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 Monday, March 29, 2010

Democrats win debate

    Now that the corporate political pundits have had their say about who won the Crist-Rubio "debate", it is time for the amateurs to weigh in, and here's our two cents: Florida Democrats (and in particular Kendrick Meek) won the debate.

    It doesn't take the wisdom of someone with a BA in communications or "journalism" to see that both Rubio and Crist are sniveling empty suits who have no business in the U.S. Senate. To be sure, both men, as a matter of political reality, had to kiss the royal derrieres of the Tea Party/Glen Beck/Rush Limbaugh/country club amalgam that comprises the vast bulk of Florida Republican Party primary vote, and doing so necessarily requires playing to the basest elements of the Florida electorate. Nevertheless, both men were ready, willing and able to do crawl in slime that is the Florida Republican Party base - and the more Floridians see of that, the less the man who emerges from the primary primordial swamp will be able to succeed in the general election; even in Florida.

    Excerpts of media coverage of the battle of the Lilliputians follows:

    - Although "Charlie Crist is running against Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate ... Rubio is running against President Obama, from whom Crist is running away."

    - Tax blather dominated the exchange: "Crist told Fox's Chris Wallace that he signed the largest tax cut in the state's history while Rubio proposed a massive tax increase. Rubio claimed that Crist broke a no-new-taxes pledge while Rubio said he kept the same pledge. Rubio said Crist was distorting Rubio's tax record. And Crist said Rubio was distorting Rubio's tax record."

    - "Trust" was a theme: "The governor said voters can't trust the former Florida House speaker because he used his party credit card and political committees for 'personal enrichment.' Rubio said voters can't trust Crist to challenge the Democratic administration because he supported President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan."

    - It was: "a debate so negative it worried some Republicans about the future of the race and drew a rebuke from state party Chairman John Thrasher."

    - Distilled to its essence, "Crist and Marco Rubio, the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, frequently traded putdowns this morning during a live debate on 'Fox News Sunday.'"

    - Rubio whined: "Crist was so relentless in his attacks on Rubio’s spending that he seemed to rattle Rubio. In fact, the former speaker sounded downright petulant when he didn’t even make it to the first commercial break before he whined of Crist: 'All he wants to talk about is tearing me down.'"

    - In the end, "Crist and Rubio trotted out familiar talking points, neither man scoring a knockout blow or committing a campaign-chilling gaffe. The governor said repeatedly that Rubio profited from his time in public office and as a Republican Party leader, while Rubio frequently linked Crist to President Obama."

    - Meek released a statement blasting 'two feuding rivals who put their personal, petty disputes ahead of the needs of hardworking Floridians.'"

    After this lengthy display of nuthin', FlaDems should be hoping for more, many more, of these vacuous "debates" between Rubio and Crist.

    More: "Marco Rubio, Charlie Crist both stretch truth over taxes", "Rivals Charlie Crist, Marco Rubio tear into each other in debate", "Rubio and Crist jab at each other in debate", "Hal Boedeker: Charlie Crist says he won't run as Independent; Marco Rubio says he's not familiar with Tea Party vetting", "Post-debate spin from Rubio and Crist", "Scott Maxwell: Crist-Rubio debate has nastiness, but also a winner", "Crist, Rubio debate over money and Obama", "Why Marco Rubio beat Charlie Crist", "Crist goes after Rubio quick and often in first debate on Fox News Sunday", "Crist and Rubio tax claims are (still) false", "Feuding Crist, Rubio hurl attacks during debate" and "Crist, Rubio trade barbs in first debate of U.S. Senate campaign".

    Crist desperate gettin' desperate

    Adam C Smith: "Crist this week launched the first negative ad of the Republican Senate primary, reminding us that, whether or not he wins the race, we are in the midst of one of the most stunning political stories Florida has ever seen."

    Crist already is well defined among voters, so it may be easier to turn voters off to the much lesser known Rubio than to make them enthusiastic about the governor.
    "Are attack ads a sign of Crist's desperation?".

    Tally update

    The Miami Herald editorial board over the week end: "Legislative roundup". See also "Florida Legislature tosses out costly claims bills" and "Fla. lawmakers have short week due to holidays".

    Laff riot

    The Orlando Sentinel editors explain "why Gov. Crist might soon need to grab a great big Sharpie and veto legislation that lets property insurers impose great big rate hikes on policy holders without regulatory review. The reason comes straight from one of the insurance industry's top lobbyists, Mark Delegal, who represents State Farm. Mr. Delegal told a Senate committee Wednesday that, if left alone by regulators, the industry will be 'the best protector of consumers.'" "More insurance headaches".

    What ended Florida's real-estate boom?

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Every legislative session, pro-growth lawmakers try to weaken growth rules. This year the pretext is to restore lost construction jobs, as if a worthy motive validates the false assumption that state and local governments have somehow stopped developers. It was overbuilding, the collapse of the housing and financial markets and the related recession, not growth restrictions that ended Florida's real-estate boom." "'An awful lot of development'".

    On the cheap

    Bill Cotterell on Florida's "Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, which just cranked out another one of its reliable studies about the size and cost of state employment".

    "Florida's average total compensation cost for state employees was $47,027, which included 74 percent wages and 26 percent benefits; average wages were $34,834," said OPPAGA. "Florida's average state employee wages were ranked 32nd among the 41 states (in the lower quartile) that responded to the survey."

    It also noted the Department of Management Services Annual Workforce Report, which said Florida ranks last in state personnel costs, at $38 per resident, and is tied with Illinois for the lowest ratio of state employees to population, 118 per 10,000 residents.
    "OPPAGA looks at state compensation". See also "" and "".

    A desperate man

    "Mica meets with Flagler officials to discuss economy".

    "Duct tape, bailing wire — and considerable help from the feds"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Refusing to acknowledge the obvious need for more revenue and a fairer state tax system, the Republican-led Florida Legislature is once again cobbling together a roughly $68 billion state budget with duct tape, bailing wire — and considerable help from the feds." "State lawmakers aren't facing the crisis".


    "As Florida legislators hit the halfway mark in their 60-day session, they are following a simple election year recipe: sprinkle in a little policy, then pour on plenty of politics. For Republicans, it's been a triumphant four weeks: They've spared businesses from massive hikes in unemployment taxes and are poised to pass at least $80 million in business tax breaks. On party-line votes, they've passed resolutions crusading against healthcare reform and growing deficits in Washington." "GOP ideology driving Republican-led Legislature's agenda".


    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "On Thursday, Anthony Caravella officially became the 11th person exonerated in Florida by DNA evidence after serving 25 years for a rape/murder he did not commit." "State should consider where justice went astray".


    "USF gets money for a new pharmacy school, but not where it expected".

    Mica, Brown and Kosmas

    "Three more candidates have surfaced for U.S. House seats that include parts of Volusia and Flagler counties. They are vying for seats held by longtime House members who have run uncontested several times in previous elections: John Mica, R-Winter Park, and Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville."

    Meanwhile, the crowded field of Republican challengers to succeed Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach, narrowed by one candidate: Sean Field Campbell, Merritt Island, dropped out and is endorsing Sandy Adams of Orlando.
    "3 candidates surface for congressional seats".

    Jails to remain open

    "2 Volusia libraries probably closing".

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