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 Monday, July 19, 2010

Special session

    Steve Bousquet and Mary Ellen Klas: "This week's special session of the Legislature is expected to generate more anger about the governor and his political ambitions than about the Gulf spill."
    Amid mounting bitterness between the independent governor and Republican legislators, a special session prompted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will open Tuesday. But rather than focus on a referendum to ban offshore drilling in the Florida Constitution, as the governor wants, the gathering is likely to be a gripe session with most of the rhetoric aimed not at BP or the oil industry, but at Crist himself.
    "Crist might not say so publicly, but that's just fine with him."
    He wants to use Tallahassee politicians as a foil, and lawmakers appear to be playing into his hands. Crist, who quit the GOP and launched an independent run for the U.S. Senate, is eager to condemn legislative inaction as more proof that partisan politics is a dismal failure.

    "They put the interests of special interests or their party ideology ahead of what's right for the people,'' Crist said. "They've lost their way. They've completely lost their way, and the people know it. And if they go down this path, they'll demonstrate it in regrettable glory.''
    Much more: "Charlie Crist, not drilling, may end up as target of special session". See also "Fla. Legislature to begin special session on oil" and "Crist, GOP bitterness might swamp session on drilling".

    "Will this week's special legislative session bring responsible public policy debate or crass political posturing? The session called by Gov. Charlie Crist isn't convening on a convivial note as leading Republicans pooh-pooh the need to meet at all." "Special Session: Weeklong Political Brawl, or Over in Hours". See also "Candidates Divided on Atwater's Call for Second Special Session".

    "Jeb!" exposes his wingnut underbelly

    "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be in Louisville for a July 26 fundraising event to benefit Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul." "Rand Paul getting fundraising help from former Florida governor Jeb Bush".

    'Glades restoration

    As the Teabaggers frantically try to find the word "Everglades" in the U.S. Constitution, "The federal government says it will announce a major restoration project for a portion of the Florida Everglades. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to announce details Monday in Kissimmee. It says the project will restore and protect wetlands and improve water quality in the northern Everglades. Officials say it will provide habitat for rare and endangered species." "US set to announce Everglades restoration project". See also "Deal to be announced today to preserve nearly 26,000 acres of Everglades".

    'Ya reckon?

    Scott Maxwell: "Is FCAT a failure? Yes".

    A "clumsy exchange"

    "Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene had just finished a meeting on the Space Coast, when he was stopped by a reporter."

    The governor was calling for a special session to ban offshore oil drilling, and Greene was asked if he supported a constitutional prohibition of the practice.

    Greene said he opposed drilling, but he wouldn't address the constitutional question.

    Then he said he hadn't given it much thought. Then he said, "I can't see why I'd be against it."

    Greene turned and spoke briefly with an adviser. Then he offered up a clarification.

    He was "definitely in favor" of the constitutional ban, he said. It was the best way to protect Florida's beaches.

    The clumsy exchange crystallizes the challenge facing Greene.
    Much more here: "U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene is a billionaire businessman who touts his outsider status".

    "Hard-knocks campaign for Meek"

    "It's been that kind of hard-knocks campaign for Meek, who got into the race 18 long months ago, before any other major candidate."

    Who would have expected what happened next?

    Marco Rubio became a Republican phenomenon, Gov. Charlie Crist reinvented himself as an independent, and a little-known Palm Beach billionaire named Jeff Greene became a Democratic contender.

    A shoe-leather campaign that collected 125,000 voter signatures hasn't taken Meek farther than a distant third place in the polls, behind Crist and Rubio, and with Greene closing in.

    So five weeks before the primary, the Miami congressman finds himself shoring up support in his own backyard. His seven stops on Sunday included a gospel music-infused church in Lauderdale Lakes, a Miami union hall, and heavily Democratic condominiums in Aventura, Sunrise and Deerfield Beach. Vouching for Meek at most of the stops was Debbie Wasserman Schultz, his popular Democratic colleague representing South Florida in Congress.
    "Unexpected obstacles hinder Meek's campaign".


    "Dave Aronberg, Dan Gelber Find Failings in Federal Immigration Policy".

    Luvin' the billionaire

    "As part of his outreach for contributions and counsel as an independent U.S. Senate candidate, Gov. Charlie Crist recently had a tete-a-tete with New York billionaire Tom Golisano" "Crist Cozies Up to New York Billionaire".

    Teabaggers = RPOF = McCollum

    Will Florida's traditional media ever get around to asking Billy what he thinks about the Teabaggers? After all, he is the Teabagger fav:

    "Bill McCollum may not be the flashy politician that a lot of people are looking for right now, but he's the consistent conservative," said Everett Wilkinson, chairman of the South Florida Tea Party. "He's shown his leadership."
    "Once a clear favorite, McCollum now chasing Scott in GOP gubernatorial race".

    More: "GOP Leader Refuses To Discuss Tea Party Racism: 'I Have Got Better Things To Do'". Related: "BACKLASH! The Top 5 Republicans Trashing The Tea Parties".

    As Grayson yawns ..."Bruce O'Donoghue of Winter Park — one of the leading candidates trying to unseat Democrat firebrand U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson — told the Orlando Sentinel that he's the victim of a former employee who embezzled from his company."

    O'Donoghue is one of seven Republicans in the Aug. 24 Republican primary in Florida's 8th Congressional District. The winner will face Grayson and Florida Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire in the general election.
    "Sentinel: Candidate's firm behind on taxes".


    "BP now faces a Herculean task of cleaning up the region's oily mess. While BP has hired thousands of people to boom, skim and burn large amounts of crude, the bulk of an estimated 200 million gallons of oil that spewed into the water is actually beyond human reach. As a result, the ultimate cleanup will be left to nature and to colonies of oil-chomping microbes." "Nature's burden: Clean up bulk of spill".

    See also "Gulf forecast: Cloudy with a chance of tar balls", "RICO law made to combat Mafia used in BP lawsuits", "Where will spilled Gulf oil go? Three months later, officials and residents are still asking" and "Seep near oil well prompts demand for BP monitors".

    "Only thing missing is a No. 1 foam finger"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Some candidates cling to the idea that businesses will flock to Florida if only it had a tax climate even more favorable than it already does. Rick Joyce, the former president and co-CEO of Dixon Ticonderoga, and Republican candidate for state House, crowed that "exceptionalism" is being No. 1, not No. 5, though it isn't helping Nevada all that much. The only thing missing is a No. 1 foam finger." "Tax cut sound bites".

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