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 Monday, May 24, 2010

Grayson opponent behind Florida ultrasound bill

    The latest from the right wingers at Sunshine State News: "Florida's "ultrasound" abortion bill is neither unique nor out of the mainstream of state policies around the country, a Sunshine State News analysis shows."
    Surveys by the Guttmacher Institute, a liberal-leaning think tank that "advances sexual and reproductive health worldwide through research, policy analysis and public education," reveal that several states have moved to make the ultrasound technology part of their abortion laws.

    Eight states -- Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin -- require verbal counseling or written materials to include information on accessing ultrasound services.

    Eight states -- Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio and South Carolina -- require that a woman be provided with the opportunity to view an ultrasound image if her provider performs the procedure as part of the preparation for an abortion.

    Three states -- North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah -- mandate that an abortion provider perform an ultrasound on each woman seeking an abortion,
    and require the provider to offer the woman the opportunity to view the image.

    House Bill 1143, which passed the Florida Legislature along largely partisan lines, brings the Sunshine State into alignment with these state policies on ultrasound services.
    The wingnut who hopes to unseat Congressman Alan Grayson,
    Former Sen. Daniel Webster, initial sponsor of the legislation, said he was pleased to see lawmakers act this year on the ultrasound provision.

    "In 2008, the bill died in a tie vote on the Senate floor. This year, I am glad it has passed, and hope to see it signed into law," said Webster, a Republican who is currently campaigning for a seat in Congress.
    "Florida Abortion Bill Protects Public Purse".


    Wingnuts take their tea and go home

    "Conservatives and tea party activists tried to flex their muscle Monday night, but moderates easily retained control of the Broward Republican Party's top leadership spots. During a raucous gathering of Republican committeemen and committeewomen — which had a turnout far larger than usual — party members picked Cindy Guerra for the top job." "Tea party fails to capture Republican chairmanship in Broward County".


    McCollum can't get his gay bashing straight

    "Gay rights, an issue that stung Bill McCollum in his unsuccessful 2004 race for the U.S. Senate, has put him on the defensive again this year in his campaign for governor."

    Back then, Mel Martinez bashed McCollum in a Republican primary as too sympathetic to gay rights and won.

    Recently, as attorney general, McCollum has taken a harder line on gay issues - but now finds himself under fire for spending $120,000 in taxpayer money to hire a since-discredited expert witness to testify in favor of keeping Florida's ban on gay adoption. ...

    But state documents show the state Department of Children & Families, which McCollum said was responsible for hiring Rekers, opposed it; and McCollum had boasted to Republicans after his 2006 election as attorney general that he would fight to uphold Florida's adoption ban, the only such blanket ban in the nation. ...

    The Rekers story has made national headlines, and Democrats are having a field day with the situation, sending McCollum an "invoice" for taxpayers' money they say he wasted to serve his political needs. His chief Democratic opponent, Alex Sink, is also blasting him on the issue. ...

    McCollum has occasionally clashed with religious right groups despite his long reputation as a conservative.

    In Congress, he voted to extend federal hate crimes legislation to cover sexual orientation. He has met with gay rights groups during campaigns, and has also supported limited embryonic stem cell research.

    In the bitterly contested 2004 Senate primary, Mel Martinez used those stances against him, excoriating McCollum as "anti-family" and accusing him of "pandering to the radical gay agenda."

    Martinez won the primary and the Senate seat. ...

    He was also a leader of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, an organization that contends homosexuality is a mental disorder that can be cured. He has testified frequently before courts and legislators on gay rights issues.
    Much more here: "Gay rights issue dogs McCollum".


    Arizona law jams RPOFers

    George Bennett: "Arizona's controversial crackdown on illegal immigration, in its original and amended forms, has become a touchy issue in Florida Republican politics."

    Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush raised racial profiling concerns and spoke out against the law that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed April 23. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, the GOP front-runner for governor this year, also voiced qualms.

    But all three said their profiling concerns were satisfied when Arizona amended the law to more narrowly define when police could question people about their immigration status.

    McCollum put out a May 13 statement saying he'd support a similar law in Florida "if the federal government fails to secure our borders and solve the problem of illegal immigration."

    McCollum later said he doesn't believe the situation has reached the point where such a law would be necessary in Florida. That drew an attack ad Saturday from McCollum's multimillionaire GOP primary rival, Rick Scott.

    "Rick Scott backs Arizona's law. He'll bring it to Florida," the new ad says.
    "Top Florida Republicans soften stance on Ariz. law".


    No surprise (for Sink)

    "AFL-CIO endorses Meek, Sink".


    Broward Dems like their Crist

    "Crist is popular among many Broward Democrats — something that could give his no party affiliation U.S. Senate candidacy a big boost in November." "Crist makes inroads with Broward Democratic Party".


    Spill! Baby Spill!

    "Gulf recovered from last big oil spill, but is this one different?", "Gulf oil spill has 'perfect precedence' in 1979 disaster" and "BP's ability questioned as Gulf oil chokes marshes".

    Bill Maxwell: " Most of us Florida-born folks always have taken tar balls for granted, just as we have taken for granted extreme heat, humidity, rainstorms, hurricanes, mosquitoes, no-see-ums and sandspurs." "Growing up with ocean,tar balls".


    "The Legislature's new proposal for stabilizing the property insurance"

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Hurricane season is coming up, and though the Legislature's new proposal for stabilizing the property insurance market in Florida is meager — doing little or nothing to invite more capital into the state to pay for claims — it's better than nothing. Its safeguards for consumers and its provision to address fraud are both worthwhile, and we urge Gov. Charlie Crist to allow SB 2044 to become law."

    The legislation does very little to welcome or keep the stable, well-run insurance giants whose capital the state will desperately need if the "big one" comes ashore this season, but it is a start and the governor should allow it to become law of the state.
    "Inching to shore".


    Sink courts state workers

    Bill Cotterell: "Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has an interesting and comprehensive plan for running state government if we decide to put her in charge of the whole thing in November."

    It's comprehensive, in that she deals with everything from having top executives sign performance contracts to "smarter use of office supplies."

    It's interesting, in that she speaks respectfully of state employees. A Democrat running for governor has to do that — promise to make war on waste and inefficiency, while showing due deference to the people who keep state government going every day.
    "Sink courts state workers while promising change".


    "Where have I seen that handsome bald guy before?"

    "Rick Scott, neophyte politician and surprise candidate for Florida governor, opens one of his now ubiquitous TV commercials with this: 'So I bet you're wondering, where have I seen that handsome bald guy before?'"

    Those who followed President Barack Obama's efforts to overhaul health care may know him already. Scott, who made a fortune in the for-profit hospital industry, stepped forward last year as a highly visible conservative critic of the Democrats' health care plan. Using $5 million of his own money, he formed a group to carry the flag against it, appeared in commercials, ranted on national TV news shows and, critics say, helped whip the tea party crowd into an anti-Obama frenzy. ...

    Scott is counting on support from plugged-in conservative voters like Billie Tucker, who founded a Jacksonville tea party that drew 7,000 people to a raucous rally last month.
    "Fla. governor candidate touts outsider status".


    Rockledge, the new Motor City?

    "Rockledge-based Avera Motors now has a staff of only 15 - mostly engineers and designers who use to work in Michigan. But if things go as planned, the company could employ more than 1,000 workers on the next five years. Avera is developing a diesel-hybrid powertrain and has announced a plan to develop a hybrid four-passenger sports car." "New Florida automaker has high hopes to grow".


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