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
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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 Friday, May 21, 2010

"A dozen times more than the Exxon Valdez"

    "Crist proclaimed a state of emergency for Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties Thursday, as the risk increased that oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill would reach the state's shores."
    Crist cited reports that oil had been caught up in the loop current, which sweeps around the Florida peninsula, saying this created a "potential threat to additional counties bordering the Gulf and the Atlantic seaboard."
    "Gov. Crist declares state of emergency in S. Fla. over oil". More: "'No imminent threat' though Crist adds Collier, Lee to oil emergency zone". Related: "Loop Current split holding oil back from Florida".

    A little late to the game, but even "McCollum says BP should pay storm oil spill costs". See also "Kendrick Meek: In wake of spill, BP should give Florida millions more for tourism campaign".

    "Cashing in on a hot demand for their world-famous oysters, harvesters can start combing the middle of Apalachicola Bay today — 11 days early — as the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill spreads across the Gulf of Mexico and closes fisheries." "Oyster season opens early".

    "At worst, the amount of oil that has already spilled is a dozen times more than the Exxon Valdez disaster. At best, it's only half as bad. Realistically, it's probably somewhere in that huge middle in between." "At worst, oil spewed already could fill 102 gyms".

    Crist endorses redistricting amendment loathed by RPOFers

    "Crist has endorsed a redistricting amendment that is loathed by Republicans." "Charlie Crist's redistricting stance riles Republicans".

    "One of Crist's rivals in the U.S. Senate race, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami, already has supported Fair District's Amendments 5 and 6, as have many other Democrats." "Crist backs ban on gerrymandering".

    "Eliminated homes to magically reappear"?

    Joel Engelhardt: "The idea was that by buying farmland and placing strict limits on development, the number of potential homes west of Florida's Turnpike would be reduced by 6,000. Now a developer is shopping a proposal that ignores the spirit of the 1999 vote to game the system and allow nearly half of those eliminated homes to magically reappear." "Breaking a $100 million vow: Public bought land for farms, not homes.".

    Off topic ...

    ... but Daniel Ruth is on fire today, observing that "simply because Kagan will never be confused with Jessica Alba, her fitness to sit in judgment of a zoning conflict has been questioned by several drive-by bloviators on the talk radio dial such as Neil Boortz and Michael Savage (there's a couple of beefcake boys for you), who have lambasted the nominee's physical appearance."

    To which Ruth responds:

    Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Sarah Palin possessed the looks of Elena Kagan. Would she have ever been elected governor of Alaska? Would John McCain have ever remotely considered her as his vice presidential running mate?

    And if by some remote chance McCain — in the midst of the mother of all senior moments — had not picked the turn-tail governor to join him on the ticket back in 2008, would Palin today be the pin-up girl for Fox News, not to mention the reigning Betty Boop of the Tea Party Inquisition?

    The answer is no to all of the above.
    Ruth continues:
    Meanwhile, Palin, an ambitious ladder-climber who spent less time in elective office than Faisal Shahzad did lingering around Times Square and who needs crib notes scribbled into her palm in case she is asked what color is an orange, has become a national political figure and potential presidential candidate to legions of fawning admirers on the basis of her appearance.

    At the same time, Palin has been joined on the right-wing cuckoo perch by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, also an elegant, stylish walking sitcom, who once famously said: "I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another Democratic president, Jimmy Carter. And I'm not blaming this on President Obama. I just think it's an interesting coincidence."

    Interesting? Certifiably insane maybe, but at least Bachmann looked simply swell when she said it. If Bachmann found that tortured swine flu connection interesting, she must really be befuddled by things like — door knobs.

    Palin and Bachmann, the Thelma & Louise of the Heritage Foundation, couldn't find the Supreme Court building with the help of Lewis & Clark, Predator drones and Google maps. Yet they are regarded as the leading philosophical torch-bearers of the Republican Party — but aren't they fetching in leather?
    Much more here: "Beauty is skin deep, meanness goes deeper".

    "Skeptical of professional politicians"

    "Tuesday's election results nationwide brought a message to Florida's candidates: Voters are skeptical of professional politicians, and respond to pledges to shake up government-as-usual." "Florida politicians get lesson from voters nationwide".

    The RPOF in action

    "Crist's office is being inundated by phone calls and e-mails from pro-life and pro-choice groups urging him to sign or veto House Bill 1143. The so-called 'ultrasound bill' would, with certain exceptions, require women seeking abortions to view an ultrasound of the fetus." "Abortion Appeals Swamp Crist's Office".

    Unintended consequences?

    "A bill aimed at encouraging school prayer is drawing praise from an unlikely pairing of free speech advocates and social conservatives – even as some warn it could make it tougher for school administrators to discipline students."

    First Amendment advocates say the legislation -- expected to be sent soon to Gov. Charlie Crist -- clearly enhances free speech. But they point out that it could also include consequences supporters failed to envision.

    Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Association in Washington, D.C., said the legislation may unshackle student newspapers from the usual oversight of school administrators, effectively putting Florida among seven states – none in the Southeast – which have passed laws endorsing free expression for students.

    Student papers running frank discussions of sex on campus, drug-use, and other provocative topics usually face few restrictions in the states that have approved such laws, LoMonte said.

    “This bill certainly leaves an open question about what the standard in Florida is going to be for student newspapers,” said LoMonte, a former Tallahassee reporter with the Florida Times-Union.

    Similarly, because the legislation also safeguards teachers and other school personnel, it may blunt sanctions by school administrators against personnel for speech and dress code, experts said.
    "Prayer Bill Praised By Free Speech Advocates".


    "Questions are being raised about possible campaign finance violations involving state Sen. Dave Aronberg's campaign for attorney general." "Aronberg's campaign faces finance questions".

    About that Rick Scott feller

    "It was and still is the biggest Medicare fraud case in U.S. history and ended with the hospital giant Columbia/HCA paying a record $1.7 billion in fines, penalties and damages."

    Now the man who ran the company at the time wants to be Florida's governor.

    Rick Scott was co-founder and CEO of Columbia/HCA in the 1990s, when the FBI launched a massive, multi-state investigation that led to the company pleading guilty to criminal charges of overbilling the government.

    Today, Scott is a Republican candidate for governor, running his campaign from an office in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
    "GOP candidate for Florida governor ran company guilty of fraud".

    The Chamber says "jump!" ...

    "Lawmakers, Gov. Charlie Crist and Attorney General Bill McCollum handcuffed current and future Florida attorneys general right before the Gulf oil-spill disaster started."

    The only possible blessing at the end of the oil-slick rainbow is that politicians are more full of bluster than they are the truth.

    Six days before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and the wellhead a mile beneath it began gushing oil, Crist signed into law McCollum's chief legislative priority. The law that goes into effect July 1 caps contingency fees at $50 million on contract work for the Office of the Attorney General. It also includes transparency requirements and cost-benefit analyses of such agreements, but it's the cap that's important — certainly to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and anti-trial-attorney Republicans who boosted it.
    "Paul Flemming: Cap on lawyers' fees may backfire".

    Adult dancers flocking to Tampa

    "Plans for the 2012 GOP presidential convention are in full swing, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told a news conference today." "GOP chair: 'The hard work begins' toward 2012 convention in Tampa". See also "RNC chairman in Tampa today to talk convention".

    Teabaggers locked down

    Scott Maxwell thinks that, as far as Rubio goes, the "question now is whether his campaign maestros know how to run a campaign that appeals to anyone other than the far right. Rubio is still churning out press releases touting his support from folks such as Liz Cheney — which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Rubio already has the Republican base locked up. Heck, if staunch conservatives were any more smitten with Rubio, he would have to take out a restraining order."

    "Do the right thing"

    "Republican congressional candidate Jason Sager said this country was founded on the right of Americans to choose their elected officials."

    Sheriff Richard Nugent's steadfast refusal to resign not only jeopardizes that fundamental right but also locks out other people who may want to run for that office, Sager said Thursday.

    "I think he should do the right thing for the voters of this county — allow them to decide who will be their next sheriff," Sager said.

    Nugent, who announced just moments before the state qualifying deadline of April 30 that he would run for the 5th Congressional District seat and oppose fellow Republican Sager, said again Thursday he will not step down.

    "The law says I don't have to resign to run so it doesn't matter what my opponent says," Nugent said.
    "House candidate to sheriff: 'Do the right thing' and resign".

    Greene takes a shot at Nelson

    "Positioning himself as the outsider against three career politicians for the U.S. Senate, Democratic real estate investor Jeff Greene took a shot at an elder statesman in his own party during a visit Wednesday to a politically active Broward retirement community."

    In one of his first public appearances since he joined the race last month, Greene criticized U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson for traveling last month to Cape Canaveral with President Barack Obama, who has proposed scaling back the space shuttle program that employs thousands of people.

    Nelson — who has served in public office since 1972 and flew on a space shuttle in 1986 — has urged Obama to preserve NASA funding.

    "I was kind of disappointed when I saw Sen. Nelson flying down with President Obama to terminate those jobs,'' Greene told about 100 members of the Kings Point Democratic Club
    "U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene takes jabs at Sen. Bill Nelson".

    The 42 percenters

    Orlando: teabagger central.

    'Ya reckon?

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Ramp up offshore drilling safety".

    LaMarca to challenge Keechl

    "Broward's first openly gay mayor, who has been criticized for his campaign spending, faces an election challenge from the county's past GOP leader." "Former GOP chair LaMarca to challenge Broward mayor Keechl".

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