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 Friday, September 03, 2010

Scott accuses Sink of "socialism"

    "In Brandon, Orlando and Jacksonville,"
    Scott and Carroll talked up the importance of creating jobs in a struggling Sunshine State and Scott criticized Democratic rival Alex Sink for supporting "the socialist policies of President Obama.''
    "Scott, running mate Carroll debut as team".

    If Scott had spent some time in the pokey, he might have had had the opportunity to read a book or two on, say ... political systems. Then again, baseless name calling is a good way to rile up the RPOF's teabagger base.

    "Historic" laff riot

    "Scott: 'Historic day' in choice of state Rep. Carroll as running mate".

    "As Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott officially announced state Rep. Jennifer Carroll as his running mate Thursday, questions about when he chose the Fleming Island legislator and the experience she feels she brings to the ticket were left largely unanswered."

    Touted for her legislative experience, Carroll would not give many specifics about her time in the state House. When asked about some of her proudest moments as a lawmaker, she encouraged a reporter to do some research.

    "I don’t only have one," she said. "I have many, and you can certainly look up my resume."

    When pressed on her tenure as a member of the Legislature, Carroll cited her work as chair of the House Economic Development Committee.

    "There have been many measures that we put in place that created jobs, that reduced tax burden, reduced regulations on many companies to enable them to stay afloat," she said, without giving specifics.

    Scott tried to characterize Carroll as the opposite of a career politician, although she has been a legislator in Tallahassee since her election in 2003 and was the head of Florida’s Veterans Affairs Department before that.
    "Many questions surrounding Scott-Carroll ticket go unanswered".

    Lawson disses Meek

    "State Sen. Al Lawson endorsed Gov. Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate Thursday, saying "Charlie's always been there for us" when state employees, rural counties and universities needed help." "State Sen. Al Lawson endorses Charlie Crist for US Senate".

    Crist releases internal poll

    Daily Kos:

    Given where public polling was on this race as recently as three weeks ago, it is hard to get a lot of confidence for Independent Charlie Crist based on the release of his own internal polling by Keith Fredrick. The new poll gives Crist a lead of just a single point, with Crist at 35%, Rubio at 34%, and Kendrick Meek well behind the pack at 17%. Crist did get some welcome news today, as he locked in a surprising endorsement in the form of state senator Al Lawson. Lawson just finished with a closer-than-expected primary challenge to Congressman Allen Boyd, one in which he challenged Boyd to his left. Lawson's defection is particularly notable, given that he is an African-American Democrat who is choosing Crist over Kendrick Meek, who is seeking to be the first African-American member of the U.S. Senate ever from the state of Florida.
    "FL-Sen: Crist internal gives him (narrow lead), as he gains Dem nod".

    Chiles will help Sink

    Kevin Derby: "Lawton 'Bud' Chiles III made it official Thursday, pulling the plug on his gubernatorial campaign and endorsing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink." "Endorsing Alex Sink, Bud Chiles Exits Gubernatorial Race". See also "Bud Chiles will help Alex Sink's campaign for governor".

    Population growth

    "Florida's population grew slightly in 2009 after a one-year decline broke a steady string of growth dating to the end of World War II, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday. The University of Florida reported the state added an estimated 21,000 residents in the last year, bringing the state's population to 18,771,768. From 2008 to 2009, the state lost more than 56,000 people." "After a year of decline, Florida's population sees a slight amount of growth".

    Entrepreneurs in action

    "Hallmark Industrial Services, a company dogged by allegations of immigration and worker safety wrongdoing, had been working on oil spill cleanup operations in Florida". "Oil spill contractor with immigration, labor woes was involved in Florida cleanup".

    Labor Day Insult in the Works

    Hilda Solis is "Fighting for Workers This Labor Day".

    In the meantime, we will be preparing the latest edition of the "Annual Labor Day Insult". Previous editions are here, here and here.

    Rivera allegations

    "A Democratic donor from Miami has filed a complaint against state Rep. David Rivera, asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether the Republican congressional candidate violated campaign finance laws by 'coordinating' attacks on Democrat opponent Joe Garcia with a political committee intended to remain independent."

    The complaint, submitted by criminal defense attorney William Barzee, alleges there is a link between Rivera's campaign and a group named Voters Response. The link, Barzee says, is Rivera spokeswoman Sarah Bascom, of Tallahassee-based Bascom Communications & Consulting.

    Federal campaign finance reports show Rivera's campaign has not made any payments to Bascom.

    Voters Response, a Florida electioneering committee that has sent out fliers attacking Garcia in the hotly contested race, has twice made payments totaling $3,000 to Bascom Communications, according to the reports.

    "It's outside the rules,'' said Barzee. "It's wrong and it's avoiding accountability.''

    Unlike Florida law, federal campaign-finance law prohibits candidates from coordinating their campaign efforts with third-party groups.

    But Bascom and David Ramba, who heads Voters Response, said the committee is not working with Rivera.
    "Democratic donor seeks ethics probe of GOP candidate David Rivera".

    Bomb scare

    "Miami Airport Evacuated After Bomb Scare".

    "Suspicious financial arrangement"

    The Tampa Tribune editors: "State Rep. Kevin Ambler's lawsuit may not undo his Republican primary loss to Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman in the state Senate District 12 race. It may forever cast him as a sore - and litigious - loser."

    Yet the effort could benefit the public if it serves to cast light on a suspicious financial arrangement that allowed Norman's wife to pay cash for a $435,000 lakefront home in Arkansas.

    Norman says there are other investors in the house, and they want to stay out of the limelight. But no investors are listed on the deed, which is highly unusual for a real estate investment.

    The 2006 transaction has been subject to all sorts of rumors, and Norman blames the accusations on dirty politics.

    But he has refused to provide the specifics that could quickly put an end to the matter.
    "A sore loser with good questions".

    Right wing poll puts Scott on top

    Daily Kos: "Team Ras-sie put both Rick Scott (FL-Gov) and Dino Rossi (WA-Sen) out in front today. The only poll that can come close to being construed as positive for Dems is the relatively small lead for GOP incumbent Sean Parnell in Alaska."

    FL-Gov: Rick Scott (R) 45%, Alex Sink (D) 44%
    "THE RAS-A-POLL-OOZA". The poll: "Election 2010: Florida Governor".

    Florida bankruptcies up

    "Bankruptcies in South Florida up 5.7% in August".

    Campaign roundup

    "Chiles endorses Sink as he bows out, Scott barely leads Sink in new poll, Crist won't say who should be the next governor." "Campaign roundup for Thursday".

    "Unlike other schemes, this one's legal"

    The Orlando Sentinel editors: "Unlike other schemes to disenfranchise voters, this one's legal. That doesn't make it any less outrageous. And it doesn't excuse legislators for allowing it."

    In 1998, Florida voters, by nearly 2-1, amended the state constitution to open primary contests to all voters, regardless of registration, when the winner would not face opposition in the general election. The intent was to ensure that all voters could have a say in choosing their elected representatives.

    But two years later, the state Division of Elections issued an advisory opinion that upended the amendment. The opinion said a single candidate entering a race as a write-in would be enough to limit the primary to one party's voters — even though write-ins don't have to pay a filing fee or collect signatures like other candidates, and don't even appear on the ballot.

    Republican or Democratic candidates who have little appeal outside their parties would rather run in closed contests. And in the years since the Elections Division cleared the way, scores of primaries around the state have been closed thanks to write-ins.

    Usually these candidates don't even bother to campaign. They have no hope or intention of winning. There's no obvious motive for them to run other than to close a primary. State Sen. Dave Aronberg, a South Florida Democrat who tried for years to close the loophole, said write-ins usually are registered with the party whose primary they wind up closing.
    "Close primary election loophole".

    "Legislature lavishes tax dollars on an influential few"

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "An opulent $48 million courthouse being built for the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee highlights the hypocrisy of a Legislature that purports to be fiscally conservative but lavishes tax dollars on an influential few." "In contempt of state taxpayers".

    Wingnuts go after Grayson and Kosmas

    "For those few Florida voters unfamiliar with attacks ads, the latest TV spot by the conservative Americans for Prosperity offers a classic take on the genre."

    It features ominous music, testimony from everyday people and unflattering pictures of its targets: Democratic U.S. Reps. Alan Grayson of Orlando and Suzanne Kosmas of New Smyrna Beach.

    "Both supported Nancy Pelosi's liberal agenda," one grandmotherly woman tells the camera, moments before the ad condemns their support of the $787-billion stimulus bill.

    Americans for Prosperity paid about $420,000 to run the 30-second commercial for two weeks on Central Florida over-the-air and cable stations. The ad is part of a nationwide campaign by the Republican-Libertarian group – underwritten in part by New York billionaire David Koch -- and marks the opening salvo in what's expected to be a barrage of spending by outside organizations in Florida before the Nov. 2 general election.
    "Out-of-state groups to pour millions into U.S. Senate, congressional races".


    The Miami Herald editors: "Lift liability cap for oil spills". Related from Paul Flemming: "BP payments remain a mystery". Meanwhile, "Gulf Blowout II Ripples Across Florida". See also "New oil rig explosion causes political firestorm in Florida".

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