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 Sunday, September 05, 2010

Rubio's "record is a sham"

    Republican Marco Rubio, a man with no solutions, "says Crist has repeatedly changed his tune about the federal healthcare law that passed earlier this year." "Marco Rubio: Charlie Crist has 'six different positions' on healthcare law".

    Tuff talk from the emptiest of suits. Stephen Goldstein put it this way last week: "For the frenzy he brings to politics, Marco Rubio has been called the Energizer Bunny. But he's really the Wizard of Oz, a manipulator behind a façade, making himself seem larger than life. He's fabricated an image that's made him the darling of the tea party and radical Republicans. He's expended enough verbal heat to launch a hot air balloon. But his real record is a sham: endless lists of ideas that have failed to launch." "Marco's folly: Rubio's image hides sham of a record".

    Charlie's "incoherence"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board writes that "Crist says his run for the U.S. Senate as an independent candidate is liberating and allows him to take positions that are true to his personal principles rather than Republican orthodoxy. Washington certainly could use more pragmatism and less partisanship. But Crist has to be careful that his flexibility does not become a liability." See what they mean here: "Crist's flexibility is one thing; incoherence is another".

    Brilliant mistake

    Florida agencies have spent only about 40 percent of their share of federal stimulus money, a slow flow of funds that has made a limited impact on the state's dire job market.""

    Cities, counties, universities and some other recipients in the state have used only about one-fifth of their share. In all, about $5.7 billion of stimulus grants awarded to Florida has yet to be spent.

    The money, approved by Congress in early 2009, was supposed to be spent quickly to jump-start economic growth. Eighteen months later, as Floridians face a Labor Day weekend with an unemployment rate in double digits, many are wondering when the billions of dollars allotted to the state will generate new jobs.
    "Florida agencies slow to spend federal stimulus money".

    Running government like a business

    "The political landscape is littered with failures — successful business executives who went bust when they took residence in the governor's mansion. Florida's Republican gubernatorial candidate — Naples healthcare executive Rick Scott — will try to defy those odds and govern Florida successfully if elected."

    John Schilling, an entrepreneur who lives in Naples and is a consultant, knows how Scott ran a business. He worked for Columbia Healthcare when Scott was CEO, and then helped bring the company down as a whistle-blower.

    "Rick Scott did not want to hear bad news," Schilling said. "Isn't that typical of any CEO, though?"

    Schilling was an accountant at the company's Southwest Florida division's office when he discovered two sets of books at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte, one of three of the company's hospitals in Southwest Florida.

    Eventually, Schilling became an informant for the FBI, wore a wire to meetings, made drawings of where file cabinets were located and provided information that led to indictments and a $1.7-billion fine Columbia paid for Medicare fraud.

    Four mid-level executives were later charged in the case, but Scott was never charged with any of Columbia's problems. He maintains he knew nothing about the Medicare issues.
    "If elected, Scott may find governor's chair an uneasy fit".

    Job promises

    "Faced with double-digit unemployment, Florida's candidates for governor promised to make job growth their top priority." "Governor candidates' job plans fuzzy on details". See also "Alex Sink and Rick Scott see jobs as key".

    Kenric Ward asks "Whose Jobs Plan Works Best for Florida?"

    "This year, Floridians can push back"

    Randy Schultz: "Giving politicians the power to draw these districts is like letting teenagers set their own curfews. They will observe no boundaries in drawing political boundaries. If one party controls both chambers of the state legislature, as Republicans do in Florida, the party in power tries to protect its people and maximize the influence of its own voters while minimizing the opposition's." "Vote to repeal state's incumbent protection plan".

    "Sneaky budget writing"

    Howard Troxler writes that the First District Court of Appeals 'Taj Mahal' courthouse

    deal was sneaked into the state budget under then-House Speaker Marco Rubio and then-Senate President Ken Pruitt.

    The House budget chief at the time was then-Rep. Ray Sansom, later charged with some sneaky budget writing of his own.

    The House's general counsel at the time was the son of the 1st District judge — himself a former House member — who was pushing for the courthouse the hardest.

    Rubio says hey, don't blame me, it was a Senate "priority."

    The Senate's Pruitt says, he don't know nothing about birthin' no courthouses.

    The key senator who did the deal was Victor Crist, R-Tampa, now running for the Hillsborough County Commission — who says Pruitt told him to do it.

    Let's quote yet again from the report of the Tallahassee grand jury that indicted Sansom over a different project:
    Far too much power is given to the legislative leadership on these budget issues which led to this appropriation that was voted on basically hidden in a huge budget. ...

    Your grand jurors recommend to the Legislature that it clean up this process.
    But the Legislature has not lifted a finger. In fact, several leaders of the Legislature sneered after the indictment that the grand jury "doesn't understand how things work up here."

    You know what? I think the grand jury understood perfectly well. I think everybody else does, too.
    "Kick 'em right out of the 'Taj Mahal'".

    They don' call 'em journalists for nuthin'

    Jane Healy: "Now that the primary races are over, candidates can start concentrating on the November general election, guaranteed to be a wild one. Here are three big ways candidates could lose: 1. If they ignore Hispanics. ... 2. If they ignore women. ... 3. If voters stay home." "Here's what it takes to lose in November".

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