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 Saturday, July 09, 2011

"Firefighters fought to save their comrades"

    As the rest of us push paper and whine about public employee pensions, please remember how "Florida firefighters who died while battling a blaze in northeast Florida were blinded by excessive smoke and ... poor visibility hindered their ability to escape. The Agriculture Department's report Friday also noted that interference on radio communication channels created some confusion as other firefighters fought unsuccessfully to somehow save their comrades who died in the June 20 wildfire in Hamilton County." "Investigation completed on firefighter deaths".

    These men were burned alive, and their families deprived of husbands and fathers, as the Florida Legislature cut their already measly pay.

    Hacker claims he got into website with voting records

    "Florida was the joke of tech websites this week after a hacker boasted he tapped the 'inside details of Florida voting systems.'"

    Twice in a week, the anonymous Twitter user @Abhaxas posted links to lists of voting-related files.

    “Who still believes voting isn’t rigged?” he wrote above one list. “If the United States government can’t even keep their ballot systems secure, why trust them at all? FAIL!”

    Except he didn’t breach any voting systems, the Florida Division of Elections says. And a major Web vendor to most of the state’s elections supervisors, VR Systems, doesn’t use the same kind of servers accessed by the hacker.

    “To my knowledge, we have had no instance of hacking on any of our services,” said Fred Schmidt, VR Systems’ manager of applications development.

    So what did the hacker get?
    "Did hacker get ’inside details’ of Florida voting systems’?".

    Bondi tries again

    "Attorney General Pam Bondi on Friday filed an amended 2010 financial disclosure form. The move came the day after the Times/Herald reported that she failed to include personal bank accounts on her 2009 and 2010 financial disclosure forms." "Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi files amended disclosure form".

    Ricky flip flops again

    "Camping plan is out". See also "Florida Gov. Scott retreats on state parks plan".

    Scott's man crush

    "Healthy competition. Friendly rivalry. Man crush. Call it what you will, but Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a major case of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on the brain." "Governor ID: The Rick edition".

    State House 75

    "Two more candidates jumped in the race for state House 75, bringing the field to four seeking the post Rep. Trudi Williams, R-south Lee County, gives up after next year because of term limits. Republican Ray Rodrigues of Estero, and Libertarian William Tolp of North Naples filed their papers for the seat - which allows them to start raising money - but both also say they'll be watching to see how the district lines may change. Rodrigues, vice chairman of Lee County's Republican Executive Committee, has run for countywide office twice before, for elections supervisor and school board, and lost in the Republican primary." "Four file to run in race for House 75 seat".

    "Tiny rise in South Florida home prices"

    "Data show tiny rise in South Florida home prices in first half of 2011".

    Daddy's boy

    "From his perch on a congressional subcommittee, Florida Republican Congressman Gus Bilirakis insisted that the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a role to play in stimulating economic growth while still protecting the nation." "Gus Bilirakis Joins Probe of Department of Homeland Security".

    Entrepreneurs in action

    "A small home-based Florida company has won a $207,784 contract to 'improve employment services' for 25 individuals treated for mental illnesses. "

    Wilson's resume lists no academic credentials in mental-health -- and that raises further questions about any special expertise she may have in the field.

    Holding a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's in communications, Wilson completed a course for "certified mental health first-aid instructors," a program of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare.

    "Like journalism, you learn it in the field," the self-described "social entrepreneur" told Sunshine State News.
    "State Intern Contract: Turning 'Diversity Into Dollars'?".

    Another RPOF unfunded mandate

    "Keeping early voting could cost Palm Beach County taxpayers more after changes imposed by the Florida Legislature threaten to worsen the local budget squeeze. The Legislature cut the number of days early voting is allowed from 14 to eight, while increasing the hours early voting sites can operate. Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said that will require her to open more voting sites and pay poll workers overtime for extended hours to accommodate the expected crowds." "Legislature's changes to early voting could cost Palm Beach County".

    Meanwhile, RPOFers want tax cuts

    "The state's unemployment rate in May was 10.6 percent, down from 10.8 percent in April and 11.3 percent a year ago. State officials will release June jobs statistics July 22." "Jobs report 'awful from start to finish'".

    Its the constitution, stoopid

    "In a decision that could open the gate to flood of lawsuits, the Florida Supreme Court on Friday rejected a key part of a 2005 law that made it harder to sue for asbestos-related injuries." "Florida Supreme Court rejects asbestos claim limit".

    'Ya reckon?

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board this morning: "Results from a groundbreaking study prove what many health care advocates have assumed but some fiscal conservatives questioned: Being enrolled in Medicaid is better for the poor than being uninsured."

    Researchers with the respected National Bureau of Economic Research — a private, nonprofit and nonpartisan research firm — found that people who go from being uninsured to being insured under the state-federal program for low-income Americans are more likely to take care of their health and feel healthier, happier and more financially stable. For millions of uninsured Americans, the research suggests that the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act in 2014 cannot come soon enough.

    It would seem obvious that when low-income people go from being uninsured to being covered under Medicaid that their access to medical treatment improves, as does their peace of mind. But some conservatives, including an expert with the American Enterprise Institute, have suggested that academic research points to the opposite conclusion: that doctors are so reluctant to take Medicaid patients due to the program's low reimbursement rates that uninsured people who pay cash, rely on emergency rooms or even charity care are better off.
    Much more here: "Medicaid's healthy dividend".

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