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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

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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 Monday, January 25, 2010

"State now risks losing more than $100 million a year"

    The Tampa Tribune editors: "A legislative committee was wrong to shred the latest gambling agreement reached by Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole tribe because the state now risks losing more than $100 million a year."
    Hope remains for another negotiated settlement that would send a cut of the gambling profits to the state treasury without significantly increasing gambling. The Legislature should work to get that deal done.

    Meanwhile, it is possible that the National Indian Gaming Commission will intervene. Federal officials might, as some legislators suggest, order the Seminole casinos to stop playing blackjack, a game never legalized in this state. The casinos might also be allowed to continue playing slots, without sharing its profits with the state. ...

    At this point, the best way to deal with the gambling vice is to limit it to existing casinos and tax it.
    "State lawmakers pass up a sure bet".

    Education budget

    "Crist plans to announce his 2010 education budget recommendations during a visit to a St. Petersburg elementary school." "Crist to present education budget recommendations".

    AG Race

    Steve Bousquet's updated piece on the AG race: "Florida attorney general race: Beyond a common surface, a political divide".

    Broward corruption

    The Miami Herald editors: "Chasing corruption out of Broward".

    "Make Jeb Bush governor again!"

    Mark Lane: "January and February on the legislative calendar are like spring training season in baseball."

    No legislative pre-season is complete without an announcement that Florida's class-size amendment needs to be repealed. This year is no exception. ...

    The Florida Council of 100 released its wish list for education last week. The 86-page, jargon-heavy report may be summarized as follows: Make Jeb Bush governor again! ...

    The group also wants to double funding for the State University System. A great idea! There's no economic incubator like higher education.

    But how to find the money? The plan recommends tuition increases and having the governor, Legislature and university system come up with nonbinding long-term funding compacts. The money for the nonbinding compact goals would be found, well, somehow. The word "tax" is nowhere in the report.
    "Three dot: Legislature warms up".

    HD 58

    "District 58 primaries uncertain, expensive".

    Not so local

    "Each election cycle, as candidates get their political messaging machines revved up, one theme often resonates loudest."

    It goes something like this: “If you elect me to serve you in Tallahassee, I will represent (insert district here) with integrity, and ensure that you have a voice in government.”

    It’s the “all politics is local” pitch.

    A [Panama City] News Herald analysis of area candidates’ campaign finance reports, however, found a majority of money fueling area campaigns does not come from local sources.

    Of the more than $1.4 million raised by 14 area state candidates included in the analysis, only 30 percent came from within the candidate’s district, or the district they want to represent.

    “Am I surprised? No,” said April Schiff, a Republican campaign consultant from Tampa. “I think they do fundraise in district, but that’s not where the people are who have the strongest interest in what’s going on.”
    "When it comes to money, not all politics is local".

    McCollum rolling in $

    "McCollum's Campaign War Chest Dwarfs Dockery's".

    "An issue that has driven a deeper wedge"

    "Rebecca Pittard is an accomplished teacher who was honored this month with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching at a ceremony in Washington, D.C."

    The Volusia County elementary-school teacher is passionate about math education and energized by discussions on how to do better for her fourth- and fifth-grade students.

    Like many of her colleagues, however, Pittard is leery of Florida's latest effort to reward top teachers with more money. ...

    Florida's new merit-pay plan is embedded in its effort to secure up to $1.1 billion for its public schools from the federal Race to the Top grant competition, which will award money to states willing to reform their education systems.

    It's an issue that has driven a deeper wedge between teachers unions and school district administrators across Florida while raising alarms in many teacher lounges.

    "We're pleased the union is saying, 'Hold on and lets really look at the repercussions,' " Pittard said.
    "Why teachers, districts clash over merit pay".

    Florida Forever

    "Crist pushes to restore funding for Florida Forever".

    Six FlaCon amendments

    "Six amendments have been certified for Florida's 2010 ballot, with the first three proposed by the Legislature and the second three through petition drives:— Amendment 1: Would repeal a constitutional provision that requires public financing of campaigns for governor and the three Cabinet positions for those candidates who agree to spending limits. " "6 amendments on state's 2010 ballot".

    "Scott Brown replay"

    Adam C Smith: "A Scott Brown replay may not be easy in Florida".

    "Little to show for it"

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Florida dreams of becoming a biotechnology hub, a place where the brilliant and the investment-savvy will come to build the economy of the 21st century."

    Eight years ago, Gov. Jeb Bush was asking legislators to invest $100 million to help Florida challenge the nation's high-tech hot spots for future business in biotechnology and biomedical fields, and the push hasn't stopped.

    A report last week by the Legislature's Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA) said the state has spent more than $1.5 billion on this effort. But it also said the state has little to show for it.
    "Stick with biotech".

    Fair use

    "Crist's use of Rubio video shut down by WFSU and YouTube".

    Public school restraints

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board is "Questioning the use of restraints in public schools" ("Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange [is] sponsoring a bill to end the use of seclusion and restraints against disabled students in public schools. This is the third time the bill has been introduced -- this year, it should pass.")

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