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."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Monday, May 31, 2010

Crist's "checklist for a Democratic candidate"

    Lloyd Dunkelberger writes that it looks like "a pretty good checklist for a Democratic candidate trying to shore up his base as he heads to the fall elections:"
    Standing up for gay members of the military services.

    Opposing more restrictions on abortions.

    Calling for a ban on oil drilling off Florida's shores.

    Rejecting a bill that would have eliminated tenure for school teachers.

    Appealing to AFL-CIO members for their union's endorsement.

    Yet, these are the recent moves of Gov. Charlie Crist, a former Republican who is now running as an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate.

    And thus far it seems to be working for Crist. A new poll from Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Alexander Snitker showed Crist with 40 percent of the general election vote, leading all the U.S. Senate candidates.
    "As Independent, Crist Shows Democratic Look".

    Perhaps Rubio really is a wingnut

    Jim Stratton, an Orlando Sentinel employee, overlooks one thing in his predictable piece this morning about how Rubio will now slide to the middle - perhaps Rubio really is a wingnut: "Marco Rubio became a Republican hero by running as the anti-Crist."

    He outflanked Gov. Charlie Crist to the right, railed against an overreaching government and gave voice to a legion of cranky Tea Party voters.

    It made Rubio an election-year phenom, chased Crist from the party and left Rubio with a leisurely stroll to the GOP nomination. Now, with his path clear, the former Florida House Speaker has a luxury he hadn't anticipated.

    He can slide into general-election mode months ahead of time, softening some of the hard right edges and trying to broaden his appeal. The only caveat: He must be careful not to alienate the voters that brought him to prominence.
    "Analysis: With Crist aside, Rubio can start moving to the middle".

    Speaking of wingnuts

    "Former Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi, who is running for attorney general, is defining herself as a pro-business, pro-Second Amendment and pro-life Republican, surprising many who had expected a more moderate candidate." "Bondi exits courthouse, takes a right".

    Bill rewritten by insurers' lawyer

    "A property insurance bill passed by the Florida Legislature this spring was scaled back and rewritten by industry lobbyists, new state e-mails show."

    The bill, originally intended to crack down on companies that used a loophole in state law to pad profits, was largely rewritten by a lawyer working for the insurers -- at the behest of the state agency that regulates insurers, the e-mails show.

    The bill was approved by lawmakers the last day of the session and now awaits approval or veto by Gov. Charlie Crist. The governor must act by Tuesday or the bill automatically becomes law.

    Records released last week show that in the final days of the session, the deputy commissioner in the Office of Insurance Regulation, Belinda Miller, asked industry insiders to draft language for the bill.

    She approached several industry consultants, including Claude Mueller, an attorney and former state insurance regulator whose clients in the past year included property insurers who ran afoul of state solvency requirements. One of them, American Keystone, was ultimately shut down.

    On April 5, the day before a Senate committee was scheduled to meet to consider the bill, Miller pressed the consultants to provide draft legislation.

    "Are you going to have language tonight?" she wrote in an e-mail to Mueller and a lobbyist at Meenan & Blank, a Tallahassee firm whose insurance clients include the Tower Hill group.

    She named Senate staff members that she said "need it."
    Much more here: "Lobby had a hand in insurance bill".

    As Scott Maxwell observed yesterday in a different context, there is a "Fine line between criminal activity and business-as-usual".

    Spill Baby! Spill!

    "More than a month after the BP PLC spill began, the disaster's dimensions have come into sharper focus with government estimates that more than 18 million gallons of oil — and possibly 39 million gallons — has already poured from the leaking well, eclipsing the 11 million gallons released during the Exxon Valdez spill." "Deepwater mystery: Oil loose in the Gulf". See also "Oil disaster shows a divide from physical world", "Summer of oil looms for beleaguered Gulf Coast", "Gulf Coast beachgoers unfazed by oil spill", "Panhandle tourists put aside oil spill for holiday" and "What's next: A dispiriting summer of oil and anger".

    Laff riot

    "PolitiFact: GOP refund request from Crist had a few holes".

    "Republican-led Legislature is out of synch with voters"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "A recent statewide poll has confirmed what many Floridians already knew: The state's Republican-led Legislature is out of synch with voters, including most of those in its own party."

    Voters are divided on offshore drilling, with 44 percent supporting drilling and 44 percent opposing it. Yet for two years, the most powerful Republican leaders have pushed to allow drilling in state waters as close as 3 miles from shore.

    Fifty-five percent of voters want Crist to veto HB 1143, which inserts government into women's health care by forcing nearly every woman seeking a first-trimester abortion to have an ultrasound, view its images and have it described to her.

    Fifty-three percent support Crist's veto of SB 6, which would have banned school districts from offering tenure to new teachers and based teacher pay raises in part on student performance on standardized tests.

    The poll also showed more Republicans (49 percent) than Democrats (43 percent) are dissatisfied with the state's direction, even though the Republican Party has controlled both chambers of the Legislature for 14 years. ...

    Tallahassee is out of touch with what Floridians really want: pragmatic, middle-of-the-road government, not ultraconservative ideology from entrenched power fueled by special interests.
    "Florida's political system is broken".

    But what what would the teabaggers say?

    Did you know that

    Scott's unprecedented spending on TV ads could wind up giving McCollum some help. Under Florida's public campaign system, McCollum is eligible to receive matching money from the state for every dollar Scott spends above $24.9 million. If Scott spends $30 million in the primary, McCollum would receive about $5 million from the state.
    Surely "Mr. fiscal restraint and all that" wouldn't tap public money for hos political campaign. Surely.

    "You might say it will 'DROP' off"

    Bill Cotterell: "The rush to sign up for the Deferred Retirement Option Program will probably slow considerably — you might say it will "DROP" off — now that Gov. Charlie Crist has prevented a major cut in interest on pension deposits." "Crist's veto may slow the run on DROP".

    "One serious headache for voters"

    "Three ballot questions. Two lawsuits (and counting). One serious headache for voters."

    The next round of redistricting won't start until late 2011. But with competing groups vying to change the rules of the game, it is already messier than usual.

    On one side of the debate is FairDistrictsFlorida.org, a citizens initiative responsible for Amendments 5 and 6. Backed by teacher and service employee unions as well as the Florida NAACP and ACLU, Fair Districts claims its proposals would end gerrymandering.

    Congressional and legislative districts could not be drawn to favor or disfavor incumbents under the Fair Districts plan, and could not diminish opportunities for minority voters to elect candidates of their choice.

    Districts would have to be contiguous and compact wherever possible, following pre-existing city and county boundaries.

    Fair Districts collected 1.7 million signatures to add its proposals to the 2010 ballot. Honorary co-chairs of the left-leaning group include former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. Gov. Charlie Crist, now a no-party candidate for U.S. Senate, also has endorsed the amendment.

    But state lawmakers — primarily Republicans — are fighting it, claiming its mandates cannot be accomplished legally.
    "Florida redistricting attracts amendments, lawsuits".

<< Home