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 Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Crist a "dead Floridian walking"

    Mike Thomas: "The ballots are in for the 2010 Dead Floridian Walking award, bestowed on the politician set up to take the biggest fall in 2010."
    The runner-up is … Gov. Charlie Crist! He is the man who, against all odds, will not be Sen. Charlie Crist.

    The man who couldn't make property taxes drop like a rock sure pulled off that trick when it came to his approval ratings. They've dropped like a boulder, making Marco Rubio, the baby-faced neo-con from South Florida, the growing favorite to win the Republican primary.

    Don't blame this on the birthers, deathers and tea-baggers. Every one of Charlie's initiatives, from property insurance to property taxes, from global warming to health care, has floundered or failed. And now even the mainstream media has caught on, ending its love affair with its favorite Republican.

    Making matters worse, Charlie may have boxed himself out of a do-over race in 2012 against Bill Nelson. He appointed his best pal and political mastermind, George LeMieux, to the Senate. The idea was for Charlie to win this year and set up George to run against Nelson. And the two would live happily ever after in D.C., Charlie raising money and George telling him how to vote.
    "2010's Dead Floridian Walking is ..." (the winner is the Democrat Thomas loves to hate: Buddy Dyer).

    Greer on the ropes

    Adam C Smith: "As pressure builds for him to step down as chairman of the Florida Republican party, Jim Greer announced Monday that the party raised a hefty $4.5 million in the final three months of 2009."

    Details including where the money came from and how much has been spent will not be available until next week.

    Party leaders are scheduled to meet in Orlando on Saturday to consider pushing Greer out, and another broadside against the controversial chairman came Monday from nine Republican former legislative leaders.

    While some critics hope Greer will step aside quietly before the weekend, there is no certainty that he will lose his position, particularly as Gov. Charlie Crist has continued to stand firmly behind him. A spokeswoman for Crist's U.S. Senate campaign said nothing had changed.

    One scenario being circulated among Greer critics is for him to survive this weekend, in a face-saving favor to Gov. Charlie Crist, with an understanding that he will step down in a month or two to work on Crist's U.S. Senate campaign.
    "Donations up, troubled GOP chief says".

    Bill Cotterell: "Nine former legislative leaders whose service spans the Florida Republican Party's rise to power bluntly demanded GOP Chairman Jim Greer's resignation Monday. "
    A similar edict is coming from former Senate leaders, unless Greer steps aside before a critical annual GOP meeting in Orlando on Friday and Saturday. Last week, 12 major political fundraisers said they have lost confidence in the chairman and a petition signed by dozens of GOP state committee members a week earlier called for a vote on removing him at the party's annual meeting.
    Much more here: "More GOP lawmakers want Greer out as boss". Related: "Letter to Greer from Ronald R. Richmond".


    "Fla. population shrinking or expanding? Not even movers or demographers agree on stats".

    Business groups whine

    "Florida businesses are being hit by a sharp increase in unemployment compensation taxes coming due just as many of them are struggling to emerge from the Great Recession."

    Business groups say the increases, which come due April 30, are a blow to companies fighting for their survival as well as an obstacle for those considering hiring back workers.
    In the meantime,
    labor groups contend Florida's deficit is not as large [as other states] because the state's unemployment benefits are not as generous as states such as California and New York. Legislation to expand those benefits failed to pass last year in the [AIF/RPOF/Chamber controlled] Legislature.
    "Steep rise in jobless tax hitting Florida businesses".

    SD 2

    "Florida’s Senate leaders, Niceville’s Don Gaetz among them, are poised to endorse state Rep. Greg Evers as their choice to succeed Durell Peaden. Peaden, R-Crestview, will step down from his District 2 seat after the 2010 legislative session because of term limits. He has served 10 years." "GOP leaders ready to endorse Evers in Senate race".

    However, "Critics take aim at GOP endorsement of Evers": "State Sen. Don Gaetz’s decision to name Greg Evers as his choice to join him in the Florida Legislature’s upper chamber in 2010 has been greeted with some skepticism."

    "A big victory for U.S. Sugar"

    "If there was any doubt that U.S. Sugar Corp. was worth as much as its brass claimed, those doubts dissipated in June 2008 when Gov. Charlie Crist unveiled his extraordinary, $1.75 billion bid to buy the company and its land to restore the Everglades."

    Besides thrilling environmentalists and gusting Crist's political sails, the state's blockbuster buyout offer had a less-noticed effect: It torpedoed the central argument of the lawsuit that about 5,000 employees had filed against the behemoth sugar producer five months earlier.

    Two years after the suit was filed, a federal judge on Monday approved a $15.9 million settlement in what amounts to a big victory for U.S. Sugar.

    The suit had originally sought $150 million.

    The attorneys say they cannot discuss how they arrived at the figure because of confidentiality agreements. But they did say that the deciding factor was the size of the state's buyout offer.

    The employees, who invested in the company through an employee stock ownership plan, alleged in the lawsuit that U.S. Sugar robbed them by concealing a lucrative, $293-per-share buyout offer made in 2005 and renewed in 2007, while at the same time cashing retiring employees out of their shares for about $200 per share.
    "U.S. Sugar shareholder suit ends in $15.9M settlement".

    Regulators give green light

    "Florida Peninsula Holdings has won approval from state regulators to acquire Edison Insurance Group, which operates two property insurers with more than 25,000 policies." "Insurance firm acquiring two others".

    The name thing

    William March: "Is she Janet Cruz or Janet Rifkin? Or maybe Janet Gonzalez?"

    Janet Cruz is the front-runner in the special election to replace state Rep. Mike Scionti in state House District 58 in heavily Hispanic West Tampa and Town 'N Country.

    But for the past six years, she has been known as Janet Rifkin.
    "State House candidate runs on former name".

    "State emergency official resigned Monday in a swirl of accusations"

    "The man in charge of disaster preparedness for the state abruptly resigned Monday amid allegations from his own employees that he discriminated against female staffers, overstated department travel savings and made improper purchases with his state taxpayer-funded credit card." "Disaster-preparedness official quits". See also "Florida emergency managament director resigns against will" and "State emergency management chief resigns".


    The Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "About time smoking curbed at Florida colleges".

    "Wave of corruption cases in Broward County"

    "Next Sunday, The Miami Herald will publish a detailed examination of why there has been a wave of corruption cases in Broward County." "Share your views on 2009 corruption cases in South Florida".

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