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, March 07, 2011

Teabaggery right outa' the gate

    "A pair of contentious ballot issues sure to please tea party supporters will be among the first measures up for floor votes in this year's Florida legislative session."
    One of the proposed state constitutional amendments is designed to thwart implementation of the national health care overhaul in Florida although legal experts say it would be trumped by the federal law.

    The other would cap state revenues at their 2013-14 level with allowances for population growth and increases in the Consumer Price Index.
    "Fla. lawmakers plan quick start to 2011 session".

    Koch-brother shills head to Tally

    "On one side will be the Tea Party, a disparate group of anti-government activists who want lawmakers to pass Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to eliminate 6,700 jobs, cut property taxes and phase out the corporate income tax. With an assist from Americans For Prosperity, the Koch-brothers supported small government group, Tea Party activists plan to bus about 2,000 protestors here to do what is rarely done in Tallahassee: lobby for less money from government." "Protestors to rally on Legislature’s opening day".

    "Scott jeopardizing Florida's economy and reputation"

    When a right-winger like Scott loses the Tampa Trib, you know he's in real trouble. Here's a taste of today's blistering Tribune editorial: "Gov. Rick Scott is jeopardizing Florida's economy and national reputation by seeking massive cuts in public education funding while districts throughout the state continue to face major budget shortfalls."

    Incredibly, Scott wants a dramatic 10 percent decrease in per-student funding, or $703 a student. And that is on top of previous reductions.

    It's a thoughtless move by a man who touts job creation as his top objective — and who previously pledged to hold schools harmless in his quest to cut government spending and reduce taxes.

    What corporation or industry would want to come to Florida knowing its governor cares more about appeasing tea-party activists than building a quality workforce?

    If approved by the Legislature, Scott's proposal would set public education back decades. It could force widespread layoffs, extended days for teachers, less time in classrooms for students who need it most and other harmful policies.

    Scott, who never held public office before winning the governor's mansion, clearly needs to be educated about how public-school budgeting works.
    "Scott's budget bullies schools".

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "The debate now is over the size of education cuts".

    "Using Florida’s lakes, bays and rivers as latrines"

    Carl Hiaasen: "U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, a Republican from Tequesta, recently tacked a rider on the federal budget package that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from enacting tighter restrictions on the amount of phosphorous and nitrogen that may be flushed into Florida’s public waters."

    The EPA rules, devised in conjunction with the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, have been the subject of several public hearings. Public comments were 10-to-1 in favor of the regulations.

    Critics say compliance would be too expensive for farms, small business and public utilities. State agriculture officials estimated a potential loss of 14,000 jobs, a sky-is-falling prediction that will never come to pass.

    Rooney’s lead role in trying to block the pollution guidelines is interesting because he supposedly represents all those folks along the St. Lucie who got slimed back in 2005.

    In a lame oped column defending his position, the congressman wrote that the new EPA rules "could cost our state’s economy about $2 billion, and would double the average family’s water bill."

    It’s a preposterous statement, pure fiction, but the aim isn’t to inform people. The aim is to scare them. The script (and dire predictions) come from lobbyists for Big Agriculture, municipalities and corporate interests who freely use Florida’s lakes, bays and rivers as a latrine.

    Rooney doesn’t use the word "polluters." He calls them "job creators."
    Much more here: "Lawmakers help muddy the waters around us".

    Pill mill madness

    "When White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske recently toured Appalachia, he met with 14 imprisoned women who were in drug treatment, 13 of whom were being treated for prescription-drug use."

    Kerlikowske asked the women how many had been to Florida to get their drugs. "Thirteen of the 14 raised their hand," Kerlikowske said.

    So it may be no surprise that Kerlikowske has an interest in what Florida — considered a key supply source for prescription drugs— does to help combat the epidemic.

    The debate over how to tackle the prescription-drug problem in Florida was renewed last month when Gov. Rick Scott proposed eliminating the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a stalled, yet much-anticipated database touted as one of the best tools for fighting the crisis.
    "White House drug czar says Florida needs prescription-drug monitoring program" See also Fred Grimm's "Florida pill mills: Different drugs, same faces".

    From the "values" crowd

    "Florida residents who lose their jobs will get fewer unemployment benefits than residents in any other state if a House bill reducing benefits is passed, says a national advocacy group for the unemployed.Republican legislators said the cuts are necessary to protect Florida’s business climate." "Bill would cut Florida jobless benefits".

    RPOFers runnin' gub'ment like a bidness

    "Thousands of Floridians who installed new, high-efficiency air-conditioning systems last summer still are awaiting state-promised rebates in an energy-conservation program that's snarled in politics, budget cuts and rule changes." "Air-conditioning rebates snarled in politics, deadline rules changes".

    RPOFer retaliation

    "As the last major Democratic stronghold in Florida, the county can expect little from the GOP-controlled House and Senate when the session begins Tuesday." "Broward: Little power in Capitol".


    "Miami-Dade lawmakers, many of them newbies to Tallahassee, will head to the state capital this week to try to protect funding for public institutions and local projects." "Miami-Dade lawmakers seek to secure local dollars".

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