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 14, 2010

"Political suicide for the Republican Party"?

    "While Democrats and media pundits denigrate any thought of the Republican Party suing Gov. Charlie Crist over hundreds of thousands of dollars in party-paid travel expenses, at least one GOP strategist sees potential upsides, legally and politically."
    Legal action in the wake of a still-to-be-released audit of the party's books could be perceived as blatant politicking timed for maximum electoral impact as GOP turncoat Crist runs for the U.S. Senate against Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek.

    Media outlets and Democrats sympathetic to Crist have taken that tack, while resurrecting stories about Rubio's use of party credit cards.

    "Does the phrase 'cutting off the nose to spite the face' come to mind?" mused University of Florida political science professor Daniel Smith.

    "Not only is this possible lawsuit on flimsy legal grounds, it is political suicide for the Republican Party of Florida. The continuing RPOF internecine battle is completely lost on Florida voters, and it will be spun by Democrats -- as well as Charlie Crist -- as further evidence that the Republican Party has been wasteful, incompetent and out of touch.

    "How this lawsuit would be beneficial politically for Republicans completely escapes me. It will remind voters of the questionable financial activities of RPOF leaders, including Marco Rubio and the incoming Senate President (Mike Haridopolos) and the Speaker of the House (Dean Cannon)," Smith said.
    "Suing Charlie Crist Comes With Pros, Cons". More: "Florida Republicans threatening to sue Crist".

    Thank you, Mr. Obama

    "The Legislative Budget Commission on Tuesday also is taking up the addition of about $1.3 billion more in federal stimulus dollars to the current year's budget due to recent congressional action. State economists have reduced a predicted gap between state general revenues and high to critical priority spending needs for the budget year beginning next July 1." "Florida budget panel revising long-range outlook".

    RPOF plays audit games

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Way back in February, after taking the reins of the state GOP from disgraced chairman Jim Greer, John Thrasher promised to "get to the bottom" of the secret deal-making and profligate spending that made a joke out of the so-called party of fiscal restraint."

    Five months later, still not having gotten to the bottom of the scandal ...
    "Two months after that and the party-commissioned inquiry still hasn't been released. And don't hold your breath that it will be any time soon."
    On Saturday, you see, Mr. Thrasher implied that the audit's contents reveal malfeasance on the part of Mr. Greer, former Florida GOP Executive Director Delmar Johnson and Gov. Charlie Crist.

    How convenient. Mr. Greer already had been criminally charged with fraud and money laundering. And Mr. Johnson is cooperating with investigators. No one needed the party's audit to suggest they were in trouble.

    But now the governor's done wrong, too? No doubt Mr. Thrasher wouldn't mind if the public thought that of the guy who'd bolted the GOP to run for the U.S. Senate as an independent, challenging rising party star Marco Rubio. Mr. Thrasher suggested the audit points to Mr. Crist, Mr. Greer and Mr. Johnson inappropriately spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel, consultants and meetings not related to party business.

    And it's right there in the audit, for everyone to see. Only maybe it isn't.
    "Florida GOP needs to release audit of its spending". See also "Charlie Crist reacts to Florida GOP investigation". Background: "State GOP accuses Gov. Charlie Crist of misspending but doesn't release audit".

    "Wrong-headed policy decision the Republican-led Legislature"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "The impact of a wrong-headed policy decision the Republican-led Legislature made seven years ago is finally starting to ease, but far too many Florida children are still paying the price." "Good sign for kids' health".

    Judge to hear McCollum's publicity stunt

    "A federal judge in Pensacola will hear oral arguments today on whether to throw out a lawsuit challenging the national health-care law."

    Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson will hear arguments beginning at 9 a.m. today from representatives of 20 states seeking to strike down significant portions of the law as unconstitutional.

    The lawsuit spearheaded by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum was filed March 23, the same day President Barack Obama signed the $2.5-billion bill into law.

    Opponents say the legislation drastically expands Medicaid and that it represents an illegal extension of Congress' regulation of interstate commerce. It also says that a tax penalty for citizens who refuse to participate is unconstitutional.

    The U.S. Justice Department, defending the federal government, asked the court to dismiss the suit.

    The government will argue that uninsured people still utilize the health-care system and that the burden of unpaid medical expenses falls into the lap of the insured. The government believes the law would lower health-care costs to level the playing field.
    "Judge to hear health-care challenge".


    "Claimants wait weeks for payouts to replace income lost due to the gulf oil spill." "Gulf Coast residents in dire financial straits waiting for BP claims".

    AFL-CIO slams Rubio and Scott

    "The AFL-CIO, America’s largest federation of unions, launched a campaign this week targeting a slew of Senate, House and gubernatorial races around the country. The organization is printing direct-mail ads that slam Florida’s Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio and the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate, Rick Scott."

    Two million mailers total will be issued. In Florida, the literature will remind union members which candidates have been endorsed by their union while focusing their message on what they highlight as track records workers in Florida should be wary of. “Marco Rubio’s record: Fewer jobs, an uncertain future for workers,” reads one. The other states, “Millionaire Rick Scott ran a hospital chain that cheated its patients — and paid the largest fine in U.S. history.”
    "AFL-CIO mailers slam Scott, Rubio".

    Crist "continuing his makeover"

    "Continuing his makeover from Republican to independent U.S. Senate candidate, Gov. Charlie Crist on Monday affirmed his support for civil unions, adoption by same-sex couples, and doing away with the military's ban on openly gay soldiers." "Crist affirms support for civil unions, gay rights". See also "No longer Republican, Charlie Crist shifts positions on some gay rights issues" and "Gay advocates praise Crist position paper on gay rights".

    Sea cows

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "A plan manatees will love".

    1000 Friends of Florida alters position on amendment 4

    "The influential smart-growth advocacy group 1000 Friends of Florida no longer opposes Amendment 4, the statewide-ballot issue that, if passed in November, would give local voters more direct say over development in their communities."

    The statewide group still doesn't support the measure, but until Monday's announcement it had long opposed Amendment 4 for fear that, among other things, it would disrupt local land planning and politics.
    "Smart-growth group drops opposition to local-development amendment".

    "All we need are workers who can read and cipher"

    Mike Thomas: "Steal California Jobs. That's my economic plan, and it sure beats what Alex Sink and Rick Scott are proposing. We have beaches, sun, clean air and 150,000 empty condos at $35,000 apiece. All we need are workers who can read and cipher. That's in my plan." "Fix universities so we can steal California jobs".


    "First bald governor?".

    Marco would say ...

    Marco would say the walruses are faking it; they're part of a liberal conspiracy to undermine his campaign. "Melting sea ice forces walruses ashore in Alaska".

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