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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 Thursday, October 07, 2010

Senate "candidates blast each other"

    William March:
    "I'm the only one" was the most-used line in a debate Wednesday among the three major U.S. Senate candidates, as each sought to set himself apart from the other two on Social Security, health care, taxes and spending.

    Democrat Kendrick Meek, moving away from his previous strategy of focusing his attacks mainly on no-party candidate Charlie Crist, fired in two directions.

    He called Rubio a holdover from Bush-era "trickle-down" politics, and said of Crist, "You don't know where he is."
    "Senate candidates jockey to distinguish themselves".

    See also "In lively debate, rivals try rattling Rubio", "Senate candidates blast each other", "U.S. Senate Candidates Engage in Contentious Debate", "Senate debate: Each candidate says he's the best man for the job" and "Punch fest for Rubio, Crist, Meek".

    Circular firing squad

    "Lawyers for ousted Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer have begun their attack on his former No. 2, Delmar Johnson III, the party's former executive director, who avoided prosecution by turning on Greer and becoming his chief accuser." "Jim Greer's lawyers attack state's prime witness".

    Bought and paid for

    "Democrat Alex Sink says her Republican rival, Rick Scott, is trying to buy the governor's office with tainted money. Scott's campaign shoots back that Sink has already sold out to liberal special interests."

    In recent weeks, Scott has attended fundraisers hosted by Associated Industries of Florida, Florida Crystals and U.S. Sugar.

    After positioning himself as the political outsider during the primary, he will attend a $10,000-per-head fundraiser this month in Naples with Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a potential GOP presidential candidate.
    "Buying the office or selling out? Alex Sink and Rick Scott battle over money in politics".

    Amendment 8 argument

    "In arguments before the state Supreme Court on Wednesday, the state's largest teachers union challenged a proposal to ease Florida's minimum class-size requirements."

    The Florida Education Association maintains that the summary for the November ballot doesn't fully explain Amendment 8's effect. But the legal challenge faced stiff resistance. Last month, a trial judge ruled that the state's ballot summary is fair and accurate. And on Wednesday, several justices appeared skeptical of the union's argument.

    Even if the FEA loses its legal fight, union officials say they still feel confident about public opinion on the measure. A Sept. 20-22 survey by the Mason-Dixon polling firm shows only 35 percent of likely voters support the amendment loosening the class limits, far from the 60 percent required to add it to the Constitution.
    "In state's high court, teachers union challenges plan to ease minimum class size rule". See also "Florida Supreme Court Hears Amendment 8 Arguments".

    Teabaggers cut checks

    "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio will report raising more than $5 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30. The amount exceeds a record $4.5 million Rubio raised in the previous quarter for the most money raised in any three-month period of a U.S. Senate race in Florida. He now has raised $16 million and has $5.5 available in his campaign account." "Rubio campaign raises $5 million in 3rd quarter". See also "Rubio Breaks Own Fund-Raising Record in 3Q".

    Corruption in Broward

    Michael Mayo: "With corruption cases, Satz swings for fences".

    Scott hiding from editorial boards

    "Democratic candidate Alex Sink said Wednesday she would cut $300 million from the state budget by trimming middle managers if she is elected governor, although she would make the cuts not through layoffs but by replacing workers as they leave."

    While she said she aims to ax government waste, Sink called her Republican opponent's plan to cut more money from the state prison budget "very unrealistic" and said she has no interest in cutting school spending and even vowed to spend more on pre-K classes.

    Sink, who hopes to become the state's first female governor, laid out her position on those and several other issues in a nearly hour-long interview with The Palm Beach Post editorial board that was aired live on the internet and started with implicit and explicit digs at Republican Rick Scott.

    "This is a long-honored tradition that we've had in this state of Florida to have candidates appear before ed boards. . . . I think it's important that Floridians are able to hear firsthand in some more depth than the 60-second sound bites what candidates' positions are on issues," she began her opening remarks.

    Scott, who has spent more than $1 million a week on television ads touting his philosophy and attacking his primary and general election opponents, has not responded to repeated requests from The Post editorial board for a similar interview.
    "Sink attacks Scott's character, touts her issues in 'Post' interview".

    "Bits and Pieces"

    Kevin Derby's "Political Bits and Pieces".

    "Dead as a beaver hat"

    Mike Thomas: "'There's right and there's wrong. You got to do one or the other. You do the one and you're living. You do the other and you may be walking around, but you're dead as a beaver hat.'"

    "Democrats who have embraced Charlie Crist are dead as a beaver hat."

    Meek stood his ground. He gave up a safe congressional seat to do it.

    Shortly thereafter, he was blindsided by billionaire Jeff Green, who tried to buy the Democratic nomination with an attack campaign. Meek clawed his way back from a big deficit in the polls and won handily.

    And this is the guy whom a number of Democrats want to step aside for Crist?

    Dump Kendrick Meek, who has spent his life supporting the Democratic Party, raising money and registering voters for the Democratic Party?

    Dump Meek, who had the courage to take on a battle nobody else wanted to fight?

    And back Crist, who ran like a coward the minute Marco Rubio began moving ahead of him in the polls? Or in the case of Democratic heavyweight fundraisers ... write Crist more checks.

    The cruelest back-stab is coming from the teachers unions, especially the Florida Education Association, which have glommed onto Crist.

    How soon they forget.

    Meek was the driving force behind the 2002 class-size amendment, the single greatest victory for the teachers union in history.

    He traveled the state tirelessly to get the petition signatures to put it on the ballot. And then he took on Jeb Bush to get it passed.

    If not for Meek, teachers would be dealing with 40 kids in a class by now.

    Meek is opposing Amendment 8, which would loosen up the restrictions of the class-size amendment, while Charlie supports it (at least he did in February — who knows now).
    "How about a little Democratic love for Kendrick Meek?".

    Amendments 1 and 2

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Amendments under the radar".

    Scott accused of being "unfit" for office

    "The most striking new ad may be from Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who relies on a collection of police and even current prosecutors to push the message that Rick Scott is unfit for the governor's mansion."

    The ad -- it includes Republican State Attorney Bill Cervone from Gainesville and Democratic State Attorney Michael McAuliffe from West Palm Beach -- hammers at Scott's role as head of Columbia/HCA, the company that wound up paying a record $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud after Scott was forced out. The ad also refers to a deposition given in a contract dispute where Scott repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
    "Sink ad blasts Scott as unfit".

    HDs 16 and 58

    "Latvala, Hayden vie for District 16" "Incumbent Cruz facing Redner for District 58".

    Grayson slams Webster

    "In follow-up to 'Taliban Dan' ad, Alan Grayson slams Daniel Webster over working mothers".

    "Inconvenient truth?"

    Tom Jackson: "Do District 12 voters want for their state senator someone whose family benefited from a half-million-dollar real estate deal with a favor-seeking businessman?" "Political facts unaltered by revelation".

    Related: "New questions raised about Jim Norman's role in Arkansas house purchase" and "Ambler: Normans' money used separate account".


    "David Rivera, a Republican candidate for Congress, unveiled his ideas to spark economic growth, prompting his Democratic opponent's campaign to immediately denounce it." "Rivals spar over plan for economy".

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