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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 Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rubio solidifies Q Poll lead

    "Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio's criticism of President Barack Obama is resonating with Florida voters as they favor him by a wide margin over independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek, a poll released Wednesday showed."
    Rubio, the darling of Republican and tea party activists, was favored by 44 percent to Crist's 30 percent in a survey of 1,055 likely Florida voters conducted between Oct. 6 and 10 by Quinnipiac (Conn.) University. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
    "Poll: Rubio leads Crist big in Florida Senate race". See also "Poll: Marco Rubio Widens Lead in U.S. Senate Race" and "Poll: Rubio maintaining big lead in Senate race".

    From the Quinnipiac release:
    Today's results are essentially unchanged from a September 30 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, in which Rubio led Crist 46 - 33 percent with Meek getting 18 percent of likely voters.

    Florida likely voters disapprove of President Barack Obama's job performance 54 - 43 percent, a slight improvement from October 1 when they disapproved 56 - 40 percent.

    "As the clock ticks down to Election Day, there is no evidence that Marco Rubio's lead is narrowing. Anything is possible since there are still three weeks left in the campaign, but it appears Rubio's opponents will need an earth-shaking development to deny him the U.S. Senate seat," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

    Meek, who has trailed badly throughout the three-way contest, received 22 percent, although he was favored by half of the Democrats surveyed.
    "Rubio Shows Crist His Heels In Florida Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Democrat Meek A Distant Third".

    Another Rivera bombshell

    "Over the past seven years, Republican state Rep. David Rivera repeatedly said in sworn documents that his main source of income, outside of his salary from the Legislature, came from consulting work he did for the U.S. Agency for International Development."

    But USAID has no record of ever hiring Rivera -- now a candidate for Congress -- or his company. ...

    When asked by The Herald about his work with USAID, Rivera gave conflicting explanations, first saying he won the USAID contracts through competitive bidding, but later saying he worked only as a subcontractor to other USAID contractors -- whom Rivera would not identify.
    "Source of Rivera's income unclear".

    Scott getting desperate

    "Scott continues attack on Sink's decisions, judgment".

    McCollum bending

    "McCollum said Tuesday he has made overtures to the Scott campaign to meet with their candidate, albeit unsuccessfully at this point." "McCollum says he's leaning toward voting for Scott".

    "Zero evidence either Meek or Crist dropping"

    "So long as nonpartisan candidate Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek divvy up Democratic votes, Republican Marco Rubio is poised to comfortably win a U.S. Senate seat. And so far, there is zero evidence either Meek or Crist is remotely considering dropping out." "No sign of dropping out". See also "Democrats deny rumors Meek is dropping out of Senate race", "Meek denies rumors he's dropping out of Senate race, blames Crist team" and "State Democrats say Meek won't drop out of U.S. Senate race".

    More: "Crist camp responds to charge of spreading Meek dropout rumors". Related: "Rumors of a Meek dropout ignore that his name would still be on the ballot".

    Big of 'em

    "Florida's gay adoption ban won't be enforced anywhere in the state after the Department of Children and Families decided Tuesday not to appeal the ban's overturn to the state Supreme Court. The only way the case stays alive is if Attorney General Bill McCollum separately decides to appeal to the Supreme Court to keep the ban in place. If McCollum doesn't appeal, it will end the three-decade old ban that was considered the strictest in the country." "DCF won't appeal overturn of gay adoption ban".

    DCCC pulls Kosmas ads

    "National Democrats are abandoning the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, deciding Tuesday to cancel plans to spend $650,000 on television ads for the freshman Democrat in the final week before Election Day."

    Republicans interpreted the cancellation as a sign that Democrats had given up on the New Smyrna Beach legislator. Democrats countered that Kosmas has enough money to defend herself against state Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Orlando, and didn't need the outside help.
    "National Dems pulling out of Kosmas race".

    Amendment 1, a simple choice

    "Amendment 1 is giving Florida voters a simple choice: Do you want taxpayer money to pay for political campaigns? But there's a not-so-simple caveat: If you do, you should vote no. If you don't, vote yes." "Voters will get chance to embrace or repeal public finance of Florida campaigns".

    Pelosi's puppet?

    "Republican Steve Southerland sought to depict U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd as a puppet of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a pair of debates Tuesday." "Boyd, Southerland trade charges".

    St. Johns River

    "Monday evening’s meeting of the Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board once again featured a face-off between environmentalists and industry." "Georgia-Pacific and Riverkeeper go head to head (again) over proposed pipeline".

    Who should pay?

    "Speculation has been increasing that support for high-speed rail projects may hinge on who gets elected governor. In Florida, Democrat Alex Sink has long supported them, while Rick Scott has demurred." "Who should pay for Florida’s high-speed rail?".

    Collective action

    "A farmworker organization and major Florida grower are expected to announce a new deal to improve worker conditions. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Palmetto-based Pacific Tomato Growers are scheduled to hold a news conference Wednesday morning." "Florida tomato workers to announce deal with growers".

    Expensive tix

    Scott Maxwell: "The event was a fundraiser for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, and Buffett performed barefoot in the backyard of John 'For the People' Morgan's Heathrow mansion Sunday evening. The set was short — just a few songs, including 'Margaritaville' and 'Volcano.' But the cash haul was big — about $500,000, according to Morgan." "$5,000 for Jimmy Buffett seems like a deal next to $17,600 for Obama".

    "Taj Mahal" Update

    "Some judges 'bullied' a state agency into building an opulent courthouse that cost taxpayers about 11 million more than it should have, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink said Tuesday." "Sink's audit raps 'Taj Mahal' courthouse".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink’s eye-opening audit of the $48 million 'Taj Mahal' courthouse shows stunning lapses by the Florida agency charged with overseeing state construction projects. It also exposes a group of politically connected judges who pushed aside any barrier — legal, ethical or otherwise — to secure a palatial new home built to their lavish tastes." See also "Sink chastises DCA judges" and "Sink: 'Taj Mahal' courthouse is 'more than embarrassing'".

    Nancy Smith: "Put the whistle back in your pocket, Alex, you’re too late. The First District Court of Appeal’s 'Taj Mahal' of a building went up on your watch. Yours, girlfriend." "Hey, Alex Sink, 'Fire, Aim, Ready?' A Little Embarrassing, Girlfriend".

    Obama house parties

    "As President Barack Obama urged voters to head to the polls in November, Central Florida Democrats huddled around computers at house parties Tuesday night and tuned in his live webcast." "Central Florida Democrats gather at house parties to hear Obama's get-out-the-vote message".

    LeMieux finds support for opposition to unemployment extension

    "Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla., was criticized by Democrats during the last day before the congressional recess for leading Republican opposition to another extension in federal jobless benefits." "Nobel 'Friction' Theory Supports Curbs on Jobless Benefits".

    Wingnuts go after central Florida Dems

    "It's now official: Alan Grayson and Suzanne Kosmas are walking bull's-eyes. So says Politico, which recently completed an analysis of TV ad-buys by outside conservative groups — and concluded that Grayson and Kosmas were tied for America's No. 1 target." "Local Dems are top target".

    "An extremist"?

    "A notably aggressive Ron Klein went on the offensive during a Tuesday debate in hopes of saving his congressional seat, calling opponent Allen West an extremist ill-suited to represent South Florida." "Klein, West trade barbs in close congressional race".


    "A $197 million attempt to restore the Everglades by turning over a swath of sugar farmland to the state was finalized Tuesday, ending two years of court battles and scaling back of the initial deal. " "State, U.S. Sugar finalize Everglades deal".

    Poll results "quite a move for Sink"

    About the Q poll reported yesterday: "Republican Rick Scott clings to a single percentage point lead over Democrat Alex Sink, 45-44, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday."

    The results reflect quite a move for Sink, who was down 43-49 in Quinnipiac's Oct. 1 survey. Sink also is winning among independents, 51-34, a group that she had been losing, 40-46, to Scott earlier this month.
    "Rick Scott, Alex Sink in tight race for governor, Quinnipiac poll shows". Related: "Poll finds ethics will matter in gov. race".

    "After weeks of negative ads from both campaigns, the Florida governor's race is in a statistical dead heat, according to a new poll released Tuesday. Democrat Alex Sink has apparently closed the gap with voters who believe she has more integrity than her GOP opponent Rick Scott, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters." "Ads attacking Scott's ethics help Sink surge to dead heat in Fla. governor's race"

    Two minutes

    "Democrat Alex Sink will air a new ad during your local 6 p.m. news broadcast today that whacks Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott for alleged fraud at Columbia/HCA, his former health care company, as well as at Solantic, his current health care business."

    However, Aaron Sharockman whines that "while many of the facts of the ad are correct, Sink and Democrats also use some clever editing and misleading visuals to sensationalize some of the accusations against Scott." "Sink's ad attacking Scott gets fraud claims right, but also misleads".

    Never mind the lies

    Dean Cannon, "the House speaker-designate is among multiple legislators making an incredibly gutsy — and questionable — claim in their campaign mailers." "Faulty claims".

    Ending gerrymandering

    "Every 10 years, the state Legislature redraws Florida's legislative and congressional district boundaries to reflect the latest census data. But the results tend equally to reflect the political ambitions of those wielding the pen."

    It may sound like the ultimate insider's game, but voters have a lot at stake. How lawmakers divvy up the electorate into legislative districts, for example, can factor heavily into which party controls the Legislature, which policies it adopts and how it spends the state's money.

    FairDistrictsFlorida.org is the citizens initiative responsible for Amendments 5 and 6, Backed by teacher and service employee unions as well as the Florida NAACP and ACLU, Fair Districts claims its proposals would end gerrymandering.
    "Effects of Amendments 5 and 6, redistricting debated". The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Yes on Amendments 5 & 6".

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