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 Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Meek within striking distance of Crist"

    "Kendrick Meek seems the dream Senate Democratic candidate, but as an underdog in a three-way race he faces a challenge in convincing fellow Democrats that he can win."
    On paper, the 44-year-old Meek appears to be a dream candidate for the Democratic party. A loyal disciple in Congress and the Florida Legislature known for scuffling with former Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican. The first statewide candidate to qualify for the Florida ballot by gathering voter signatures, about 125,000 in all. The victorious underdog in last month's Democratic primary against a hard-charging billionaire.

    Still, Crist -- who cast off his lifelong Republican affiliation just five months ago to avert a drubbing by Marco Rubio in the GOP primary -- continues to peel away enough Democrats to keep Meek at bay. But the tide is turning, according to a Mason-Dixon poll released Saturday that showed Meek within striking distance of Crist.
    "To win, Meek must turn doubters into believers". See also "Poll: Rubio opening gap in Senate race", "Rubio extends lead, Meek gains on Crist" and "Poll: Marco Rubio takes strong lead over Charlie Crist, Kendrick Meek in Senate race".

    Senate race "turning into a two-man race"

    "With a little over a month remaining before the Nov. 2 election, the three-way race for U.S. Senate is turning into a two-man race -- for second place."

    A statewide poll released Saturday night shows Republican Marco Rubio building on his lead over independent challenger Charlie Crist, while Democrat Kendrick Meek appears to be closing in on Crist in the closely-watched contest.

    Rubio is favored by 40 percent of likely voters, up from 38 percent last month; Crist's support has dwindled to 28 percent from 33 percent, according to the Mason-Dixon Research & Associates survey of 625 likely Florida voters. The margin of error: plus/minus four percentage points.
    "Rubio building on his lead in U.S. Senate race, poll shows".

    Grayson takes on "Taliban Dan"

    Facts are stubborn things.

    The teabagger effect

    "This year's most visible third-party campaigns are being mounted by prominent Republicans who fell victim to tea party-backed candidates who labeled them as too accommodating to Democrats. Crist left the Republican Party in April when it became clear that Marco Rubio, a tea party favorite, would win the party's Senate nomination. Republican officials hope Crist's independent campaign will pull about as many votes from Democrat Kendrick Meek as from Rubio. That probably would lead to a Rubio win, unless Crist can take huge numbers from both rivals." "Third-party candidates could tip close elections".

    Et tu Wexler?

    "Ex- Rep. Robert Wexler, who's stayed silent on politics since he left office early this year, is back in South Florida to give a boost to one of his oldest political friends, Gov. Charlie Crist." "Ex-Rep. Robert Wexler will endorse Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate on Sunday".

    Boyd in "a tight race in a season of voter discontent"

    Bill Cotterell: "The first time he ran for Congress, U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd had his mother reply to some harsh attacks with a homespun TV ad saying she'd like to wash his opponent's mouth out with soap."

    Boyd's furious fight with Panama City businessman Steve Southerland could qualify both candidates for a lathered-up dishrag this year. It's a tight race in a season of voter discontent that has drawn two independent candidates into the fray. Both national parties and political-action committees are betting hundreds of thousands of dollars on the outcome Nov. 2.
    "Uneasy political environment encourages challengers in race for Congress".

    "Sarah Palin with a law degree"

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board makes up for yesterday's tame questioning of Rubio's use of his RPOF credit card for personal expenses yesterday, and today endorses Fox TV commentator Pam Bondi for Attorney General, a candidate Dan Gelber aptly calls "Sarah Palin with a law degree." "Elect Pam Bondi attorney general".

    A matter of priorities

    "When Miami-Dade County commissioners voted to raise the property tax rate early Friday morning, they said they preserved a host of vital services, like libraries and fire boats and court-appointed guardians who help troubled juveniles..

    Also tucked in among the saves: A photographer who shoots commissioners and the mayor at awards ceremonies and ribbon cuttings, and six other positions in the Government Information Center, which is responsible for creating videos for Miami-Dade TV such as Get To Know Your County Commissioner.

    Total cost to taxpayers: $684,000. ...

    Several commissioners who voted in favor of the tax-rate hike did not return calls seeking comment Friday. Sally Heyman, who voted in favor of the hike, said commissioners were handed packets showing services saved while they were on the dais, with little time for review.
    "Politicians still get their close-ups". See also "" and "".

    "The deadline to register for general election is Oct. 4"

    "First register, then vote".

    "The hits just keep on rolling"

    Howard Troxler: "The hits just keep on rolling. So far we've talked about the Legislature's votes over the past two years to:"

    • Weaken growth rules in Florida.

    • Try to trick the voters with a "poison pill" amendment to thwart the Fair Districts movement.

    • Make big water use and the destruction of wetlands easier by taking their permits out of the public process.

    • Re-create "leadership funds," legal slush funds for special interests to pay unlimited campaign cash directly to the Legislature's incoming leaders.

    Whew! But we're only halfway done.
    "How they voted: Bad in the Senate, worse in the House" ("Fifth in a series of columns on key votes taken by the Florida Legislature since the last election.")

    "Shilling for corporate fat cats"

    Stephen Goldstein asks:

    Are you actually going to drink the Kool-Aid and commit social suicide in November? Seriously, are you really going to let clones of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck kill the middle class? They claim to channel the "original intent" of our founding fathers, but they're nothing but a bunch of four-flushers, shilling for corporate fat cats — and laughing all the way to the bank.

    Now that the party of Lincoln has been taken over by the tea party, Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh, their candidates vow to go to Tallahassee and Washington to destroy the Obama health reform legislation, rob the middle-class of millions of dollars the Democrats are saving them, and increase big-business profits.
    "Social suicide? GOP will wave so-long to benefits".

    "How the stim money is being allocated in Florida"

    Although the knuckle draggers at the Heritage Foundation whine about stimulus money awarded to the states, "Don Winstead, appointed by Gov. Charile Crist to coordinate Florida's stimulus spending, contends that without the help from Washington, state unemployment would be even higher than 11.7 percent. And he points to a General Accounting Office study showing the peak years for stimulus spending are 2010 and 2011 -- meaning the help should keep coming." "Florida's stimulus: From $200 million for electric meters to $302.50 for new threads". Related: "A broad look at Florida stimulus spending".

    "The myth of Republican frugality"

    Carl Hiaasen: "The myth of Republican frugality is graphically exemplified by an ornate new state courthouse, about six miles from downtown Tallahassee."

    The boondoggle was a Republican operation from start to finish, and election-year amnesia has afflicted almost everyone involved.

    Marco Rubio, for example, was the House speaker at the time the courthouse bond issue was tacked onto a 142-page transportation bill.

    For such a young fellow, Rubio has frequent memory lapses. Just as he supposedly couldn't remember all those personal expenses he put on his GOP American Express card, he now says he can't remember the hefty courthouse appropriation.

    Rubio insists the project was a state Senate priority and that he had nothing do with it.

    Unfortunately, his version of events is disputed by his old buddy and former House budget chief, Ray Sansom, now awaiting trial for allegedly steering $6 million in public funds to build a jet hanger for a rich crony (another suspect budget item that Rubio cannot recall).

    Sansom says Rubio personally assured him that the new First DCA courthouse was a top priority, and that Hawkes repeatedly reminded him of Rubio's interest.

    Also at odds with Rubio's claim of non-involvement is an e-mail circulated among the judges on the building committee for the new district courthouse.
    Much more here: "Someone give these guys memory pills".

    Blame them "labor costs"

    Myriam Marquez: "Has anyone bothered to compare the government labor costs of other large urban counties in Florida? Will report back on that soon", presumably once she receives the press releases promised her by the Chamber of Commerce and the James Madison Institute. "Recall effort based on county's bad decisions".

    Three questions

    Jane Healy: "In their quests to become governor, Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink are expected to meet for a debate before Election Day. Here are three areas that no debate should ignore:"

    1. How much do they really care about the environment?

    2. How much do they really care about kids?

    3. How much do they really care about improving the economy?
    "3 questions for Rick Scott and Alex Sink".

    "Senseless, indefensible"

    Mike Thomas: "We are almost rid of cruel gay-adoption ban" Fred Grimm: "Adoption ban was senseless, indefensible".

    Nice to see "journalists" like Mike Thomas - who supports right wing, gay hating thugs like "Jeb!" Bush - suddenly get religion.

    "Fox News in print"

    The new Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board continues to earn its reputation as "Fox News in print" with editorials like these: "Teacher merit pay study sheds little light on issue".

    The governor's race poll difference

    The Buzz the other day: "Alex Sink is up by 7 in the governor's race. No, wait, Rick Scott is up by 6", the latter according to the right wing Rasmussen Reports poll.

    The big differences: How they modeled, Mason-Dixon polled over two days (Sept. 20-22), while Rasmussen polled on one day (Sept. 22). Mason-Dixon uses live operators to poll. Rasmussen uses Interactive Voice Response (i.e., "robo" polls). The biggest difference between the two pollsters could be how they screened their likely voters.

    As we saw during the just-ended primary, many polls (including Mason-Dixon) showed McCollum with a good lead with less than a week to go before the election, but he lost. We can't say how Rasmussen called the election because his polling outfit refused to post/poll the Florida Republican primary race -- something Scott supporters said was evidence of a pro-McCollum bias (something Rasmussen Reports denies). Of course, now the Scott people can't get enough of how great Rasmussen is.
    "Rasmussen, Mason-Dixon on two different planets".

    "Florida's massive treasure chest of pension money"

    "Six candidates for statewide office explain how they will safeguard Florida's massive treasure chest of pension money." "Wanted: $140 billion watchdog".

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