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 Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Rick Scott and the simpletons"

    Scott Maxwell: "If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then Florida politicians are downright deranged."
    This state's failed economic policies have left Florida worse off than most every other state in America.

    And yet, Gov.-elect Rick Scott and the simpletons[*] in Tallahassee want to double-down on disaster.

    Their plan is to cut the corporate income tax, which is already one of the lowest in America.
    "They claim this will help you. But it's really just part of the continuing assault on the middle class. They claim this will put people back to work. But there is proof to the contrary."
    By now, a few readers are probably already screaming about how this is liberal propaganda from the tax-and-spend crowd.

    So I'd like to take a moment to ask them to consider something often overlooked — the facts.

    FACT: Florida has one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in the country. Specifically, at 5.5 percent, we rank 40th, according to the Tax Foundation.

    So, if low corporate tax rates lead to a soaring economy, Florida should be humming along. We are not.

    FACT: As of October, 11.9 percent of Floridians were unemployed — more than double the rate of some states with higher tax rates, and 47th overall, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    Florida is in the midst of disturbing trend of shifting this state's tax burden from big business to average residents.

    In the past decade or so, Tallahassee politicians cut nearly $20 billion in taxes — but not for the average Joe.

    They've cut breaks to yacht-buyers. And on business trusts and major investments.

    Meanwhile, they jacked up the costs for everyday Floridians to do everything from drive a car to enter a state park.
    Much more here: "Florida's failed tax policies have our economy in the tank".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    "Rick Scott and the simpletons"; yes, we like the phrase, a lot, but it doesn't quite match "Jeb Bush And His Amen Chorus Of Goose-Stepping Legislators".

    RPOF wingnuts running wild in Tally

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Rick Scott, Pam Bondi and the rest of Florida's newly elected Republican leadership teamed up the other day for a shameful cause — dirtier streams, lakes and drinking water." "Fla, officials work to protect polluters".

    The rich are different

    "In addition to cuff links, Gov.-elect Scott is giving top donors VIP tickets to the swearing-in and inaugural ball, a photo with him, a commemorative Vineyard Vines tote bag and commemorative winter scarves and golf balls." "Scott's goodie bags".

    Were they also teabaggers?

    "The Pilgrims Were ... Socialists?".

    Budget slashing laff riot

    "With conservative campaign promises still fresh in the minds of voters, Florida's newly elected leaders have some hard choices of balancing a budget and maintaining essential services." "Fla. GOP aims for smaller budget".


    "Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi's transition team includes two people who made failed runs for the office:"

    Republican Holly Benson and Democrat Dave Aronberg. Aronberg is on the group advising Bondi on pill mills, and Benson is on the Medicaid fraud group.

    Chairing the transition team are former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, former state House Speaker Larry Cretul and state Attorney General Bill McCollum. Lawyer Carlos Muniz, a deputy general counsel to to Jeb Bush when he was governor, is executive director.
    "Bondi hires two also-rans for transition".

    Not enuf dunce caps to go around

    "Scott's team coming into focus".

    "Before he wields that budget axe"

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "Walter McNeil is a numbers man. He can rattle off statistics and cost analyses for as long as it takes his audience to get the big picture."

    Mr. McNeil isn’t a CPA. He’s the secretary of Florida’s Department of Corrections, and he has an ambitious plan to reduce Florida’s recidivism rate — now at 32.8 percent — to 17 percent in three to five years. The reason? To save Florida taxpayers’ money.

    Gov.-elect Rick Scott, who has said that he wants to cut state prison costs by $1 billion, should have a sit-down with Mr. McNeil before he wields that budget axe.
    "A smart way Florida can reduce prison costs".

    Enough "rocket docket" crookery

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "It is tempting, in times of crisis, to take shortcuts. But to the credit of Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady, blocking public access to foreclosure courts won't be one of them. Canady acted quickly last week after media and civil liberties groups complained that some judges in Florida's 'rocket docket' courts were closing them to the public and press." "Keeping foreclosure courts open".

    "Thanks, Charlie. See you backstage someday"

    Carl Hiaasen: "An absolutely true news item: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will seek a pardon for the late Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, who was convicted of exposing himself and using profanity during a chaotic Miami concert in 1969." "Lizard King to Gov. Crist: 'Dude, you rock!'".

    "Well ... wasn't that naive?"

    Fred Grimm: "Compassion? Well . . . wasn't that naive?"

    Supporters of the DREAM Act pursued a misguided strategy -- that it would be enough to tell the poignant stories of scholarly, bright, hard-working children of undocumented immigrants and the tragedy of their curtailed education.

    It wasn't.

    Advocates assumed that if other citizens got to know these students, they'd hardly insist on punishing kids for the sins of their illegal immigrant parents.

    Compassion, as it turns out, was not integral to the new politics.
    "Backlash from nativists delays DREAM Act".

    Myriam Marquez writes that "Republicans should be worried. The numbers just aren't on their side."
    Mexican-American voters proved it even in this tough election year when they shunned Republicans and elected Democrats to Congress or governor's mansions in Colorado, Nevada and California.

    For Mexican Americans, immigration matters. They have a foot in both countries, dual citizenship, in fact. Their relatives may have come here illegally today, but a few generations ago you could cross the border back and forth without La Migra coming after you. Americans didn't mind because the economy was good and the immigrants did the back-breaking work -- in the fields -- that Americans didn't want to do. ...

    Tone matters, of course, as does substance. On that point, the Democrats in Florida failed to "man up'' on the immigration issue.

    Alex Sink lost to Scott because it clashed with her Panhandle strategy. She was going after the good old boys' votes, and lost Hispanic support in the process.

    Only in the last few weeks of the campaign did she run Spanish radio ads that touched on the immigration issue in a way Cubans and Puerto Ricans could connect. That is, you're a U.S. citizen, but you "look'' Hispanic or you talk like one, and if Scott gets his way, you could be hauled to jail if you can't produce your "papers'' to a cop during a traffic stop.

    Immigration isn't a top issue for Hispanic voters today, but as more South Florida Latinos from Central and South America become U.S. citizens, it may well be. How each party approaches the issue will matter in 2012.
    Much more: "Immigration may ding GOP in 2012 election".

    "No more hot air"

    Jane Healy pleads for "No more hot air."

    During their campaigns for congress, Republican winners Marco Rubio, Dan Webster and Sandy Adams all had a lot to say about out-of-control government spending. Now they have a chance to show they really mean it.

    But will they? ...

    With Democrats controlling the Senate, the key Floridian will be Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. Up for re-election in two years, though, let's hope — really hope — he isn't too scared to make the tough decisions.
    "Jane Healy: No excuses on deficit -- right, legislators?".

    Have either of them ever tried a case?

    "Charlie Crist, the self-styled "people's governor," is in talks to join the "people's" law firm. The Buzz has learned Crist is weighing an offer from high-profile trial lawyer John Morgan." "The Buzz on Florida Politics: Charlie Crist considering job with the 'people's' law firm".

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