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 Thursday, April 08, 2010

Crist independent run?

    There is "a surge in speculation that Crist is positioning himself to drop out of the Republican primary and run as an independent."

    "When Marco Rubio announced Wednesday that he raised a whopping $3.6 million over the past 90 days, it was another game-changer in the GOP U.S. Senate primary."
    This just a day after Gov. Charlie Crist bucked fellow Republicans and vetoed an elections bill he was expected to sign -- and the same day he reversed course and hinted he might veto a teacher tenure bill favored by Jeb Bush and other Republican leaders. On top of that, Crist plans to call the Legislature into special session this summer to overhaul state ethics laws -- an issue Republican leadership has avoided this year.
    "Rubio war chest, speculation over Crist grow".

    Howard Troxler: "Gotta give credit. It took gumption for Gov. Charlie Crist to veto one of the Republican Legislature's favorite bills — maybe contrary to his own political interests. ... Some people saw Crist's veto as a signal he might bolt the Republican primary after all and run as an independent. I don't believe it. But I was dead wrong about the veto, too, so what do I know?" "Gotta give Gov. Crist credit". More: "Top senator blasts Crist veto, links him to Democrat Alex Sink" and "Crist ramping up TV buy - and fueling indie campaign chatter".


    Rubio rakes in the cash

    "Marco Rubio, up in the polls and surfing a wave of voter frustration, is chipping away at Gov. Charlie Crist's best hope for winning the Republican U.S. Senate primary: money."

    Rubio's campaign announced Wednesday that it raised $3.6 million in the first quarter of 2010, a total that could go a long way toward erasing what was once Crist's multimillion-dollar fundraising advantage.

    Rubio's haul in the first three months of this year was more than he had raised throughout the entire campaign and double the $1.75 million he reported raising in the last quarter of 2009.

    It upped his total to almost $7 million, the vast majority of which the campaign said was available to spend for the Aug. 24 primary.

    The Rubio camp did not say how much cash on hand it has, but it ended 2009 with about $2 million in the bank.
    "Marco Rubio sees fundraising surge: $3.6M in 3 months". See also "Rubio claims $3.6 million raised so far this year - more than all of 2009", "Rubio Raises $3.6 Million, Crist Quiet on 1Q Fundraising" and "Rubio cuts Crist edge in fundraising".


    Crist's "dramatic shift"

    "A group of far-reaching education reforms appears headed for final passage in the Legislature today -- leaving the final say up to Gov. Charlie Crist, whose support for the most controversial part of the package may be wavering." "Legislature poised to pass education overhaul today". See also "House Roars on, Readying for Teacher Performance-Pay Vote".

    "In a dramatic shift, Gov. Charlie Crist signaled Wednesday he might veto a bill tying teacher pay to student test scores, even as Florida legislators prepared for a final vote on the politically polarizing measure Thursday." "Crist hints he’ll veto teacher merit pay bill". See also "House to vote on merit pay".

    Even the wingers on The Tampa Tribune editorial board are getting cold feet:

    Contrary to the claims of teachers' unions, Florida's education system is not going to crumble if state lawmakers eliminate teacher tenure.

    Florida has long needed a merit-pay system that would motivate the best teachers to remain in the profession.

    But it can do far better than this clumsy legislation - already passed by the Senate and likely to be approved by the House this week. It needlessly slights teachers and arrogantly robs local school districts of the ability to respond to their specific needs.
    "Tenure tempest".

    Bill Cotterell: "Watching politics in action with Senate Bill 6".


    Gambling

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Expected to be ratified by the House and Senate today, the compact gives the Seminoles exclusive operation of Las Vegas-style slot machines at its four casinos outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, plus exclusive operation of blackjack, chemin de fer and baccarat games (all currently illegal in Florida) at five of its seven casinos. In exchange, a revenue-sharing agreement with the tribe means $435 million for the state coffers this year." "Budget winner".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Gambling deal a good bet". More: "Seminoles OK gambling compact; Crist hopes to sign bill next week". The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "No bets are off in Florida: Deal leaves state open to much more gambling.".


    Greer and McCollum sittin' in a tree ...

    "In all this mess about the Republican Party offering former Chairman Jim Greer a now-disputed severance package, there is little talk about Attorney General Bill McCollum's involvement."

    But a new document obtained by the Times/Herald describing Greer's negotiations with the Republican Party concerning his severance package illustrates his close connection to McCollum.

    Greer writes to GOP general counsel Jason Gonzalez that he will honor the "commitments that I have made to the House, Senate and McCollum's campaign" upon his departure. It's unclear what commitments Greer is referring to.

    In the document, Greer also takes credit for helping McCollum, "who I might add would not be without question the presumptive nominee if not for my efforts. McCollum's campaign spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said no commitments exist and disputed Greer's role as king-maker.
    "Greer suggests McCollum key in severance talks".


    Tally update

    "In Tallahassee today, education bills and gambling deal".


    Bright futures

    Mike Thomas: "The hugely popular Bright Futures scholarship program is in the budgetary chop shop in Tallahassee. Proposals include cutting the dollar value of scholarships or reducing their number by raising academic requirements. I agree Bright Futures has to be reined in, but there is a better way to do it." "Want to save Bright Futures? Try a little competition".


    Wingnuts run wild

    "Rubio's fundraising announcement also set off speculation among conservative bloggers about Rubio as a presidential candidate in 2012 or soon thereafter - speculation that Rubio has brushed off."


    Jebbie's dead hand

    Michael Bender: "It should come as no surprise that one of the most popular Republican governors in modern Florida history is enjoying another successful legislative session. No, not Charlie Crist. Jeb Bush." "Ex-Gov. Bush having 'best session ever' with controversial education proposals".


    Charlie threatens a veto

    "Crist: I'll Veto Any Insurance Increase".


    Children's Services Councils

    "A proposal that could jeopardize Children's Services Councils isn't very popular in Sen. Joe Negron's home district, but his fellow state lawmakers showed the idea overwhelming support Wednesday morning." "Negron's Controversial Bill Passes Through Committee".


    Greer

    "Lawyers for former Republican Party chairman Jim Greer say Attorney General Bill McCollum and the statewide grand jury he oversees should bow out of a criminal investigation into GOP expenditures and leave it up to federal authorities." "Greer's attorneys want McCollum to bow out of criminal investigation".


    'Glades

    "A half-billion-dollar deal aimed at buying farmland in the Everglades to help the ailing ecosystem should be rejected because it serves no public purpose and will only delay restoration further, an attorney argued Wednesday before Florida's Supreme Court." "Everglades restoration land swap deal unworthy, foes tell Florida Supreme Court".

    Joel Engelhardt: "With stakes so high, it's not surprising that Florida Crystals has established itself as the deal's biggest critic. The deal can't move forward until the Florida Supreme Court rules on a case it heard Wednesday. If Crystals can stall until Gov. Crist is out of office in November, the deal may collapse." "Sugar deal's sour politics; biggest critic has self-interest at heart".


    Bozo

    "House Speaker Cretul apologizes to Bovo after 'Bozo' remark".


    Entrepreneurs in action

    "Authorities have charged two South Florida brothers with submitting about $14 million in bogus Medicare bills for HIV medical services never provided to patients." "South Fla. brothers charged in Medicare scam".


    Lake O

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Public safety is the priority in deciding when to dump Lake O water".


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