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 Monday, December 20, 2010

The Party of Rick Scott

    "While internal political party elections are hard to predict, there are indications that Debbie Cox-Roush of Tampa is a leading contender in the upcoming battle for chairman of the state Republican Party."
    Cox-Roush will face at least four other candidates from around the state, including Pinellas County party official Tony DiMatteo, in an election Jan. 15.

    If Cox-Roush wins, it will be an indication of the increasing importance of Hillsborough County in state GOP politics. Cox-Roush has led the local party for two years.

    Regardless of the outcome, the election represents a departure from the common practice by which a new governor selects a party chairman.

    Gov.-elect Rick Scott hasn't openly expressed a preference or promoted a candidate of his own. But he asked at least one person, state Sen. John Thrasher, outgoing chairman, to run for re-election.

    Thrasher said he declined. GOP fundraiser John Rood of Jacksonville also considered running but decided against it.

    Scott, through a spokesman, declined to say whether he asked any candidate besides Thrasher to run.
    "Hillsborough's value may sway pick for state GOP chair".

    Florida to gain at least one House seat

    "Early projections from the U.S. Census bureau suggest Florida will gain at least one seat, possibly two, in the U.S. House of Representatives." "Florida likely to gain clout in House".

    "The 2010 census report coming out Tuesday will include a boatload of good political news for Republicans and grim data for Democrats hoping to re-elect President Barack Obama and rebound from last month's devastating elections."

    The population continues to shift from Democratic-leaning Rust Belt states to Republican-leaning Sun Belt states, a trend the Census Bureau will detail in its once-a-decade report to the president. Political clout shifts, too, because the nation must reapportion the 435 House districts to make them roughly equal in population, based on the latest census figures.

    The biggest gainer will be Texas, a GOP-dominated state expected to gain up to four new House seats, for a total of 36. The chief losers — New York and Ohio, each projected by nongovernment analysts to lose two seats — were carried by Obama in 2008 and are typical of states in the Northeast and Midwest that are declining in political influence.

    Democrats' problems don't end there.

    November's elections put Republicans in control of dozens of state legislatures and governorships, just as states prepare to redraw their congressional and legislative district maps. It's often a brutally partisan process, and Republicans' control in those states will enable them to create new districts to their liking.
    "Obama re-election faces Rust Belt losses, Sun Belt gains".

    Broward rapidly becoming more Hispanic and African-American

    "New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau confirm that Broward County's population is rapidly becoming more Hispanic and African-American." "Broward looking more like Dade". See also "Census data a mixed bag for both counties" ("People in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties are better educated than they were in 2000, but that doesn't necessarily translate into making more money.")

    Brevard conservatives will miss feds

    "End of shuttle program affects city residents from all walks of life".

    Yawning economic divides

    "After decades of roiling demographic change, Miami-Dade County's tri-ethnic population has settled into a rough equilibrium, but remains riven by yawning economic and educational divides, new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows."

    And disparities in educational attainment and income among Miami-Dade's main ethnic and racial groups remain startlingly large, with African Americans -- a quarter of whom live in poverty -- ensconced at the bottom of the scale, the numbers show.

    Meanwhile, the county's non-Hispanic whites, while a somewhat thinner proportion of the overall population, have become in many respects an elite group, with educational credentials and incomes that on average far exceed the national norm.

    Those imbalances in income and educational attainment are closely linked, said Miami Dade College president Eduardo Padrón. And they are likely to persist unless state and federal leaders get serious about boosting graduation rates and improving access to higher education among blacks and Hispanics, he said.
    "Miami-Dade is rich, poor, polarized and getting better educated".

    Right wing quote machine

    The Saint Petersburg Times's redoubtable Aaron Sharockman, who once courageously railed against "the tony retirement pensions of the state's police and firefighters", wants you to know that statistics showing that "Florida in 2009 had the lowest ratio among the 50 states of full- and part-time state employees to overall population, and the second-lowest ratio of full-time equivalent employees to population" and "also had the lowest payroll expenditures per resident — $38 — in the country" aren't all they are cracked up to be.

    A word of caution about both figures: Florida, because of its large population, has a comparative advantage using these types of calculation when compared with states with smaller populations. Those states still have to provide most or all of the public services that Florida does, but just for fewer people. Delaware and North Dakota, for instance, both have nearly three times as many state employees per resident when compared with Florida, and spend three times more on payroll per resident.
    "State work force has declined, but barely".

    RPOFer committee assignments

    "With a new Congress convening in January, committee assignments are starting to come in for the six new Republican members of the Florida delegation. The freshmen from the Sunshine State will be sitting on a number of important committees as the Republicans take control from the Democrats." "Florida's New Republicans in Congress Get Committee Assignments".

    "Economic-development hype."

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "The Great Recession's clouds still haven't cleared from the Sunshine State. Florida's jobless rate is still in double digits, still higher than the nation's. Taxes are still coming in short of projections."

    And the solution is? Why, it is what the editors themselves acknowledge sounds like more "economic-development hype." However, when the Chamber speaks, the editors jump: "Bolster trade in Florida".

    "Going under"

    "After 20 years, the Share Florida Food Network is going under, a victim of stiff competition and tough economic times." "Economy dooms food program for needy".

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