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, December 19, 2010

Now they tell us about Rivera

    As we relayed Friday, in "Now they tell us", "The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office is investigating more than $500,000 in secret payments from the owners of the Flagler Dog Track to a company tied to Congressman-elect David Rivera, the Miami Herald has learned." "Miami-Dade investigating payments to company tied to Congressman-elect David Rivera".

    The Herald story has picked up a little (much too little) steam in the blogosphere, including this piece at dKos: "FL-25: GOP Rep.-elect Rivera linked to $500k secret payment".

    LeMieux helps bust DREAM

    "Sixty votes were needed to overcome Republican efforts to prevent action on the legislation, known as the DREAM Act. Proponents could muster only 55 -- with 44 senators voting no."

    Florida's senators voted with the their respective parties. Democrat Bill Nelson voted in favor of the bill, while his Republican counterpart, George LeMieux, voted against.

    The bill would create a path to citizenship for undocumented students who came illegally to the United States before they were 16 and who have lived here for at least five years. It would apply only to university students and those who commit to serving at least two years in the military.

    The House of Representatives approved the measure earlier this month, 216 to 198, and President Barack Obama supported it.
    "Immigration activists disappointed after Senate blocks DREAM Act". See also "Republicans block youth immigration bill" and "".

    "The perspective of millionaires lounging around in Tally"

    Fred Grimm: "The rich are different from you and me. Well, me anyway. And they're damn well positioned to keep it that way."

    Florida not only got itself a fabulously wealthy governor (after he spent $73 million of his own money to get elected, maybe it's more accurate to suggest Rick Scott got himself a state) but a Legislature laden with millionaires.
    "Eighteen millionaires will be slumming in the state Senate. That's 18 out of 40 senators. Down the hallway, 34 millionaires vote in the House. Out of 120 state reps. Rich reps are forced to mingle with the unwashed rabble."
    In 1967, the middle 60 percent of households received over 52 percent of all income. In 1998, it was down to 47 percent. The poor also watched their meager share fall. All while the top 20 percent saw their share go up.

    Over the last 25 years, more than 90 percent of the total growth in income in the U.S. went to the top 10 percent earners. With help from their golfing buddies in elected office. The remaining 9 percent of income growth, the leftovers, were divvied up among the lower 90 percent.

    In 1973, the average U.S. CEO was paid $27 for every dollar paid to a typical worker. Three years ago, the ratio had ballooned to $275 to $1.

    From down in the working dregs of society, such stats look like a social and economic crisis coming. From the perspective of the millionaires lounging around capitol buildings in Tallahassee and Washington . . . the way they see things . . . well, they're different from you and me.
    "Rich politicians take care of their own". Carl Hiaasen a few days back: "In a giving mood, but only toward rich".

    Voucher madness

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Florida Gov.- elect Rick Scott shocked educators the other day when he signaled his support for giving vouchers to all students."

    Even the otherwise pro-voucher Trib editors warn that the "idea"

    could waste tax dollars and harm schoolchildren.
    "Voucher plan's pitfalls".

    Greedy public employees at work

    While the rest of us were lounging around, "more than two-dozen special needs residents [were] evacuated from a Fort Lauderdale group home after a fire broke out." "Fire investigated at Fla. group home for seniors".

    Tampa RPOFers in a dither ...

    ... After All, He Is Black. "Will controversy over RNC chairmanship affect Tampa convention? Some answers".

    "Are we deluding ourselves with feel-good grades?"

    Thomas Tryon: "A new grading formula has caused the Lake Wobegon effect to migrate from the mythical Minnesota town down to Florida -- and its high schools. In Lake Wobegon, we know from radio host and Minnesotan Garrison Keillor, 'all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.' Well, in Florida, almost all of the public high schools are above average -- at least, according to grades issued by the state Department of Education." "Tryon: Tracking 'above average,' far from Lake Wobegon".

    Michael Mayo doesn't "know whether to cheer or jeer the latest grades. After all, what good is an A school if most sophomores can't read at grade level and most graduates are ill-prepared for college? Are we just deluding ourselves with these feel-good grades, sort of like giving every kid a medal at a pre-school T-ball game?" "Do improving high school FCAT grades have any meaning?".

    Feds attack entrepreneurship

    "Levee that protects South Florida from Everglades flooding fails to meet federal standards".

    Another fine Jebacy

    "Census figures show Gainesville's median income down 20 percent since 2000".

    "Kingsley" ... "oh Kingsley"

    Fresh from dinner at the country club, a fine fellow named "Kingsley Guy" writes the following laffer:

    Florida must meet a budget shortfall in the upcoming year of perhaps $3 billion, but Gov.-elect Scott and legislative leaders aren't backing off their pledges not to raise taxes. Scott has promised a top-to-bottom look at state finances with the intention of slashing spending[*]. Expect public-employee pension and benefit reform and privatization of certain government services to be high on the GOP agenda. Sweeping education reform also will take place that will include merit pay for teachers and changes in the tenure system.
    For a good laff, read the entire thing here: "Budget issues: My money's on Florida (vs. Calif.)".

    But Kingsley, your beloved GOPers have been in complete control of Florida for well more than a decade ... and they have already been down the road of courageously not "backing off their pledges not to raise taxes" (indeed taxes have been cut); but to what end? Kingsley ... oh Kingsley, you are obviously unable to see failure when it is staring you in the face.

    Perhaps another round of tax cuts and privatization will make everything right.

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *Kingsley is apparently unaware that Florida has "the lowest per-capita number of state workers and payroll expenditures in the nation". Not a lot of room for "slashing".

    The latest on privatization: "Guards Get Drunk, Use Drugs, Hire Prostitutes". See also "Private Contractors In Afghanistan Behaving Badly".


    "West receives House committee assignments".

    Never mind Florida's 3.8 million uninsured

    "Proponents of the health care overhaul despair over Gov.-elect Rick Scott's stated determination to roll back 'ObamaCare.' They worry that Scott will direct Florida's policy with business interests in mind rather than the well-being of the state's 3.8 million uninsured." "Scott's health care ties worry supporters of overhaul".

    Revisionist history

    Why do I doubt this book will have much to say about Batista's crimes, Emilio Estefan's drooling union hatred, or what one might call "the rest of the story". "New book preserves stories of Cuban exodus" ("Famous Miami hitmaker Emilio Estefan turns his focus on preserving the history of the local Cuban exile community with his latest project: a book telling the story of Miami's Cuban exiles.") See also Emilio's self-serving "Innocence lost for freedom".

    Time to move on

    "The measure was approved earlier by the House of Representatives with the support of some South Florida Republicans, including Miami Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart." "South Florida activists cheer vote to rescind `don't ask, don't tell'".

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