Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 Saturday, May 15, 2010

McCollum "at the forefront of discrimination"

    Scott Maxwell shows courage with this column, which you should go and read now. Here's a taste: "You may know some of this sordid story. But you don't know it all — including the con job McCollum's been trying to pull to cover his tracks."
    The short version is that the "expert" McCollum hired to help him fight gay adoption has been exposed as a fraud.

    First, Dr. George Rekers' "expertise" was essentially dismissed as junk science by the courts. Then, Rekers' anti-gay credentials were called into question after he was caught traveling with a gay hooker who advertised his services on a porn site. (Rekers said he hired "Lucien" simply "to lift luggage" … insisting that wasn't a euphemism.)
    "McCollum tried a number of lame defenses."
    Faced with mounting criticism about why he would try to tear a happy family apart in the first place, McCollum tried to con people into believing he didn't want to … that he was merely doing his job.

    Two years ago, when McCollum was addressing Republicans in Indian River County, he promised to fight as hard as he could to keep gays from ever adopting children in this state. "We're going to go to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and we're going to argue their socks off," he said to a round of applause, according to the Press Journal of Vero Beach. "We happen to believe in this party that this state law is the right law."
    Maxwell reminds us that
    This is also a guy who tried to ban gay adoption in Congress — and one of the few congressmen in all of America to oppose Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national holiday.
    "Quite the civil-rights champion, our Bill."
    Come on, Bill. Man up to your discrimination. Own it.

    You can try telling your different stories to different crowds all you want. But the truth is: You're at the forefront of discrimination in this country.

    You're helping lead the fight to keep innocent children away from loving parents. And you wasted more money than most Floridians make in two years paying off a discredited hack who peddles in bigotry.

    That's the truth. And no amount of winks, nods or malarkey-filled insinuations will change that.
    "Big con job makes Bill McCollum's anti-gay bias even worse".

    "Sink's hopes for a waltz may be dashed"

    "Alex Sink's hopes for an effortless waltz to the Democratic gubernatorial nomination may be dashed. Lawton "Bud" Chiles III, the son of the late governor, is seriously looking at running against Sink in the Democratic primary for governor. He has been talking to friends and family across the state." "Lawton Chiles III poised to run for Florida governor".

    McCollum's "Rentboy" scandal

    Aaron Deslatte: "Who would have thought Florida politicos would be launching a Google search for Bill McCollum and "Rentboy scandal?""

    It was that kind of week for the Republican gubernatorial hopeful.

    First, he finds himself staring down a suddenly stiff primary challenge from former HCA/Columbia hospital chief executive Rick Scott, with a poll released showing Scott closing fast among GOP voters.

    Then there's the leak of a 2007 memo McCollum wrote to the Department of Children and Families urging them to hire George Rekers to defend Florida's ban on gay adoption, a job that paid him $120,000.

    Rekers, a minister and co-founder of the Family Research Council, got caught recently returning from a trip to Europe with a male escort whose "services" are advertised on a site called rentboy.com.

    Back in 2007, McCollum's office went to court to defend Florida's gay-adoption ban against a suit filed by a gay South Florida man attempting to adopt two young brothers he had raised. McCollum said it was notoriously tough to find "expert witnesses" willing to say in court that homosexuals make bad parents. His office's nationwide search found two.

    The one they hired, Rekers, testified that homosexuals led riskier lifestyles and were more prone to mental disorders. More recently, when caught with a "rental boy," he compared himself to Jesus Christ in defending his willingness to consort with prostitutes.
    "McCollum and 'Rentboy?' The ultimate odd couple".

    Meek takes a hit

    "As U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek championed a proposed biopharmaceutical complex in 2003, his Miami chief of staff received $13,000 from the project's developer to help the aide buy a house, police records show. The developer is now awaiting trial, accused of stealing nearly $1 million from the failed project." "Meek tied to S. Florida fraud case". See also "Builder under a cloud wooed Meek".

    The RPOF at work

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "State lawmakers, including one of Central Florida's own, added a new chapter in this year's legislative session to the state's sorry history of bowing to the billboard industry."

    Buried in a sweeping transportation bill headed to Gov. Charlie Crist, lawmakers included an amendment that would allow more billboards in more places in Florida. The amendment was spoon-fed to lawmakers by industry representatives, and it was also swallowed by state regulators in the Department of Transportation. The groups that have served as the only true watchdogs for the industry in Florida were never at the table.
    "Billboard betrayal".

    Make your mind up Billy

    "Attorney General Bill McCollum says that he now supports Arizona's tough new immigration law, although he doesn't think Florida needs such a severe crackdown on illegal immigrants." "McCollum: Florida doesn't need Arizona's law".

    McCollum finds some friends

    "A lawsuit filed by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care legislation has a co-plaintiff: the National Federation of Independent Business." "Business group joins Fla. lawsuit against Obama healthcare plan".

    Choice politics

    "Crist likely to veto abortion ultrasound bill".

    Wingnuts in a dither

    "With Gov. Charlie Crist vetoing bills by prominent conservatives, threatening to block hometown spending projects and bolting the Republican Party to run for the U.S. Senate as an independent, lawmakers are revolting against his push to hold a special session to pass a constitutional ban on oil-drilling and rules for renewable energy programs."

    House Speaker Larry Cretul, R-Ocala, lambasted the governor's push as a "publicity ploy." House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, has said a session is unnecessary because state and federal law already prohibit drilling within Florida waters.
    "Whom do you trust? Not Crist, lawmakers say".

    That's our Charlie

    "Crist at his best, pouring on his nice-guy persona".

    Spill baby! Spill!

    Steve Otto: "It's not supposed to happen. But then, lots of things aren't supposed to happen in our screwy world and when they do even you Boy Scouts out there aren't always prepared." "But what if the oil slick comes here?".

    Entrepreneurs in action: "BP's role in cleanup frustrates officials".

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Oil spill shows the need to better understand technology".

    Bad earmark

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "If you want another 500,000 reasons why congressional earmarks are a bad system for doling out government largesse, look at the case of David Foster. He won a federal earmark for a half-million dollars despite a long record of wasting public money on failed development projects. He simply told local members of Congress he would do good things with the money, and they didn't bother to check him out. It should not be that easy." "Federal waste, Florida-style".

    Where are the Dems?

    George Bennett writes that "Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek's first foray into the heart of Palm Beach County's Democratic condo belt drew about 140 supporters Friday to a room called the Andre Fladell Auditorium in the South County Civic Center west of Delray Beach."

    In a sign of the task Meek faces in introducing himself to voters from his own party, longtime Democratic activist Fladell wasn't there.

    In fact, Fladell this week said he's willing to consider supporting Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist's third-party Senate campaign.

    Meek's visit to Palm Beach County came as polls show Crist drawing considerable Democratic support and leading Florida's three-way Senate race, with Republican Marco Rubio second and Meek a distant third.
    "Meek faces battle to win support of Palm Beach County Democrats".

    Innocence commission

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "As Gov. Charlie Crist thumbs through the budget, looking for pork to cut, he should leave the $200,000 earmarked for the establishment of an innocence commission in Florida. It will be money well spent."

    As envisioned, an innocence commission would audit Florida's cases of wrongful conviction the way the National Transportation Safety Board examines plane crashes. Each detail of what went wrong would be studied to determine whether new procedures should be adopted to prevent similar errors in the future.

    Florida needs this. People like Alan Crotzer and Wilton Dedge spent years behind bars before DNA evidence confirmed they actually were innocent of the crimes they were convicted of committing. But there are plenty of cases where there is no DNA to resolve guilt or innocence with such certainty. Preventing wrongful convictions in the first place is often the only way to avoid miscarriages of justice for those crimes with no possibility of DNA exoneration.
    "Florida needs an innocence commission".

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