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, July 04, 2011

Experts take down Jebbie's education claims

    As Jebbie travels the nation, touting "reform primarily based on the [claimed] success of the Florida Formula on Student Achievement", experts see something entirely different.

    Most recently, William Mathis of the National Education Policy Center, sees the boasting of the man who would be President - just not yet - as mere "unsupported claims [that ignore] facts to push agenda."
    Fundamentally, Mr. Bush's presentation is based on the fallacious causal claim that his selected set of loosely coupled reforms introduced in Florida between 1992 and 2011 caused fourth-grade reading score gains ... No evidence is provided to sustain this linkage. Further, this claim ignores the fact that some of the favored reforms were implemented as late as 2010, and some are not yet implemented.
    "Review of Florida Formula for Student Achievement: Lessons for the Nation".

    "Mathis concludes:"
    Real problems are ignored. The most troubling aspect of the presentation is the avoidance of and failure to address real problems while, instead, embracing false solutions.
    "Jeb Bush's Reform Initiative Gets Reviewed". Background: "Jeb Bush to testify in Michigan Wednesday on education reform".

    ... Same as the old boss

    "Scott's political style has led him to trample a few toes inside government. But he has Hayden Dempsey, an accomplished 43-year-old lobbyist, to bring the outsider and the insiders together." "The governor's inside man".


    Bill Cotterell: "With a tumultuous legislative session for state employees, with more than 1,000 layoffs and elimination of a few thousand vacant positions, there is a lot of rumor and misinformation about personnel changes. Gov. Rick Scott and some conservative legislators proposed a few big pension changes that didn't pass, so state employees — perhaps accustomed to being scapegoats for Florida's fiscal fortunes — are understandably concerned." "Sorting out the changes in FRS".

    Thank you, President Obama

    "Central Florida school districts are saying goodbye to nearly a half a billion dollars in federal economic-recovery money this week as they close their budgets for the 2011-2012 school year. The money, part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saved thousands of teaching jobs in Florida during the past two years. It also helped support struggling schools and provided a financial cushion during a statewide economic downturn and resulting budget crisis."

    As of June 22, Florida received about $5 billion in federal stimulus money to education alone, according federal data.

    The lion's share of recovery funds went to school districts to pay for staff ...
    "Education stimulus ending for Florida schools".

    "Instant runoff voting"

    "Results of runoff elections are almost guaranteed — huge costs and few votes. Now, a group of civic activists based in Palm Beach County is touting a fix. They'd like Florida to adopt instant runoff voting, in which people rank their choices in races with more than two candidates." "Election reform: Activists say instant runoff voting would save tax money".

    Florida Republicans ditching their tricorn hats

    William March: "Some Republican fear the tea party movement that gave Republicans key wins last November could be a detriment in 2012."

    Others cite the boost in energy and enthusiasm the movement gave Republicans, which helped produce their huge wins in 2010. That makes the movement positive overall for the GOP, they say, even if it turns off the left side of the political spectrum.

    But there are hints that as the movement matures into a better-known political force, it has alienated independent and moderate voters:

    • A recent poll by a Gainesville Republican pollster and political consultant said independent voters, crucial in a statewide Florida race, look unfavorably on the Tea party movement by a 3-1 margin. National polls indicate a dip in the movement's favorability since last year.

    • A moderate Democrat beat a Tea party-oriented Republican in the recent mayor's race in Jacksonville, normally a GOP stronghold; in a special election in a GOP-dominated congressional district in New York, a Democrat won after a campaign that turned on the issue of the Medicare revamp favored by the Tea party.

    • Republican candidates in Florida and at the national level are repudiating their past stances on issues including abortion, climate change and rail transit to appeal to Tea party voters, leaving them open to flip-flopping charges from Democrats.

    "If the Republican brand and message are overshadowed by the Tea party movement, the Republican Party increases the risk of being marginalized with moderate Republicans and independents," said the analysis of a poll done by Alex Patton, Gainesville-based GOP pollster.

    Patton said his poll was leaked against his wishes and has been so controversial among Republicans he didn't want to acknowledge writing the analysis. "That quote has caused me a lot of trouble," he said.
    "Some fear tea party could hurt GOP in 2012".

    Pain at the Space Coast

    "Workers at the Kennedy Space Center always knew the end of the shuttle program would bring hard times to Florida's Space Coast. They just couldn't predict how much pain." "Fla.'s Space Coast feels pain of shuttle's end".

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