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 Friday, September 17, 2010

RPOFers hit Crist, even if it hurts the public

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "In holding up payment of energy rebates for thousands of Florida residents and businesses, leaders of the state Senate and House are showing they'll stoop to anything to get even politically with Gov. Charlie Crist, even if it hurts the public." "Tallahassee power grab".

    Related: "Crist and Legislature escalate their sparring over energy rebates" and "Crist, legislature battle over solar rebates".

    Meek, Rubio, Crist debate tonight

    "For those who cannot watch it on television, the debate will be available online immediately after the telecast at univision23.com." "Meek, Rubio, Crist debate Friday night on Univision".

    Scott turns tail

    "A statewide broadcast debate on NBC between Alex Sink and Rick Scott planned for Oct. 25 has been canceled because Scott declined, saying moderator Chris Matthews is 'a known Obama liberal.'" "Scott cancels NBC debate, making USF event likely".

    Garcia's "25 for 25"

    "Set against a backdrop of stubbornly high unemployment and sky-high home foreclosures, Democratic congressional candidate Joe Garcia unveiled an economic plan Thursday pushing for help for small businesses and homeowners -- and a heap of tax cuts and credits." "Joe Garcia reveals 25-idea economic plan".

    RPOF flip-flop

    "After voting Saturday at a meeting in Orlando not to release the report of an audit of its finances, the executive committee of the state Republican Party reversed course Wednesday, voting during a conference call to release the document."

    This after the RPOF claimed the audit

    provided evidence that the party's financial meltdown last year was the fault of Gov. Charlie Crist, who has now left the party, and the man Crist picked to be party chairman, Jim Greer. Even as they said that, the party officials also refused to release it publicly.
    "GOP flip-flops on audit".

    Crist lashes out at Rubio

    "Under attack on television and losing traction in the U.S. Senate race, Gov. Charlie Crist lashed out Thursday at front-runner Marco Rubio for his spending with a Republican party credit card and for trying to stuff 'pork' into the state budget."

    Rubio has denied any wrongdoing, and party officials say a top-to-bottom audit -- expected to be released Friday -- did not raise any red flags about their much-ballyhooed nominee.

    Crist's aggressive tone comes as the latest polls show Rubio with a double-digit lead and the anti-tax Club for Growth began a TV advertising campaign on his behalf. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is airing about $1 million in anti-Crist ads.
    "Crist lashes out at U.S. Senate race opponent Marco Rubio".

    Scott Desperate with capital D

    "Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is lending a hand to Rick Scott on the campaign trail. The Republicans are making stops in Pensacola, Orlando and Jacksonville on Friday." "Scott joined by La. Gov. Jindal on campaign trail".

    You remember Jindal, the dopey excorcist who attempted to deliver a State of the Union rebuttal last year:

    Both Democrats and Republicans alike panned Jindal's rebuttal in terms that were decidedly harsh: "amateurish," "laughable" and, most commonly, "a missed opportunity."

    "After watching Jindal," one Democratic strategist emailed, "I'd pay a lot of money to be back watching a Palin speech."

    "Awkward with capital A," emailed another.
    "Bobby Jindal Response Panned By Pundits, Republicans And Democrats Alike". See also "What Caused Bobby Jindal's Speech to Be a Disaster?" ("If you look at Jindal's eyes and listen to his voice ... you can sense the hollowness").

    Although the GOP money men will no doubt enjoy spending time with the "amateurish" Jindal (their new Sarah Palin), one suspects Scott will not want the general public to know with whom he is keeping company these days.

    Libertarian votes are "mathematically crucial"

    "With three major candidates splitting the vote, any support for [Libertarian Senate candidate Alexander] Snitker becomes mathematically crucial." "Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Snitker may decide race".

    Scott's hypocrisy in the spotlight

    Aaron Deslatte: "Although Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rick Scott has frequently lambasted President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan, a telecommunications company he has invested heavily in continues to reap financial rewards from the federal program." "Rick Scott company gets more stimulus bucks".

    Feinberg denies he's "a liar"

    "Embattled Gulf oil spill claims czar Ken Feinberg acknowledged Thursday that payments from the $20-billion fund he administers for victims aren't coming quickly enough, but he denied misleading Floridians when he promised to grant quick relief." "Claims chief: 'I am not a liar'". See also "Update: Feinberg says he didn't dodge reporters following closed-door meeting with McCollum".

    Thrasher's "tumultuous ride"

    "John Thrasher is entering the final stretch in his year-long run as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. It's been a tumultuous ride -- more challenging in many ways than his turns as Florida House speaker, lobbyist, lawyer and state senator -- but the St. Augustine Republican feels the best is yet ahead." "John Thrasher Reflects on RPOF's Tumultuous Year".

    Immigration reform

    "Local and national organizations have expressed support for the decision by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to attach the DREAM Act to the defense authorization bill as part of a larger campaign for immigration reform." "Florida organizations to hold vigil to urge LeMieux to support DREAM Act".

    About Rubio

    A dKos diary of interest:

    A few recent polls have shown Marco Rubio surging in the polls, most recently an Ipsos/Reuters which pegs the race Rubio 40, Charlie Crist 26 and Meek 21. I won't sugarcoat anything. The polls are consistent right now, so this is no outlier. Rubio is the favorite right now. But lest Democrats, or even Crist supporters, lose heart, there are some things to keep in mind.
    "Something to Note on Rubio's Surge".

    McCollum's suit against health-care law gains traction

    "Despite dismissive comments from state and national Democrats, Florida's lawsuit against the federal government's health-care law is getting traction in court." "Latest Line: Judge Will Move Health Lawsuit Forward".

    South Florida Agriculture Association break ranks

    "Individual members of the South Florida Agriculture Association say they are departing from the association's traditional Republican stance to back a lieutenant governor candidate they know, Democrat Rod Smith." "South Florida Farmers Back Democrat Rod Smith".

    Florida media has Webster's back

    "Staircase bought with taxpayer money exists, but it isn't fancy".

    Bush tax cuts "creeping into" Florida election

    "The national debate over ending or extending Bush-era tax cuts is creeping into Sunshine State election campaigns."

    Obama wants to extend tax breaks only to individuals making less than $200,000, and married couples making less than $250,000, who represent an estimated 98 percent of all taxpayers. But the trio -- top targets of Republicans hoping to regain control of the House in November -- have joined a number of moderate Democrats urging House leaders to extend all the cuts, which expire at the end of the year if Congress does not act.
    "Tax cuts carving a divide in Florida". See also "Dems in tough races, like Klein, break with party leaders over tax cuts for rich".

    LeMieux shows leadership

    The Orlando Sentinel editors: "George LeMieux showed leadership in backing lending package". The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Small business gets a boost from Sen. LeMieux".

    Class size to the Supremes

    "As expected, the Florida Supreme Court has received a challenge to a ballot proposal that would loosen Florida's class size limits. The 1st District Court of Appeal on Thursday expedited the case by sending it directly to the justices without issuing a ruling of its own." "Florida Supreme Court gets class size amendment case".

    More: "High Court Gets Amendment 8 Appeal". The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Keep class-size amendment on ballot: Language is muddy, but voters should be able to figure it out.".

    Rubio refuses responsibility

    "Rubio denies responsibility for 'Taj Mahal' courthouse funding".

    Crist's "bad ballot placement"

    "One study showed that that the closer to the top candidates' names appear on the ballot, the more votes they get." "Bad ballot placement? Crist ninth of 10 names".

    Chamber shows its right-wing stripes

    The Chamber is, of course, yet another GOP front group. "The Florida Chamber of Commerce may have spent millions to defeat him in the primary, but when it comes to the general election contest, it's decided to give some love to Republican Rick Scott."

    The chamber endorsed an all-Republican lineup in its November ballot endorsements announced Thursday, supporting both Scott for governor over Democrat Alex Sink and Pam Bondi for attorney general over Democrat Dan Gelber.

    The chamber board spent the morning interviewing the candidates in Tampa before announcing its picks.
    "Florida Chamber of Commerce gets on the backtrack bandwagon, endorsing Rick Scott for governor".

    Money rolls in for Sink

    "Politico reported, and campaign insiders confirm, that the Democratic Governors Association, the arm of the national party that helps its candidates for state governor's offices, has transferred $2 million to the Florida party for TV advertising purchases." "Dems kick in $2m for Sink".


    "Politifact: Kendrick Meek not lone defender of Everglades".

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