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, August 02, 2010

Greene and Meek loathe each other

    "For two candidates who disagree on so little, it's striking that Jeff Greene and Kendrick Meek can loathe each other so much. "
    The animosity between the U.S. Senate Democratic primary candidates was abundantly clear in a combative debate Sunday that will be televised on Bay News 9 tonight.
    "Greene and Meek don't hide ill will in debate". See also "Democrat Kendrick Meek facing uphill battle in Florida Senate race" and "".

    "Marco mania"

    "Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio called for Congress to continue the tax cuts begun under former President Bush but acknowledged 'they won't pay for themselves' at a Fort Lauderdale town hall meeting Saturday."

    The cuts are increasingly taking center stage in the 2010 campaign as Democrats seek to remind voters of the unpopular former president, and Republicans argue they know better how to turn the economy around.

    "Taxes all across the board are going to go up,'' Rubio told a supportive crowd of about 125 people at the "Reclaim America'' forum at the Broward County Convention Center. "That's the direction the leadership in Washington is trying to take our country.''

    Rubio was flanked by the No. 2 House Republican, Eric Cantor of Virginia, who professed his allegiance to the GOP rising star at the forum and later Saturday at the Miami-Dade Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day dinner.

    "I've got Marco mania,'' said Cantor, who is at the forefront of the GOP crusade to take back control of Congress in the November election. "Not only does Florida need Marco, America needs Marco.''
    "GOP leader: 'I've got Marco mania'".

    Ahem ... it ain't a tax hike

    "More than $115 billion in new and restored taxes -- called the biggest tax hikes in U.S. history [by Republican spinners and their media lapdogs] -- will kick in Jan. 1, unless the Democratic Congress acts to stop them. But, so far, only one Florida Democratic representative, Suzanne Kosmas, has bucked her party by committing to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax reductions." "Florida's Congressional Dems Duck Tax Question".

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch: "'DISASTROUS': Greenspan Blasts GOP Push To Extend Bush Tax Cuts Without Paying For Them".

    Related: "Sarah Palin Uses Hand Notes To Defend Bush Tax Cuts".

    Matching wits

    "In their first joint TV appearance Saturday, all three Republican candidates for attorney general matched wits and contrasted their qualifications to be the state's next chief legal officer." "Florida attorney general candidates match wits in TV debate".

    Scott debates McCollum tonight

    Tonight, "the top two Republican gubernatorial candidates square off for their first debate. In a race so far waged largely in 30-second TV ads, it will be the first chance for voters to compare and contrast Naples businessman Rick Scott and Attorney General Bill McCollum." "GOP gubernatorial candidates McCollum, Scott to face off in debate".

    "How far right can you go?"

    "The 2008 elections are a distant memory to Republicans, who seem to have drawn energy from life with a Democratic president and Congress."

    Nowhere is that zeal more apparent than in District 24, where Suzanne Kosmas, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is being stalked in the Aug. 24 primaries by a field of five Republicans: Sandy Adams, Karen Diebel, Tom Garcia, Deon Long and Craig Miller.

    Their competition seems less a campaign than a limbo dance played with a vertical pole.

    How far right can you go?
    "GOP candidates energized to oust Kosmas". Related: "In District 24, money fuels the race".


    "The millions of gallons of oil spilled already threaten to kill the intricate ecosystem. Without the marsh, smaller fish won't be able to hide from predators. Shrimp won't breed and birds won't nest. The grasses won't be there to block the tidal surges." "Seeping oil spill threatens marshes' intricate ecosystem".

    See also "Gulf Crews Prepare To Kill The Spill Permanently", "BP Offering One-Time Payments To Gulf Oil Spill Victims In Attempt To Avoid Lawsuits" and "Gulf crews prepare to start plugging well for good".

    HD 61

    "The Republican primary for House District 61 is a tale of David and Goliath. Both candidates live in Wesley Chapel, and that's where the similarities end. IncumbentWill Weatherford, 30, is in line to become the youngest speaker of the House since 1957." "Challenger faces long odds".

    HD 57

    "Three political newcomers will face off in the Republican primary for the state House District 57 seat. Republicans Todd Marks, Dan Molloy and Dana Young will compete in the Aug. 24 primary to determine who will run against Democrat Stacy Frank and Tea Party candidate Matthew Russell in the November general election. The incumbent, Republican Faye Culp, is leaving after eight years because of term limits. Her district covers parts of western Hillsborough County". "GOP House Dist. 57 race centers on jobs".

    "Loaded" questions

    "A local [Volusia County] tea-party group that sent questionnaires to 40 candidates for West Volusia and countywide offices is backing off after learning its members may have violated Florida law. The Volusia Tea Party Patriots formed in recent months as a nonpartisan group bound by one common concern: making a God-guided America constitutional again, said Diane Kepus, one of the organizers."

    The forums were designed to give candidates a chance to explain their answers to 40 yes-or-no questions, such as:

    · "Given that the salaries of the Volusia County employees for the most part far exceed the norm for the area, would you be willing to recommend a 25 percent cut in all administrative salaries & reduce any duplicate positions held?"

    · "Are you willing to encourage and apply methods to remove Volusia County from participating in anything to do with sustainable development?"

    · "Would you bow down to pressure from the Federal government to usurp your authority as a local government?"

    Those questions struck Jean Jenner -- a former local Democratic Party leader and political activist -- as "loaded" and designed to favor certain candidates. He inquired about the Volusia Tea Party Patriots' claim it was a nonprofit organization. And then there was the matter of the group's request that candidates each contribute $10 toward the cost of renting space for the meetings.
    "Area tea party cancels election forums".

    "Influencing Obama's own prospects"

    "The amount of help President Obama gives U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek's imperiled Democratic Senate campaign before the Aug. 24 primary will influence Obama's own prospects in Florida in 2012, says U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar." "Helping Meek may be smart move for Obama". See also "Meek to join Obama at August event, White House says".

    DWS challenge

    "Republicans compete to take on Debbie Wasserman Schultz".

    "Doing a slow burn about now"

    Douglas C. Lyons:

    She's probably got better things to do, but if I was Jennifer Carroll, I'd probably be doing a slow burn about now. It's the time when Florida's gubernatorial candidates begin mulling over the names of possible running mates. There's plenty of speculation, but Carroll's name isn't a part of it.

    Pity — particularly for Florida's Republican Party.
    "Inclusion remains a problem for GOP".

    "Bewildered by Scott’s candidacy"

    "[F]ormer corporate insiders are bewildered by Scott’s candidacy for Florida governor, let alone his dramatic rise in the polls." "Poll: Columbia/HCA whistleblowers stunned Rick Scott is atop Florida governor polls".

    Bought and paid for

    "With three months to go before the general election, Putnam has a nearly four-fold advantage in campaign money over his main rival. Putnam, a five-term Republican congressman from Bartow who also served two terms in the Florida Legislature, had amassed $1,641,683 through July 16, according to the Florida Division of Elections. Scott Maddox, the Democratic candidate, reported donations totaling $424,909." "Florida Is a Green State For Putnam".

    Never mind

    "Innocence Project of Florida lawyers say DNA has been discovered that exonerates a Manatee County man serving life in prison for rape and kidnapping. Attorneys for the Innocence Project held a press conference last week at the Manatee County Judicial Center calling for the release of 47-year-old Derrick Williams, who is serving life for the 1992 rape of a woman in a Palmetto orange grove." "Innocence Project says DNA exonerates Florida man serving life in prison".

    Vern's land deal

    "Around the same time Mark Brivik wrapped up a 2006 real estate deal that ultimately landed him in jail on fraud charges, then-U.S. congressional candidate Vern Buchanan joined Brivik in an even bigger project."

    Through his spokeswoman, Buchanan declined the Herald-Tribune's requests to elaborate on either his relationship with Brivik or his role in the Boca Creek deal. ...

    It is unclear whether Buchanan was aware of Brivik's past when he decided to invest in his land venture.
    "Vern Buchanan's hand in failed land deal".

    False choice

    "Who's a better leader? The person who's a team player and uses her vote to advance the party's agenda, or the one who stands his ground and votes independently, but is sometimes on the outside of party leadership decisions." "Ellyn Bogdanoff vs. Carl Domino on True Leadership".

    HD 9

    "A first-term Democrat who made a politically calculated decision to vote with Republicans for offshore oil drilling faces a 'green' challenger in the race for Tallahassee's major House seat." "Rehwinkel Vasilinda, Minor face off in District 9 House race".

    "Each claims to be the ultimate outsider"

    "A lack of political experience is just what congressional District 16 needs, according to the two little-known Democrats in the Aug. 24 primary - with the winner facing the well-known and well-to-do Republican incumbent, U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney. Business consultant Jim Horn of Palm City and middle school teacher Ed Tautiva - neither with any political experience - also decry the influence of special interest groups in Washington." "Democrats boast of inexperience, seek to unseat Rooney in House race".

    Miccosukee counterattack

    "The Miccosukee Tribe has launched a counterattack against the IRS, saying that millions of dollars in gambling profits distributed to members are not subject to federal income taxes." "Miccosukee tribe launches counterattack against IRS".

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