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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, November 18, 2010

Cannon "foaming at the mouth"

    Daniel Ruth: "Good grief, if this foaming at the mouth had gone on much longer, newly minted Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon would have started decrying communists in the State Department and offering up dark warnings about the Trilateral Commission."
    Uh, Mr. Speaker? Your job running the Florida House is supposed to be all about hot walking developer interests, giving pedicures to the insurance industry and blowing air kisses to all those bankers sitting in the gallery.

    But there was Cannon, doing his best "give me a campaign contribution or give me death!" diatribe during this week's legislative special session, otherwise known as the "Let's shaft Charlie Crist'" cocktail hour.

    Cannon, an attorney, who apparently went to the Spike's School of Barristery and Small Motor Repair, reserved his extra-special ire for the Florida Supreme Court, which had the audacity to apply the law to stuff. Such fuddy-duddies.
    "This Cannon makes more noise than sense". See also "Gelber accuses Cannon of attempting to intimidate Florida Supreme Court".

    "Scott's gala game is on"

    The rich are different

    "Rick Scott has resurrected the inaugural ball after an eight-year hiatus and plans two days of festivities in the capital city and around the state to celebrate his Jan. 4 swearing in."

    Gov. Charlie Crist called off his inaugural ball in 2005 and replaced it with a public barbecue on the lawn of the governor's mansion after it was reported that he was willing to take private donations of as much as $500,000 to raise up to $3.5 million for his swearing-in celebrations. In cancelling the ball, he said he "didn't feel right" having the $100-per-ticket fete while homeowners and businesses struggled with escalating insurance premiums and property taxes.

    But, even with unemployment hovering around 12 percent —- more than triple the 3.7 percent when Crist canceled his ball — and Scott's pledge to voters that his election means "the end of politics as usual in Tallahassee," Scott's gala game is on.

    Scott, a multi-millionaire who spent at least $73 million on his campaign for governor, is charging $95 a ticket for his inaugural ball and has capped individual contributions for his inaugural events at $25,000.
    "Governor-elect Rick Scott resurrects inaugural ball". See also "Scott asks for donations for inaugural events, restores ball", "Scott sets inaugural schedule" and "Scott's plans include dinner for donors".

    Oh yeah, and then there's this house ...

    "Norman's new disclosure form includes $500,000 house".

    Scott inserts his nose into the AIF's derriere ...

    ... while Florida's alleged political journalists stand outside the locked room: "Rick Scott lays out agenda in private speech to business groups".

    Imagine that, a "self-important politician"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Florida Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp made a ridiculous request for a state-paid security detail while he was on vacation in Italy. Ridding Tallahassee of this self-important politician can’t happen soon enough." "Kottkamp can't go soon enough".

    Will LeMieux give as much attention to Disney workers?

    "If the National Football League could throw a penalty flag at the players union, it would be for political interference. The NFL Players Association has turned to Congress for help in preventing team owners from locking out union members next season. Steps the union has taken include drafting letters for lawmakers to send to the league and holding a briefing for members of Congress and their aides on the economic impact of a labor dispute, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press."

    One union-drafted letter asks Commissioner Roger Goodell to commit to no lockout next year - and, failing that, seeks a batch of information from the league, including each team's financial statements and salary figures of top officials as well as information on government subsidies for stadium construction and renovation.

    The union found no takers for that letter, but it did get Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla., to write to Goodell and the union expressing concern about the economic impact of a lockout and urging both sides to reach an agreement. LeMieux's letter, sent in August, contains passages nearly identical to a draft letter circulated by the union, including this section: "I understand that you are currently engaged in negotiating a collective bargaining agreement, and I do not seek to interject myself into those discussions. However, on behalf of fans, businesses and communities, I urge you to sit down now to work out whatever differences you might have."
    "NFL union seeks Congress' help".

    The huge Disney Service Trades Council Union, which covers approximately 25,000 relatively low paid Disney employees is, like the NFL Players Association, in difficult negotiations ... is LeMieux prepared to step in and offer them support?

    GOPers in action

    "House GOP blocks bill to extend jobless benefits past Dec. 1".

    It ain't my fault

    "Susan Bucher, in an interview with The Palm Beach Post's editorial board Thursday, said the county is using old 'analog' equipment and blamed her predecessor, Arthur Anderson, for buying the wrong stuff." "Palm Beach County Elections Chief Susan Bucher wants to retry touch-screen voting".

    Grayson keeps on keeping on

    "Watch Alan Grayson: 5 Things The Rich Can Do With Their Tax Cuts".

    Any U.S. bidders?

    "A consortium of European companies is vying to finance and operate Florida's high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando." "European Group Gears Up Florida High-Speed Rail".

    Teacher haters in hiding

    "The highly contentious teacher merit pay proposal that was shot down by Gov. Charlie Crist last spring has re-emerged, but with some preliminary concessions to teachers and also perhaps to Gov.-elect Rick Scott, who -- as the father of a special education teacher -- voiced concerns about the proposal’s fairness to some educators. ... So far, no lawmaker has been officially attached to the bill as a sponsor, and Thrasher did not return calls seeking comment." "New Teacher Merit Pay Details Emerge".

    Lookin' for more wingnuts

    "20 States Up for Health-Care Challenge, but Bill McCollum, Pam Bondi Look to Get More".

    Amendment 'would give egg the rights of a living person'"

    "The amendment is called the 'Florida Personhood Amendment' and, according to the state’s election website, would define all human beings as 'persons under the constitution regardless of age, race, health function, condition of physical and/or mental dependency and/or disability.' The amendment is sponsored by Personhood Florida, a group whose mottos include 'to enjoy and defend life' and 'justice for all human beings cannot wait.'" "Progress Florida questions Scott’s stance on proposed ‘personhood’ amendment".

    Fair District follies

    "Gaetz, Bennett split on continuing to fund anti-Amendment 6 lawsuit".

    A Republican thing

    "Florida's No. 2 official [Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp] wanted a member of the Florida Highway Patrol to accompany him and his family because of terror threats against U.S. citizens. The state said no." "Kottkamp sought security for a birthday trip to Italy".

    Tampa's loss

    "Jim Davis says he won't run for Tampa mayor".

    Hmmm ... might that include bashing working people and their unions?

    "Newt Gingrich is urging GOP governors to turn what he calls "the rejection of the left" into "the replacement of the left" by enacting conservative, transformational policies in the states." "Gingrich: GOP governors primed for big change".

    Are chain gangs in Florida's future?

    "Scott announces 'law and order' transition team".

    Yee haw! Vouchers for everyone!

    "As school board members were sworn in this week, Broward County Public Schools, the sixth largest public school system in the United States, face another year of funding cuts. And with expectations that state legislators do not intend to help schools stay afloat, they are worried." "Confronting budget cuts and a hostile state legislature, schools face an uncertain future".

    Teabaggers look the other way

    "House Dems Try To Exploit Embarrassing Moment ... When Freshman GOPer Asked For His Gov't Health Care ... To Expose GOP Hypocrisy".

    Sound bites

    "Ron Sachs Communications, a PR outfit in Tallahassee, is promoting a web video that sums up Florida’s turbulent election campaign through a series of sound-bites. The video -- called 'Florida 2010: The Dominoes As They Fell' – starts with Florida Senator Mel Martinez’ decision in January 2009 to leave office, setting off a surprising chain of events." "Sound-bite video sums up Florida elections".

    Laff riot

    "Ending Bid for Congressional Leadership, Connie Mack Takes Aim at Bill Nelson".


    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Rubio and Nelson should team up for Florida".

    "After all, he is black"

    As we read "Battle over GOP's Steele spills over into 2012 Tampa convention", we recall that Hillsborough County Republicans are less than sophisticated about African-Americans, particularly the uppity kind. Consider the notorious email forwarded by David A. Storck, Chairman of the Hillsborough County Republican Party during the 2008 election.

    Grayson haters can't give it up

    The The Orlando Sentinel Grayson haters, happy that their do boy-Webster is in DC parroting Heritage Foundation press releases, can't give up their anti-Grayson campaign: "Grayson gets most airport parking freebies".

    "Gov. Lightweight"

    Scott Maxwell: "Charlie Crist wants to pardon The Doors' front man for his conviction on charges of indecent exposure and profanity. Why not? Such a crusade seems just about right for Gov. Lightweight." "Looking to fix injustices? Start with living people, Charlie".

    Perhaps we should build more overpasses

    "Desperate to cut into the state's $20 billion annual Medicaid pricetag, state lawmakers began this week tossing out ways to cut costs, including shuttling more low income patients into private managed care programs and creating new limits on lawsuits against doctors." "Tallahassee lawmakers mull overhaul of Medicaid". See also "Lawmakers weigh plans for Medicaid overhaul" "Medicaid: Should Florida Follow Texas and Just Opt Out?"

    Maybe next time

    "The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday belatedly upheld a defunct state plan to float bonds to pay for a $536 million, 73,000-acre land deal with U.S. Sugar Corp. -- but the judicial approval came tempered by an important exception and a pointed critique from one justice, who branded such financing schemes a 'shell game' intended to avoid taxpayer scrutiny." "Florida Supreme Court upholds issue of bonds for U.S. Sugar land deal". See also "Fla. court approves Everglades land deal".

    RPOF continues to purge women

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "It's a shame, but hardly a surprise, that Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos snubbed Lakeland Sen. Paula Dockery and left her the only Republican in the upper chamber without a committee chairmanship."

    Dockery has chaired several committees since her election in 2002, among them Environmental Protection and Law and Justice, as well as served as majority whip. But she enjoys a reputation as something of a maverick – an attitude that won't be tolerated under the new leadership.
    "The snubbing of Paula Dockery".

    Is Dockery the next Argenziano?

    Sentinel editors publish GOP talking points

    "Pelosi's re-election: Do Dems have a death wish?".

    What's a wingnut to do? ... state employee pension plan in great shape

    "Florida's State Board of Administration said Wednesday that it beat its investment objectives last year, with its giant pension fund leading the way. Rebounding from the recession, the pension fund gained $9.8 billion after payment of benefits and was worth $109.3 billion in the year ended June 2010."

    The SBA's investment performance came under fire during the recent election season. Republican Gov.-elect Rick Scott accused his Democratic rival, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, of poor oversight of the SBA, which is governed by a three-member board that includes the governor, the CFO and the attorney general.
    "Report says Florida's state pension fund has recovered from recession". See also "Despite campaign rhetoric, investment managers say pension plan one of "strongest" in nation".

    Funny how that works

    "Give $25k for the Scott inauguration, get VIP treatment from Florida's new governor".

    Thank you, Mr. Obama

    Slow but sure: "Statewide, the total number of 'enplanements' -- the number of passengers boarding a flight, including origination, stopovers and connections -- at Florida's 14 major airports rose by 3.8 percent. The average daily room rate at hotels and motels rose by 1.2 percent, and monthly hotel occupancy rates were up 5.1 percent." "Florida tourism numbers up, mostly".

    Frederica goes to Washington

    "From family politics to the halls of Congress".

    As long as the Chamber gives permission

    "Fresh off promising that the Florida Legislature won't raise a dime in taxes, lawmakers on Tuesday enacted a law that allows citrus growers to triple the 1-cent-per-box tax on oranges and grapefruits to pay for disease research. The measure, tucked into HB 981, an agriculture bill overridden on Tuesday, won't raise much money in revenue terms — between $3.5 million to $4.5 million a year. It's a tax the industry asked to have imposed on itself". "The new, no-tax Legislature approved a tax on its first day in power".

    Something, anything

    "Business leaders: Build light rail leg to Tampa airport".

    LeMieux helps kill pay equity for women bill

    "GOP blocks pay equity measure in Senate". In his chasing the Chamber-AIF vote in his senate race, LeMieux voted "no", Nelson voted in support of the bill.

    They can hope

    Beth Reinhard: "Look for the Republican Party to try to build on its appeal to Hispanic voters in 2012, when the nation's fastest growing minority group will help decide whether or not President Barack Obama gets a second term." "GOP to build on success with Hispanic voters".

    This won't help: "Proponent of Arizona-style immigration law to chair Judiciary Committee" ("State Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart, will chair the Judiciary Committee ... In August, Snyder announced, along with Attorney General Bill McCollum, draft language of an immigration bill that mimics Arizona’s controversial S.B. 1070.") We predict Snyder will fold like a cheap suit, and the Teabaggers will flock to the polls to vote for him next election anyway.

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