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 Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Desperate man in an empty suit

    "Talking to GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott about Democrat Alex Sink can feel like flipping from local television news to CNN."
    That's because the discussion turns quickly to President Barack Obama, whom Scott is working overtime to associate with Sink in the minds of voters. Scott and Sink may be running for the state office of governor, but Scott's campaign seems to talk as much these days about Washington as about the Sunshine State.

    Sink is a first-term state chief financial officer who has neither held nor sought national office.

    She has both supported and held her distance from the president depending on the issue. But with the economy still teetering and Obama's approval ratings tanking in Florida to 41 percent, it's not hard to understand why Scott is trying to define her as an "Obamacrat."
    "Scott tries to tie Sink to Obama in governor's race".

    How popular is Charlie?

    Democratic operative Steven Schale "says that Gov. Charlie Crist won't win the U.S. Senate seat he is seeking and that Crist's 'personal approval numbers are plummeting.' PolitiFact takes a look."

    Bottom line, polls are numbers and depending on what poll you're looking at and what time period you're examining, you can reach different but defendable positions. Rasmussen had Crist's job approval rating at nearly 70 percent in July, the second-highest it's ever been.

    Quinnipiac polled Crist's job approval rating down 5 percentage points since 2008. The polling group found that Crist's favorable rating, meanwhile, dropped 20 points from 2008 to 2009 before rebounding.

    Schale said Crist's personal approval numbers are "plummeting." Pollster.com's tracking of several polls starting in October 2008 shows that Crist's favorable rating has declined among voters from around 70 percent to between 50 and 55 percent. But Crist's position in voters' minds hasn't changed all that much for most of 2010, and has even rebounded a little in some polls, according to the same figures.

    His job approval ratings, meanwhile, haven't changed that much in nearly two years. We rate Schale's claim Barely True.
    "Is Crist's popularity plummeting?".

    More from Schale: "More on Crist's Steep Climb".

    Judge, jury, executioner

    "A witness told police the victim showed Hamilton his pockets after he was accused of shoplifting, but that didn't convince him. The Florida Times-Union reported Hamilton followed the customer out of the store and shot him in the arm with a .38-caliber revolver." "Fla. shopkeeper allegedly shoots innocent customer".

    Love, Florida Style*

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "As the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks nears, a pastor in north Florida has come up with what may be the worst example yet of anti-Muslim bigotry."

    Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, wants to commemorate one of the most painful moments in American history -- a monumental crime fed by ignorance and hatred -- by sponsoring another event typically associated with ignorance and hatred: a book-burning.

    And not just any book, but the Koran, the holy manuscript revered by Muslims.

    Regardless of how one feels about plans to build a mosque in lower Manhattan, the two controversies are not comparable. One is about the appropriate place to erect a house of worship and interfaith dialogue. This publicity stunt, on the other hand, has no redeeming virtue at all.

    It offends Muslims and attempts to divide Americans along religious lines. It stirs up passions and disparages another culture solely for the sake of inciting controversy. It does not represent what America stands for, but rather the xenophobia and intolerance Americans reject.
    "Bonfire of hatred". See yesterday's, "Freedom of Religion, Florida Style". Related: "Tampa Bay group headed to Gainesville to protest Quran burning" and this at dKos diary, "Petraeus: Florida Church's Koran Burning Could Endanger U.S. Troops", "Book Burning Extremists Endanger United States Troops".

    And then there's this: "Another fine Florida product".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *With apologies to the 1970s television show, "Love, American Style".

    Rubio temporarily suspends campaign

    "Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio temporarily suspended his campaign on Sunday after the death of his father at Baptist Hospital in Miami. Mario Rubio, who died Saturday night, had long battled emphysema and lung cancer. He was 83." "U.S. Senate candidate Rubio calls temporary halt to campaign after father's death".

    "Non, je ne regrette rien"*

    "U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd told labor activists Monday he will 'make no apology' for supporting Obama Administration economic plans that Republicans are attacking." "Update: Boyd 'makes no apology' for supporting Obama economic plan".
    - - - - - - - - - -
    *If you have a moment, listen to it.

    Sorry 'bout that

    Kevin Derby: "Sorry, Rod Smith and Jennifer Carroll; history's against lieutenant governors' political career". "Bland Ambition: No. 2's Race to Obscurity".

    Ausley on the stump

    "Of course, Loranne Ausley would never suggest she could do a better job than the candidate many Democrats want to see as Florida's next governor. But it's a logical conclusion after hearing her talk about all the wrongs she sees at the state Capitol, where current CFO, Alex Sink, was at the post." "Would Loranne Ausley Be a Better CFO Than Alex Sink?".

    Just another Republican

    Is Jenniffer Carroll some sort of another "outsider", as Scott claims? Hardly. Her life "after the Navy seems pretty political insider to us. Consider:"

    Carroll ran for Congress in 2000 as a political newcomer. She lost to Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown despite outspending Brown 2-to-1.

    In 2001, Carroll said she talked with Vice President Dick Cheney about a job on his staff.

    Later that year, Carroll was nominated by Gov. Jeb Bush to run Florida's Department of Veterans Affairs. Her nomination was confirmed. She resigned about a year later to run again for Congress. She lost.

    In 2003, she was elected to the state House in District 13, where she has served ever since. She was appointed deputy majority leader by Speaker Johnnie Byrd in 2003 and served as a majority whip from 2004-2006.

    Carroll's state House biography also includes these highlights -- Republican Club of Clay County, "Top 10'' Republican Award 1999, 2002; appointed by President George W. Bush to the White House Presidential Scholars Commission, 2001-2004; appointed by President George W. Bush to the Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission, 2004-2007; Black Political Action Committee's 2005 Vikki Buckley Political Leadership Award.
    "A look at Scott's choice for GOP ticket".

    Wingnuts at work

    "Crisis Pregnancy Centers, funded by the state of Florida, are distributing brochures that suggest abortion causes mental illness, including depression, addiction and suicide. In the best case, the information handed out is biased; in the worst case, sources say, it is wrong." "State-funded pregnancy clinics disseminate questionable science on abortion".

    "Legitimate bones to pick"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Folks have some legitimate bones to pick with the Florida Statewide Passenger Rail Commission. The commission meets for the first time today in Ocoee — more than eight months after the Legislature created it in December. It took the Senate president and governor nearly six and eight months, respectively, to add their appointees to those submitted months earlier by the House speaker." "Florida Statewide Passenger Rail Commission needs to get up to speed".

    Dollars to China ...

    "China is one of many foreign nations making a push to be part of Florida’s emerging construction of high-speed rail for bullet trains, first between Tampa and Orlando, then on to Miami." "Foreign companies enter the race to build Tampa-Orlando high-speed rail".

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out


    routinely sets new records for foreclosures — in the second quarter, 20.13 percent of its mortgages were delinquent or in foreclosure, a national high, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. And with housing prices still in a free fall, almost half of all borrowers in Florida owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth, says CoreLogic, a data firm. ...

    No one disputes that foreclosures dominate Florida’s dockets and that something needs to be done to streamline a complex and emotionally wrenching process. But lawyers representing troubled borrowers contend that many of the retired judges called in from the sidelines to oversee these matters are so focused on cutting the caseload that they are unfairly favoring financial institutions at the expense of homeowners.

    Lawyers say judges are simply ignoring problematic or contradictory evidence and awarding the right to foreclose to institutions that have yet to prove they own the properties in question.
    "Florida’s High-Speed Answer to a Foreclosure Mess".

    Grayson on Labor Day

    "What Robert Kennedy Said".

    Rahm Emanuel a union hater

    Although this is off topic, one hopes this story is read by Florida's union members: "In 'Overhaul', his upcoming chronicle of his reign as 'car czar,' Steven Rattner offers an insider's account of the Obama administration's rescue of the auto industry."

    Rattner depicts White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as a force to be reckoned with who disparaged unions -- once quipping "Fuck the UAW"
    "Steven Rattner's 'Overhaul' Pulls No Punches On Obama Administration's Auto Rescue But Minimizes His Own Troubles (EXCLUSIVE)". Related: "Happy F*ckin' Labor Day!" and "".

    The best they can do?

    Bill Cotterell: "Call it karma, a convergence of sports and politics. FSU is playing Oklahoma this week in the Seminoles' first big test of the season. And it's Republican Day at the Hotel Duval, a big fund-raising reception and luncheon for the Leon County GOP. So what do these two events have in common?" "What do FSU-Oklahoma and the GOP luncheon have in common?".

    "One big hit away from flipping burgers"

    Mike Thomas: "Not that I would wish anyone harm, but it wouldn't have been such a bad thing for Florida if Hurricane Earl had maintained its wind speed and then hung a left at latitude 40 degrees north."

    That would have taken it through the Big Apple and into New Jersey, flattening buildings, flooding subways, jacking up cab fares and causing $100 billion or so in damages.

    A bunch of insurance companies would have gone bankrupt, leading to an insurance crisis.

    And we would finally get a national catastrophe-insurance program to subsidize our premiums and underwrite all those condo towers and mansions on Miami Beach.

    That day is coming, regardless. Toppling the Statute of Liberty simply would have sped things up.

    Hurricane Earl's northbound journey was a surprise to many but not to all the insurance CEOs glued to The Weather Channel last week. To them it was a reminder that monster storms do hit the Northeast, and that they are one big hit away from flipping burgers.
    "We're building up to 'beach-house bailout' — aka national hurricane insurance".

    And these people think they deserve pensions?

    "When fire crews arrived, the first and second floors of a 5,000 square-foot apartment building were engulfed in flames." "Firefighters tackle blaze at Outrigger Apartments".

    "A promise is a promise"

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: The Florida Energy and Climate Commission's "decision a few weeks ago - made with the approval of the U.S. Department of Energy - to allocate $13.8 million to individuals who had signed on to the state's solar program only covers part of the pending claims."

    Altogether, before the commission's action, the state owed more than 15,000 residents and businesses about $54 million in rebates. Now the program, which expired June 30 and has no money of its own, has about $40 million in rebates outstanding.

    Still, a promise is a promise.
    "Reneging on solar-rebate promise will cloud Florida's credibility".

    Yee haw ... ima gittin' me a skewl

    "Twenty-five charter school applications – a record number – have been submitted for consideration to the Hillsborough County school district." "Hillsborough gets record number of charter school applications".

    Never mind that Batista fellow

    "The use of Che Guevara's image to promote an irreverent auto race is upsetting some in South Florida's Cuban community." "Fla. race's use of Guevara image riles Cubans".

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