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 Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Fine line between criminal activity and business-as-usual"

    Scott Maxwell: "If Orange County Commissioner Mildred Fernández is guilty of the bribery charges she's facing, she deserves to be punished — not just for doing wrong, but for being stupid."
    Florida laws, after all, make it easy for politicians to shake people down for money. You just have to know how to play the game.

    In fact, if you do it right, you can shake people down for a lot more than a measly thousand bucks.

    That's part of what the state attorney accused Fernández of doing — asking a developer for $1,000 worth of campaign money in exchange for championing his project.

    But compare that to the legislators who get tens of thousands in campaign cash from special interests who also want their legislation championed. That's completely legal.

    Why? Because there's a fine line between criminal activity and business-as-usual in this state.
    Read the rest of it here: "Is campaign cash that different from bribery?".

    "The people's governor"?

    The newspaper company employees sure will miss their Charlie if he loses: "The people. At once vague and powerful, it's a sentiment that Gov. Charlie Crist hopes will propel his campaign for U.S. Senate." "The progress of a‘people’ person".

    "freedom - from responsibility"

    Randy Schultz: "For Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, his lawsuit to nullify the federal health care law is about freedom. When Republican counterparts joined the lawsuit, Mr. McCollum welcomed them to the fight against this 'encroachment on our freedom.'"

    At issue is the provision that requires every American to have health insurance. During the legislative session, Republicans gave Mr. McCollum - who, not coincidentally, is running for governor - a shout-out by passing the Health Care Freedom Act, a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that supposedly would exempt Floridians from the mandate to have insurance. House sponsor Scott Plakon called the federal law "anti-freedom."

    In fact, the amendment is symbolic. If the federal law stands, states have to follow it. Imagine Alabama, after Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, arguing that the state could ignore it.

    But on this argument about "freedom," I guess that if you think long enough and hard enough, and in the right way, Mr. McCollum and his supporters in the Legislature are right. This is all about freedom, just not in the way that they believe.
    Schultz continues:
    Their opposition to the health care law is about maintaining the freedom of some Americans to make the rest of America pay for that "freedom."
    Schultz closes
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida ranks last - at 56.2 percent - in the rate of residents without private health insurance. Which state ranks first? Massachusetts, which under its plan that resembles the new federal law requires residents to have insurance.

    Mr. McCollum's frivolous lawsuit and the Legislature's silly amendment won't raise Florida's ranking one point. Mr. McCollum and the Legislature have no competing plan of their own to cover any of Florida's uninsured. But they're just exercising their own kind of "freedom" - from responsibility.
    There's much more here: "Free? Sure, free to mooch health care".

    "Florida Republicans are twisting themselves into pretzels"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Florida Republicans are twisting themselves into pretzels over Arizona's extreme effort to crack down on illegal immigrants."

    Attorney General Bill McCollum was against it, then for it and for bringing it to Florida, then for it — but not in Florida. His opponent in the Republican primary for governor, hospital executive Rick Scott, is all for it everywhere and rips McCollum in a television ad for initially being against it. U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio is all over the map: He was against it, then he was for it, then he hedged on Miami Spanish television. Now he supports it — but not in Florida.

    The reason for these tortured contortions is obvious. McCollum and Rubio are trying to appeal to largely white, conservative Republican voters by embracing Arizona's new law without offending Florida's diverse population. It is impossible to do both, and they are adding fuel to a divisive debate that will make it more difficult to find real solutions to immigration issues.
    "GOP in knots over Ariz. immigration law".

    Teabaggers running the last moderates outa the GOP

    "Gov. Charlie Crist's unraveling and Rubio's ascension in Florida was the first sign of turmoil for the establishment. Once an odds-on favorite to move to the Senate, Crist now is a former Republican and an independent in an unpredictable three-way race with Rubio and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek." "GOP Senate hopes ride with tea party activists".

    Mary Ann Lindley: "This election year could be just a bizarre as 2000, but in a different way, with Gov. Charlie Crist leading us into what may be a new way of electing leaders outside of the traditional and over-stuffed two-party system."

    The governor was brave enough to abandon the Republican Party, or acknowledge, I think fairly, that the party had already abandoned him. Its hard-right turn has also put off many moderate Republicans who crave a more centrist alternative, though not necessarily Crist.
    "A Crist victory could change politics".

    Undecideds lead AG race

    "With fewer than 100 days before the Florida primary, the race for attorney general, considered the second-most important state office after the governor, is stuck in a stalemate, with competitive primaries on both sides and no candidate able to pull ahead." "Leading the Florida Attorney General's race: 'Undecided'".

    To Brooksville!

    "Senate candidate Meek comes to Brooksville".

    Nine amendments

    "There are nine proposed amendments to our state Constitution on this November's ballot. Nine! That's gonna take some reading in the voting booth." "A look at the nine amendments on Florida's ballot".

    "What has Jeff Greene done?"

    "Do a Google search for Democratic Senate hopeful Jeff Greene’s name this morning and you’ll see an ad from indie Senate candidate Charlie Crist over on the side that says “What has Jeff Greene done? Experience matters” and includes the Crist campaign’s Web address. The Crist campaign’s seven-word dig at the billionaire Democratic Senate aspirant drew a response of more than 300 words this morning from the Greene campaign." "Crist’s 7-word Google jab at Democrat Greene draws 300+ words of response, measure of satisfaction".

    Daily Rothstein

    "Fate of Rothstein, Gallagher in hands of 'southern gentleman' judge".

    More Bushes

    "A wedding at a Miami Catholic church drew two former presidents and a former Florida governor -- all of whom were related to the groom, 26-year-old John Ellis Bush Jr." "Generations celebrate as Jeb Bush's son gets married".


    "Yet another mix of risky undersea robot maneuvers, containment devices and longshot odds is being prepared to fight the uncontrolled gusher feeding the worst oil spill in U.S. history." "BP turns to next attempt to stop gushing oil in Gulf of Mexico after top kill fails".

    More: "Scientists: Subsurface oil from Gulf gusher may be heading toward Florida coast", "BP moving on after top kill effort fails to plug Gulf oil leak" and "BP turns to next attempt after top kill fails".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "BP grossly misstated the amount of oil spewing from its collapsed rig in the Gulf of Mexico. It stalled in providing a live camera feed of the broken pipe gushing oil a mile beneath the sea surface. It misled the nation about how well its latest attempt was going to plug the runaway well. Five weeks after this disaster started, there still is a surprise around every corner."

    This is the company the nation should trust to process claims for damages to incomes and property? The government needs to take over the claims process and send BP the bill.
    "Don't let BP process damage claims".

    "With Louisiana's shoreline turning blacker by the day, an elite team of two former attorneys general is cautiously laying the groundwork for Florida's legal response to BP's massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill." "Butterworth, Smith head effort to lay groundwork for lawsuit over oil spill".

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "BP crisis exposes chink in government's regulatory armor".

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