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 28, 2010

Who you callin' a "rookie"?

    "Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum strode before group of newspaper editors and publishers June 17 in Sarasota and boldly proclaimed that, if elected to the state's highest office, he would impose a two-year freeze on tax rates for every local government in Florida."
    When pressed for details, such as how his plan would affect schools and whether it would usurp local control of cities and towns, McCollum promised that he would spell it all out the next day.

    He did not. Instead his campaign put out a vague press release that left as many questions as answers about a plan that, if enacted this year, would force local governments and schools to reduce spending by $3 billion.

    Since then, McCollum has talked little about the tax rate freeze.

    It seemed like a political mistake, pitching a far-reaching plan without having the consensus and details to sell it.
    "Rookie mistakes by McCollum?".

    New rules

    "A raft of new rules enacted by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Charlie Crist will affect nearly everyone – college students, teachers and parents, motorists and even horse owners." "New Florida laws that take effect July 1 will affect almost everyone".

    More Mendelsohn

    "More legal trouble has landed in the lap of Alan Mendelsohn, a Hollywood doctor and former big-time Republican fundraiser who pleaded not guilty in September to a 32-count public-corruption indictment and in June to five criminal tax charges. Mendelsohn was recently added as a defendant to a Broward civil lawsuit filed by former state Rep. Tim Ryan in 2008 involving the state senate race he lost to Eleanor Sobel. Political consultant Richard Heffley was also added as a defendant. Ryan's suit accuses a secretive electioneering group, People for a Better Florida Fund, of distorting his record." "Broward fundraiser's problems proliferate".


    "Florida's Congressional Delegation Takes Bipartisan Stand Against Obama Cuts to NASA".

    "Federal findings of fraud at Columbia/HCA"

    "From improper billing of Medicare to paying doctors to get patients, South Florida cases played key roles in federal findings of fraud at Columbia/HCA, where Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott served as CEO." "Florida hospitals' role in the ripoff". Related: "Rick Scott and his role in Columbia/HCA scandal".


    "As the BP oil spill roils into its 11th week, the big question continues to be 'when' -- when will the deepwater well be plugged, when will the skimmer crews be able to stop crude and tar from fouling sensitive areas, when will victims get relief, when will the environment recover, when will the whole bloody mess be over? But set aside those overarching concerns for a moment, and many other questions remain unanswered ..." "Questions spill out".

    "Florida to try new methods to protect shores from oil". See also "Florida braces for oil shift from tropical storm", "Slick business: Oily Panhandle fuels a boom in east coast scuba charters", "Politics of oil: Are state officials seeking office using spill to gain votes?" and "BP still using high levels of dispersants despite EPA edict".

    More important things

    "Still in Pensacola focusing on the oil washing up on the shores of Florida's Panhandle, Gov. Charlie Crist wasn't able to make it to his own fundraiser in south Fort Myers on Sunday night." "Crist can't make fundraiser".

    "The special interest service commission"

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "It's the Public Service Commission, not the special interest service commission."

    But too often in recent years, the PSC has appeared to serve the wrong master — electric, communications, natural gas and water utilities, not ordinary Florida citizens.

    Last year, allegations came to light that PSC aides were improperly swapping text-messaging codes with Florida Power & Light Co. officials, allowing secret communication and greasing the path for unwarranted rate hikes.

    A PSC lobbyist also partied at the house of a FPL vice president, amid other instances of coziness between the commission and the powerful monopolies it's charged with regulating.

    The ethical offenses have shredded the public's trust that the PSC will act impartially in critical decisions affecting consumers' wallets. So far, legislative efforts to impose tough ethical reforms on the agency have failed.
    "Protecting the people".

    Class size deadline

    "When school starts in August, all 'core' classes — math, reading, science and social studies — in all of Florida's public schools must be within the limits demanded by a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2002. That means no more than 18 students in the earliest grades, no more than 22 in the middle grades and no more than 25 in high school." "Meeting Florida's class-size law will be painful for local schools". Related: "Governor Candidates United on Class-Size Change".

    Perhaps we should gut their pensions?

    Bill Cotterell: "This is the time of year when a lot of state employees show how important their work is, and nobody notices. We're four weeks into hurricane season. ... the real preparation, rescue and recovery is accomplished by thousands of unheralded state employees." "State employees: unnoticed heroes of emergency operations".

    Where's LeMieux?

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "Extend unemployment benefits".

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