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 Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's over Charlie

    Joel Engelhardt: "Sorry, Charlie. It's over."
    Gov. Crist's maverick run for U.S. Senate is in tatters, torn by his ties to Jim Greer, his man at the Republican Party of Florida who is under indictment over a kickback scheme. The full effect of Mr. Greer's arrest may not have rocked the Crist campaign yet, but there's a whole summer of digging to come.

    This is not necessarily about whether Mr. Greer is guilty. It's about why Gov. Crist refused to scrutinize Mr. Greer's behavior even as he was warned to do so by at least one key supporter months before the party became a laughingstock.

    Now the former supporter - Al Hoffman, founder of home builder WCI and a former National Republican Committee finance chairman - is speaking out. Despite deep ties to the Bush family, including an ambassadorship, Mr. Hoffman cannot be dismissed as a plant, even though Jeb Bush supports Marco Rubio. Last fall, Mr. Hoffman was a $10,000 contributor to Gov. Crist's Senate campaign and served on the governor's host committee.
    "Greer down; is Crist next? It's still all about those GOP credit cards.".

    Yesterday's polls

    "Naples millionaire businessman Rick Scott has surged into a double-digit lead over Attorney General Bill McCollum in their race for the Republican nomination for governor, a poll released Thursday shows." "Scott leading McCollum in GOP governor's primary".

    "Crist is in front in the three-way race for the Senate in a new Quinnipiac University poll of Florida voters, while both of the Republican contenders for governor, Rick Scott and Attorney General Bill McCollum, lead likely Democratic nominee Alex Sink. " "Poll: Crist leads Senate race".

    "One poll shows Charlie Crist maintaining his lead in the U.S. Senate race, while another finds the governor and Marco Rubio in a tie." "Poll: Charlie Crist holding on to U.S. Senate race lead".

    "Outsiders with money to buy TV ads have rocked the conventional wisdom in a pair of Florida primaries, according to new Quinnipiac University polls. Former health care executive Rick Scott has surged to a 13-point lead over Attorney General Bill McCollum in the Republican primary for governor, while Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene has pulled to a virtual tie with U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary." "Quinnipiac poll: Rich execs giving long-time politicos fits in Florida's governor, U.S. Senate primaries".

    Right wing Cubans marginalized

    "More than half of the nation's young Hispanic voters do not identify themselves as liberal or conservative, though almost three in four say Democratic President Barack Obama is doing a good job, a poll released Wednesday shows." "Poll: Young Hispanics favor Obama, but most not aligned to any political ideology".


    "Officials want Panhandle counties to secede from BP's unified command". See also "McCollum wants $2.5 billion from BP for Florida" and "Feds: BP agrees to expedite oil spill payments".

    Just another GOPer

    "A now-disbarred Florida lawyer who admitted to orchestrating a huge Ponzi scheme gave more than $180,000 to Arizona Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, contributions that McCain's Senate rival is now making an issue in their competitive primary."

    Scott Rothstein was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison after he confessed to running a $1.2 billion fraud using faked legal settlements.

    Rothstein also was a key contributor and fundraiser who bundled more than $500,000 in campaign contributions for McCain's 2008 race, according to the campaign finance watchdog Center for Responsive Politics.

    The exact amount he raised from others is unknown, but Rothstein boasted to the Wall Street Journal in 2008 that he raised as much as $1.1 million for McCain.

    The campaign of former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging McCain in Arizona's Aug. 24 Republican primary, demanded that the four-term senator account for and donate all of the money connected to Rothstein.
    "Hayworth hits McCain for fundraiser's Ponzi scheme". Related: "Experts: More arrests to come in Rothstein saga", "Rothstein Fallout" and The Sun Sentinel editorial board's "Rothstein's harsh sentence well-deserved".

    Crist all but pledges to veto "Mean-spirited" anti-choice bill

    "In the Orlando area today, Gov. Charlie Crist again all but pledged to veto a bill that would require women seeking abortions to first pay for an ultrasound." "Crist criticizes abortion bill while on Orlando visit".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Crist should veto ultrasound bill".

    In the meantime, "demonstrators from Operation Outcry, an anti-abortion group of women who have had the procedure, gathered in Tallahassee to urge Gov. Charlie Crist to enact legislation requiring women seeking an abortion to pay to have an ultrasound first. Crist, who has until June 22 to act on the controversial bill, has called it 'mean-spirited' and hinted strongly of a veto." "Anti-abortion group backs bill requiring ultrasounds".

    Political "lessons for Florida"

    Joy-Ann Reid: "From Arkansas to California, Tuesday's primaries could hold lessons for Florida."

    The model of the successful businesswoman looking to replace testosterone with corporate savvy in the halls of power is one that Florida's former banker CFO Alex Sink could emulate.

    Sink doesn't have the baggage of having been booted from her company like Fiorina was from Hewlett Packard, or a history of shirking her basic civic duty like Whitman, who admits she hasn't voted since 1984. But Sink also lacks a Fiorina/Whitman-sized personal fortune. She's essentially facing a November ``primary'' against nonaffiliated candidate Bud Chiles -- son of the late Gov. Lawton Chiles, a Democrat -- whose name recognition likely would draw some Democrats to his camp. Still, the campaign message is there for Sink's taking. ...

    Money buys critical name recognition in expensive advertising markets like California and Florida.

    Case in point: a new Quinnipiac poll finds former hospital magnate/Medicare-fraud-tainted-by-association GOP candidate Rick Scott beating Sink by as much as Republican Bill McCollum would. Billionaire Democrat (and former California resident) Jeff Greene polls just 3 points lower than U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek in the U.S. Senate race -- though both are below 20 percent. The common denominator: Greene and Scott together have already spent close to $20 million, while Sink and Meek have yet to fire an advertising shot.
    Much more here: "What Florida can learn".

    Tax cutting freaks

    "The race for Florida's Republican gubernatorial nomination -- in which billionaire Rick Scott has soared to an overnight, 13-point lead -- may have narrowed to one question: Which candidate would be better for the state's economy?" "Scott, McCollum Battle Over Jobs". See also "Lawmaker: Lower taxes on Gulf coast properties".

    Whew ... not a tax increase

    "Florida public universities to raise tuition costs".

    FCAT follies

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Considering Pearson's track record, stiff fines are no guarantee of accountability going forward. That's why a probe that examines the state's contract with Pearson and details what went wrong is critical." "FCAT scorer flunks test".

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "School tests failing stress test: FCAT grading problems offer one example.".

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