Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Show us the jobs" Ricky

    "Show us the jobs. That's what Republican and Democratic legislators said today during informal meetings with Gov.-elect Rick Scott".
    Scott, a political outsider and Republican who ran on his business background — he founded two health care providers — said little during the hourlong meetings, stressing he wants "to understand their issues and I want to try to find common ground."

    "I think everyone in this state and around the country knows we've got to get this economy going," he said. "Whether you're an independent, a Democrat or a Republican, the biggest issue is jobs."

    Legislators also touched on immigration, pension funds for government workers and the foreclosure crisis.
    "State legislators prod Scott on jobs".

    Of course, Ricky could simply wait until Obama's economic programs take hold, and take credit for the success. After all, "the number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level since July 2008, a hopeful sign that improvement in the job market is accelerating." "Jobless claims plummet to two-year low". See also yesterday's "Being there" (scroll down).

    Smith has a challenger

    "The November election is over but another is heating up in the Florida Democratic Party."

    Andrew Gillum, considered a rising figure in the party, said Tuesday that he is challenging establishment favorite Rod Smith for the job of state chairman.

    "Our party has to pivot toward the future," the 31-year-old Tallahassee city commissioner said in an interview.

    Gillum began the campaign Monday and has been calling Democratic committee members, party fundraisers and union leaders, pitching himself as a fresh alternative, who also as someone with experience with state and national politics.

    He helped raise money for Barack Obama in 2008 and serves as national executive director of the Young Elected Officials Network, an arm of the People For the American Way Foundation.
    "Generational challenge brewing in vote for state Democratic party chair". See also "Tallahassee commissioner Gillum enters race for Democratic Party chair", "Gillum seeks to lead Florida Dem. Party" ("Another Tallahassee city commissioner and political wunderkind wants to seize the reins of the Florida Democratic Party.")

    "Hawkes' decision raises more questions"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Paul Hawkes' abrupt resignation as chief judge of the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee is a positive development, but it should not silence questions about his abuse of his position to win approval for an opulent new courthouse." "Don't let judge off the hook".

    Who put these geniuses in charge?

    "In their zeal to slow down government regulations, Florida lawmakers have inadvertently halted an effort to regulate so-called 'pill mills' that fuel an epidemic of prescription drug abuse." "Legislators inadvertently give 'pill mills' a break". See also "Contract fight pushes drug database start to 2011".

    A/K/A Hillbilly Heroin

    "Motor Trend Editor To Rush: 'Driving And Oxycontin Don't Mix'".

    Greer lawsuit dismissed on technicality

    "A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Florida Republican Party by its ousted chairman."

    Circuit Judge Alan Dickey granted the party's motion to dismiss Jim Greer's suit Tuesday in Sanford. Greer had accused the party of reneging on a $124,000 secret severance deal.

    That allegation, along with the depositions of top lawmakers, is on hold now that a judge threw out Greer's breach-of-contract lawsuit. The judge said Greer couldn't press the civil case because he refuses to talk freely due to the criminal fraud charges he faces.

    If he is not convicted, Greer can more easily refile his civil claim — that he didn't get the pay guaranteed him by current House Speaker Dean Cannon, Senate President Mike Haridopolos, Sen. John Thrasher and the party itself.
    "Ousted GOP chairman Jim Greer's lawsuit against party tossed out". See also "Judge Throws Out Former FL GOP Chair's Suit Against Party", "Greer's suit against Fla. GOP dismissed" and "Judge dismisses Greer lawsuit against state GOP".

    Musical chairs

    "Dawn Roberts is leaving her post as interim secretary of state for a job with the Florida Senate. Senate President Mike Haridopolos today announced Roberts will be staff director for the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee." "Fla. secretary of state leaving for Senate job". See also "FSU grad next director of Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee".

    A Palm Beach County thing

    "Just days after saying Palm Beach County would need to scrap its existing voting equipment for faster results, Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said today she now wants to consider buying add-ons to the machines she has. She said she is now telling the company that sold the county its equipment to show her modem options - options she had previously called too unreliable to trust with voting results." "Bucher changes mind: Now willing to fix voting system instead of buying new one".

    "A really big bummer for Debbie Wasserman Schultz"

    "The 2010 midterm elections were kind of a bummer, if you're a Democrat. Among Democrats who survived the bloodbath, it's a really big bummer for Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) -- an appropriator and prolific fundraiser whose role in the 2012 cycle is now unclear." "Added Bumps To Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Once-Clear Path To Party Leadership".


    Over at dKos: "Insourcing - Florida Corruption Exposed".

    Medicaid kerfuffle

    "Group says broader role would curb costs; Florida Medical Association has different diagnosis". "Nurse Practitioners Offer Prescription for Medicaid".

    GOPers say "no"

    "Sen. Bill Nelson's populist proposal to pump earmark money into homebuyer tax credits is getting a 'no sale' from Republicans." The opposition? The wingnuts over at the Heritage Foundation:

    Curtis Dubay, a tax policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, calls Nelson's scheme "ridiculous ...
    "Nelson Homebuyer Credit Called 'Ridiculous'".

    Haridopolos tells us who his friends are

    "Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, unveiled his committee assignments Tuesday, assignments that will shape the course of Florida government for the next two years." "Mike Haridopolos Names Senate Committee Members".

    The rich are different

    "With multimillionaire Republican Rick Scott heading into the governor’s office, Florida voters also are turning to a Legislature packed with millionaires to lead the state out of its long and deep economic trench." "Rick Scott Not the Only Millionaire Coming to Capitol".

    Plakon fights for employers' right to exploit workers

    In what can only be described as an embarrassment, State Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, hero to employers who don't provide health insurance to their employees and otherwise exploit their workers, filed House Joint Resolution 1, which proposes that the legislature place an amendment on Florida ballots that, if passed, would 'prohibit laws or rules from compelling any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system,' a challenge to President Obama’s health care reform legislation." "State Rep. Plakon resurrects health care amendment".

    King "Jeb!" taking a pass?

    "George H.W. Bush's son, Jeb, had also been floated as a potential contender in 2012, but the former president and his wife played down any possible immediate aspirations from the former Florida governor. "

    Their willingness to support another likely candidate, perhaps the strongest at this time according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, may signify that Jeb Bush really isn't considering a run.
    "George H. W. Bush Reveals Who He Thinks Would Make 'Very Good' President".

    The best Miami can do?

    Jackie Bueno Sousa gets all excited about a car dealer, calling him a bold, transformational leader, "filling a civic leadership vacuum long felt in" Miami, as long as you can get past the sticker shock and brainless advertising. "Real leaders in short supply in Miami".

    But will the Chamber give Congress permission?

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Congress should hold drilling firms accountable" (The Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act would eliminate a $75 million liability cap, establish tougher standards for offshore drilling, including independent certifications of critical equipment, increased inspections and stiffer penalties for safety violations.)

    'Ya reckon?

    Scott Maxwell: "Intolerance, phony pictures shouldn't prevent adoption".

    Pelham outa there

    "The embattled head of Florida's growth management agency has made it official that he will no have role in the administration of Governor-elect Rick Scott. Tom Pelham, who has been the head of the Department of Community Affairs under two separate GOP governors, wrote a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist on Nov. 8 saying he intended to resign from his job by Jan. 3. The move isn't all surprising since Pelham recently labeled Scott's claims that DCA was killing jobs as 'nonsense.'" "Pelham makes it official: He's stepping down as agency chief".

    Teabaggers are out there

    "Tea party backers fashion themselves as 'we the people,' but polls show the Republican Party's most conservative and energized voters are hardly your average crowd."

    According to an Associated Press-GfK Poll this month, 84 percent who call themselves tea party supporters don't like how President Barack Obama is handling his job — a view shared by just 35 percent of all other adults. Tea partiers are about four times likelier than others to back repealing Obama's health care overhaul and twice as likely to favor renewing tax cuts for the highest-earning Americans.

    Exit polls of voters in this month's congressional elections reveal similar gulfs. Most tea party supporters — 86 percent — want less government intrusion on people and businesses, but only 35 percent of other voters said so. Tea party backers were about five times likelier to blame Obama for the country's economic ills, three times likelier to say Obama's policies will be harmful and twice as apt to see the country on the wrong track.

    These aren't subtle shadings between tea party backers and the majority of Americans, who don't support the movement; they're Grand Canyon-size chasms. ...

    About 3 in 10 adults in the AP-GfK Poll call themselves tea party backers, including 60 percent of Republicans. In the exit poll in this month's election, which saw high conservative turnout, 4 in 10 voiced tea party support, and 2 of every 3 GOP votes came from them. ...

    Tea partiers are likelier to be white, male, older and more affluent than everyone else, the polls show — groups that tend to be more conservative.
    "Is tea party mainstream or against the tide?".

    Big of 'em

    "Orange approves anti-bias protections for gays, lesbians".

    Taking it "back" from themselves

    "Many Republicans, including Scott, ran on a platform of 'taking back' government -- even though the GOP has been in charge of both the Legislature and the governor's office for 12 years. Such nettlesome details didn't stop Republicans from building the first veto-proof, Republican-led Legislature since Reconstruction, and Haridopolos said this Legislature is different." "'Conservative's conservative' visits Daytona".

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