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, December 18, 2010

Few want to work for Ricky "I plead the fifth" Scott

    "Rick Scott now wants top agency officials under Gov. Crist to stay on the job, a sign the transition to a new administration is anything but smooth." "Without his own team, Scott keeps the ousted".

    Scott's "secretive" transition team, under the so-called "leadership" of DC lawyer Enu Mainigi, has been a failure:
    Lacking a single hire to staff Florida's government, incoming Gov. Rick Scott on Friday asked most of Gov. Charlie Crist's administration to rescind their resignations and stay on board for up to three months.

    The about-face leaves in place agency heads and mid-level staffers from an administration Scott repeatedly criticized from the campaign trail as unresponsive to private business and ill-equipped to foster job growth. Scott's transition team initially asked for hundreds of resignations, more than Crist did when he succeeded former Gov. Jeb Bush.

    And it's the first public indication from Scott's secretive team of a transition clogged under the leadership of Enu Mainigi, his personal attorney and most important hire to date.

    The insiders, lobbyists, business owners and former government officials who make up the transition team say time is running out and they fret the slowdown is hurting Scott.

    Mainigi, a Washington, D.C.-based corporate defense lawyer, disputes there is any clog and challenges accusations that she is being overly protective of Scott. She writes off the criticism as backbiting inherent in the sport of Tallahassee politics.
    "Lacking any hires and facing criticism, Gov.-elect Rick Scott asks Crist team to stay on longer".

    Ms. Mainigi, like her boss, is obviously in over her head. See "Top Scott adviser under the microscope as transition extended three months".

    Fragile 'Glades choking with pollution, while Florida dithers

    As the assorted wingnuts that call the shots in Tally pontificate on the benefits of polluting the River of Grass, a "Miami federal judge expressed support Friday for a new $1.5 billion Environmental Protection Agency plan to reduce pollution-laden farm runoff that is choking the fragile Everglades. He urged state officials to cooperate rather than mount unnecessary delays." "Judge backs EPA's Glades cleanup plan".

    Carl Hiaasen the other day: "Florida fights for rights of polluters" ("Farms, mills and municipalities that use Florida waterways as a latrine got more good news last week from their stooges in Tallahassee. The latest battle to stop the enforcement of federal pollution laws will be paid for by state taxpayers.")

    Ricky's tax cuts will surely fix this

    "Twelve percent of Florida's eligible work force, which translates to more than 1.1 million people, did not have jobs last month ... State economists predicted double-digit unemployment would continue in Florida until sometime during the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2012 - just as the presidential campaign rolls into high gear." "Fla. unemployment numbers worsen in November". See also "Florida unemployment rate rises", "Florida Unemployment Reaches 12 Percent" and "Florida jobless rate rises to 12% in November" and "".

    A Republican thing

    "Breaking? Study Finds Fox News Viewers Are The Most Misinformed".

    Bits and Pieces

    Kevin Derby: "Political Bits and Pieces".

    Greedy first responders

    "Jon Stewart Lambastes The Media Over Lack Of 9/11 Responders Bill Coverage (VIDEO)". See also "Senate Republicans Explain Their Vote Against First Responder Health Care" and "Stewart Dedicates Last Show Of 2010 Entirely To 9/11 First Responders Bill". More: "Daily Show: 9/11 First Responders React to the Senate Filibuster".

    CNN gets into bed with GOP Teabaggers

    "CNN announced Friday it will co-host a Republican presidential primary debate in Tampa along with the Tea Party Express during Labor Day week 2011."

    CNN said its debate will have "specific emphasis on the issues that matter most to Tea Party Express: the economy and government spending."

    As to why the news network is teaming up with the political movement, CNN political director Sam Feist called the movement "a fascinating, diverse, grassroots force that already has drastically changed the country's political landscape."

    He said it's "a natural fit for CNN to provide a platform for the diverse perspectives within the Republican Party, including the Tea Party movement." ...

    the organization, founded by a long-time Republican Party political consultant, has encountered some criticism from other activists in the diverse, decentralized movement who have suggested it was simply a way for traditional Republican operatives to take advantage of the movement.
    "CNN, Tea Party to co-host GOP presidential debate in Tampa". See also "Presidential debate set for Tampa".

    South Florida undocumented DREAM

    "The bill known as the Dream Act would offer about 2 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., including an estimated 183,000 Florida residents, a pathway to residency and eventual citizenship. Most are young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children by their parents, and because they lack legal status, are often denied college scholarships and the right to join the military. Getting a drivers license also can be difficult." "Undocumented residents in South Florida pin hopes on Dream Act's passage".

    LeMieux outa there

    "Departing LeMieux gets flattering send-off".

    "Separate-but-equal" RPOF-led Legislature

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board write that, "in Tallahassee, a steroidal confidence among Republicans that resembles the strut that tripped Washington Democrats increasingly is on display."

    Any trace of caution and humility seems gone, buried with the Democrats and an independent whose losses in November will give the GOP all the keys to the capital.

    Gov.-elect Rick Scott gets his key next month from Gov. Charlie Crist and Chief Financial Officer-elect Jeff Atwater receives his from Alex Sink, giving Republicans every state cabinet post. House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos will preside over veto-proof majorities.

    Mr. Haridopolos is talking of aggressively commandeering the most conservative Legislature since Reconstruction. Mr. Cannon launched an attack last month on the judiciary, though he said the separate-but-equal Republican-led Legislature needs to exercise "humility in the use of power." And despite priding himself on his constituent reach, Mr. Cannon this month kept them in the dark on a conference he secretly convened for the 80 House Republicans.

    They and Mr. Scott display a swagger, buoyed by their party's wins and their confidence that they're doing what the electorate wants: promoting jobs.

    But like Washington Democrats following their imagined mandate in 2008, Tallahassee's leaders are straying. It's not just jobs they're focusing on but rolling back regulations that protect the environment. They're considering deregulating the insurance industry and making it easier for Florida utilities to raise rates. And they may cut school taxes 19 percent by paying for them ... how?
    "Lesson for Florida GOP".

    2010 Lie of the Year

    "PolitiFact editors and reporters have chosen 'government takeover of healthcare' as the 2010 Lie of the Year. Uttered by dozens of politicians and pundits, it played an important role in shaping public opinion about the healthcare plan and was a significant factor in the Democrats' shellacking in the November elections." "The biggest lie of the year is . . .".

    Committee assignments

    "On Friday, House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, named committee and subcommittee assignments for the 2011 session." "Dean Cannon Names House Members to Committees".

    Not nutty enough for Mack

    "Rep. Connie Mack IV opposed the tax-cut package that President Barack Obama signed into law Friday because it will extend Bush-era tax rates for two years rather than making them permanent." "Fort Myers Congressman Mack votes against bill, urges permanent tax cuts".

    FCAT follies

    "Florida Democrats are continuing to propose dumping the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test as their Republican counterparts continue to put more emphasis on standardized exams." "Florida Democrats Work To Discontinue FCAT Exams For High School Students".

    "The beginning of what, we must ask"

    "Union spokesman Matt Puckett says the association first saw the $1 billion figure in Scott’s '7-7-7' plan for cutting government spending and creating jobs. Members found the number alarming, and started calling attention to it, culminating in an ad which, in the words of FactCheck.org, 'takes a half-baked proposal to an illogical conclusion.'"

    "One of the editorials slamming Scott’s prison plan summed up its critque of Scott’s supposed plan to cut $1 billion a year in prison spending:"

    Being governor is serious job, and by his own staff’s admission, this is a half-baked plan that is just "the beginning." The beginning of what, we must ask.
    "Part of the confusion may stem from how Scott’s team throws out numbers but offers few specifics, leaving the media to work out the math problems in an effort to divine his policy plans. For example, the same "7-7-7″ plan that calls for $1 billion in cost-cutting in the prison system also calls for $1.4 billion in savings on state employee pensions, more than twice what the state currently pays each year." "Why didn’t Scott set the record straight on prison spending earlier?"

    Big of him

    "Thrasher ‘does not condone’ group that says Planned Parenthood efforts similar to ‘genocide’".

    Republican Congressman to embarrass Florida

    "Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns of Ocala could play a major role in health care repeal efforts and investigations into the Obama Administration’s greenhouse gas regulations for the House Energy and Commerce Committee when the new Congress takes over next month." "Florida congressman to oversee ‘ground zero’ for health care repeal".

    Too early to tell

    "A legislative report says it's too early to tell if investing state pension funds in Florida-based technology companies will create many news jobs in the state." "Fla. employee pension investments create 176 jobs".

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