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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Wednesday, October 20, 2010

West campaign continues to implode

    "Republican House candidate Allen West, who is challenging second-term Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL), has in the past exhibited a stern approach to Democratic Party trackers. And now at a recent event, West directed a Dem tracker to leave, which got the crowd cheering -- and more importantly, some leather-clad security men ejecting the guy, too."
    West has recently come under scrutiny for his campaign's ties to a criminal biker gang. It's not clear whether the leather-clad security men who escorted the tracker away were themselves in any way connected to the "Outlaws" biker bang -- the West campaign has described them as Vietnam veterans, "not thugs." ...

    After all, West built his conservative political career on a particular event from his own military career -- when he tortured an Iraqi policeman, and was proud of it.
    "GOPer Has Leather-Clad Security Eject Dem Tracker". The NBC and raw tracker video can be seen here.

    Meanwhile, "West’s campaign manager responds to controversial video": "Here’s what Josh Grodin, campaign manager for Allen West, Republican candidate for U.S. congressional District 22, had to say about the controversy surrounding the video of men in leather vests with motorcycle club patches on them forcing a Florida Democratic Party staffer to get in his car and leave a public park where West was speaking. West had asked the men to escort the Democratic staffer away".

    Rubio tagged as "extreme right-winger"

    "Crist, who is running without party affiliation, called the Republican nominee an 'extreme right wing candidate' who would try to outlaw abortion, punish public schoolteachers and shear Social Security benefits. And for the first time, Crist accused Rubio of changing his position on insurance legislation when he was House speaker after selling his West Miami home 'for cash' to a chiropractor who was lobbying him." "Crist tags Rubio as 'extreme right-wing,' fends off opportunist charge in Senate debate".

    "Major candidates for Florida's open U.S. Senate seat clashed in a live televised debate at Nova Southeastern University in Davie." "Marco Rubio fends off attacks from Charlie Crist in U.S. Senate debate" ("the fourth of six debates for the three major Senate candidates came to end without any major gaffes")

    See also "Senate candidates use debate to sway constituencies", "Senate candidates Crist, Rubio and Meek face off in debate", "Gloves Come Off in U.S. Senate Debate", "Senate candidates sharpen their attacks in fourth debate" and "Senate candidates Crist, Rubio and Meek face off in debate".

    Uphill campaign for CD 13 challenger

    "Buchanan eclipsing Golden in district race?".

    RPOFers spreading misinformation

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Republicans apparently figure if they spread enough misinformation about the federal stimulus money that staved off an economic meltdown, voters will believe it. In a statewide debate Tuesday night, U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio once again contended the stimulus has been an abject failure. And once again, Gov. Charlie Crist, the independent candidate, and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democrat, were correct to defend the federal spending as necessary to avert economic disaster — because the facts are on their side." "Demonizing the stimulus".

    A little bit 'o related hypocrisy: "Stimulus opponent Crenshaw 'lettermarked' grants for several pet projects".

    She's Driven

    "While some voters may just now be learning about the 62-year-old Sink, she was plenty influential and politically well-connected in Florida long before her first run for public office four years ago. As one of the state's top businesswomen in the 1990s, she and McBride - then the managing partner of the prestigious Holland & Knight law firm - were one of Florida's premier power couples. They were - and are - rich, respected and generous with their time and influence. Sink even contemplated a U.S. Senate at one point, and in 1998 turned down an offer to be Democrat Buddy MacKay's running mate when he opposed Bush for governor." "Driven Sink says she can fix Fla.'s economy".

    Atwater: never mind the failed bank

    "Atwater, the Senate president from North Palm Beach, downplays the six years he spent with Riverside National Bank, a Treasure Coast bank taken over by federal regulators this spring." "Jeff Atwater downplays role at failed bank".

    Meanwhile, "Poll: Atwater Leads Ausley in Feisty CFO Race".

    Sansom fails to get off on technicality

    "A judge on Tuesday faulted a state attorney's behavior in the case against ousted House Speaker Ray Sansom but said it did not amount to prosecutorial misconduct and declined to dismiss the charges." "Judge lets grand theft charge stand against former House Speaker Ray Sansom".


    "Call it 'Bikergate,' The campaign of U.S. Rep. Ron Klein and the Florida Democratic Party on Tuesday once again raised the question of his District 22 GOP challenger Allen West's support from local motorcycle clubs and accused members of those clubs of 'thuggish behavior.'" "Ron Klein accuses Allen West of thuggery for ousting camera man".

    Cannon's delusions of teabaggery

    "Incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon sent Gov. Charlie Crist a letter Tuesday telling him to back off implementation of the federal health care law unless state lawmakers give him the go-ahead."

    Cannon, R-Orlando, accused Crist of "commandeering of state insurance regulatory resources" by allowing executive agencies to begin implementing the federal law even as State Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican, is challenging the law in federal court.

    Cannon was especially critical of the Office of Insurance Regulation, which is overseen by Crist and the Florida Cabinet, because it has started developing data systems necessary to enforce the law.

    Both Crist's and OIR Commissioner Kevin McCarty's offices said they were reviewing Cannon's letter.

    Cannon's letter gave Crist until Nov. 15 to provide him an accounting of all state agencies' activities related to implementing the law and said Crist will need the legislature's approval before taking any further action.

    Kevin Wagner, a Florida Atlantic University political science professor, said Crist and the Cabinet as the executive branch of government are under no obligation to obey Cannon's legislative orders.
    "Incoming Fla. Speaker picks executive-legislative fight over health care".

    How the mighty fall

    "Powerbrokers to Felons".

    Ferre ends Dem career as a whiner

    "Ferre offered harsh words about the leadership of his party and said his treatment by the Democratic establishment during the Senate campaign contributed to his decision to back Scott." "Democrat Maurice Ferre Backs Rick Scott for Governor".

    Weak bench

    "Possible Presidential Candidate Tim Pawlenty Hits Florida".

    RPOFers planning to re-nominate Norman?

    "The judge who disqualified Jim Norman from a state Senate race last week issued a ruling Tuesday that will allow local Republican officials to choose a new nominee for the contest."

    But the nominee may not be new at all. Republican officials from Hillsborough and Pasco counties have not ruled out re-nominating Norman, a Hillsborough County commissioner.
    "Judge's ruling allows GOP to pick candidate for Norman seat". Related: "Early votes for embattled state Senate candidate Norman up in the air".

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "If local Republican Party officials are entertaining any thoughts about putting Jim Norman back on the ballot as the GOP nominee for Florida Senate District 12, they should read the judge's order that removed him from the race. Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford highlights Norman's duplicity in her finding that the Hillsborough County commissioner violated state laws by not disclosing a $500,000 gift from the late Ralph Hughes, a political powerbroker who often appeared before the commission." "Keep disgraced Norman off general election ballot".

    Finally right

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "After 33 years, Florida finally gets it right on gay adoption".

    Times have changed

    "Four years ago, Charlie Crist's smile beamed from a 70-foot-tall banner on the side of a Tampa office building. He could snub a visit from President Bush. He flew around the state, rallying with Rudy Giuliani and John McCain."

    This weekend, it was his Republican rival for U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, hosting Giuliani and big crowds, while the no-party governor dropped in on street festivals and greeted fans at a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game.
    "Crist chugs along in Senate race, trailing Rubio".

    'Ya reckon?

    "Redistricting amendments pit Democrats vs. Republicans".

    Will Adams, other RPOFers reject wingnut endorsement?

    "Elise Foley at our [the Florida Independent's] sister site The Washington Independent is reporting on allegations by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that Americans for Legal Immigration has 'white supremacist, anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi ties,' a claim the organization vigorously denies."

    The group has endorsed numerous congressional candidates in Florida: Republican challengers Mike Yost, Dennis Ross, Karen Harrington, Allen West, Bernard Sansaricq and Sandy Adams, and incumbent Republican Reps. Cliff Stearns, John Mica, Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Bill Posey and Tom Rooney.
    "Florida candidates pledge to use 'impeachment if necessary' to secure borders".

    "Swing state instincts have kicked in"

    "Six months ago, Alex Sink’s gubernatorial prospects looked to be floundering. She had shed top staff, including her campaign manager and finance director ,and Attorney General Bill McCollum seemed to be laying the groundwork for an easier than expected path to victory to the governor’s mansion. Then, Florida’s swing state instincts kicked in and turned the race on its head." "Five most competitive races for governor".

    Scott can't run, he can't hide

    "Republican Scott and Democrat Sink will meet Wednesday night in a forum at Nova Southeastern University near Fort Lauderdale that will be televised statewide." "Scott, Sink set to debate again" ("The two are scheduled to meet for one more debate on Monday night in Tampa.") See also "Sink and Scott set to collide on TV".

    Drilling an issue in HD 7

    "A Republican charge in 2009 to open up state waters to offshore drilling, and the subsequent Deepwater Horizon disaster, are spilling over into the race for House District 7." "Drilling proposal a factor in House District 7 race".

    Jebbie a "rumored presidential candidate"


    told the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Monday night that America can turn itself around with leaders advancing big ideas like education reform, rolling back the size of government and rewarding success in business.

    "We need leadership that paints in bold colors, no more pastels," Bush said. ”Maybe like Boise State’s football field."

    Bush began his talk with what he wryly called a confession: "I believe in entrepreneurial capitalism* from the end of my toes to the top of my head."
    "Jeb Bush plays coy about 2012 aspirations during Idaho speech".

    "Rumored presidential candidate plays it coy regarding his aspirations for 2012".
    But he told a Louisville TV station after a July event for GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul, "I am not running for president."

    Prodded at the close of his 30-minute speech by chamber Chairman Dave Terrell to announce his plans in Boise, Bush had a cryptic answer: "I thought you guys said, 'Iowa,' not 'Idaho.'"

    Despite his protestations, some consider him promising.

    "Jeb Bush is the candidate hiding in plain sight," wrote Joshua Green in The Atlantic in July.

    Vicki Risch, the wife of GOP Sen. Jim Risch, buttonholed Bush. "I asked him point blank. He said he has no plans in the immediate future. I hope that’s not forever," she said.
    "Jeb Bush to Boise chamber: Free up business, shrink government".

    After the fun with fraud Rick Scott's been having, perhaps Jeb - "Make the Money and Run" - Bush will have the sense to keep out of the spotlight for a few years. See "Jeb Bush joins Tenet board of directors" ("Jeb Bush is joining the board of Tenet Healthcare, the national hospital that has been working to clean up its image and performance since dealing with widespread allegations of fraud") and The Street's "Jeb Bush Joins the Tenet Gravy Train" ("A senior member of the Bush dynasty is about to get a large sum of money from a company with a history of ethical violations. ... his pay in his first year would come to nearly $37,000 a day ... The U.S. attorneys announcing the settlement accused the company of 'fraud' and trying to 'manipulate and cheat the system.'")

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *Funny to hear that from a man about whom the Saint Petersburg Times struggled to answer this question: "what exactly does Jeb Bush do for a living?" They settled on this answer: Jebbie exists by simply "trading on the famous family name, [and thereby] gained entry to exclusive business ventures courtesy of wealthy Republicans. ... he bristles when asked if the Bush name has helped his dealmaking."

    Class size

    "Voters to decide whether to roll back class-size rules".


    "400,000 jobs, economic boost could come from restoring Everglades, study says".

    Amendment 8 struggles to gain traction

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Yet Amendment 8 has struggled to gain traction as it gets closer to a Nov. 2 decision. Only 35 percent of likely voters said they would back Amendment 8, according to a Mason-Dixon poll conducted last month — woefully short of the 60 percent margin needed to pass it." "Amendment 8 delivers relief".

    Meek and Clinton

    "Kendrick Meek got help from former President Bill Clinton, but the Miami lawmaker remains a distant third in the U.S. Senate race." "Bill Clinton shines star power on Kendrick Meek campaign at USF St. Petersburg". See also "Bill Clinton appears Tuesday in Florida to support Kendrick Meek" and "President Clinton, in St. Pete, lauds Meek as Senate candidate for social reform".

<< Home