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, June 09, 2011

"Scott makes job creation look easy"

    "Gov. Rick Scott makes job creation look easy. Phone a CEO. Support tax cuts. Attend a news conference. His zeal to count every new job in Florida toward his campaign promise of creating 700,000 has some questioning his credibility."
    But Garda's expansion into Florida along with similar announcements from Vision Airlines and Bing Energy earlier this year was started and nearly completed when former Gov. Charlie Crist was in office.

    While the economy dictates the fate of many politicians, Scott has made job creation the defining characteristic of his administration. But his zeal to count every new job toward his campaign promise of creating 700,000 has some questioning his credibility.

    "Despite the promise to be an outsider, he is nothing more than a typical politician who wastes money for his own ego and takes credit for other people's work," Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff said.

    Scott's office acknowledges that the three companies started the process to move to Florida while Scott was a candidate for governor. But the former hospital executive and venture capitalist portrayed himself Wednesday as the closer who stepped in and cemented the deals as a new governor.
    "Scott spokesman Brian Burgess said all 50,000 count toward the goal of 700,000 jobs in seven years."
    But the fine print of Scott's campaign promise is more nuanced.

    When Scott put out his economic plan, state economists had already estimated that Florida would gain 1 million jobs over seven years with no major change to state policy. Pressed about that, Scott said his plan accounted for that prediction and would add an additional 700,000.

    Despite a current unemployment rate of 10.8 percent, job growth is ahead of economists' projections.

    Instead of counting that difference toward Scott's goal, his office is counting every one.
    "Gov. Rick Scott takes credit for business expansion that started before he took office". See also "Canadian Security Firm Bringing 100 Jobs to Florida". But see "May jobless claims up".

    From the "values" crowd

    "Broward schools say goodbye to 1,400 teachers".

    Rove goes after DWS

    "The political group American Crossroads -- founded by Karl Rove, who orchestrated George W. Bush's presidential victories and now pontificates on FOX News -- has a new video out that goes after U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston." "Karl Rove's political group zings Wasserman Schultz as 'Debbie Downer'".

    "Law said it is designed to blunt Democratic turnout"

    "Florida officials asked the U.S. Justice Department Wednesday to approve the state's sweeping new elections law for five counties that need such preclearance under the federal Voting Rights Act."

    Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning submitted documents detailing law changes under CS/HB 1355, which Gov. Rick Scott signed into law May 18 over opposition from legislative Democrats, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP and other organizations.

    Critics of the law said it is designed to blunt Democratic turnout and weaken voter registration efforts in advance of the 2012 elections. Republican leaders said the new standards are need to eliminate the potential of election fraud.

    The ACLU of Florida, the national ACLU, and Project Vote, a Washington, D.C., voters' rights organization, sued last week in Miami federal court to stop statewide implementation of the law until Justice Department approval is obtained for the five counties.

    Browning had said earlier that he would not seek to enforce the state's new standards in Hendry, Collier, Hardee, Hillsborough and Monroe counties until receiving Justice Department approval.

    But he ordered the new law to take effect in Florida's 62 other counties, a move that triggered the ACLU legal challenge, which cited state and federal laws that require the state to have uniform elections laws.
    "Florida asks U.S. Justice Department to sign off on state's new elections law".

    Related: "The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is suing Gov. Rick Scott to stop random drug testing of state employees, a policy enacted by Scott shortly after taking office." "ACLU suing Scott for drug-testing policy".

    Brain trust

    "Watching in the front rows was Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, as well as attorneys general for the states of Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and Nebraska. Former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum also sat with Bondi. He filed the suit against the federal government hours after Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in March 2010. When McCollum left office in January, Bondi took over the case." "Legal fight continues over health care reform law". See also "Federal appeals court hears Florida-led lawsuit against health care reform".

    Slashing cop salaries

    "Hollywood officers likely to see 12.5 percent pay cut".

    "Lawmaker leveraging his influence to pad his income"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "This is the second time Rubio has been hired at FIU, a public university. In 2008, he landed a never-advertised part-time teaching post there for $69,000."

    The latest deal has been approved by the Senate Ethics Committee and is not unprecedented. But it's unseemly. It looks like a powerful lawmaker leveraging his influence to pad his income at public expense. We've criticized similar arrangements involving legislators, including Senate President Mike Haridopolos.
    "Moonlighting Marco Rubio".

    Taj Mahal motion

    "Judge Paul M. Hawkes says all of his fellow judges at the 1st District Court of Appeal participated in key decisions leading to construction of a posh $50 million courthouse many have dubbed the Taj Mahal."

    In a motion Wednesday that seeks to dismiss charges against him for conduct unbecoming a judge, Hawkes says the court and its building committee worked in concert to make almost all decisions about the granite- and mahogany-filled building.
    "Judge Paul Hawkes files motion to dismiss 'Taj Mahal' charges". See also "Judge under fire for courthouse fights back against charges".

    The best they could do?

    "John Winn, who helped create Florida's A-Plus plan under Jeb Bush, is returning to the Florida Department of Education as interim commissioner beginning Saturday."

    He'll serve until the Florida Board of Education can choose a permanent replacement for Eric Smith, who resigned under pressure from Gov. Rick Scott. That choice could come soon.

    Board members, who unanimously approved Winn's selection Wednesday, said they might hire someone as soon as they complete candidate interviews on June 20. They released an updated list of applicants that included some high-profile names they had been hoping for.
    "New applicants step forward as John Winn named interim state education commissioner". See also "Familiar face returns to briefly take over agency".

    Collective bargaining?

    "PBC schools would drop furloughs if union OKs no raises".

    Smith goes after librul media

    Nancy Smith is on fire: "Sometimes a newspaper says something so silly, so blatantly, cockamamily wrong, I need 30 minutes in a rubber room to recover." "What? Did the St. Pete Times’ Bromance With Charlie Crist Strike Editors Blind?".

    Scott "already has become a serial politician"

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "As a candidate, Rick Scott proclaimed that he was not a politician."

    That claim evaporated early, when he announced a media event to declare the accomplishments of his first week in office. Five months into the job, he already has become a serial politician. Only a serial politician would conduct a three-city bill-signing tour to take credit for legislation that he first opposed and had little to do with getting through the Legislature. ...

    It also took the governor three months to name a health department secretary. No thanks to the governor, the health department expects the database to be operational by October. Despite Gov. Scott's boasting, it was Attorney General Pam Bondi who pushed for the database and intervened to keep the legislation alive when the House and Senate couldn't reach a compromise on a bill that never should have been controversial. Gov. Scott signed the law because it was politically expedient. The politics just happen to be good for Florida.
    "Scott doctor-shops for credit: He didn't want the pill mill bill; now he has to make it work".

    No shortage of wingnuts

    "Software company owner Ron Rushing is an underdog in the 2012 U.S. Senate race. But the Windermere Republican is looking to gain some attention by standing strong for conservative principles." "Dark Horse Ron Rushing Sticks With Conservative Principles to Challenge in Bill Nelson Race".

    Gonna kill me sum bar

    "State wildlife officials say there were only a few hundred black bears in Florida in the middle of the last century, but through conservation efforts the population rebounded to more than 2,000 by the beginning of this century, even with human population pressures." "Florida Fish and Wildlife Approves Delisting of Black Bear, Other Species". See also "Long protected Florida black bear removed from threatened species list".

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: warns that "Delisting black bears must not pave way for habitat destruction, or hunting".

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