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 Monday, June 14, 2010

Ghost of Greer haunting McCollum

    "The ghost of Jim Greer is coming back to haunt Bill McCollum."
    Until the Republican Party chairman resigned last January amid a storm of controversy over his financial dealings, McCollum was one of Greer's most steadfast supporters. Now the GOP gubernatorial candidate, with his campaign sinking in the polls, can't seem to run away from him fast enough.

    McCollum's primary opponent, Rick Scott, alleges that Greer and the Republican Party "cleared the field" for the attorney general's run for governor.

    "Not only did Greer use his position as party chairman to endorse McCollum and push out other candidates, the party also funneled over $1.7 million in RPOF funds to McCollum’s gubernatorial campaign," the Scott campaign said in a statement.

    "When the party’s finances were first called into question, McCollum sought to keep the party’s financial records under Greer from becoming public and stalled a formal criminal investigation into the matter."

    The investigation, which McCollum referred to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, resulted in Greer's indictment on six felony charges of fraud, theft and money laundering.
    "'Greer Tried to Clear Field for McCollum'".


    "In less than two years, freshman Democrat U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson has built a national reputation as a bare-knuckle brawler whom conservatives love to hate, an unapologetic supporter of health-care reform and government regulation."

    But come Election Day, he stands to gain from an unlikely source: the Florida Tea Party.

    The fledgling Florida Tea Party has put forward Peg Dunmire against Grayson in the race for Florida's 8th Congressional District. Grayson, Dunmire and whichever Republican wins that party's August primary will face off in the November general election.

    As a third-party candidate and political newcomer with scant campaign funding, Dunmire has little chance of winning. But with a spot on the ballot listed under the Florida Tea Party mantle, she could attract votes from disaffected conservatives — votes that would otherwise likely go to the Republican candidate.
    "Brew-ha-ha? Tea Party could help Grayson win re-election".

    The "endorsement game"

    Bill Cotterell: "Florida's state employee unions are making their political endorsements, which are interesting in a couple of ways."

    Candidates who get the backing of the Florida AFL-CIO, Police Benevolent Association or American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will proudly proclaim those endorsements as proof of their commitment to working-class families. Those who don't get labor's backing usually just ignore it or call it proof that their opponents are bossed by big labor — or, at least, sufficiently liberal to win union backing.

    Conversely, business endorsements also can be taken either way, depending whether you get them or don't. Those who are endorsed by Associated Industries of Florida — Marco Rubio, for instance — see it as proof of their common-sense business approach to public policy. Those who don't will call the winners tools of big business.

    In a center-right state like Florida, a lot of candidates don't even bother seeking a labor endorsement, unless they're running in large urban areas where it can generate some volunteer help and organizational support.
    Much more here: "Candidates, unions play endorsement game".


    "In Florida, beaches remained open and active, though two large plumes of oil were detected south of Pensacola Bay and officials closed a portion of state waters to fishing, crabbing and shrimping." "Pressure mounts as Gulf oil spill nears". See also "Where do you send your donation for an oil spill?", "Tar balls attract politicians" and "Obama plans fourth tour of Gulf oil spill".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Federal spill effort needs more focus".

    Paul Flemming: "BP has had its chance; bring on Craig Fugate".

    "A free pass from Washington"

    Carl Hiaasen:

    This is what millions of dollars in campaign contributions buys -- a free pass from Washington. The federal Minerals Management Service basically worked for Big Oil.

    It was a relationship that flourished during the Bush-Cheney years, and not much changed when Barack Obama took office. Despite serious safety issues throughout BP's North American operations, the MMS blithely accepted the company's word that everything was peachy on Mississippi Canyon Block 252 in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Even today, in the midst of the worst oil spill in history, the Obama administration is still relying largely on BP's word, although by necessity and not choice.
    "Now you don't trust BP, but it's too late".

    Commuter rail

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Why business supports commuter rail".

    "Too tough"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "The Great Recession may have technically ended last year when the national economy began growing again, but you'd have a hard time convincing many Floridians. They are still coping with double-digit unemployment, plummeting property values, and historically high foreclosure rates. Against this grim backdrop, raising tuition and fees to the max at Florida's 11 public universities is a tough sell — too tough." "Slow tuition, fee hikes".


    "Florida gives insurance companies some slack".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "While there are tentative signs the economy is recovering in Florida and the nation, it is far from a solid comeback. So it is essential that the Senate push hard this week to pass legislation that sends additional Medicaid money to states depending on it to balance budgets and ensure poor residents have access to health care. Concerns about the federal deficit are legitimate, but they cannot be an excuse for failing to care for the neediest Americans still struggling with the impact of the recession." "Medicaid, COBRA money is essential".

    Crowded Florida Political Races

    "Independent, Third Party Candidates Crowd Florida Political Races".

    FCAT follies

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "How could a huge testing company like NCS Pearson leave Florida students, parents and schools in the lurch, waiting for FCAT scores that will tell them whether they made the grade or need extra help in reading or math?"

    That's the $254 million question that begs for an independent auditor to answer.

    The Florida Department of Education maintains it selected NCS Pearson because its bid came in $200 million lower than its competitor, CTB McGraw-Hill, which held the previous state contract to oversee FCAT testing and scoring. But now NCS Pearson blames computer glitches that have mismatched test results with each child's demographic information.
    "Get FCAT right this time".

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