saying "government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem."

    As government leaders, they do have to be part of the solution. But to date the Florida Legislature hasn't been able to agree on the worth of federal stimulus dollars — even though government construction has been about the only game around for the last year.

    When the stimulus dollars run out, what then? This is the great conundrum, and one that will take a sincere commitment on the part of all players to keep their eye on the ball — that 600-pound elephant in the room that's looking for a gig, not their next election.

    We hope they can rise to the calling of bipartisan problem-solving far better than they have in the past. Florida has never needed it more.
    "Job creation must transcend ideology".

    Sentinel goes after Grayson (again)

    Alleged journalist Jane Healy does the RPOF's bidding (yet again): "It's hard to pick this year's most outrageous Florida politicians. The competition is stiff."

    U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson. What exactly is wrong with this man? Before he assumed office last January, representing much of Orange and Lake counties, he had earned a reputation as an arrogant bully.

    But a lot of candidates act like that in a campaign, only to be brought back to earth when they reach the hallowed halls of the U.S. Capitol. Sorry, but not in this case. Grayson even seemed to have upped the ante.

    By now everyone should be familiar with his antics surrounding the health care bill, in which he said the Republicans' plan is for sick people to "die quickly." That is, anyone watching cable TV talk shows. Grayson lunged from one to another, with the hosts all too happy to have a congressman who would shoot from the hip at the slightest provocation.

    He became too much even for them, though, when he called a female lobbyist turned Federal Reserve official a "K Street whore."

    But Grayson's latest foray into the public eye may be the worst. He is trying to get jail time for a Republican Lake County activist* who has created a Web site called mycon gressmanisnuts.com. It's parodying Grayson's Web site called congressmanwithguts.

    Grayson has asked the U.S. attorney general to investigate the woman who started it*, and accuses her of lying because she doesn't live in his district. This sounds like a man with too much time on his hands.

    With his Harvard law degree, doesn't he know that parody is famously protected by the First Amendment? Can't wait to see what he cooks up next year.
    "3 most outrageous politicians of the year".

    To create the impression of "balance", Healy follows her hot piece on Grayson with a couple of tepid shots at RPOFers former state House Speaker Ray Sansom and Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp.

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *Conveniently lost in the mix is the fact that the poor lil "Lake County activist" is one "Ms. Langley, a business development consultant [who] said the PAC is not affiliated with a political party and is not backing any candidates. She is not new to politics, however, having previously served as chairman of the Lake County Republican Party." Thanks to the right-wing Washington Times for those words. Wonder if Ms. Langley is related to Lake County's Dick Langley, the former RPOFer state senator? She sure doesn't sound like the courageous "Lake County activist" Healy suggests her to be.

    Yaaawwwnnn ...

    Scott Maxwell: "The 25 Most Powerful People in Central Florida".

    "Crist fumbles" 'Glades restoration

    Mike Thomas: "The world's largest empty swimming pool, a massive 26-square-mile reservoir two years in the making, sits high and dry in the middle of the Everglades, abandoned after taxpayers invested $280 million building it."

    The original intent was to store water that would be used to nourish the nation's most endangered swamp. But last September, the South Florida Water Management District paid the contractor $12 million just to walk away from the job.

    The district blames environmental groups for filing a lawsuit against the project, which is complete rubbish. They supported the reservoir and wanted to see it finished. Their litigation was aimed at ensuring the water in it would go to the Everglades and not farmers. This is clearly documented in court records, correspondence and even a news release put out by the Natural Resources Defense Council when the lawsuit was filed.

    So why blame the environmentalists?

    A more realistic explanation is that the district ran out of money. And the reason for that is Gov. Charlie Crist's intervention in the ongoing Everglades-restoration project.

    In June 2008, Crist announced a blockbuster deal to buy out U.S. Sugar Corp. and use its 187,000 acres of farmland to store and cleanse water in the massive swamp. But it morphed into a sweetheart deal for U.S. Sugar.

    And now it's very much a tossup whether Crist's plans will save the Everglades or doom them.

    This isn't easy for me to write because, as a big Glades guy, I was one of those who showered Charlie with confetti 18 months ago.
    "Crist fumbles chance to revive River of Grass".

    Fire away

    "Florida's 2005 Stand Your Ground law, which broadens a citizen's right to use deadly force, is vexing courts across the state." "Stand your ground law vexing Florida courts".

    Medicare Advantage

    "Seniors worry about Medicare Advantage cuts".

    Speaking out of both sides of her derriere

    "Republican gubernatorial candidate Paula Dockery is taking shots at embattled state GOP Chairman Jim Greer, urging him to 'come clean' and open the party's financial records to the public. But that concern didn't stop the Lakeland state senator from raising coin for the party." "Dockery on both sides of fence?"

    "New rules"

    "New rules to take effect on sinkholes, property taxes".

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