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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"'Tone-deaf' and 'twiddling their thumbs'

    "In dramatic political theater, the Republican-led Florida Legislature rejected Gov. Charlie Crist's call for a constitutional amendment to ban oil drilling near Florida's shores, calling it a 'simple solution designed to produce sound bites, photo ops and political attacks.'"
    A special session called by Crist lasted just 49 minutes in the state House — from 12:02 p.m. to 12:51 p.m. — before legislators beat a path out of Tallahassee without any hearings or votes, despite objections from Democrats and state senators from both parties.
    "Legislature rejects vote on oil drilling ban, goes home". See also "Open and shut session" and "Distrust hangs heavy over session".

    "Bay area reaction came fast and furious to news lawmakers in Tallahassee adjourned without voting on a proposal that would, in turn, have allowed Florida residents to vote on a constitutional amendment banning offshore oil drilling."
    On a patch of grass behind the Alden Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, representatives from business and environmental interests gathered Tuesday after the legislative special session had ended to blast state lawmakers for their inaction.

    "The Florida Legislature today, in an act of cowardice, decided to ignore the people of Florida and, moreover, they said we cannot trust the people of Florida," said Fred Jackalone, director of Sierra Club Florida.

    Jackalone blames the oil industry for having a "big foothold" in Tallahassee.

    Robin Grabowski, executive director of the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce, said she is disappointed Florida residents won't get a chance to voice their opinion on drilling off the Florida coast.
    "Bay area tourism, environmental leaders berate legislators".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "It came as no surprise that the Republicans who rule the Florida Legislature quickly adjourned a special session Tuesday without considering a constitutional amendment to ban drilling in state waters. Their arrogance, their contempt for Gov. Charlie Crist and their willingness to place petty politics above pragmatic policy have been evident for months. It will be up to voters to hold them accountable for their lack of respect for public office, the will of the people and the state’s fragile shoreline." "Petty politics over public duty".

    And isn't this delightful:
    When Florida's legislators quickly gaveled in and gaveled out their special session Tuesday, they also walked away from an opportunity to deliver tax breaks and economic relief to businesses struggling in the oil-ravaged regions of the state. ...

    They ignored a request by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink to streamline the claims process and require BP to respond to claimants in 15 days, just as insurance companies do after a hurricane.

    And they rejected calls from legal experts who want the state to strengthen the laws detailing BP's responsibility for paying for its pollution and economic damages.

    Sink, a Democrat and candidate for governor, accused lawmakers of being "tone-deaf'' and "twiddling their thumbs.''
    "Florida Legislature rejects pleas for tax breaks". See also "Florida Legislature rejects oil drilling ban vote, adjourns", "Republicans Ice Oil Amendment, Fire up Charlie Crist", "Charlie Crist, Statewide Candidates Sound Off on Short Legislative Session", "Senate Adjourns Without Passing Oil Ban" and "Crist blasts Florida legislature as 'do-nothing' for killing oil session in record time". More: "FAQ: As the special session begins, what you need to know about Florida offshore drilling".

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "House Speaker Larry Cretul and his colleagues in the House set new standards for hypocrisy when they promptly adjourned a special session that Gov. Charlie Crist called to put a constitutional ban on near-shore drilling."
    Cretul said Crist's "surprise proclamation" allowed "too little time for reflection and review" of the proposal - which is nonsense.

    The task was profoundly simple: Approve a referendum to prohibit drilling in state waters - three to 10 miles off the coast - and let voters decide.

    Last year, Cretul and his fellow House leaders didn't worry about allowing time for reflection when they launched a surprise late-session plan to allow drilling off our beaches. The proposal was devised by the oil industry and railroaded through the House with virtually no public discussion. Fortunately for the people of Florida, the state Senate refused to go along.

    And yet Cretul now has the gall to attack Crist because he wants to give citizens a voice on the critical decision.
    "Drilling hypocrisy in Tallahassee".

    Poll shows Crist ahead

    "Public Policy Polling (PPP) released a poll Tuesday showing that Gov. Charlie Crist, an independent candidate in the race for the U.S. Senate election, is the clear leader in the race. Crist came in with 35 percent support, while former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the likely Republican candidate, pulls second at 29 percent and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, a Democrat, places a distant third with 17 percent. Libertarian candidate Alex Snitker is fourth with 4 percent. The poll found 15 percent undecided." "New Poll Finds Charlie Crist Leads Marco Rubio in U.S. Senate Race".


    "Organizers expect a big turnout at a rally to oppose the drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico." "Rally opposing drilling moratorium scheduled".

    May God have mercy ...

    "Prominent conservative media critic Dan Gainor has offered $100 to the first member of Congress who punches 'smary [sic] idiot' Alan Grayson (D-Fl.) in the nose, reports Media Matters." "Right-Wing Media Critic Offers Cash For Assault On Congressman Alan Grayson".

    "The oiliest things in Tallahassee"

    Scott Maxwell: "The oiliest things in Tallahassee have always been the politicians. And there ain't a well cap big enough to stop all the hot air, hypocrisy and money-wasting that were oozing through the capital this week."

    Bold leadership for tough times.

    Still, they had to offer some sort of explanation for why they weren't doing anything. And heaven knows the last thing they wanted to do was tell the truth — that many of them still want to drill, baby, drill.

    So instead, they decided to trot out an allegedly philosophical objection — that a constitutional ban on drilling was unnecessary because drilling is already banned in this state.

    It sounded good … if only they hadn't argued precisely the opposite a few years ago. That was back when some of these same guys they were fighting mightily to constitutionally ban gay marriage … even though that, too, was already banned by state law.
    "Hot air, hypocrisy rule this week in Tallahassee".

    Renewable energy hopes

    "Senate President says he is still hopeful that renewable energy legislation can be considered this summer." "Light has not yet gone out for renewable energy supporters".


    "Scientists huddled Tuesday to analyze data from the ocean floor as they weigh whether a leaking well cap is a sign BP's broken oil well is buckling. They aren't sure whether the leaks mean the cap that stopped the flow last week is making things worse. Meanwhile, as Floridians see their white sand beaches getting fouled by the spill, many are angry at their Gulf Coast neighbors for allowing offshore drilling." "Is well cap making disaster worse?; Resentment, oil wash ashore in Florida".

    See also "Pressure readings still not perfect for Gulf oil well", "Relief tunnel should reach Gulf well by weekend", "A Coast Guard lab blasts tar balls to smithereens to see if they're from BP's spill or a ship's bil", "Will tourists return to Panhandle when oil stops?", "BP's altered photo distorts spill center activity" and "Messy cleanup of BP oil spill damages the Gulf".

    Rubio opposes unemployment comp

    "Joining his party leaders -- and clashing with his senatorial opponents -- Marco Rubio opposes extending unemployment benefits for jobless Americans."

    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.
    "Marco Rubio continues opposition to Senate jobless aid bill".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "The $34 billion legislation will help ease the pain for nearly 5 million unemployed workers, including the 35,000 Floridians a week whose benefits are expiring."
    For Republicans to use the jobless as pawns in a partisan fight over deficit spending only made life more difficult for struggling families and ignored economic realities.

    Unemployment rates decreased a bit in Florida and 38 other states in June, but other economic indicators suggest the nation is far from out of the woods. New residential construction declined in June nationwide, and recent earnings reports from banks and several big companies have been disappointing. In Florida, the unemployment rate has dropped for the third straight month, but more than 1 million residents are searching for work and the BP oil spill has created further uncertainty.
    "Senate finally eases pain of unemployed".

    However, "a line in Florida law currently prohibits the Sunshine State from receiving and disbursing the additional E.B. funding promised in the legislation. At least one Florida lawmaker — state Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Boynton Beach — called on Gov. Charlie Crist, state House Speaker Larry Cretul and state Senate President Jeff Atwater to fix the issue during this week’s special session, but that idea went nowhere. " "Florida unemployment extension fix fails, state Rep. Rader appeals to Crist".

    Entrepreneurs in action

    "Palm Beach County firm and president charged in time-share fraud case".

    What's wrong with Hillsborough?

    "Rick Scott, hoping to take the Republican nomination for governor away from Attorney General Bill McCollum, took what looked like a step in that direction Tuesday, getting a warm reception in his first appearance before the Hillsborough County Republican Party." "Local GOP activists like Scott's message".

    Tell that to my kids

    "Cutting class sizes isn't worth expense".

<< Home