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 Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Rubio accuses the Obama admin of 'insanity'"

    "Senate hopeful Marco Rubio accused the Obama administration of 'insanity' and 'incompetence' in its handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, while steering from his own support of offshore drilling in a campaign stop Wednesday." "Rubio calls federal oil spill response "abysmal""."

    More wingnuttery: "Rubio releases economic plan heavy on tax cuts".

    McCollum's political stunt

    "Florida is backing Arizona in its fight with the federal government over who can enforce U.S. immigration laws, Attorney General Bill McCollum said Wednesday." "Florida joins states supporting Arizona immigration law with court brief".

    "Financial bonanza for Florida television stations"

    "The independent committees being used by both candidates in the Florida Republican primary for governor could end up providing a financial bonanza for Florida television stations at a time when broadcasters have been suffering financially during the recession."

    The reason: The independent committees don't get the big discount campaigns get when they buy television ads. They have to pay full price, which could be a premium of 50 percent or more over the usual prices for political ads.

    Both Bill McCollum and Rick Scott are using independent committees instead of their campaigns to do some of their campaigning.

    In McCollum's case, that's to avoid going over the $24.9 million spending limit he agreed to as a condition of receiving public financing money for his campaign. Spending by the independent committees doesn't count toward that limit.

    Scott has another reason for using his independent committee. He's not taking public financing, but under the public financing law, if he spends more than $24.9 million, McCollum gets extra public money to equal the amount by which Scott goes over that figure.

    But there's a catch: Federal law and FCC rules say a television station must give a political campaign its "lowest unit rate" for all advertising purchases.
    "Campaign laws may result in boon to TV stations".

    Special Session

    "The first bills filed for next week's special legislative session have nothing to do with what Gov. Charlie Crist called lawmakers together to discuss."

    # Enable law enforcement officials to check on a person's residency status during routine stops or arrests, using the federal E-Verify program created for employers to check on a worker's status.

    # Require proof of legal residency or citizenship for receipt of certain public benefits. The prohibition would not include emergency or crisis care or immunizations for communicable diseases.

    # Prohibit a person from working for any state agency if he can't prove he is a legal resident or citizen. The proposal doesn't include any measures to penalize private employers who hire illegal immigrants.
    "Off-topic bills filed for session on drilling". See also "Agenda for special legislative session on oil spill affected by political distrust" and "Democrats question importing Ariz. immigration law to Fla., point out difference between two states’ problems".

    The Sarasota Herald-Tribune editors: "State Sen. Mike Bennett is right to seek some way of slowing the relentless march of illegal immigration. But Bennett's approach -- he announced that he will promote an Arizona-style enforcement law for Florida -- is wrong-headed." "Avoid Arizona law".

    Entrepreneurs in action

    "Two Florida men charged with running commodities scheme".

    McCollum defends Millionaire's amendment

    "Republican Bill McCollum's struggling gubernatorial campaign scored a big victory Wednesday when a federal judge rejected an attempt by his primary opponent, Rick Scott, to stop him from receiving potentially millions of dollars in campaign funds from taxpayers."

    U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle refused to throw out Florida's campaign finance law that gives candidates public money to combat well-heeled opponents -- such as the freespending Scott -- who don't follow state spending caps. Scott is expected to blow through the state's $24.9 million cap for the governor's race by this weekend, leaving McCollum eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match of any spending over that amount.

    However, Hinkle said the U.S. Supreme Court may ultimately disagree with him.
    "Federal judge upholds state political spending cap".

    "Republican Rick Scott lost his bid Wednesday to have part of Florida’s public campaign finance law overturned, but even the judge siding with opponent Bill McCollum conceded the 23-year-old measure may not survive this election season." "McCollum Wins Court Round, but Campaign Finance Law Faces Headwind".

    See also "Scott loses round one in his fight against millionaire's amendment", "Judge won't cut off public financing to McCollum campaign", "Judge rejects Rick Scott's bid to strike campaign-finance law", "Judge says campaign "trigger" rule okay", "Bill McCollum wins round over matching campaign funds" and "Scott says he'll appeal judge's rejection of public financing challenge".

    FCAT follies

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "Now, after being billed more than $3 million in fines for leaving the state in the lurch, NCS Pearson has produced late results that do not track with each student's scores from the previous year. The drop in scoring -- most of it in schools serving high-achieving students -- is suspect and deserves an independent look." "Florida earns F for accountability".


    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Is anybody genuinely afraid that the oil and gas industry won't have sufficient influence in Washington as the commission dissects what went wrong with the Deepwater Horizon well and recommends changes to improve drilling safety and emergency response procedures?" "A gusher of oil lobbyists: Charges that the industry will get short shrift are silly.".

    See also "BP: Well Test Back On Track After Cap Repair", "Congressman To BP: Stop Stonewalling On Oil Well Data", "BP begins testing new cap over Gulf oil leak", "Oil hits Louisiana's largest seabird nesting area", "Suit filed seeking more details on dispersants" and "AG: Firms other than BP could be liable for spill".

    "Typical Tallahassee sleight of hand"

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Faced with a $3.2 billion budget deficit last session, state lawmakers engaged in a typical Tallahassee sleight of hand. They quietly grabbed federal stimulus dollars - while loudly decrying the program - gobbled up gambling money and raided trust funds to cobble together a $70.4 billion budget." "Reining in spending habits".

    That Columbia/HCA thing

    "The question dogs gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott wherever he goes: What was your role in Columbia/HCA's Medicare fraud?"

    On Tuesday night, it was asked by a shouting, finger-pointing attendee at a South Florida Tea Party meeting in Delray Beach.

    Scott, the front-runner in the GOP primary, calmly gave the same explanation he gives in his TV ads: The company made mistakes and he accepts responsibility because he was CEO.

    "He didn't answer it,'' Harry Klein said after his confrontation with Scott. ``I wanted a simple answer that would have told us what happened. He did not answer the question.''
    "Tea Party event attendee shouts at Scott".


    "Tampa area foreclosures on track to outpace 2009" and "Volusia, Flagler foreclosures still high".

    Scott and Greene "unknown and untested"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Rick Scott and Jeff Greene have earned vast sums of money in the private sector, but they are unknown and untested politically. Private business executives have to recognize that running for public office requires more transparency, particularly when their opponents have long public records." "Public deserves answers".

    Greene loses manager

    "Florida Senate candidate Jeff Greene, the free-spending real-estate billionaire challenging Rep. Kendrick Meek for the Democratic nomination, has lost his campaign manager a little more than a month before the August primary." "Greene loses campaign manager".

    PSC diversity

    "Gov. Charlie Crist responded to critics who said his appointees to the state Public Service Commission didn't offer enough diversity and on Wednesday appointed two blacks to the embattled utility board."

    Crist named Miami state Rep. Ron Brisé, a Democrat, and Jacksonville Councilman Arthur Graham, a Republican, to replace David Klement and Benjamin ``Steve'' Stevens, who were ousted by the Senate when it failed to confirm them. Their primary reasons: because they either lacked diversity or experience.
    "Answering critics, Gov. Charlie Crist appoints 2 blacks to PSC". See also "Crist Appoints Two Black Nominees to PSC".

    Rubio still hot

    Howard Troxler: "As matters stand today, Rubio is still being edged in the polls by his principal rival, Gov. Charlie Crist, running as an independent, partly because Crist is in the oil-spill limelight. Crist is a rock star too, just of a different brand, his main assets being likability and a genial populism. Rubio, in contrast, has a focused message that he delivers brilliantly in settings such as the one Tuesday in Gulfport. The test is translating it into all the superficialities of modern elections. " "Though Crist has the cameras, Rubio's still red hot".

    Rekindling the enthusiasm

    "Two black legislators and a former lawmaker trying for a political comeback started a campaign Tuesday to rekindle the enthusiasm President Obama sparked two years ago." "Group of current, former lawmakers trying to rekindle minority voting spirit".


    "Opponents Lash Out at Water District Over Land Deal".

    "This is one scary goober"

    Nancy Smith: "Either Bill McCollum doesn’t know a principle from a prawn or he’s as slippery as a Mississippi swamp. Either way, this is one scary goober." "Bill McCollum: Pardon Me While I Pick Your Pocket".

    McCollum veers right(er)

    "Bill McCollum: Health care lawsuit is ‘landmark on individual liberties’".

    Thomas on Meek

    Mike Thomas: "This is a column about waste, fraud, abuse and self-destruction by U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek." "Why would Meek oppose savings for Medicare?".

    "An imperfect plan"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Members of a U.S. Senate subcommittee were scheduled today to take up a new blueprint for space policy from the panel's chairman, Florida Democrat Bill Nelson. It's an imperfect plan — not surprising for the product of a bipartisan compromise. But it's better than the likely alternative." "Better course on space".

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