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, June 22, 2010

"Then again, there's always Florida"

    Time Magazine: "To their critics, Rick Scott and Jeff Greene are poster boys for two of America's biggest problems: our health care and financial systems."
    Scott resigned in 1997 as CEO of the world's largest hospital corporation, Columbia/HCA, after the feds brought criminal and civil charges against it for massive Medicare fraud, resulting in a record $1.7 billion in fines and settlements. Greene — whose best man at his 2007 wedding was boxer and convicted rapist Mike Tyson, and who once had convicted Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss as a housemate — became a billionaire using credit-default swaps to bet against the subprime mortgages that toppled the U.S. housing market.
    "Given voters' anger at Wall Street greed and general corporate malfeasance, you might think controversial résumés like those might dampen prospects for political careers."
    But then again, there's always Florida. There, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll, Scott looks set to win the Republican primary for governor on Aug. 24 and Greene is in a statistical tie with Congressman Kendrick Meek in the contest for the Democratic nod for the state's open U.S. Senate seat.
    Much more here: "The Outsiders Who Are Roiling Florida's Election". Related: "How Florida's Forgotten Democrat Could Win the Senate Race".

    Florida the "epicenter" for Medicare fraud

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Legendary crook Willie Sutton said he robbed banks because 'that's where the money is.' If he were around today, he might be targeting Medicare."

    Fortunately, two U.S. House members, Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami and Democrat Ron Klein of Boca Raton, have teamed up on a crackdown plan that should be made law. It would keep scammers away from Medicare, toughen penalties to punish and deter fraud, and prevent the identity theft that enables crooks to bilk the program.

    With spending on Medicare nationally topping $450 billion this year, it's one of the biggest items in the federal budget. And estimates of fraud in the program, including overpayment or reimbursement for services or equipment never provided, run as high as $60 billion a year.

    It's fitting the sponsors of the proposed crackdown are from Florida. The Sunshine State, as Ros-Lehtinen said, is the "epicenter" for fraud in Medicare. Between 2006 and 2009, for example, federal prosecutors in Miami went after more than 700 people responsible for more than $2 billion in false Medicare billings.
    "Ros-Lehtinen, Klein lead fight against Medicare scams".

    "Lawson is trying something new"

    "While incumbent Allen Boyd has raised more than $1 million relying heavily on political action committees, his challengers on both sides of the aisle are shunning the “political machine” in favor of individual contributions. Florida Congressional District 2 challenger Al Lawson is trying something new." "PACs favor Boyd in District 6".


    "When SunRail trains start pulling into stations in 2013, cities across Central Florida are hoping riders step off the train to visit their shops and restaurants — and maybe even move into new pedestrian communities built around rail stops." "Central Florida cities hope SunRail riders will stop off and shop for a while".


    "Twenty years ago, it was to be Palm Beach County's next garbage dump. Now, it's a symbol of the state-federal commitment to the Everglades."

    The 1,600-acre Fran Reich Preserve, named for the late west Boca Raton community organizer who led the fight against the dump, will be converted over the next four years into a $120 million reservoir as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. The first phase, costing $38 million, is moving forward with federal stimulus money.

    Under President Bush, the first eight years of the supposed 50-50 federal-state partnership to restore the Everglades were all state and no federal. That has changed since President Obama's election.
    "New Everglades takes shape: Palm Beach County project latest in transformation".


    "Weather favoring Fla. oil response". See also "Rep. Buchanan touts drilling legislation", "Sen. Nelson on Okaloosa: 'They’ll get their money'", "Florida officials seek out oil skimmers rather than wait for BP", "Oil spill: $14 million sought for job growth", "Gulf oil spill prompts early harvest of scallops" and "Florida Keys dodging threat from oil spill".

    Party loyalty, Abruzzo style

    "State Rep. Joe Abruzzo, D-Wellington, said he was supporting Greene over U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek in the Democratic primary because of Greene's business background. Abruzzo has told The Palm Beach Post that he would vote for Gov. Charlie Crist, a no-party candidate, if Meek wins his party's nomination." "Greene gets support from Rep. Abruzzo for Democratic nomination in US Senate race" ("Meek has been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, state CFO Alex Sink and the Florida AFL-CIO.").

    Entrepreneurs in action

    "Nicknamed 'Versailles' by owner and timeshare tycoon David Siegel, the massive mansion hit the market recently as the largest home for sale in the United States. Construction was halted last year to save money in a recession that proved particularly hard on Siegel's once-booming industry, so there's an option to buy the completed property at $100 million." "$75M mansion near Orlando selling 'as is'". Related: "Complaints over time-share-resale deals increasing".


    "Must Gov. Crist fill vacant judge post?".

    Taking offense

    "Flagler County Supervisor of Elections Kim Weeks says she takes offense. She takes offense the county won't give her all the money she asks for. She takes offense the county, she says, makes decisions affecting her office without consulting her. " "Flagler elections chief upset with county".

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