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, July 21, 2011

Florida Republicans reject $50 million in federal child-abuse prevention money

    "Florida lawmakers have rejected more than $50 million in federal child-abuse prevention money. The grants were tied to the Obama administration’s healthcare reform package, which many lawmakers oppose on philosophical grounds."
    The money, offered through the federal Affordable Health Care Act passed last year, would have paid, among other things, for a visiting nurse program run by Healthy Families Florida, one of the most successful child-abuse prevention efforts in the nation. Healthy Families’ budget was cut in last year’s spending plan by close to $10 million.
    "And because the federal Race to the Top educational-reform effort is tied to the child-abuse prevention program that Healthy Families administers, the state may also lose a four-year block grant worth an additional $100 million in federal dollars, records show."
    On Wednesday, leaders of the state House and Senate and the governor’s office all insisted they had nothing to do with rejecting the money.
    "Florida spurns $50 million for child-abuse prevention".

    Allen West, "a sideshow courtesy of Florida"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Allen West likes to be outrageous. But the Broward County Republican went too far in his latest e-mail attack." "Congress lives down to its image".

    "It's the new model for politics in Washington: Hurl incendiary words at your rival, stir the media into a frenzy, then watch the campaign cash roll in."

    The feud between South Florida Reps. Allen West and Debbie Wasserman Schultz only intensified Wednesday, a day after she criticized his position on a debt-cutting bill and he fired back with a scathing e-mail claiming Wasserman Schultz was "not a lady."

    Democrats cast West, a freshman Republican and tea party hero, as an unstable hothead and issued various fundraising appeals, while Wasserman Schultz, head of the Democratic National Committee, suggested on TV that West "cracked" under the pressure of the budget deal.

    West made his own fundraising appeal, saying he was the Democrats' No. 1 target and it was "no coincidence" their top advocate had attacked him.

    By the end of the day, it had devolved into a question whether West had apologized, as the Huffington Post reported.

    No way, West said. No way, Wasserman Schultz said.

    So it went — a sideshow courtesy of Florida.
    "Both sides could win in feud". See also "" and "Allen West ridiculed on The Colbert Report">Allen West ridiculed on The Colbert Report".

    These links from the DCCC:
    Congressman West Sent an Outrageous Email To Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz After She Highlighted the Impact of the GOP’s “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan. In July 2011, West sent an email to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz calling her “the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the U.S. House of Representatives.” He went on to write that “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” [Palm Beach Post, 7/20/11]

    West Voted for the Cut, Cap and Balance Plan that is More Extreme than the Republican Budget. The non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote: “The measure […] stands out as one of the most ideologically extreme pieces of major budget legislation to come before Congress in years, if not decades. […] The legislation would inexorably subject Social Security and Medicare to deep reductions.” [H.R. 2560, Vote #606, 7/19/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/16/11]

    West Voted for the 2012 Republican Budget Proposal that Would “Essentially End Medicare.” In April 2011, Allen West voted to end Medicare by supporting the Republican budget. The Wall Street Journal reported, “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” According to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Republican budget would end Medicare for 125,000 current Medicare beneficiaries in the district. [House Energy and Commerce Committee, 6/11; H Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

    West Tied To The Infamous Motorcycle Gang, The Outlaws, Which Denigrates Women. West has ties to “a misogynistic biker magazine, which then-candidate West submitted his bylined columns to for publication. In one issue, a column that West didn't write attacked Wasserman Schultz's sexuality and compared her to excrement.” [The Orlando Sentinel, 7/21/11]
    More: "Dems turn West snit into fundraiser".

    West plays the race card

    "Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is now making the rounds of the right-wing talk radio circuit ... His message for the GOP base: Liberals hate African-American conservatives like him for leaving their '21st-century plantation.'" "West: DNC Chair, Dems Attack Me Because I’m A Black Conservative".

    "Funneling money to religious institutions"

    "A proposed constitutional amendment to lift the ban on public funding of religious groups should be ripped from the 2012 ballot because it is 'misleading and insufficiently specific,' according to a lawsuit filed by Florida’s largest teachers union Wednesday in Leon County Circuit Court." "Teachers sue to block voters from lifting ban on public funding of religious groups". See also "Teachers union files lawsuit to stop expansion of school vouchers", "Florida Teachers Union Reopens Church-State Battle" and "Lawsuit aims to block effort to spend tax money on religious groups".

    Related: "Altman doesn't hate all of the FEA lawsuit".

    "$1.2M to an unnamed global financial services firm"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "As Florida lays off teachers, closes libraries and parks, and slashes an array of public services to deal with the recession, Hillsborough County is offering without public debate $1.2 million in tax money to an unnamed global financial services firm in return for staying put in the Tampa area." "Job deal leaves taxpayers in dark".

    "Better in theory than in actual practice"

    Mike Thomas whinges on about "the latest school-choice policy from Tallahassee, this one from Gov. Rick Scott."

    The goal is to create an escape valve for students stuck in failing or near-failing schools. ...

    Sometimes, school choice sounds much better when I espouse it as a theory than it does in actual practice.
    "Wacky world of school choice just got wackier".

    Mandy Dawson arrested

    "Former Palm Beach County lawmaker Mandy Dawson arrested on tax evasion charge".

    FRS has 22 percent gain

    Gary Fineout: "Despite campaign talk assailing the health of the state pension plan, the State Board of Administration on Wednesday released preliminary numbers that show that the Florida Retirement System had a 22 percent gain over the last fiscal year." "State pension plan gains billions during banner year". See also "Florida Pension Plan Gains $19 Billion".

    Closed-door energy meetings

    "Pro-drilling group wraps up closed-door energy meetings in Orlando".

    PBA: privatization unsafe

    "PBA chief: Prison privatization would be unsafe".

    Vern in a jam

    "In newly filed court documents, a former business partner of Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, says that not only did Buchanan know about excessive contributions to his 2006 and 2008 campaigns, he ordered them." "Buchanan’s ex-business partner fights back over campaign violation accusations".

    More: "Former business partner points finger at Buchanan". See also "Buchanan accused of ordering plan to violate election laws".

    "Florida ranks third worst nationally "

    "An environmental group says Florida ranks third worst nationally for toxic air pollution caused by coal- and oil-burning power plants. The Natural Resources Defense Council issued an analysis Wednesday that shows only Ohio and Pennsylvania are worse." "Fla. rated 3rd worst in power plant air pollution".

    GOPers need crowd control

    "Homeland Security provides crowd-control training for 2012 Republican convention".

    Medicaid deform

    "As state officials scramble to get out a federal waiver application for Florida’s Medicaid reform plans, one state representative is worried the feds will drag their feet in responding." "Rep. Matt Hudson: Watch the Feds Drag Their Feet on Waiver".

    RPOFers stride world stage

    "Ileana Ros-Lehtinen targets Middle East while Connie Mack focuses on Latin America". "Florida Republicans Take Aim at Middle East and Latin American Nations Through Foreign Aid".

    He should have vetoed it

    "Scott wants his name off election lawsuit".

    Raw political courage

    "Marco Rubio to speak at Ronald Reagan Library in Los Angeles".

    Rivera gets a challenger

    "Seeing a chance for his party to pick up a seat in Congress, Democratic state Rep. Luis Garcia [a retired Miami Beach fire chief and former city commissioner] launched his campaign Wednesday to challenge U.S. Rep. David Rivera, a Republican." "Miami lawmaker launches bid to challenge freshman House Republican". See also "Luis Garcia Enters Race Against David Rivera".

    "Obama's Jewish Support Steadies"

    "A newly released poll of Jewish American voters provides some comforting news to an Obama administration working feverishly to keep its popularity high among that group. ... The national survey, which was sponsored by the progressive-leaning, pro-Israel group J Street and designed by prominent Democratic pollster Jim Gerstein, has Jewish Americans approving of the president’s job performance by a 20-percentage point margin, with 60 percent approving and 40 percent disapproving." "Obama's Jewish Support Steadies Despite Distrust On Israel Policy".

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