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 Friday, June 25, 2010

"Rubio caught between a tea bag and a hard place"

    "With recent polls showing Charlie Crist ahead, Rubio knows that he has to tack to the center if he's to have any chance of winning ... but he can't afford to offend the lunatic fringe that got him the nomination. Rubio is caught between a tea bag and a hard place." "Rubio sets speed record on health care flip-flop". Related: "Rubio supports oil because it's safe".

    Scott's hypocrisy "explodes" as an issue

    "Rick Scott has made it clear there's no way he would have accepted federal stimulus money as governor."

    At the same time, a broadband company that received $63.6 million in federal stimulus money is among his investments.

    Scott's Republican gubernatorial rival, Attorney General Bill McCollum, has stimulus problems of his own. He invested money in a broadband company that asked for $129 million of the stimulus and owns stock in another company that benefited from the $787 billion federal program.

    The issue exploded Thursday in a heated primary battle where any shred of support for the stimulus alarms GOP voters.
    "Hypocrisy and stimulus are latest buzzwords of Scott-McCollum battle".

    Can McCollum be this desperate?

    "Can a Friend of Bill Clinton be a Friend of Bill McCollum? Sure, if your name is Dick Morris."

    Morris' critics call him a serial flip-flopper, who began his political career as a Republican strategist, then jumped ship to help Bill Clinton get elected in 1992.

    After resigning from the Clinton team in 1996, amid reports of his salacious "toe-sucking" affair with a prostitute, Morris headed back to the Republican camp.

    On his way out of the White House, Morris bragged that he helped Clinton "come back from being buried in a landslide."

    Since then, Morris has worked as a "conservative" commentator who takes liberal swipes at Democrats.
    But the "toe-sucker" has a little "baggage"
    Whether Morris' support helps the struggling McCollum campaign is anyone's guess. But any claim that Morris has to fiscal conservatism was heavily discounted by his run-ins with the tax man.

    In 2003, the IRS hit Morris with a $1.5 million lien for back taxes. In 2007, he was listed among Connecticut’s top 100 tax delinquents for failing to pay $452,367 in state taxes.

    Morris said he reached an agreement with Connecticut, and his name was off the state's scofflaw list as of Nov. 1, 2008.

    "Following a difficult period in my life, I fell into arrears. But since then, I have paid almost $3 million in state and federal taxes," Morris was quoted as saying.

    Without a tinge of irony, Morris on Wednesday blasted McCollum's gubernatorial primary rival, Rick Scott.

    "Rick Scott made millions in highly questionable billings under the Medicaid and Medicare program. His financial dealings have come under great scrutiny. But he is using his gains to fund a campaign of smear against McCollum," Morris said.
    "Dick Morris' Endorsement of Bill McCollum Comes With Baggage".


    "A day after it was hit by globs of oil, a Florida Panhandle beach showed few signs of sludge." "Beaches cleaner a day after onslaught of oil".

    See also "More evidence of Gulf oil spill washes ashore", "Pensacola Beach closed after oil washes ashore", "Storm threat could mean a worse gusher", "Oil threatens inland waters in Escambia", "Oil could be headed to Perdido Key", "Spill may derail tourism recovery" and "Pensacola cleanup: last stand against Gulf oil spill".

    "With the growing public outrage over the Gulf oil spill, this is prime time for politicians to jump on the anti-drilling bandwagon. If they do, they'll join U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, who has been on that wagon for years. When Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican, introduced a bill Tuesday that would reform the oil-drilling regulatory agency and remove the liability cap for companies that cause a spill, it wasn't just to impress the voters. He means it." "Buchanan's oil-spill bill".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Officials in Tampa Bay and all coastal counties can learn from what they saw in Pensacola by making detailed plans for how they would respond if they woke to a similar disaster." "Lessons for us from the Panhandle".

    "Jeb!" for prez?

    "Could former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush be running for president?".

    Sad day

    "It's the 13th panther death this year. Scientists believe between 100 and 120 Florida panthers remain in the wild, though they are running out of habitat." "Florida panther struck and killed by car".

    Bought and paid for

    "Brevard County lawmakers won one-fourth of the Champion For Business awards for their work on economic issues during the 2010 legislative session. The current and future leaders of the state House and Senate were among the 16 legislators honored Thursday by Associated Industries of Florida, the state's largest business lobbying organization. Separate councils of AIF also recognized 10 members for work in specific areas of legislation affecting the state's business climate." "Lawmakers honored for work on business issues".

    Citrus executives whine

    "Stung by Gov. Charlie Crist's vetoes of a bill protecting a property tax break for agricultural land and $1 million to battle citrus greening disease, some state citrus executives are attacking the governor for missing appointments to the Florida Citrus Commission by the Feb. 1 deadline as required by law." "Crist's Tardiness Vexes Citrus".

    We need to build more freeway overpasses

    Renters face "a new threat of eviction starting next week when Florida law allows homeowner associations to pursue renters, not just landlords, for overdue fees. If the owner falls behind and the renter doesn't cover the deficit, the renter faces eviction under the new statute, which takes effect July 1." "New law can make renters pay homeowner-association fees".

    Miami under water? ... pols don't care

    Fred Grimm: "No summer horror movie offers anything more frightening than the real-life disaster portrayed by a PowerPoint slideshow at Miami-Dade County Hall Wednesday. But the timing was utterly out of sync with American politics."

    Robert Verchick of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation, reminded the gathered local, state and federal officials that a survey of the world's great cities with the most assets at risk from climate change ranked Miami the most vulnerable city in North America. Nothing in the discussion that followed cast any doubt on that ranking.

    But this crisis, despite the horrors, comes with a timeline too far -- a three-to-five-foot rise in sea level by the end of the century. Not urgent enough, apparently, to alarm a civic leadership that can hardly see beyond the next election cycle.
    "Specter of a submerged Florida not fazing politic...".

    "A baffling and troubling stand" by McCollum

    Scott Maxwell notes that Billy McCollum "took a baffling and troubling stand last week — opposing your right to know what your elected officials are doing." He actually uttered these words:

    "I'm not sure the Legislature is the place for open government."
    Maxwell continues:
    It's like Bill had a senior moment. Like he forgot he was at a debate for gubernatorial candidates and mistakenly thought he was whispering sweet nothings into the ears of the lobbyists who are funding his campaign.

    But no, Bill apparently meant this. He went on to say that public disclosure just makes it so darn hard to do business in a timely manner.

    All this comes from a man who not only wants to be your next governor, but who also is currently your attorney general — making him the point man for many "Government in the Sunshine" laws issues in this state.
    More here: "McCollum wants to keep us in the dark".

    FCAT follies

    "The Florida Department of Education is asking for more than $3 million in damages from contractor NCS Pearson over a delay in reporting the results of the state's standardized exam, the FCAT." "Education Department Seeking Damages Over FCAT Delay". Related: "Tardy FCAT scores ready for release".

    Go to the library, please

    "Libraries and Librarians Are Endangered Species: What You Can Do to Help".

    What's wrong with Hillsborough?

    "The candidacy of two Democrats running for the Hillsborough County Commission, John Dingfelder and Linda Saul-Sena, hangs in the balance as Republican leaders say they might challenge their names on the November ballot." "GOP may dispute ballot". See also "GOP weighs court challenge after Dingfelder, Saul-Sena resign".

    More from Hillsborough: "GOP commission candidate files ethics complaint against opponent".

    LeMieux, Miller, need to "bark up another tree"

    Paul Flemming: "Plenty of elected officials with R's after their names have made a clamor about the Jones Act, an obscure piece of 1920 legislation they say is limiting the number of ships helping corral wayward oil in the Gulf."

    Capt. Scott Poulin, the Coast Guard's on-site commander at Mobile unified command — he's the man who must nod favorably for every single bit of Florida's Panhandle response — said the Jones Act is a non-issue. For one thing, Poulin says he has foreign vessels working the spill in the Gulf. All he has to do is keep them more than three miles off shore. For a second thing, Poulin and his superiors have the authority under the state of emergency to waive the Jones Act.

    Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller sent Obama a letter asking the president to waive the Jones Act.

    Bark up another tree, already. Preferably, find something that'll make a difference, no matter who it gigs.
    "Maritime folks say the Jones Act is, in fact, a beautiful thing".


    The next time you hear a politician grubbing for votes at the delightful "Coral Ridge Ministries", recall this (courtesy of the unbalanced Jackie Bueno Sousa at the Miami Herald):

    By the time President Barack Obama demanded last week that BP pay $20 billion into a fund to reimburse people and businesses damaged by the Gulf oil spill, Jerry Newcombe had already wrapped up his recently released documentary -- Socialism: A Clear and Present Danger.

    Too bad for Newcombe, who could easily have used the event as fodder for the video, which aired nationally in May. Host of The Coral Ridge Hour, a weekly television show by Broward-based Coral Ridge Ministries, Newcombe sees the president's recent strong-arming of BP to obtain that $20 billion as the latest move in a disturbing pattern of activity.

    "Socialism, at its core, is about the abolition of private property,'' Newcombe told me recently. The Obama administration "has shown they have no respect for private property.''
    "BP should've refused Obama's $20B demand".

    Meanwhile, up in DC ...

    "Republicans [including Florida Sen. George LeMieux] defeated Democrats' showcase election-year jobs bill, including an extension of weekly unemployment benefits for millions of people out of work more than six months." "Republicans kill Senate jobless aid measure". See also "THE JOBLESS GET JOBBED" ("unified Republican Filibuster").

    Florida wants to delay rule designed to restore red snapper populations

    "Florida wildlife officials want the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to delay approval of a proposed new rule that prohibits bottom fishing in thousands of miles of the Atlantic Ocean off the state's coast. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved the new rule -- designed to restore red snapper populations in the region -- earlier this month. " "State wildlife officials: Delay snapper ban".

    RPOFer debate negotiations

    "While the campaign teams of Republican gubernatorial candidates Rick Scott and Attorney General Bill McCollum negotiate a series of debates, the three GOP candidates in the attorney general race are doing the same thing -- with much less acrimony and political posturing." "Republicans Running for AG Start Debate Negotiations".

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