Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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, July 20, 2010

RPOFers will "gavel in, gavel out" and turn tail

    "House expected to gavel in, gavel out and return home" "Special session on drilling ban set for quick non-action". See also "House Looks Set to Pull Plug Quickly on Session".

    Meanwhile, "as Gov. Charlie Crist worked the phones Monday seeking legislative support for his proposed constitutional amendment to ban oil drilling, polls showed public favor for it may be rising."
    The four-day special session called by the governor begins at noon Tuesday and is expected to end a few brief hours later. But while the Republican-led Legislature prepared to squash the governor's plan and rob him of a victory he can use in his bid to win the U.S. Senate seat, they may take a political hit in the process.

    Protesters from oil-ravaged regions of the state are heading to the Capitol Tuesday and dozens of business owners, restaurant workers, defense industry contractors and hotel operators from Northwest Florida plan to sit in the House gallery as lawmakers reject the drilling ban. ...

    But according to recent public opinion polls, Crist appears more in line with the public than legislators. A poll released Monday by Progress Florida, a liberal group supporting the oil ban, showed that 71 percent of Florida voters want the chance to vote on the issue and 50 percent of those surveyed oppose drilling within 10 miles of Florida's coast.
    "Public favor for Crist's oil-ban amendment gaining favor". See also: "New poll shows 'overwhelming' support for drilling referendum".

    In the meantime, the Sun Sentinel editorial board writes "Don't expect much from this special session".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Gov. Charlie Crist called the Legislature into special session Tuesday to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to ban oil drilling in state waters. Republican leaders don’t want you to vote. They don’t even want to let lawmakers vote on placing the amendment on the ballot."
    Mike Haridopolos, Incoming Senate president, R-Melbourne, supported more drilling before the BP spill and pushed to lift the ban in state law. Now he has switched positions. How can voters be sure he won't switch again after the election? ...

    Dean Cannon, Incoming House speaker, R-Winter Park, was a strong drilling advocate and passed a bill last year to lift the ban in state law. He says he won't try again. So why does he oppose allowing voters to decide whether to put the ban into the Constitution?
    "Why are they afraid to let Floridians vote?". See also "Lawmakers unsure if session will yield action on drilling ban" and "Oil spill fuels Florida political maneuvering" and "They put Big Oil over clean beaches".

    Myriam Marquez: "The poisoned atmosphere in Tallahassee after Crist left the GOP to run as an independent will only get worse this week." "Call for ban on drilling reeks of opportunism".

    Latest polling

    "An upcoming survey of the Florida Senate race by Public Policy Polling (D) finds that if Gov. Charlie Crist were to win -- after he left the Republican Party to run as an independent -- his constituents would want him to caucus with the Democrats. Furthermore, this opinion is even stronger among those who actually plan to vote for him. ... The TPM Poll Average, which does not yet include this PPP survey, currently puts Crist ahead with 36.6%, Republican Marco Rubio at 32.6%, and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek at 14.7%." "PPP Poll: Crist Voters Want Him To Caucus With The Senate Dems".

    "The dirt is flying"

    "The dirt is flying in Florida's race for governor. Floridians can't watch television for very long this summer without seeing GOP primary opponent Rick Scott tear down Bill McCollum, and vice versa." "Dirty diapers, huckster, political ads go negative in race for Fla. governor".

    Rubio opposes Unemployment extension

    Florida's Teabaggers are in a dither. They can't find the words "unemployment compensation" in the U.S. Constitution

    "Florida's unemployment rate may be stuck in the double digits, but Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio is standing with his party leaders in Washington in opposing the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of jobless Americans."

    Democrats are seeking to turn the unemployment benefits debate into a wedge issue against Republicans, who in turn hope to capitalize on the growing concern about the federal government's debt and spending.

    Rubio picked up the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business and met with a group of small business owners Monday at the Tampa Bay Brewing Company.

    The two leading Democrats in the race, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami and businessman Jeff Greene of Palm Beach, favor extending jobless benefits.

    "He's reading right off the hard-right song sheet,'' Meek said of Rubio.

    Greene criticized Republicans for giving the wealthiest Americans billions of dollars in tax cuts, and then obstructing assistance for the unemployed.
    "Marco Rubio continues opposition to Senate jobless aid bill".

    HD 90

    "It's a fight for the old stomping ground for both candidates in the Democratic primary for state Rep. Kelly Skidmore's District 90 seat. And the two aren't playing nice." "Slosberg-Klasfeld fight for House District 90 Democratic primary getting nasty". See also "State House, District 90: The job and the candidates".


    "Ever since the cap was used to bottle up the oil last week, engineers have been watching underwater cameras and monitoring pressure and seismic readings to see whether the well would hold or spring a new leak, perhaps one that could rupture the sea floor and make the disaster even worse." "Feds look past oil leaking from BP's cap".

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "The eye of the oil spill: Major cleanup and legislative issues remain.". More: "BP Continues To Test Well Cap, Seepage Found To Be Unrelated", "Coast Guard Taking Lead in Florida Oil Spill Operations", "U.S. keeps pressure on BP over oil spill seepage" and "In Fla., resentment washes ashore along with oil".

    "Sink is running under the radar"

    "Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink is running under the radar while Republican rivals Bill McCollum and Rick Scott bloody each other for the right to face her Nov. 2." "Alex Sink Banks on Women's Vote in Gubernatorial Race".

    Charlie blames the GOPers

    "While no real legislative action seems likely to come of the special session, the showdown has become a signal event in Mr. Crist's campaign for the U.S. Senate and in his transformation from a rising Republican star to a political free agent." "In 2010 Florida Senate Race, Charlie Crist Uses GOP as New Foil". Related "The Resurrection of Charlie Crist".

    "Florida remains the Deepwater Horizon of Medicare corruption"

    Carl Hiaasen: "South Florida remains the Deepwater Horizon of Medicare corruption in the United States, and the gusher is getting worse. No other place even comes close to matching the number of crooked health-care businesses, or the immense dollar amounts that wind up in the pockets of criminals." "Medicare corruption gusher worsens".

    How convenieeent

    "Among the property owners taking part in a groundbreaking, $89 million sale of development rights to further restoration of the Everglades is the huge and, in political circles, well-known Blue Head Ranch. The 68,000-acre ranch, along Fisheating Creek in rural Highlands County, is owned by a corporation run by state Sen. J.D. Alexander, R- Lake Wales, chairman of the Legislature's powerful Ways and Means Committee." "Senator's family key in $89M deal to protect Everglades tributary".

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