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 Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rubio plays pretend ...

    ... about his teabaggery.

    "Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who hasn't joined a new Senate tea party caucus, told reporters Wednesday he's not even sure there's a need for one."
    The Florida Republican, who became a darling of the conservative movement, said he still hasn't decided about joining any caucuses, but plans to meet with tea party caucus members to "get their sense of what they want the caucus to be about.''

    He said he's not certain a Senate tea party caucus is a good idea.
    "Rubio questions need for tea party caucus". See also "Rubio doesn't join Tea Party Caucus, but co-sponsors health care repeal bill".

    Another way to kill

    "Lack of lethal-injection drug means Florida must develop new procedure".

    Vulnerable RPOFers

    Allen West and David Rivera join Larry Sabato's list of Vulnerable House Republicans.

    Pretty vacant

    Michael Bender says "You can learn a lot about Scott in one day".

    "Being sued for the way we voted"

    Howard Troxler: "Hey, you and I are being sued for the way we voted in November."

    Well, in a sense.

    Actually the state is being sued for the way that we voted. But of course that's costing us as taxpayers.

    And who is taking us to court?

    Our own state Legislature, or at least the House half of it.

    The House wants a federal judge to throw out one of the "fair districts" amendments passed by Florida voters. ...

    At our expense.
    "Arrogant state House tries to throw out 'fair districts' rule".

    "Scott doesn't want to listen"

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board write that it

    looks like [Scott's] interfering with the implementation process outlined by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The act requires federal "pre-clearance" of changes in elections laws that could affect minorities.

    Scott, like most of the Republican power structure in Florida, opposed the amendments. But 3.1 million Floridians – 63 percent of those voting in November – passed Amendments 5 and 6.

    The people spoke, but Scott doesn't want to listen.
    "Proceed with Fair Districts clearance". Related: "Fasano to Scott: Redistricting Amendments the 'People's Will'".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "Florida voters made their intentions clear when they amended the state Constitution in November to change how legislative and congressional districts are drawn. Yet Gov. Rick Scott - under the guise of reviewing all new regulations - quietly and abruptly halted the state's effort to have the changes blessed under the U.S. Voting Rights Act."
    News of Scott's actions didn't break until this week, after state House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, once again thumbed his nose at voters by joining the self-interested lawsuit filed by two Florida U.S. House members who claim Amendment 6 will undercut minority representation in Florida's congressional delegation. ...

    What do Cannon and other Republican legislators fear? Competitive elections. The changes under Amendments 5 and 6 are radical only because voters would finally see more choices on the ballot in more competitive districts. That is what Florida voters overwhelmingly approved in the same election where they more narrowly elected Scott. It's time for the governor to respect all of the election results, not just the ones he likes.
    "An end run around will of the voters".

    So much for the GOP "zero tolerance" ethics policy

    "House Speaker John Boehner addressed the growing controversy surrounding Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, for the first time Wednesday at a news conference but said he is reserving judgment."

    The controversy has caused problems for Rivera in Washington as reporters keep asking the new Republican leadership how it squares with their "zero tolerance" ethics policy.

    Rivera's close friend, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, reacted similarly to Boehner: "I'm aware of the issue that's out there but when something like that is happening, it's always appropriate not to just comment on it and let it play itself through."
    "House Speaker John Boehner addresses David Rivera controversy".

    RPOFers push "divisive social issues"

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "It's not as if the state of Florida is lacking for real issues."

    Unemployment, foreclosures and education reform alone ought to be able to keep our legislators busy for quite a while on substantive items.

    Instead, apparently thinking the November elections were a mandate to attack divisive social issues, the Republican-dominated Legislature seems ready to embark on a campaign to restrict abortion. They would be well-advised to put their energies where they are more needed.
    "Politicians need to stick to real issues, not distractions like abortion".

    Armed pre-schoolers

    "N. Fla. pre-schooler had loaded gun in school".

    FRS fine

    "State investments supporting the Florida Retirement System have bounced back to within about $1 billion of their pre-market collapse level, the state's top money manager told state legislators Wednesday." "State official: FRS is bouncing back".

    "Stick a feather in its cap and call it Arizona"

    Bill Cotterell thanks that, "to save face, the Legislature will probably stick a feather in its cap and call it Arizona. Immigration attorneys will then challenge it in court, which the bill sponsors will welcome as proof of their toughness." "'Arizona' law, Florida's politics just don't mix". See also "Snyder to move forward with Ariz.-style immigration bill after Thursday review".

    Immigration raids

    "A Florida official's report that claimed state authorities are not using immigration enforcement powers available to them prompted critics to conclude that there is no need to pass more laws to control illegal aliens." "McCollum Shut Down Immigration Raids".

    Deep thinkers

    "Vern Buchanan and Tom Rooney introduce bills so captured terrorists face tribunals instead of criminal charges". "Florida Republicans Back Military Trials for Terrorists".

    Run Newt! Run!

    "Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who's mulling a run for president, is in Florida." "Gingrich, eyeing possible 2012 run, visits Fla.".

    Haridopolos and Fasano fuss over RPOF 'Taj Mahal'

    "Did one lawmaker tell another to stop looking into the controversial $50 million state courthouse in Tallahassee some have dubbed the 'Taj Mahal'? Depends on whom you ask."

    Sen. Mike Fasano says Senate President Mike Haridopolos ordered him earlier this month to drop further scrutiny of the lavish new courthouse critics call the "Taj Mahal.''

    Haridopolos says he did no such thing.

    The point-counterpoint developed after Fasano told the St. Petersburg Times that Haridopolos "made it clear he didn't want me to deal with this issue anymore. I was told to leave this issue alone.''

    At a midday press availability Wednesday, Haridopolos was asked whether he ordered Fasano to end the investigation.

    "I think the point has been made,'' Haridopolos told reporters. "I've asked Senator Fasano for recommendations based on his work.''

    A reporter relayed those comments to Fasano, who said he was stunned.
    "'Taj Mahal' courthouse in Tallahassee roils legislators".

    Florida asks for, gets Federal help

    "The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agreed to requests Wednesday made by former Gov. Charlie Crist, current Gov. Rick Scott and members of the Florida congressional delegation to have more than half of the counties across the Sunshine State declared disaster areas due to the severe cold that gripped the state during November and December." "USDA Declares Florida Counties Disaster Areas Due to Cold Weather".

    RPOFers don't get that separation of powers thing

    "Republican lawmakers, still stung by the Florida Supreme Court’s rebuke of three constitutional amendments, continued on Wednesday a long running accusation that the court crafts state policy, usurping the Legislature’s policy making role." "Lawmakers Lash Out at Florida Supreme Court".

    Gaetz drops out

    "Matt Gaetz drops out of speaker's race".

    "Quit hiding the truth"

    Mike Thomas suggests we "Draw up local ordinances for people living near bears. No leaving out food, not even for pets. No leaving out garbage. Make the fines painful. And if people still break the rules, quit moving the problem bears or whisking them away for their injection. Publicly execute them in the middle of the subdivision and leave their carcasses for all to see. Quit hiding the truth of what we are doing to them." "Hunting bears wouldn't do much good — it's a people problem".


    "Sen. Rubio's first day on the job".

    "Not going to be like last time"

    "Crafting a teacher merit-pay bill for Florida this spring is 'not going to be like last time,' a key state lawmaker promised".

    State Sen. Steve Wise, whose education committee will devise a bill to be considered by the Florida Legislature, said he does not want a repeat of last year's fierce fight.

    "We are going to have input, and we're going to have serious discussion, and it's not going to be like last time," said the Jacksonville Republican today at a Senate education committee meeting.

    Wise, who is the committee chairman, said that in tackling what was one of the most divisive issues of the legislature's 2010 session, his committee will devise a "thoughtful" bill that aims to boost teacher quality by changing how teachers are evaluated and paid.
    "Teacher merit pay: 'What a difference a year makes'".

    Leaky septic tanks

    "The Senate has started to work on undoing a septic-tank inspection mandate passed last year to deal with thousands of leaky septic tanks potentially fouling Florida lakes and streams." "Septic-tank inspection repeal could allow local option".

    Brown-bagging it

    "State Sen. Mike Fasano is introducing legislation to prohibit regional workforce boards from using tax money to feed employees and staff." "Fasano: Legislation would limit workforce agency spending".

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