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 21, 2010

McCollum caught red handed

    "Attorney General Bill McCollum continues to distance himself from two shadowy political committees attacking his GOP primary opponent, but new evidence is surfacing to connect his campaign to the groups. The latest is an e-mail obtained by the Times/Herald that asks McCollum campaign manager Matt Williams 'for final approval' of a television advertisement blasting challenger Rick Scott for fraud committed by a hospital chain he built." "Memo shows shadow group sought "final approval'' of McCollum's manager in Scott slam". Related: "McCollum comments on his campaign’s association with anti-Scott 527".

    Scott in Tally

    Bill Cotterell: "Rick Scott, the Republican front-runner for governor, served up some standard GOP rhetoric about big government, in his first Tallahassee campaign stop last week." "Mr. Scott, meet the facts".

    "Running third for the right to get clobbered"

    Steve Otto: Tommy "Castellano is running for Congress as a Republican in a Democratic district. He wants to unseat incumbent Kathy Castor. Right now, he likely is running third against two other Republicans for the right to get clobbered. Castellano is a long shot." "Castellano casts eyes on Congress".

    All four in the same room

    "The four -- Republicans Bill McCollum and Rick Scott, Democrat Alex Sink and independent Lawton 'Bud' Chiles -- spoke to Leadership Florida, a networking organization that invited them to its annual meeting in Fort Myers. It was the first time all four had appeared before the same organization."

    They avoided discussing each other, but their philosophical differences were on stark display: McCollum and Scott called for tax cuts, while Sink described a ``crisis of leadership'' in Tallahassee and urged more investment in programs for children. Chiles, the son of a former governor and senator, decried a political system polluted by money and partisanship.

    Much of the buzz centered on Scott, the wealthy former hospital executive whose $16 million advertising campaign has catapulted him to front-runner status in the GOP race, but about whom little is known.
    "4 candidates for Florida governor present contrasting views".

    Tea party madness

    "Tea Party organizers in Orlando announced last Friday they had fielded 20 candidates in state races as a way to punish incumbent Republicans who had voted in favor of Central Florida's commuter-rail project in Central Florida, or were 'big spenders' in the Legislature."

    But by Monday, the organizers were complaining of GOP retaliation. And Tea Party advocate and political consultant Doug Guetzloe was removed from the Orlando radio station where he's bought time for a five-day-a-week talk show.

    "A lot of bad things are happening to people who are involved with us," said political activist Fred O'Neal, an Orlando attorney who with Guetzloe incorporated the Florida Tea Party and has been fighting a lawsuit to keep the rights to the name.

    WEUS AM 810 station co-owner Carl Como said Guetzloe was being replaced by a third hour of conservative commentator Laura Ingraham's nationally syndicated show. He insisted his decision had nothing to do with Guetzloe's Tea Party politics.

    "Anybody in this business would know that ratings are important, and we just weren't getting them," Como said. "I guess he can spin anything he wants."

    Como said he also dismissed a part-time employee, Raul Pantoja of Orlando, because he had qualified as a Tea Party candidate for a House seat in Fort Myers and then gone on Guetzloe's show to discuss it.
    Meanwhile, Scott Maddox gets some friendly tea:
    Ira Chester, a 75-year-old retired state employee in Tallahassee, qualified to run for state agriculture commissioner as a Tea Party candidate against Democrat Scott Maddox and Republican Adam Putnam.

    Chester, previously a registered Democrat, has been a frequent campaign contributor to Maddox since 2001 – a fact that Putnam's campaign said suggested they were working together.

    Chester denied it.
    "Tea Party fields questionable candidates – and takes flak for it".

    From TPM: "Florida Fakers? GOP Cries Foul Over 20 Tea Party Candidates". See also "Tea party movement takes on party that shares its name". Related: "Florida's Small Parties Short on Candidates".


    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Business as usual."

    That's what the oil industry asked for in trooping up to Capitol Hill to testify to a U.S. House committee that the Gulf oil spill is such a rare event that there's no reason to do anything differently.

    That's an insult.

    And it's flat wrong.
    "Lessons to learn".

    See also "Florida officials seek out oil skimmers rather than wait for BP", "Oil spill colors fabric of life on Gulf Coast", "Three of Florida’s biggest law firms chosen to defend BP, others", "Sole: Weather favoring Florida's oil response" and "Effort to protect Florida beaches from oil spill speeds up".

    Meek agin' Greene

    "Kendrick Meek and Jeff Greene to square off in debate". See also "Democrats hope Tuesday debate gives candidates more name recognition".

    SD 12

    "Another write-in candidate has joined the increasingly crowded race to represent Florida Senate District 12. Kimberly Renspie of Carrollwood Village submitted her papers Friday, listing assets of $2,500." "Another write-in candidate joins state Senate District 12 race".

    Chamber poll

    "A new Florida Chamber of Commerce poll suggests Charlie Crist may be widening his lead over Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek in the U.S. Senate race."

    Where other recent polls showed Crist barely edging out Rubio, the June 9-13 survey of 607 likely voters by the Florida Chamber of Commerce Political Institute and Cherry Communications found 42 percent backing Crist, 31 percent Rubio and 14 percent Meek. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

    It also found Rick Scott leading Bill McCollum for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, 35 percent to 30 percent; and both Republicans leading Democrat Alex Sink and independent Lawton "Bud" Chiles III. For the general election, Scott and McCollum were favored by 31 percent and 30 percent respectively, while Chief Financial Officer Sink drew 26 percent and Chiles 15 percent.
    "Crist's edge over Rubio appears to be growing".

    dKos asks: "Outlier or trend? Crist leads big".

    "Moving in the right direction"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Gov. Charlie Crist is moving in the right direction now that he has left the Republican Party and freed himself from pandering to its conservative base."

    Last week, the independent candidate for the U.S. Senate eased his stance on Cuba. Then he said he no longer supports Florida's ban on gay couples adopting children. Crist's transformation may be about politics. But the governor is lending his voice to decency and moving Florida forward.

    Crist embraced President Barack Obama's decision last year to relax travel barriers for Cuban-Americans who wish to visit their relatives on the island. Crist supports the Democratic administration's decision to retain the trade embargo, but to allow Cuban-Americans to freely visit relatives on the island and to send money. Former President George W. Bush imposed tough restrictions limiting family visits to one every three years. He also limited how much money Cuban-Americans could send.

    Bush's restrictions were an affront to the right Americans have to travel freely and without government interference. They also kept families apart, adding to the misery that Cubans have suffered for generations.
    "Governor moves Florida forward".

    Marco misstep

    "At a forum last week for statewide candidates, Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio reiterated his position in favor of offshore oil drilling, arguing that it will help America achieve energy independence. But a study completed earlier this year for the Florida legislature undercuts that argument, especially for the portions of the Gulf of Mexico closest to Florida." "Report undercuts Rubio claims about offshore drilling".

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