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 Monday, December 06, 2010

Ricky's Waffle House tour

    "Governor-elect Rick Scott is kicking off a weeklong tour of the state focused on job development. Scott is making stops around Florida meeting with businesspeople and industry representatives in hopes of reigniting a sluggish jobs market." "Scott on weeklong jobs tour of Florida".


    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Obama's recent appointment of Shannon Estenoz as the federal point person for Everglades restoration is an opportunity for both the decades-long initiative and for Florida's incoming governor, Rick Scott. The governor-elect would do well to take advantage of the opportunity." "Obama appointee takes on Everglades Restoration".

    Castor hits another homer

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Congresswoman Kathy Castor recently filed legislation essential to Florida and other states impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Tampa Democrat's bill, if passed, would see to it that most of the money expected to be paid out by BP in fines and penalties would go to Gulf Coast states and not be diverted to other parts of the country." "Castor's bill would aid Gulf states".

    Let the teacher hating begin

    "Florida lawmakers will host a private screening on Tuesday of the film Waiting for Superman, the pro-charter school documentary that blames teachers' unions for much of education's woes."

    The House and Senate are inviting lawmakers, government officials and education community leaders to the showing at Tallahassee's Miracle 5 Cinema. The 4 p.m. showing will be followed by an hourlong panel discussion, with participants still-to-be-determined, said David Bishop, spokesman for Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island.

    But prospects of Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, hosting their own version of television's At the Movies around education reform didn't sit well with the state's largest teachers' union.

    "It's a terribly skewed view of education,'' said Mark Pudlow, a spokesman for the Florida Education Association. "But I'm sure the members will enjoy it immensely.''
    Check out this bit of alleged journalism:
    Former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, whom Gov.-elect Rick Scott named Thursday to head his education transition team, is featured heavily in the film.

    Rhee is an outspoken critic of teacher tenure and is portrayed in the film struggling with teacher-union resistence as she tries to shift pay structures and reward effective educators.
    "Legislators to watch 'Waiting for Superman'".

    Say what? Teachers unions oppose to "reward[ing] effective educators"?

    Alleged journalism aside, one would hope the Haridopolos and Cannon could moderate their hatred of puplic school teachers for a moment and direct their underlings away from propaganda like Waiting for "Superman", and suggest they read a proper review of the film, perhaps the New York Review of Books' The Myth of Charter Schools by Diane Ravitch, a Research Professor of Education at New York University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

    That, however, is probably asking too much: after all, people like Haridopolos and Cannon prefer pictures over words.

    Warm for the winter

    "FPL officials acknowledge the utility has a moral responsibility to protect the site's wintering manatees, thought to make up one-fifth of all the manatees in Florida waters." "FPL customers pay to keep Indian River manatees cozy — and alive".

    Jebbie's dream world

    "A new outreach group led by the former governor could help clarify the message to a complicated and diverse Hispanic population". "GOP Future Looks to Hispanics and Jeb Bush".

    Ricky just fine with untreated human waste that chokes Florida's waterways

    "In their quest to reduce regulations, particularly on businesses, Gov.-elect Rick Scott and Florida's new legislative leaders are taking aim at a whole range of environmental protection efforts."

    Their first target was a new law requiring every homeowner and business with a septic tank to pay for an inspection every five years. Untreated human waste leeching from Florida's estimated 500,000 broken septic tanks contributes to health warnings across the state and chokes waterways with algal blooms.

    State leaders decided the new law is too expensive and voted in November to delay when it takes effect. They hope to kill it in the next legislative session.
    "New leaders may roll back enviro, health regulations".

    "Uphill climb"

    "Sarasota GOP head has uphill climb for state job".

    A "surcharge" not a "tax"

    "Bottled water could get a few cents more expensive in Florida under a proposed surcharge to pay for environmental cleanup work." "Bottled Water Tax Back on Senate Menu".

    When Floridians stop reading ...

    Nancy Smith: "It must be killing Florida’s media elite that Rick Scott doesn’t give a blue blog what they write about him." "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Media Elite? Not Rick Scott".

    Yee haw!

    "Scott meets with Panhandle lawmakers".

    About Charlie

    "His term has been one of the most turbulent in Florida history, but Gov. Charlie Crist leaves office content with his accomplishments and optimistic about his future in or out of politics." "Gov. Crist content, optimistic for future".

    Country clubbers grasping at straws

    Kingsley Guy worries that the demographics are changing, and before long the whitebread teabaggers will be unable to carry the day for the RPOF. In his eyes, however, the "saving grace for the Republican Party is straight-line projections rarely hold true, and voting trends change. For instance, African-Americans voted primarily Republican from the end of the Civil War to the dawning of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Republican Party survival will depend upon broadening its demographic base, and Florida is helping to lead the way."

    In the last election, Republican Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, easily won the U.S. Senate seat. He faced Gov. Charlie Crist, running as an independent, and a bonafide Democratic candidate in Kendrick Meek. Yet Rubio captured nearly 50 percent of the vote, a remarkable feat in a three-way race with strong opposition.

    His victory margin was made possible, in part, because he won 55 percent of the Hispanic vote. Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott also showed great strength among Hispanics, capturing 50 percent of that vote.

    Florida has a large Cuban-American voting bloc with historical anti-Castro ties to the GOP, but Republican Hispanic support in Florida goes beyond that. Hispanics are well-integrated into the economic fabric of the state, and the GOP message of economic opportunity rather than welfare-state paternalism plays well with them.

    Florida also elected two African-American Republicans to high office. One of Scott's better early decisions was to name Jennifer Carroll as his lieutenant-governor running mate. Carroll, an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago, rose from the enlisted ranks in the Navy to retire as a lieutenant commander. In 2003, she became the first black woman ever elected to the Florida House as a Republican.

    In District 22, Allen West became the first African-American Republican to be elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction. His fiery and inspiring rhetoric is backed by a solid understanding of U.S. history and constitutional principles. He has what it takes to rise to a leadership position in the GOP. West will be joined in the House by Tim Scott of South Carolina, also a conservative Republican of African-American descent.
    "Big GOP tent?: Party working hard to expand base".

    The desperation is palpable - Kingsley seriously believes Allen West is some sort of Republican savior, with "a solid understanding of U.S. history and constitutional principles".

    Second Neo-Nazi trial in Pasco

    "Neo-Nazi set for retrial on murder charge in Pasco".

    Perhaps paving it over ain't such a great ideer

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "A 2009-10 fiscal-impact assessment by the Parks Service found that the state's 160 parks had a direct impact of nearly $950 million on local economies throughout the state and accounted for 18,900 new local-area jobs. Last year the state park system contributed more than $66 million to the general revenue fund via state sales taxes." "`The Real Florida' a moneymaker".

    Builders want their payback

    "Builders Hope New Legislature Will Cut Regulations, Reignite Growth".

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