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 Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The lunatics have taken over the asylum

    "To see how the Florida Senate has shifted to the right, look no further than Pasco County's Sen. Mike Fasano, an antitax crusader, former Republican majority leader, and cable news star during the 2000 presidential recount." "With shift, Fasano is a maverick".

    "Bits and Pieces"

    Kevin Derby's "Political Bits and Pieces".

    "Let them eat Cheez Whiz"

    Daniel Ruth: "At this rate you have to wonder if the Rick Scott years will be less an exercise in governance than a public administration version of the Skull and Bones Society."

    Jeepers, this guy has spent more time in seclusion than Greta Garbo meets Thomas Pynchon. But that hasn't prevented the governor-elect from hitting up the deep-pocket spats-and-ascot set of Republican high rollers to drop $25,000 to attend a swank candlelight dinner with Scott on the eve of his swearing into office in January. ...

    The soiree comes at the end of a long day of preinauguration festivities, including a tribute to new first lady Ann Scott, a salute to the military and a parade honoring the blessings of taking the Fifth Amendment 75 times during a legal deposition. ...

    Heading the steering committee (read: arm-twisters) to hector potential donors into forking over 25 large to put on a gilt-edged feedbag to sup with the new governor is a veritable Who's Who of Republican hotsy-tots, including former state GOP Chairman Al Cardenas, developer Armando Codina, sugar baron Pepe Fanjul, all-purpose big-shot Wayne Huizenga and developer Mel Sembler.

    It looks like Scott borrowed Jeb Bush's Christmas card list. ...

    In some respects, Scott's governorship might be best described as Jeb Bush Junta 2.0.

    With Florida's unemployment rate hovering near 12 percent, when so many residents of this state awaken every day anxious over their futures, it does seem rather unseemly to be currying the favor of moguls, scions and robber barons to come up with $25,000 to simply dine with the new governor.

    Maybe $25,000 is mere chump change to the likes of Scott and Sembler and Cardenas and Huizenga — merely the cost of doing business with the new administration — when many Floridians have watched the value of their homes plummet, if they still have one.

    At the risk of apostasy, would the money being spent on a banquet for a bunch of blue-blooded insiders be better spent on the outsiders?

    Does Rick Scott really want to begin his term on a note of: "Let them eat Cheez Whiz?"
    "Supping with chief at $25,000 a pop".

    "No mercy"

    "Despite Supreme Court ruling, Florida juveniles see no mercy".

    Being there

    "State economists are forecasting Florida will gain about a million new jobs over the next seven years even if nothing more is done to stimulate employment growth. That's 300,000 more jobs than Governor-elect Rick Scott promised in an election campaign that featured the slogan 'Let's get to work.'" "Economists forecasting 1M new Fla. jobs in 7 years". See also "Florida Economic Forecasters Predict Steady Job Growth".

    To which we say, Thank you Mr. Obama.

    Courtesy of the "spats-and-ascot set of RPOF high rollers"

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "It didn't take long for a majority of congressional Republicans to reiterate their opposition to jobless benefits. As a result, the upcoming holiday season may not be very merry for the 4 million Americans who are scheduled to lose their unemployment insurance benefits at the end of this month." "Congress says 'no' to jobless benefits extension".

    One armed bandits everywhere u look

    "Judge rules that lawmakers can authorize slot machines anywhere in state".

    Transition reverberating

    "The transition is starting to reverberate at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, a spokeswoman confirmed". "Transition in full swing for Department of Agriculture".

    Florida's high speed rail on last legs

    "Critics are determined to derail President Barack Obama's vision for high-speed rail in Florida." "Unstoppable? Economists Nix High-Speed Train".

    And from the right ...

    Nancy Smith gives us that ole right wing perspective in "EPA Busters Barney Bishop, Adam Putnam, Heroes".

    Charlie's friend

    Tom Lyons: "
    Crist needs to oust pal from airport authority".

    One trick pony

    "Rep.Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, has filed the House joint resolution, HJR 1. Senate Communications Director David Bishop confirmed Senate President Mike Haridopolos will sponsor the Senate resolution, which still hasn't emerged from bill drafting. The resolution attempts to blunt the impact of the Affordable Care Act by making clear no one is required to participate in any health care system and that penalties cannot be assessed for not participating in a health care program. The passage of the amendment, which requires a 60 percent margin, would likely trigger a legal showdown with the federal government." "Health care fight could be part of 2012 elections".

    Watchdog booted

    Gary Fineout: Joseph Brigham, the staff director of the Technology Review Workgroup,has been removed.

    While Brigham may not be widely known in the public arena, he was responsible for running the office that is supposed to keep an eye on information technology purchases made by state agencies. The five-person office evaluates information technology budget requests and the business plans that go along with them. The office is also responsible for giving recommendations and reports to the Legislative Budget Commission.

    Last year Brigham presented a scathing report to state lawmakers that suggested more than $200 million had been spent on computer systems and information technology projects that were poorly planned and did not work as initially proposed.
    "State technology watchdog gets the axe".


    "Senate President Mike Haridopolos said the Legislature's biggest challenge in the coming year is to cure a $2.5 billion deficit without raising taxes." "Senator Haridopolos ready to get going".

    One man's turkey

    "Fla. legislature leaders ax budget 'turkeys'".

    200 innocents

    "An expert on eyewitness testimony Monday told the Florida Innocence Commission that although a dozen people have been freed from Florida prisons by DNA, there likely are more than 200 other innocents still locked away." "200 innocents likely locked up based on bad eyewitness testimony, expert says".

    Mica dances ... an ugly visual

    Scott Maxwell: "John Mica is the anti-TSA rock star nowadays, making the TV rounds with his blistering criticism of the agency and its aggressive security measures."

    But the Winter Park Republican found himself in the midst of an interesting exchange on CNN over the weekend, when Anderson Cooper noted that Mica — who was calling the body scans too "invasive" — seemed to have said precisely the opposite several years back.

    So I decided to look it up — and talk with the congressman myself. ...

    Mica, in particular, is trying to walk a fine line — having blistered the TSA and the Obama administration for being too lax on security measures in the past (last year, he criticized TSA for what he called "poor detection performance"), but now also criticizing them for being too aggressive.

    I know Mica knows transportation as well as any member of Congress.

    But I also know mixing politics with security and terrorist threats is a tricky proposition … especially if something goes wrong down the road.
    "Is TSA too invasive? Mica says yes … and no".

    "What a saga this has been"

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "The latest twist in the U.S. Sugar land deal comes too late to matter much right now. A Nov. 18 Florida Supreme Court ruling says the South Florida Water Management District can finance the land deal using bonds because it would serve a public purpose -- Everglades restoration. But the district has already bought the land, albeit a lot less of it than originally intended, using all of its cash reserves."

    What a saga this has been. Gov. Charlie Crist surprised everyone in 2008 by announcing plans to buy U.S. Sugar land, more than 180,000 acres, for $1.75 billion. The purpose was to use the land to help the ambitious and costly joint state-federal restoration agreement.

    The Miccosukee Indian Tribe, Florida Crystals and the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida sued to stop the deal. They said the proposed purchase took funding away from restoration projects already on the books. The plan was seen by many critics as a bailout for U.S. Sugar.

    But it was hard to argue against taking so much land out of cultivation -- even though that wouldn't have happened immediately. Under the terms of the Crist deal, the district would have bought the land and leased it back to U.S. Sugar until it had the money to convert it to water storage areas and cleanup projects.

    Then, the economy tanked.
    The whole story here: "Everglades cleanup serves a public good".

    The "Taj MaHawkes"

    "Chief Judge Paul M. Hawkes resigned Friday from the top job at the 1st District Court of Appeal, just a few weeks before moving into a new courthouse that critics dubbed the 'Taj Mahal' and 'Taj MaHawkes.' Hawkes, 53, who did not resign from the court but stepped down as chief judge, would not discuss his reason for resigning before his term ends on June 30, 2011." "Judge in `Taj Mahal' scandal stepping down".

    Reassuring to know ...

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "It's reassuring to know that the state's Sunshine Law doesn't allow a public board to plan and negotiate a merger for a public hospital in secret." "Two key questions remain about hospital deal".

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