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 Sunday, May 29, 2011

"Gov. Spaceman reinforces our reputation for electoral dysfunction"

    Carl Hiaasen: "According to a new Quinnipiac University poll of Florida voters, Rick Scott is now one of the country’s most unpopular governors, a dubious feat after only four months in office."
    It’s bad news for Republican Party bosses, but all is not lost. Scott recently signed a new election bill that is callously designed to suppress voter turnout, making it harder for many disgruntled Floridians to cast a valid ballot in 2012.

    Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state, so GOP leaders are desperate to find ways to keep certain people away from the polls. One of the Legislature’s top priorities was to change the voting rules to avoid a repeat of 2008, when Barack Obama won the state’s 27 electoral votes on his way to the presidency.

    Obama benefited from early-voting days, which proved popular among minorities, college students and retirees. Republican officials became incensed during the election when then-Gov. Charlie Crist — one of their own — decided to extend polling hours to accommodate the long lines.

    The nerve of that guy, making it easier for common citizens to vote!

    Determined not to let this whole democracy thing get out of hand, the GOP-held Legislature crafted a bill that reduces the number of early voting days from 15 to eight, and requires some voters who have moved to cast provisional ballots, a deliberate inconvenience aimed at students. ...

    Upon signing the anti-voting bill into law, Gov. Spaceman said the following: “I want people to vote, but I also want to make sure there’s no fraud involved in elections. All of us as individuals that vote want to make sure that our elections are fair and honest.”

    Those who recall what happened here in the 2000 presidential election can’t help but chuckle at the comic aspect of a Republican governor pretending to fret about voter fraud.

    Interestingly, the officials who are most familiar with the fraud issue — the county supervisors of elections — are mostly opposed to the new voting law, and say current voter-data bases are fairly accurate. They actually asked the Legislature for more early-voting sites, and were of course rebuffed.

    The statewide association of elections supervisors also warned Scott that imposing the restrictive provisions could cause a fiasco at the polls in 2012, just what we need to reinforce our national reputation for electoral dysfunction.
    "When the governor promised to bring all those new jobs to Florida, who knew he was talking about lawyers?"
    The GOP’s dream scenario is a low turnout dominated by a grumpy, aging core of conservative white people who can’t stand Obama. With their party outnumbered on Florida’s voter rolls, top Republicans hope that rigging the voting rules will improve their chances to recapture the White House.

    You could call it democracy with selective exclusion.

    Or you could call it what it is.
    "GOP won’t let democracy get out of hand". Related: "Republican Legislators Push to Tighten Voting Rules".

    Scott gets all Nixonian on us

    Howard Troxler: "Some people in the government hate the public records law, and drag their feet and try not to obey it."

    Our state's new governor, Rick Scott, has shown a contempt for the spirit of the law. Clearly he does not think that what he does is the public's business at all. His underlings fight and stall even the most routine requests for what he is up to, and they have started billing people for asking.

    One of Scott's top advisers admitted in a recent e-mail sent from her private e-mail account: "I rarely check and almost never respond to work e-mail because of the open records law."

    A Scott spokesman, equally blunt, defended secrecy by saying: "There are things we don't want to broadcast to our opponents."

    Their opponents! Who, exactly? The taxpayers?

    Here is one of the truest things I know:

    Secrecy is a sure sign of bad or dishonest state and local government.
    "Government secrecy in Florida is out of hand".

    Just this week, "Democrats were removed from Gov. Rick Scott’s budget signing by sheriff’s deputies because the event was 'private', [after which] a Scott spokesman tried to deflect blame by [falsely] claiming that Scott’s office ordered no one out." "Scott’s office denies removing Democrats from budget signing".

    "Zombie kids warehoused on the cheap"

    Fred Grimm: "They’re children of the new Florida ethic. Zombie kids warehoused on the cheap in the state’s juvenile lock-ups. Kept quiet, manageable and addled senseless by great dollops of anti-psychotic drugs." "Creating juvenile zombies, Florida-style".

    "Proven recipe for success"

    Scott Maxwell: "Arts in schools proven recipe for success".

    "Et tu, Mr. Browning?"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning says he does not understand why his ex-colleagues, the state's elections supervisors, howl about the pernicious new election rules signed into law by Gov. Scott this month. A longtime supervisor himself, he insists that there is 'nothing in this bill that as a supervisor would cause me any heartburn.'"

    Et tu, Mr. Browning? Few people in Florida know as much about running elections, but during an interview in which he repeatedly defended the Legislature's repressive and baldly political changes, Mr. Browning sounded time and again like a cuckolded spouse rationalizing his partner's transgressions.
    "Browning can't make case".

    Rubio the next Sarah Palin?

    Kenric Ward argues that "the Republican Party needs Marco Rubio on its 2012 ticket." See "Why Republicans Must Put Marco Rubio on 2012 Presidential Ticket".

    Now is as good a time as any to drive a stake into the future political aspirations of the staggeringly unimpressive Marco Rubio.

    "Putnam ready on the right"

    Randy Schultz: "With immigration reform, Putnam ready on the right".

    "Plenty of deception"

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Gov. Rick Scott's announcement of what he claimed to be a record $615 million in budget vetoes Thursday was typical: At a carefully orchestrated event attended only by avid supporters, he dished out plenty of deception."

    The "record" Scott claimed was a sham. It counted $305 million because Scott killed environmental-land buying legislation. But the measure in question only authorized the state to use up to $305 million from the sale of surplus state land to fund Florida Forever.

    While this would have provided a revenue source to at least continue the program, which has languished during the recession, no one expected the land sales to generate much.

    The veto also underscores Scott's unprecedented antipathy to Florida's environment.

    As he rushes to eliminate environmental safeguards and gut water-supply protections, the governor also thought it wise to kill funding for a popular program that protects natural resources without regulations.
    "Scott's veto theatrics".

    Mendelsohn wants mercy

    "Onetime Broward power broker and lobbyist Dr. Alan Mendelsohn wants a federal judge to spare him from serving prison time when he is sentenced next week after pleading guilty in a public corruption investigation."

    He served on then-Gov. Charlie Crist's gubernatorial transition team in 2006 but was also the chief fundraiser for the Florida Medical Association's political action committee. The skimmed money was used to pay for private school fees for his children, credit card bills and a house purchase and payments for his mistresses, prosecutors charged.
    "Mendelsohn seeks leniency in corruption sentencing".

    That was then

    "It was once the largest conservation land-buying program in the nation, a $300-million-dollar-a-year jewel that in the past 10 years has set aside 2.4 million acres of open spaces, parks and wildlife habitat." "Funding nil for Florida Forever".

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