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 Sunday, June 13, 2010

Top Republicans pounce on flip-flop

    "Top Republican lawmakers and anti-abortion crusaders pounced on the governor's abortion flip-flop, attributing it to election year politics."
    "It just shows his trustworthiness is gone,'' added John Stemberger, of Florida Family Policy Council, who dismissed as "nonsense'' Crist's insistence that he is personally against abortion. "I think there's absolutely going to be political consequences.''

    The only groups left applauding Crist: Democrats and abortion-rights advocates, who said the legislation "firmly placed the government between doctors and their patients and resulted in women losing healthcare coverage they currently have today.''

    But even some Democrats hit the governor, worried that his shift is designed to align himself with social moderates and liberals to win the election. Kendrick Meek, a Democratic rival, said the governor "can never escape his anti-choice past."
    "Abortion veto puts Crist in the middle". See also "Senate Rivals Rubio and Meek Tee Off on Crist Veto" and "Ultrasound Veto Furthers Crist's Move Away from GOP".

    Background: "Gov. Crist vetoes abortion bill".

    The rich are different

    "Meek, who despite being the pick of his party’s establishment for U.S. Senate finds himself in a virtual tie with out-of-nowhere Democratic primary rival Jeff Greene, blasted the Palm Beach billionaire’s scant voting history today." "Meek rips Dem Senate rival Greene as 'billionaire…who only voted four times in his life’".

    Daddy's boy

    "Son of governor Lawton following dad's footsteps". See also "Bud Chiles Tries to Walk in his Father's Footsteps" and "Chiles takes campaign walk through Ybor City".

    "Fat cats" in a dither

    Fred Grimm: "Power boys do love YOLO, Fort Lauderdale's slickest pickup joint, where they can valet their Italian sports cars, order Cristal and make believe that pretty girls in tiny dresses are oblivious to pot bellies, thinning hair and acute Viagra dependency."

    Wednesday night was different. The lobbyists, builders and business titans who gathered at YOLO, just across Las Olas Boulevard from Scott Rothstein's old law offices, were more interested in deluding voters than young women. ...

    They came to kill Hometown Democracy, or at least raise a couple of hundred grand toward defeating the proposed constitutional amendment. ...

    Fat cats hate restrictions they'd endure under Amendment 4, which would require voter approval before Florida cities or counties approve developments prohibited by comprehensive land-use plans.

    The amendment would cripple Florida's construction industry and stifle the state economy, they argue.

    The catch phrase among the YOLO set was "job killer.''

    Despite such foreboding, polls indicate 61 percent of Florida's likely voters are apt to vote yes. It hardly matters whether the amendment would actually improve governance. Just the fact that the YOLO gang opposes No. 4 inspires a yes -- make that hell yes -- vote.

    It's just too much to hear talk of good government from the same selfish interests who transformed South Florida into mindless sprawl, creating Ground Zero for a nightmare recession with a giant inventory of foreclosed houses, deserted shopping centers and unsold condos.

    They invented this Ponzi-scheme economy based on perpetual growth that forces older residents to pay ever-escalating taxes to finance roads and other infrastructure in new developments.
    Read it all: "Fat cats hate slow-growth amendment".


    "Obama to visit Gulf Coast as pressure mounts for BP to step up response".

    "Winds continued to blow two patchy, orange oil plumes from the Deepwater Horizon spill toward the white sands of the western Florida Panhandle on Sunday as skimmers worked to collect the crude before it came ashore." "Fla. Panhandle battles 2 massive oil plumes". See also "BP accused of offering businesses 'shut-up' money, not real financial help", "Sen. Nelson offers ideas for oil spill", "Oil gets thicker on Ala. shores, Fla. threatened", "Florida Skips Offshore Oil Binge but Still Pays", "Piece of oil rig washes up on Florida beach", "Oil spill: Salazar tours Pensacola Beach" and "Sensors deployed to better track oil spill in Gulf".

    "Unless you live in Florida, in 2010"

    "If your home's value dropped last year, and property tax rates remained the same, then logic would dictate you'll see a smaller property tax bill. Unless you live in Florida, in 2010. " "Tax bills could rise despite cuts by county".

    Supreme Court guts efforts to level playing field

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "In Florida, former health care executive Rick Scott has spent more than $12 million to become the front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor. Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene is virtually tied for the lead in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Yet the U.S. Supreme Court continues to gut efforts to level the playing field and allows those with the fattest wallets to have the loudest voices and drown out everyone else. " "Big money drowns out other voices".

    Complaint against Argenziano dropped amidst flurry of allegations

    "An ethics complaint against Public Service Commissioner Nancy Argenziano was dropped last week because the complainant withdrew her claims, saying the document was forged by a Tallahassee attorney who promised to help her find work with Florida Power & Light."

    In a sworn affidavit presented to the Florida Commission on Ethics, Cynthia Gray wrote that she was working as an investigator for attorney Steve Andrews but had no knowledge of the ethics complaint filed against Argenziano last October.

    She said Andrews had once asked her to sign a blank complaint, which she did at a Tallahassee bar, but it was not the document filed against Argenziano. She said Andrews later told her that, ``as a result of signing the complaint, he would assist me in becoming employed with Florida Power & Light Corporation as an investigator'' with the help of FPL lobbyist Brian Ballard.

    Andrews vehemently denies the allegations and, in a letter to the Ethics Commission from his lawyer, said he has computer data that proves Gray signed the actual complaint. He said he never discussed the ethics complaint "with anyone employed by or associated with any utility company.''

    "She's a very good investigator except that I think Argenziano got to her,'' Andrews told the Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times.

    Gray was reached by phone but would not comment. Ballard said he has "never hired Steve Andrews for anything'' and called the allegations "ridiculous.''

    FPL spokesman Mark Bubriski said the company never hired Andrews, didn't know anything about Gray and "no one knew anything about'' the complaint.

    The twisted events prompted the Ethics Commission's executive director, Phil Claypool, to call it "the most bizarre situation I have seen during the last 30 years.''
    Read it all here: "Ethics complaint against Public Service Commissioner Nancy Argenziano dropped".

    Someone had to say it

    "It's hard for me to feel bad for all the Pensacola business owners hurt by the oil spill when they voted for McCain/Palin 'Drill, baby, drill.'" "Zing!"


    "In any other year, a bland 14-year congressman with plenty of campaign cash and a winning track record in a politically safe district would not have to work hard for re-election."

    But Allen Boyd, the "Blue Dog" Democrat representing the conservative Big Bend and Florida Panhandle in Congress, is campaigning like he's in trouble. And opponents in both parties, or neither party, think he can be beaten in this year of independent newcomers and anti-incumbent sentiments.

    "I think he's vulnerable," said Clyde Simpson, the Jefferson County Republican chairman and head of the 2nd congressional district GOP caucus. "And I think he thinks so, too."

    Critics want Boyd identified with Obama administration policies on financial bailouts, cap-and-trade environmental legislation and changing positions on national health care.

    Boyd has drawn one well-known Democratic primary challenger, state Sen. Al Lawson of Tallahassee, and five lesser-known Republican opponents. There are also two serious independent candidates for the November ballot, but they could hurt the Republican nominee by splitting the anti-Boyd vote if he wins his primary.
    "Rep. Allen Boyd vulnerable in election despite winning record".

    The audacity of employees unionizing

    Randy Schultz gives us sum old fashioned union hating, whining - consistent with League of Cities talking points - that "too many cities and counties ... allow employees, especially police officers, to count overtime toward their pensions. Too many still allow employees to accrue unused sick time and vacation, then get a big payout when they retire. Too many still allow employees to retire with full pensions after too few years of service." "Remake state governments".

    Mack on the move?

    "U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV is picking fights with fellow Republicans over immigration policy, stirring a political hornet's nest that observers say might signal an interest in a higher office." "Congressman Mack's Immigration soapbox may be Mack hint".

    It says more about McCollum than about Scott

    Steve Bousquet: "Rick Scott has been running for governor only two months, and nearly half of Republicans in a new poll say they'd vote for him."

    Scott has never run for office. The former chief executive of the Columbia/HCA hospital chain moved to Florida seven years ago this month when he and his wife Annette paid $11.5 million for a house in Naples.

    Practically overnight, Scott has become the face of anti-incumbent fervor in Florida.

    His polling surge may or may not continue, and it might say more about his GOP rival, Attorney General Bill McCollum, than it does about Scott.
    "Still much to learn about Rick Scott". See also "Why Rick Scott Is Burying Bill McCollum".

    More: "Rick Scott challenges Bill McCollum to four debates in Florida GOP governor's race", "Scott takes Fla. governor's campaign to Panhandle" and "Rick Scott making his first campaign trip to Tallahassee".

    DWS denies conflict

    "Congresswoman says no conflict with husband's banking job" "Wasserman Schultz enters banks-versus-merchants battle over debit card fees".

    Pressuring LeMieux

    "As part of ongoing nationwide sit-ins and other actions, a group of Florida organizations battling for immigration reform held simultaneous rallies yesterday in front of the offices of U.S. Sen. George LeMieux to pressure him to endorse the DREAM Act and the AgJOBS bill. The DREAM Act 'offers a path to legal status to deserving high-school graduates who stay out of trouble and attend college or serve in the U.S. military for at least two years.' The AgJOBS act, meanwhile seeks 'to improve agricultural job opportunities, benefits, and security for aliens in the United States, and for other purposes.'" "Activists continue campaign to pressure Sen. George LeMieux to support DREAM Act".

    California dreaming

    Howard Troxler: "Last week the voters of California took a radical step and more or less abolished party primary elections. If it's true that what happens in California politics eventually gets exported to Florida, this raises interesting questions for us."

    Starting in 2012, California will use a "top two" system. Every candidate, regardless of party, will appear on the first election ballot. All voters can vote for any of them.

    The top two vote-getters, again regardless of party, will face off in the second election. There could be two Democrats, two Republicans, two independents, whatever.

    In other words, California has wiped out one of the major roles of political parties: choosing party nominees.

    The main argument for this change, supported by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is it is supposed to produce more moderate candidates and reduce polarization.
    "Would California's new election system fly in Florida?".

    "It's a flat-out lie"

    Scott Maxwell: "However, rarely is a lie so provably debunked as the one that opponents of Fair Districts are spreading."

    It's been told in many fashions. But basically, defenders of gerrymandering are trying to con you into believing that the only people pushing for Fair Districts are Democrats and liberal sympathizers who want to wrest control away from Republicans.

    It's a flat-out lie.
    "You're being lied to about Fair Districts".

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