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 Saturday, December 04, 2010

Haridopolos' violation of Constitution is "taking a toll"

    "Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos admitted he made an 'embarrassing' mistake when he repeatedly failed to properly fill out financial disclosure forms."
    On Friday, the Florida Commission on Ethics accepted Haridopolos' formal admission that he violated the state Constitution by neglecting to detail his investments, a $400,000 home and a consulting job that earned him $120,000 from 2004 through 2008.
    Haridopolos' violation of the state Constitution is "already taking a toll". After all,
    Haridopolos is already putting out feelers for a possible 2012 run for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Bill Nelson, putting the Merritt Island Republican on a crash course with fellow Republican U.S. Sen. George LeMieux. LeMieux's deputy staff chief, Vivian Myrtetus, sent out an electronic Twitter message Friday that linked to a blog with the headline, "Haridopolos guilty in ethics violation.''

    Democrats also pounced. Shortly after the commission approved Haridopolos' settlement agreement, the Florida Democratic Party sent out a press release with the headline "Haridopolos Kicks Off 2012 Senate Campaign By Pleading Guilty To Breaking Ethics Laws.''
    "Senate chief's mistakes remain an issue". See also "New Florida Senate President Haridopolos admits wrongdoing in ethics complaint".

    Meanwhile, the studs on the "Ethics Commission accepts Haridopolos' explanation".

    About that U.S. Senate run, it "Looks Like a Sure Thing". See also "Haridopolos to run for US Senate".

    Scott's lawyer finding it tuff to get the job done

    "Florida's new governor has yet to name a single person to his administrative team, four weeks after the election. Instead, Rick Scott has spent much of the past month traveling the country in his new head-of-state status and naming 189 advisers to his transition team."

    Scott's longtime lawyer and confidante, Enu [I urge you to plead the fifth] Mainigi, is controlling much of the selection process, searching for new hires with corporate experience. ...

    Mainigi acknowledged the job of finding appointments to head the state's top agencies has been a "challenge."

    To find private-sector applicants, Scott hired New York-based Gerson Group. But attracting business executives or attorneys willing to giving up their private-sector salaries for a government job in out-of-the-way Tallahassee is a hard sell, Mainigi said.

    "I wish there were more direct flights," Mainigi said of travel in and out of the state capital.
    "Gov.-elect Scott slow to fill state posts".

    Weak bench

    William March: "After the Nov. 2 Republican sweep, Bill Nelson is once again Florida's lone Democratic statewide officeholder, and a flock of big-name GOP candidates are lining up for a primary battle to take him on. Half a dozen or more prominent Republicans, starting with appointed U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, state Senate President Mike Haridopolos of Merritt Island and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack of Cape Coral, have made it clear they're interested."

    Meanwhile, LeMieux is getting right wing props for stabbing his former friend in the back:

    When Crist left the GOP in April and began his no-party campaign, LeMieux quickly abandoned his longtime ally – a step he said was difficult – and endorsed Rubio.

    "When I go and speak to Republican groups or Tea Party groups, I get a lot of recognition for that," he said. "I think that's earned me a lot of respect with conservatives."
    "Several Republicans may vie to take on Bill Nelson in 2012".

    "Does Florida Democratic Party have a race problem?"

    "The head of Florida's black legislative caucus is complaining to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson that the mostly white Florida Democratic Party elite is ignoring African Americans and has all but crowned a new leader without their input." "Black caucus boss says Democratic Party ignores black voters".

    "Without the public getting a whiff"

    "Florida's new Republican leadership is kicking off its reign with a lot of secrets."

    House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, huddled in private last week with 80 other GOP legislators for "member training" at an Orlando resort, without any public notice. This is noteworthy because Florida's constitution broadly requires lawmakers to notice meetings and open them to the public if legislative action is going to be discussed.

    Cannon spokeswoman Katherine Betta says no bills were discussed at the two-day session. That's kind of like suggesting 80 football coaches could spend two days in the same room without talking about a single game.

    "This was an important opportunity for the members to get together completely free of distractions," Betta said. Translation: without the public getting a whiff of what was discussed.

    "It stinks and certainly sets the wrong tone," says First Amendment Foundation president Barbara Petersen.
    And then there's this:
    Republican Gov.-elect Rick Scott has been meeting with legislators, chatting up CNN's Wolf Blitzer, and will launch another campaign-style statewide jobs tour next week. But he's providing remarkably few details on controversial policies he proposed in his campaign.
    "Aaron Deslatte: Public not invited to GOP leaders' gatherings".

    "A fighter to the end"

    "A fighter to the end, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando spent more than $1.5 million in October and November – twice as much as his Republican challenger, Dan Webster -- on an aggressive get-out-the-vote effort that ultimately fell short, according to federal election records filed Thursday." "Grayson spent until the end".

    Never mind the voters

    "On their big class-size test, many of Florida's school districts got failing marks this week and now owe some $38 million in potential fines — money that would be painful to hand over in another bleak budget year. ... But key Florida lawmakers already are looking at ways to inject some flexibility into the class-size rules this spring. Those efforts include finding ways to minimize fines that districts face if they fail to shrink all their classes, said state Sen. David Simmons, R- Longwood." "Legislator aims to ease class-size law, reduce fines".

    The Pardon

    "FSU transcript of Doors' Morrision shows good grades; Fla. considers pardon".

    Teacher haters run Scott's show

    The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "Contrary to what is best for students, Florida Republicans are once again drawing battle lines over education reform. Gov.-elect Rick Scott fell into the trap last week by appointing an education transition team tilted against traditional public schools and in favor of private schools and tuition vouchers."

    Scott's education transition team is packed with advocates for private school vouchers, charter schools and changes in teacher tenure.
    "A political approach on reforming schools".

    The right to defecate

    "Push to repeal septic tank mandate called a 'copout'".

    "'Coercive' Rules"?

    "Meeting in one of Florida's most Republican counties, Senate President Mike Haridopolos and three other state lawmakers were encouraged to supercharge their cost-cutting agenda." "Lawmakers Urged to Repeal 'Coercive' Rules".

    "Devils Haircut"

    "U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown is asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate raids of barber shops in Orlando by the Florida agency that regulates businesses and the Orange County Sheriff's Office. ... The congresswoman says the raids, carried out in a SWAT-like manner in August and September, were overkill." "Brown asks for probe into barber shop raids".

    TeaBaggers show their stuff

    "Tea Party Nation Founder: It's 'Wise' To Only Let Property Owners Vote".

    Big of her ...

    "Justice's Wife Giving Up Role At Advocacy Group With Tea Party Ties".

    Laff riot

    "Republicans from Florida agreed with Boehner and opened fire on the administration. Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney hammered the Obama administration and Democrats for not backing extending the tax and pointed to the newly released national unemployment rate as to why all Americans needed tax breaks."

    “When will Democrats finally decide they’ve had enough of sticking it to small businesses?” demand Rooney. "This has been one of the most anti-business, anti-small business congresses and administrations in our nation’s history, and the numbers tell the story. Nineteen straight months of 9.4 percent unemployment or higher, the longest stretch since the Great Depression.

    "The American people spoke loud and clear on Nov. 2, and they have had enough of this Congress and this administration punishing small businesses who are trying to make ends meet and hire new workers," said Rooney, who is a possible candidate to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012. “No more new taxes, no more costly mandates, no more excessive regulation.

    “Congress should act immediately to extend all of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, so that small businesses and job-creators can have the stability they need to grow and hire new workers,” continued Rooney. “Then we need to begin rolling back the new taxes and costly mandates of the last two years, so we can get the federal government off the backs and out of the wallets of our small businesses.”

    Rooney was not the only possible U.S. Senate candidate sounding off on the matter. U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, who also has his eye on challenging Nelson, targeted the Democratic senator when he commented on the issue on Friday.

    "The liberal policies of President Obama and Bill Nelson over the last two years have done little, if anything, to get our economy moving again," said Mack.
    "With Higher National Unemployment, Congressional GOP Blames Obama, Dems".

    Have Rooney and Mack overlooked that Dubya fellow?

    Welcome to Lobbyist-land

    "Two weeks after legislators passed a law enabling more stringent legislative oversight of the rulemaking process of state agencies, the new law is already having the effect of delaying some new regulations." "Rulemaking Law Already Affecting State Agencies".

    Some call it "Freedom"

    "As homeless seek safe haven, counties seek out solutions".

    "Disclosure violations"

    "The Florida Supreme Court has ordered a public reprimand and a $5,000 fine for Yvonne Colodny, a Miami judge who admitted to election law and financial disclosure violations" "Miami judge fined for violating campaign contribution law".

    "Florida Republicans ... predictable — and downright wrong"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "The partisan rhetoric from Florida Republicans criticizing President Barack Obama's rational decision to reverse his oil drilling plan for the eastern Gulf of Mexico was predictable — and downright wrong."

    Obama's embrace of a drilling ban won't kill Florida jobs; it will save them. As the painful events of last summer illustrated, even a spill far from Florida shores kills jobs. Far more Floridians have been harmed financially by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill than the 1,000 to 2,500 new jobs the U.S. Minerals Management Service anticipated in Florida from expanded drilling in the eastern gulf.
    "The real jobs killer in the gulf".

    "A fierce and unwavering attack on GOP policy"

    "Grayson is going out how he came in: With a fierce and unwavering attack on GOP policy ... the Orlando Democrat took to the House floor to blast Republican calls for an across-the-board extension of the Bush-era tax cuts." "Grayson rips GOP tax cut plan as boon to Limbaugh, Hannity and Bush". More: "WATCH Him Show How The Bush Tax Cuts Benefit The Network Personalities".

    "Livelihood in the marshy headwaters, forests and fields"

    "Idled workers who once built condos in Florida's boom-to-bust housing market are finding a new livelihood along the marshy headwaters, forests and fields surrounding the Everglades."

    From the banks of the Kissimmee River to the canals snaking through South Florida, workers are moving the earth to restore a natural water flow, while their paychecks are pouring dollars into Florida's economy.

    Bracing for expected federal budget cuts next year, Everglades promoters are touting restoration as a job creator and an economic boon for an employment-starved state. It's all part of a lobbying pitch to persuade Congress to keep the money flowing.
    "As cuts loom, Everglades advocates tout potential jobs from restoration".

    Campaign contributors look for payback

    "The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority will defer consideration of a request by U.S. Rep John Mica, R-Winter Park, to consider converting Tampa International Airport's security screening from the federal Transportation Security Administration to a certified private screening program." "TSA or private agency will wait for new Tampa airport director".

    "Moonshine bust"

    "Officials say the 40-year-old sold several containers of moonshine to a restaurant manager in Sebring. According to a Polk County Sheriff's office report, an officer made a traffic stop on McGuire's Mustang and found 83 glass containers of moonshine in the trunk." "Moonshine bust in Sunshine State".

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