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 Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Latest attempt by Republicans to keep grip on power"

    "Three days after taking office, Gov. Rick Scott abruptly put the brakes on the implementation of two redistricting amendments overwhelmingly passed by voters last fall."
    The move to withdraw Florida’s request for federal "pre-clearance" to enforce the new mandates came with no public notice. Amendments 5 and 6 were designed to thwart gerrymandering when lawmakers re-draw their political maps every decade. But Florida needs to get "pre-clearance" to make changes to its elections law that affect minority-rights under the federal Voting Rights Act.

    Outgoing Gov. Charlie Crist had filed the paperwork with the federal Department of Justice on Dec. 10. But Scott’s Jan. 7 letter withdrawing that request makes no mention of why he was changing course.

    And electioneering groups that supported the measures blasted the move Tuesday as the latest attempt by Republican politicians to keep their grip on power.
    "Scott secretly puts the breaks on Fair Districts". See also "Scott withdraws state request to have feds review redistricting amendments", "Rod Smith blasts Scotts Fair Districts delay", "Scott pulls back redistricting amendments", "Scott enters redistricting fight" and "UPDATE: Dems outraged over Scott secret withdrawal of redistricting amendments".

    "The move injects more partisanship into the politically charged process known as reapportionment and drew criticism from Fair Districts Now, the group that worked for the amendments' passage."
    On Monday, the Florida House of Representatives signed on to [a federal lawsuit challenging the amendments]. The Florida Democratic Party plans to intervene on behalf of Fair Districts Now.

    [Kurt] Browning, a former Pasco County elections supervisor, resigned as Crist's secretary of state in April 2010. Scott re-hired him after he was sworn in Jan. 4.

    While out of office, Browning served as the unpaid chairman of Protect Your Vote, a political action committee that raised nearly $4 million, more than half of it from the Republican Party of Florida, in an attempt to defeat Amendments 5 and 6. Realtors, sugar growers, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, TECO Energy and other GOP-aligned groups also donated generously to the PAC.
    "Rick Scott moves to delay redistrict plan".

    Related: "Scott Maxwell: Gov. Rick Scott, Dean Cannon and Corrine Brown all want to thwart your vote".

    Cutting courts

    "Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady made his case for not cutting the court system budget Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee." "Chief Justice Charles Canady Argues Against Cuts to Courts".

    Scott, Rubio in over their heads

    "Republicans Rick Scott and Marco Rubio bash Obama while Rod Smith and Alcee Hastings defend the administration". "Florida Pols See SOTU".

    Scott fails to get work done on time

    "Gov. Rick 'Let's Get to Work' Scott won't roll out his first budget on time. Scott asked lawmakers for a one-day delay to hand over his budget proposal, due Friday, Feb. 4. House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, and Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, signed off on Scott's request" "Scott gets an extra weekend to work on budget".

    "Gun-toting isn't so good for business"

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "In a poorly timed effort to further liberalize the state's gun laws, the Florida Legislature has proposed legislation that may make gun enthusiasts happy, but could potentially undermine Florida's efforts to produce jobs and revive its economy."

    Simply put, a gun-toting reputation isn't so good for business, a reality lawmakers must consider as they weigh bills that would allow people to carry licensed concealed weapons openly, and penalize physicians for supposedly infringing upon constitutional rights by asking their patients if they own firearms. Another bill prohibits local governments from adopting ordinances establishing waiting periods between the purchase and delivery of a handgun.
    "Aim to liberalize gun laws misdirected".

    Increased funding for AIDS drugs sought

    "Nelson sends letters to Scott, Obama calling for increased funding for AIDS drugs".

    Cutting public schools

    "Teacher layoffs. Few if any electives. School supplies that last a school only a few months. Those are all scenarios that lawmakers are trying to avoid as they craft a budget for the state’s public schools while Florida faces a $3.6 billion shortfall and the possibility that state programs, already cut to the bone, will be cut even further." "Lawmakers Hone in on School Cuts".


    "Extravagant casino resorts and hotels could be coming to Florida within the next five years, if resort builders get legislative approval." "Casino Resort Builders Woo Senators".

    "Florida’s proposed 'fetal personhood' amendment."

    "Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., introduced a bill yesterday that aims to undo abortion rights by extending constitutional rights to the unborn — a legislative move that is similar to Florida’s proposed 'fetal personhood' amendment." "Mississippi senator introduces federal anti-abortion bill with parallels to Florida ‘personhood’ amendment".

    Teabaggers dancing in the streets

    "Regardless of the health of the FRS investments, committee chairman Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, said 'reform is coming' in employee pensions. The FRS is completely paid for by employers now, but some employee contribution is sure to be required in the 2001 legislative session. There will also be bills to reduce benefits in other ways, such as raising retirement ages, increasing the six-year vesting period to eight or 10 years and reducing the accrual rate for management, judicial and law enforcement employees. " "Public pensions under scrutiny in hearings".

    Big insurance legislation

    "This year's big insurance legislation slogged through a Senate committee hearing Tuesday without a vote as members debated changes to sinkhole coverage." "Senate committee debates sinkholes, insurance coverage".

    "Tampa's Taj Ma-more-money"

    Daniel Ruth: "Taking in the news that the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse has become the federal government's version of an $85 million fixer-upper, the thought occurred that the litany of boondoggles, foulups and cost overruns associated with Tampa's Taj Ma-more-money is something I might have done." "Courthouse our own Poseidon Adventure".

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