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 Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ricky's "wasteful spending" starts at home

    "Rick Scott, who won the governor's race after promising to cut wasteful spending, will celebrate his Jan. 4 inauguration over two days in Tallahassee with a parade, an inaugural ball and a candlelight dinner for Republican Party donors who pay up to $25,000 each to foot the bill." "$25K for seat at Rick Scott's inauguration dinner".


    "Texas and several other states [including Florida]are flirting with the idea of dropping out of the Medicaid program and trying to shift most of the burden of providing health insurance for the poor to the federal government."

    The idea appears to be driven at least as much by ideology as economics: Republicans’ fierce opposition to President Obama’s health care reform and their insistence that state budgets can be balanced solely by cutting services, like Medicaid, rather than raising taxes.

    The idea originated with analysts at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization based in Washington. They argue that many states would be irresponsible not to drop Medicaid in 2014 and direct poor residents to buy commercial insurance on new competitive insurance exchanges, where they would receive generous federal subsidies. A Heritage analyst believes that 40 states and the District of Columbia could save money this way and estimated that Texas could save $46.5 billion between 2014 and 2019.
    "Opt-Out Illusion".

    Crist requests letters of resignation

    "Crist has asked for letters of resignation from his agency heads, senior staffers, their management teams and everyone working in the governor's office. Crist said today that would ensure a smooth transition to Republican Governor-elect Rick Scott. The resignations are a common part of any transition." "Outgoing Gov. Crist asks top officials to resign".

    Do yourself a favor ...

    ... and take a few minutes to enjoy Jon Stewart's "Glenn Beck Is Actually A Puppet Sent To Discredit Rupert Murdoch" and "Beck livid after spot-on Daily Show mockery".

    RPOFers will do the rulemaking, thank you very much

    Aaron Deslatte writes that "Florida politicians are pros at making bogey men out of their own employees: in particular, the bureaucrats tasked with making sense out of the often vague, sometimes contradictory and occasionally unconstitutional laws that get passed in Tallahassee."

    It's called rulemaking – a tearfully boring process where state agencies write up procedures for protecting people and the environment.

    This year's hyper-inflated campaign demagoguery blamed state rules and regulations for all the ills afflicting Florida's development-addicted economy.

    "We are 45th [worst] out of 50 states in regulation," Republican Gov.-elect Rick Scott said for months at campaign stops. "We've gone down the path of California in regard to regulation." ...

    Well, it's about to get worse. Much to the business lobby's delight, the Legislature decided last week to parachute into the middle of the rulemaking morass.

    Legislators voted overwhelmingly to override Gov. Charlie Crist's veto of HB 1565, sponsored by Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary. It requires rules likely to cost businesses more than $200,000 a year to come back before the full Legislature for approval.
    Much more here: "Rules for government? The Legislature will be the judge of that".

    Ricky in a kerfuffle with "Christian" supporters

    "Republican Gov.-elect Rick Scott is giving no indication he intends to bow to Christian protesters' demands that he give up his investment in a Spanish-language social networking site they consider immoral because it partners with Playboy Mexico and allows users to share provocative photos and messages. Scott, who will be sworn in Jan. 4, probably will place his investments in a blind trust to avoid any conflict of interest while he is governor." "Scott not backing off social network investment that Christian group urges him to drop".

    Censured brokerage "linked" to Wexler campaign

    "A Fort Lauderdale securities firm and its two principal owners have been hit with $800,000 in fines related to a pump-and-dump penny stock scheme."

    Newbridge Securities was fined $600,000, censured and prohibited from purchasing or making a market in penny stocks for one year by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
    Here's the Wexler "link":
    Newbridge is also linked to the campaign of former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton.

    Newbridge boss Guy Amico is the brother of Roy Amico, one of the campaign's former investment managers and a former representative at Newbridge. Last week, Broward Bulldog reported that in the months before Wexler resigned last year federal agents were asking questions about an unusual $150,000 real estate deal between his campaign and Roy Amico.

    For years, the Wexler campaign listed Newbridge as a source of income or loss on its reports the Federal Election Commission. In July 2008, however, the campaign amended 25 disclosure reports dating to 2001 to remove Newbridge's name and replace it with other firms.

    A campaign official said the changes were made to correctly identify firms Roy Amico worked for after he left Newbridge in 2002. "Lauderdale brokers fined in stock scheme".

    Mica embarrasses himself on national TV

    Florida Congressman John Mica that doesn't get it:

    His position is that if the top earners don't get a tax cut on their income above $250,000, then nobody should get a tax cut at all. And his defense for that position is to argue that economic growth flows from the top down.

    But Mica's got a problem: In the 1990s, we raised taxes on top earners, and the economy boomed -- plus we got our fiscal house in order. Then in 2001, Bush and Republicans cut taxes on top earners, and for the last decade, the economy has tanked. Yet despite that track record, Mica thinks we need more of the same. It makes no sense.

    Mica believes that all we need to do in order to have a strong economy is to borrow $700 billion and give it to the wealthiest people in the country. Most Democrats believe there are better things we could do with that money -- like paying down our national debt. It's a position worth fighting for. And it's a fight they can win.
    More, including the video, here: "The only way to lose the tax cut debate is to cave".

    Love 4 Sale

    "Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the St. Joe Company have asked the Florida Supreme Court to vacate a 1st District Court of opinion, saying Judge Paul Hawkes and the entire court had a conflict of interest related to its new courthouse in southeast Tallahassee."

    Robert Kerrigan, a Pensacola attorney, filed the petition on behalf of six plaintiffs who own property in the Millview neighborhood of Port St. Joe. In 2003, the landowners sued St. Joe Company for hazardous waste from the company's paper plant they said the company dumped on their land. A circuit court granted class-action certification, but St. Joe Co. appealed and a three-judge panel of the 1st DCA, including Hawkes, overturned the certification in 2005.
    "Plaintiffs: Judge, 1st DCA had conflict of interest".

    Say what?

    "Prominent foreclosure defense attorney faces losing his Boca Raton home".

    American Family Association ass

    "On his blog Thursday, Bryan Fischer defended his comments this week that the Medal of Honor has become"

    "feminized" because "we now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them."

    Fischer, who is the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the conservative Christian group the American Family Association, explained himself after what he called "blowback" to his column: "The bottom line here is that the God of the Bible clearly honors those who show valor and gallantry in waging aggressive war in a just cause against the enemies of freedom, even while inflicting massive casualties in the process."
    "Bryan Fischer Defends 'Feminized' Medal Of Honor Comment".

    We know plenty of very feminine police officers, firefighters, athletes, and yes ... soldiers, who can easily "inflict" an ass kicking upon Mr. Fischer's American Family Association "male" derriere.

    Bought and paid for

    "U.S. Rep. John Mica has urged airports to consider switching to private security to screen passengers." "Fla.'s Mica supports Sanford airport's plan to ditch TSA". The next thing on Mica's agenda is figuring out how to prevent private security personnel from (as they are at present legally entitled to do) unionizing, collectively bargaining, and ... stop the presses ... striking.

    Editors slam public employees

    It didn't take long for the reactionary Orlando Sentinel editorial board to begin attacking public employees (read cops, firefighters and paramedics, corrections officers, forestry firefighters, teachers, etc.) and their pensions: "A movement across the nation to lighten the load on taxpayers from public-employee pensions got a boost at the polls this month. Voters in at least a half-dozen states, including Florida, elected governors who vowed to reduce pension costs." "Don't ignore pensions". See also The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Respond to cities' alarms: Pension rules are stacked in favor of the unions, not taxpayers".

    We discuss the hubris of these union-hating editors this morning in "Union hating editors 'rescue' taxpayers".

    The bleeding appears to have stopped

    "Florida’s jobless rate remained at 11.9 percent in October, the same as in the previous month, according to a report released Friday by the Agency for Workforce Innovation." "Unemployment Rate Stands Pat at 11.9 Percent in October".

    Who owns Rubio?

    "Conservative donors and interest groups such as the Club for Growth contributed heavily, as did the securities and investment sector with nearly $600,000. The health care industry gave over $270,000. Real estate interests gave $350,000, according to data collated by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The oil and gas industry, which has been fighting to drill in the waters off Florida, gave the pro-drilling Rubio at least $109,000." "From grass roots to deep pockets"

    On the same day in June that the U.S. House of Representatives passed expansive Wall Street reforms, an influential hedge fund manager who strongly opposed the legislation was holding a fundraiser in his Manhattan apartment for Marco Rubio.

    Rubio was in Miami but collected thousands of dollars for his U.S. Senate campaign that day, and people associated with the hedge fund contributed $117,000 overall as his long-shot bid took off.

    Now as Rubio and other newly-elected Republicans take office, the financial industry is depending on their clout to undo some of the regulations. The same is true for the health care industry that poured millions into candidates like Rubio who pledged to "repeal and replace" the landmark legislation Congress approved this year.
    "Behind the numbers: Who funded Rubio's campaign and what might they want".

    Something nice to say about the "labor movements [sic]"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board acknowledges the plight of politically correct farmworkers this morning: "Large retailers like Publix and Walmart still have not agreed to pay the extra penny, which will limit the benefits of the program. But due to a labor movement's [sic]* extraordinary ingenuity and perseverance, better treatment is coming for the hardworking individuals whose toil brings fresh food to our tables. That is cause for celebration." "Farmworkers win".

    "Weekly Roundup"

    "Recap and analysis of the week in state government". "Weekly Roundup: Frenemies".

    Florida's fine economy, courtesy of the RPOF

    "Florida still leads the nation in the percentage of homeowners who are 'seriously delinquent' on their loans, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports." "Florida leads U.S. in serious mortgage delinquencies".

    Nelson distances himself from Obama

    "U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson criticized President Barack Obama's staff in a speech at the University of Florida on Friday, saying they failed him on issues such as the Gulf oil spill, the housing crisis and the space program." "Sen. Bill Nelson lashes out at White House staff".

    Haridopolos' raw political pusillanimity

    "Senate President says he will push for cap on taxes and spending".

    RPOFers flummoxed

    "News of shortfall comes after GOP-controlled Legislature backed off plan to override veto of bill aimed at cutting state costs." "State economists warn that trust fund deficit is growing".

    New Mexico GOP Gov. Gary Johnson in Tally

    "With buzz increasing that he will launch a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson showed up in Tallahassee Thursday night still touting the trademark libertarian social issues -- legalization of marijuana, for one -- that put him in the minority of the GOP." "Potential GOP 2012 Candidate Gary Johnson Still a Freewheeler".

    Nuke concerns

    "Opponents of FPL's plan to add two more nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point site voiced a litany of concerns at a federal hearing in Homestead." "Critics of FPL's Turkey Point expansion plan voice concerns".

    Alcee lives under a microscope

    "Another Congressional Black Caucus member remains under investigation; he calls it minutiae" "House Extends Alcee Hastings Travel Probe".

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