FLORIDA POLITICS
Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary

 

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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a 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 Friday, February 26, 2010

Rubio story gets curiouser and curiouser

    "Why did Ray Sansom go after a $6 million airport building that would ruin his political career?"
    Marco Rubio. Or so Sansom says.
    "Sansom used Rubio to justify money grab".

    "Someone very close to Gov. Charlie Crist clearly was trying to damage Marco Rubio's Senate campaign by leaking Republican Party American Express records that showed some personal expenses among Rubio's legitimate party charges. But the plan may backfire." "Is GOP card leak worse for Crist or Rubio?".

    Related: "Gov. Crist denies leaking Rubio's credit card record".

    William March: "Revelations that Marco Rubio used a Republican Party credit card for personal expenses while he was a powerful state legislator set off a frenzy Thursday - criticism of Rubio by his U.S. Senate primary opponent, Gov. Charlie Crist, as well as criticism of the state Republican Party by Democrats." "Credit use has Rubio on spot".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board:
    Why should a powerful state legislator use political contributions to shop at the neighborhood wine shop, visit a tony Miami barbershop and repair the family minivan? That is the question former House Speaker Marco Rubio should be answering rather than whining about how his profligate spending became public.
    "Public servant, private privileges". See also "From the video vault: Rubio’s rapid pushback on Crist 'distortions'" and "Leaked bill forces Rubio to defend spending on GOP credit card" and

    There's something particularly sweet about this headline: "Rubio’s $133.75 barber shop bill wasn’t charged to GOP, spokesman says".


    Hold on

    "The January statistics for Florida were supposed to come out March 5, but on Thursday that was shoved back to March 10." "Florida's new unemployment rate is on hold". Related: "Fla. Gov. Crist: Priority 1 is jobs, jobs, jobs" and "With hands tied, Florida struggles to carve new jobs".


    "Warmed over"

    "Fla. lawmakers dining on warmed over issues".


    Rubio vs. Crist "Messier by the day"

    "The fight between Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio over the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate promises to get messier by the day." "Rubio's credit card expenses spark latest intra-party barrage".


    Rate increase?

    "Blue Cross of Florida Asks For Up to 14% Rate Increase".


    Scandals in waiting

    Mark Lane writes that, "the resignation scrubs Sansom from the daily news cycle while most voters still have no idea who he is. Whew."

    But lest everybody put this behind them, the conditions that created the Sansom scandals remain unchanged. It's a situation just waiting for a player with a little more sophistication to repeat it on a grander scale.
    "Sansom's gone but the next scandal's just a matter of time".


    "The best Republicans can do?"

    Daniel Ruth: "This is the best Republicans can do? Really?"

    Speaker-to-be Chris Dorworth's finances are such a mess he makes Ralph Kramden look like Bill Gates. And yet Dorworth's fellow House Republicans recently elected him to be the leader of the chamber come 2014, assuming he isn't living in a box down by the Wakulla River by then.

    Or put another way, Republicans in the House have opted to elevate an individual to one of the three most powerful political posts in the state who is facing foreclosure of his $1.2 million home, a $2.7 million legal judgment against him and even had his driver's license temporarily suspended and failed to pay highway tolls.

    This is the party of financial restraint, fiduciary responsibility, balanced budgets?
    "Clueless newbies in driver's seat".


    Yee haw!

    "Republican officials to visit Tampa convention facilities".


    Rivera jumps

    "State Rep. David Rivera on Thursday became the first candidate to jump into the District 25 congressional race in Miami to replace U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who is running for the seat being vacated by his brother, Lincoln. Rivera is expected to be followed by Sen. Alex de la Portilla, a fellow Miami Republican. Four others are considering running, which would make it one of the most crowded contests in the state."

    A poll conducted by Hill Research Consulting indicates of 300 people surveyed, Diaz de la Portilla has 67 percent name recognition, whereas Rivera has 41 percent.

    However, a poll by Dario Moreno Inc. of 600 likely Republican voters had Rivera with 44 percent name recognition and Diaz de la Portilla with 41 percent.

    The Hill poll also tested name recognition of the others who have expressed interest or rumored to be considering running for the seat:

    • Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe Martinez, 68 percent (one point higher than Diaz de la Portilla).

    • Carlos Curbelo, state director for U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, 32 percent.

    • Miami-Dade Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, 29 percent.

    • Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi, 22 percent.

    The Moreno poll also asked about state Sen. Alex Villalobos, who was recognized by 31 percent of those surveyed, and Curbelo, recognized by 11 percent.
    "David Rivera is 1st to enter Congress race".


    "If only it were that easy"

    "Spurred by state unemployment soon expected to top 12 percent and a political agenda keen on kick-starting a long-stalled economy, Florida lawmakers insist job creation is a priority in this legislative session. If only it were that easy." "Florida struggles to carve out new jobs".


    "Republicans want this seat back. Badly"

    Scott Maxwell: "Florida Republicans have had a lot of problems lately. But gathered inside a tiny art gallery near Winter Park on Wednesday night was an example of something they got right."

    It was an assembly of five conservatives who have stepped up to take on Democrat U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas.

    And collectively, they constitute the strongest pack of contenders in quite some time — which is just what this party needs in this high-profile race.

    Their candidates' backgrounds are as diverse as their demographics. There's a city commissioner, a state legislator, a former CEO, a general contractor and the profession that seems to be mandatory whenever two or more politicians gather: a lawyer. The group includes two women, one black man and a mix of establishment players and rabble-rousers.

    In other words, Republicans will have real choice.

    Republicans want this seat back. Badly. They feel as though it was designed for them because, well, it was.
    "GOP offers up strong foes in Kosmas race".


    Sink piles on

    "Amid a backdrop of recent political scandals, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink on Thursday joined the chorus calling for sweeping ethics reforms in Florida."

    Sink, the leading Democratic candidate for governor, outlined an 11-point plan designed to restore trust in government "after a never-ending slew of continued scandals.''

    "The people of Florida -- it's easy to see they've lost faith in government, so I believe it's past time to change the rules,'' she said.

    The proposals take aim at the culture of corruption on display in the last year -- from the resignation and indictment of former House Speaker Ray Sansom and the financial calamity at the Republican Party of Florida to the guilty plea of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, who cut big checks to Sink, the Democratic Party and numerous GOP officials that were later returned.
    This was of course irresistible:
    Seizing on the controversy surrounding the GOP credit cards, Sink called for full disclosure of all party statements. Republican Party officials are refusing to release them.
    "Sink: Release credit-card bills".


    Texts and tweets

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "As the 2010 Legislature opens for business, the texts and tweets will be flying fast and furiously. And they're not private, regardless of how discreet and personal social-networking seems to be." "Tweet-tweet".


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