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, January 09, 2010

RPOFers meet in their small tent

    The Latest: "Update: Greer: Future is bright for Florida GOP".

    Bill Cotterell: "Governor Charlie Crist bluntly tried to shed two big image problems -- his hug of President Obama and past support of the $787 billion federal stimulus package -- in a unity party-unity plea Saturday that sounded like a preview of his U.S. Senate campaign theme." "Gov. Crist tries to shed image problems during GOP meeting in Orlando". See also "Gov. Crist is not sorry he backed Obama stimulus". More from Cotterell: "GOP split over Crist, Rubio clear at meeting".

    "Crist was offering no apologies Saturday for standing with President Barack Obama and supporting the federal stimulus package - an event that has haunted him as he seeks a U.S. Senate seat. ... Crist emphatically told GOP activists gathered for the state party's annual meeting that he has no regrets because the stimulus saved jobs, including those of 20,000 Florida teachers." "Fla. Gov. Crist is not sorry he backed stimulus".

    More: "Jim Greer’s ‘weekend of smiles’ and other notes from the Florida Republican annual meeting" and "Fla. GOP to pick new chairman next month".

    The best they can do?

    Beth Reinhard: "It takes moxie to stop the Republican Party of Florida chairman from clearing the field for the sitting governor's U.S. Senate campaign."

    And it takes even more guts to run for the party's top spot when virtually the entire, mostly male political establishment has thrown its weight behind another candidate, former House Speaker John Thrasher.

    Those who know Sharon Day say they aren't surprised, considering that she drives through Democrat-heavy Broward County every election season in a Lexus SUV shrink-wrapped with the Republican ticket's banner. ...

    Day doesn't look grass roots. She's frequently decked out in diamonds and Republican red pant suits. She's been lining up support for a party chair campaign from her high-rise condo in Fort Lauderdale valued at $2.4 million.
    "Gumption fuels Day's quest to lead Florida's GOP". See also "Can Sharon Day raise $40-million for Fla GOP?".

    Crist's "rough start"

    "Talk about a rough start to the new year."

    The ouster of Gov. Charlie Crist's hand-picked Republican party chairman looks like only the start of Crist's problems as he faces a tougher U.S. Senate campaign than he ever expected.

    His emergency management chief quit this week under fire, and his juvenile justice administrator is under investigation for excessive travel. Any day now U.S. Senate rival Marco Rubio is expected to report another improved fundraising quarter.

    And this has to hurt: Republican activists who know Crist best, members of the Pinellas Republican executive committee, are scheduled to hold a "straw poll'' Monday where Rubio is favored to emerge as the preferred U.S. Senate nominee of Crist's home county.
    "Gov. Charlie Crist faces rough road in U.S. Senate race".

    Here's the solution: prayer at the teabag altar: "Is Crist getting more conservative on abortion?" ("Rubio's office this afternoon released a statement calling the governor's statements another "conservative makeover attempt'' by Crist.") See also "Crist seeks 'pro-life' label in Fla. Senate race".

    Welcome to Walmart

    "A central Florida Walmart greeter seen on video getting punched by a customer says he's been fired." "Walmart greeter attacked says he was fired".

    Crist admin corruption pales in comparison to Jeb's

    Steve Bousquet reminds us that "Jeb Bush had major problems with a series of agency chiefs. One faced a grand theft charge. Another was run off after female co-workers complained of sexual harassment."

    Former child welfare Secretary Jerry Regier and two top aides resigned after an inspector general's report found unethical contract practices at the Department of Children and Families, but three subsequent investigations found no laws were violated.

    The worst of the worst, of course, was Bush's prison boss, Corrections Secretary James Crosby, who's still serving time for accepting kickbacks from a prison vendor.

    "Corruption had become a cancer on the department," said Crosby's successor, Jim McDonough, in 2007. "My office was a crime scene, taped off, an indication we had serious problems."

    Nobody is saying things like that about any of Charlie Crist's agency heads. These latest developments look like small potatoes in comparison to the Bush era.
    "Jeb Bush faced bigger staff headaches than those besetting Florida Gov. Charlie Crist".

    As the RPOF grubs for dollars ...

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "The Florida Supreme Court's order last week that lenders and property owners in default attend mediation is an attempt to do what the state and federal government have failed to do: ease the foreclosure crisis." "Foreclosures and Florida: Courts have stepped in where politicians haven't".

    Lawson works it

    "Senate Democratic Leader Al Lawson wants Sen. John Thrasher stripped of two important committee assignments if he is annointed chairman of the state GOP as expected. Lawson asked Senate President Jeff Atwater today to remove Thrasher as chairman of the Ethics and Elections Committee and off the powerful reapportionment committee if he is also chairman of the Republican Party of Florida." "Conflict of interest for Thrasher as Senate elections chairman and head of RPOF?".

    Silly ethics stuff

    "Broward's state legislators are responding to months of attention on government ethics in the aftermath of last year's corruption-related arrests of local officials -- by voting against one proposed new ethics law and postponing action on another." "Broward legislators balk at new ethics law".

    Crist, Rubio want it both ways

    Randy Schultz: "Just as George H.W. Bush in 1988 wanted voters to see Willie Horton's face every time they saw Michael Dukakis, Mr. Rubio wants GOP voters to see President Obama every time they see the governor."

    Specifically, Mr. Rubio wants those voters to see Gov. Crist's embrace of the president 11 months ago in Fort Myers and his support of the stimulus.

    Like Gov. Crist, however, Mr. Rubio wants it both ways. He blasts Congress for "spending money we don't have," but admits that he, too, would have accepted the money if he had been in the Legislature. How does Mr. Rubio explain this inconvenient hypocrisy? Here's what his spokesman, Alex Burgos, e-mailed me ...
    Read it here: "Rubio's not on the money".

    Sansom speaks

    "Former House Speaker Ray Sansom will refuse to testify before a panel of peers investigating his dealings with a Panhandle college, but his voice will be heard anyway."

    A judge ruled Friday that a House prosecutor can use Sansom's testimony before a grand jury investigating similar issues, including a $6 million appropriation for an airplane building that a private developer wanted to use.
    "Ray Sansom's grand jury testimony approved for use in Florida House probe".

    Related: "Ray Sansom prosecutor's actions bring praise, criticism".

    Union bashing, Trib style

    The Tampa Trib editors surprise no one with yet another union hating editorial today: "Voters won't fall for police union's tactics".

    Union bashing, Orlando Sentinel style

    The geniuses who are running the Orlando Sentinel's newspaper business into the ground, are now experts on how the teachers' union should do business: "With millions slashed in successive years from Florida's education budget, Eric Smith's two years as state education commissioner have resembled a captain helming a sinking ship."

    Unfortunately, Mr. Smith has been unable to steer the effort around weak concerns and selfishness from Florida's education union, whose opposition threatens the effort. ...

    Unions must steer past their selfish careerism to help Florida bring much-needed money into Florida's port.
    "Racing to the top".

    These incompetents, who have never had a decent thing to say about any labor organization, let alone the teachers' union, have the balls to dismiss the collective voice of Florida's teachers as "weak concerns and selfishness" and mere "selfish careerism". And they wonder why their core readership has been reduced to wingnuts who home school their kids with Rush Limbaugh playing on the radio in the background.

    The other Tribune Company paper, the Sun-Sentinel, wants you to know that the chairman and CEO for AutoNation Inc., and proud member of that august echo chamber, the Florida Council of 100, has a better idea than the teachers' union.

    The arrogance of some employees ...

    "Worker electrocuted, disrupts power to 1,000 customers".

    Sea cows

    "More than 200 manatees are wintering in a balmy canal outside a power plant, the latest exotic Florida animals seeking refuge from the state's frigid temperatures." "Fla.'s big chill: Manatees huddle, turtles stunned".

    Brown pushes "path to citizenship"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editors: "Immigration cases started under the Bush administration resulted in a 16 percent increase in prosecutions last year over 2008, making up half the total caseload of federal prosecutions. Obama will now get the chance to live up to his reform pledge. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and 80 co-sponsors, including U.S. Rep. Corrinne Brown, introduced legislation that drops many of the more draconian approaches of the 2007 versions of reform while keeping and refining some of the better approaches. The principles remain the same: Giving undocumented immigrants the path to citizenship they deserve and that, to a great extent, the country owes them." "Reform with dignity".

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