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 22, 2010

"Florida's faux secessionists"

    Randy Schultz' column yesterday: "The sponsors of SB 96 and the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee who voted for it would reject any comparison to a segregationist. So would politicians in the nearly 40 states that have introduced or passed sovereignty legislation since 2007. And while it would be unfair to call supporters of these bills latter-day segregationists, it would be fair to use a label that also applied to George Wallace: demagogue." "Florida's faux secessionists: States' rights sentiment bubbles up in Legislature".

    A cut for 'ye, but not for me

    "State senators voted to cut state-worker pay -- but then raised the salaries of some of their own workers." "Florida senators OK'd raises for staffers despite state pay cuts". See also "Despite state worker pay cuts, some Fla. lawmakers seek raises for staffers".

    McCollum embarrasses himself and Florida

    "Florida Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum [appeared] on two Fox News shows [Sunday] to discuss his plan to challenge health care reform if it passes." "McCollum challenges health law".


    "PolitiFact: Alex Sink's claim of $1.2 million refund after insurance complaints is true".


    Bill Cotterell: "Amid all the painful budget cuts being discussed in the session, legislators are taking a hard look at the Florida Retirement System. A House committee is expected to consider a plan this week that could lead to employees paying into the fund, which is now totally employer-paid, perhaps raising retirement ages and reducing the pension accrual percentage per year of service." "Legislature wrestles with DROP".

    "Foley is everywhere"

    George Bennett: "Suddenly Mark Foley is everywhere. "

    The former Republican congressman and onetime national punchline, who resigned in 2006 over sexually charged Internet messages to teenage former congressional pages, made his first post-scandal appearance at a Forum Club of the Palm Beaches lunch March 8.

    Foley made his first post-resignation visit to Washington for last week's Joe Biden-headlined Radio and TV Correspondents Dinner. Then Foley was off to a talk radio convention in New York to seek a broader audience for the political chat show he hosts on local radio.

    Next Monday brings an event that would have been unthinkable a few years ago when politicians were sprinting to distance themselves from Foley.

    He's on the host committee for a fund-raiser in Palm Beach for Republican state Senate hopeful Sharon Merchant, the former state House member and longtime Foley friend who's in a high-profile GOP primary against former Wellington councilwoman Lizbeth Benacquisto.

    It's the first time since Foley's exit that a candidate has publicized Foley's support in search of campaign cash.
    "State Senate hopeful Merchant taps Mark Foley for host committee for Palm Beach fund-raiser".

    Keep that federal money a comin'

    "The proposed cancelling of Constellation has sent shock waves throughout the space community, and the job-loss calculations are profound. More than 100,000 Floridians are employed in the aerospace industry across all 67 counties." "Saving Constellation is a noble mission".

    Laff riot

    "Crist, a Republican who was in Tampa [Sunday] attending the closing ceremony for the Gasparilla International Film Festival, said he hopes to get elected senator in November to help repeal the bill and bring a commonsense approach to healthcare reform." "Crist hopes to repeal health care legislation".

    "Gelber would give the process a good scrubbing"

    The Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "Leaders in the Legislature are ignoring a bid to shine more sunlight on their lawmaking, including how they parcel out billions of taxpayer dollars each year. They're slow-walking another proposal to strengthen citizens' constitutional right of access to government records and meetings."

    The proposal on lawmaking is a constitutional amendment to force legislators to live by the same kind of rules that apply to other state and local government officials. Sponsored in the Senate by Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, and in the House by Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, D-Sarasota, it would bar legislators on joint Senate-House committees from privately discussing matters their panels are considering.

    Under current state law, anytime two or more members of a state or local government commission or board want to discuss policy matters, they must notify and invite the public. But in the Legislature, a senator and representative can huddle behind closed doors and determine the final details in a piece of legislation. They can invite lobbyists, but they don't have to invite ordinary citizens. This is most insidious when the legislation is as voluminous as the state budget, and dollars and deals can easily be hidden.

    The proposal from Sen. Gelber would give the process a good scrubbing.
    "Open government rules should be across the board so that citizens have a say".

    "Straight party lines"

    "The entire Florida delegation voted along straight party lines on the health legislation, with Democratic Rep. Suzanne Kosmas of New Smyrna Beach supporting it and Republican Rep. Bill Posey of Rockledge opposing it." "Kosmas votes yes; Posey no on bill". See also "Roll call: Florida reps on health care".

    Meek "mighty competitive against Rubio"

    "For much of the past year, it has been widely assumed that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek would have a very tough time in a general election against either Marco Rubio or Charlie Crist."

    Two recent polls, however, suggest the Miami representative could be mighty competitive against Rubio.

    A Research 2000 poll for the liberal Daily Kos site released last week (margin of error plus or minus 4 percentage points) showed Meek with 40 percent support among likely voters and Rubio with 41 percent. In a matchup against Crist, Meek trailed 45 percent to 36 percent.

    Among likely Republican voters, Rubio was crushing Crist 58 percent to 30 percent.

    And if Crist ran as an independent, the poll showed him winning 29 percent support, compared to 27 percent for Meek and 32 percent for Rubio.

    Another recent automated phone poll by Public Policy Polling survey found Meek trailing Rubio by 5 points and Crist by 13.
    "Meek holds own against Rubio in Senate race, polls show".

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