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 Tuesday, May 11, 2010

McCollum's "Rekers-gate"

    "Sure, you may think this Supreme Court thing is important. But what about the fact that Florida GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum paid George Alan Rekers (the now disgraced co-founder of the Family Research Council) over $60,000 in taxpayer dollars to serve as his expert witness on the evils of homosexuality." "Rekers-gate Hits FLA Gov's Race".

    Actually, it was "$120,000". It had originally been "reported that Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum (and now leading gubernatorial candidate) publicly disclosed $60,000 paid to Rekers. But it turns out that was just the retainer. Florida paid him about another $60,000 for billable hours."

    More here and here. See also "Rekers-gate Hits FLA Gov's Race".

    Middling reviews

    "President Obama receives middling reviews in a new Mason-Dixon poll of Florida voters, six months before they cast ballots in a high-stakes election widely viewed as a referendum on the Democratic administration." "Obama gets mixed reviews from Florida voters, poll shows". See also "Poll: Obama receives mixed reviews from Tampa Bay voters" and "Poll: Fla. voters evenly divided over Obama's job performance".

    Union vote

    "Democratic congressional candidates seek union vote in Port St. Lucie".

    Reid calls Crist

    "On the heels of new public polling showing Gov. Charlie Crist (I) leading the Florida Senate race -- mostly thanks to Democrats and Independents, who seem to be choosing Crist over Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) -- comes confirmation that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reached out to Crist by phone recently."

    The Wall Street Journal first reported news of the call [yesterday] morning. The paper said that news that Reid is communicating with Crist, who will be looking for a party to caucus with if he gets to the Senate, is evidence that Reid might be hedging his bets in the contest.

    Nonsense, Reid's office told TPMDC.
    "Meek Camp Not Sweating Reid Call To Now-Indy Crist".

    Florida's "Millionaire Astroturfer"

    "The Senate race isn't the only GOP war going on in Florida. Surprise late-entry gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott -- the former CEO of the the Columbia hospital system and a leading astroturfer during the health care town halls in 2009 -- is threatening to dismantle Republican party plans to replace Gov. Charlie Crist (I) with state Attorney General Bill McCollum." "Millionaire Astroturfer Thwarts GOP Plans In FL-GOV Race".

    Spill baby! Spill!

    "The first two oiled birds found after a massive oil spill on the Gulf Coast have been cleaned and released in what could be the start of several relocations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the birds Monday at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Vero Beach." "First birds found in oil spill start relocations". See also "State prepares to handle spill", "Will spill hit us? Odds are murky" and "Gulf Coast puts up last line of defense against oil spill". More: "Locals express frustration at Oil Spill Summit in panhandle".

    RPOFers at work

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "Two amendments in HB 1143 are classic examples of how bad legislation gets passed in the Florida Legislature."

    They were taken up by House Republicans at literally the 11th hour of the session, without benefit of committee hearings, expert testimony, staff analysis or time for public comment.

    The amendments, which deal with abortion, are based not on science or even fact, but, rather, ideology. Because of these flaws, Gov. Crist should veto HB 1143.

    The poison amendments, if signed into law, will bring a slew of lawsuits upon the state, using precious tax dollars for a legal defense that could far better be spent on law enforcement or beefing up underfunded programs for children and elders.

    One amendment would require a woman seeking an abortion in the first trimester to submit to and pay for an ultrasound, even though her doctor doesn't consider it necessary. She must either look at the image or listen to a description of it by her doctor.
    "Abortion bill begs veto". The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Our Opinion: Veto ultrasound mandate" ("Crist will be criticized either way, but his veto of legislation passed in the last hours of the 2010 session mandating ultrasound tests for pregnant women seeking abortions would be a statement of doing things the right way.")

    Lawyering up

    "Florida officials say they aren't planning to sue oil giant BP PLC any time soon, but Gov. Charlie Crist named two former state attorney generals to lead a topflight advisory legal team today — just in case." "Former AGs join Florida's oil spill advisory team". See also "Legal advisory council to help with claims" and "Florida may file suits as early as Monday to fight cap on Gulf oil leak claims".

    The Chamber of Commerce speaks

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board, channeling the Chamber of Commerce, thinks that if private sector employees have crap pensions, then it only makes sense that Florida's overworked and underpaid public employees get treated the same way: "For the first time since 1998, reports show that the Florida Retirement System is not fully financed."

    It's a warning legislators ignore at taxpayers' peril. Legislators refused this year to force state employees to contribute a token amount - 0.25 percent of their pay - toward retirement. Instead, taxpayers who more and more cannot count on guaranteed fixed-pension payments for their own retirement are forced to pay to make sure that state employees get theirs.

    No longer, though, must government provide top benefit packages to retain underpaid employees. Barron's magazine, citing a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, showed that the average state and local employee out-earns his counterpart in the private economy, with an hourly wage of $26.11 vs. $19.41. Benefits drive the disparity even higher, to $39.60 an hour for public employees against $27.42 for private workers.
    "Push back on state pensions: Employees do better than those in private industry".

    Wingnuts a comin'

    "The recommendation on where to hold the Republican National Convention is expected Wednesday, and the conventional wisdom is that it's Tampa's to lose." "Tampa favored as decision nears".

    Because BP said so

    "Attorney General Bill McCollum says it's not necessary to have a special legislative session to deal with the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico that could threaten Florida's beaches." "McCollum says there's no need for special session".

    Meantime, "Crist said Monday he wants a special legislative session soon -- maybe as early as the week of May 24 -- to deal with two timely issues: a proposed constitutional ban on drilling for oil off Florida's coast and tax incentives for utilities to diversify and explore renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power." "Gov. Charlie Crist closer to calling special session on drilling". See also "Crist aims for special session ‘in a couple weeks’".

    In the cross hairs

    "Rubio, Meek take turns defining Charlie Crist".

    Fair trade

    "The two little-known Democrats who hope to unseat U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, criticized free trade and told a union retirees group today that they want to stop U.S. jobs from going overseas. Business consultant Jim Horn of Palm City and middle school teacher Ed Tautiva of Wellington also decried the influence of special interests in politics during remarks to 70 members of a United Auto Workers retiree group." "Democratic congressional contestants blast free trade in Port St. Lucie forum".

    Daily Rothstein

    "The exotic cars owned by a high-profile South Florida lawyer accused of concocting a Ponzi scheme are on display for potential bidders in a mult-million-dollar government auction." "Scott Rothstein's exotic cars go up for auction".

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