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 Thursday, July 07, 2011

Florida’s $100 million man

    "Scott remains far wealthier than other statewide elected officials". "The hospital executive-turned-investor earned $11.5 million from investment income, interest and consulting fees, according to a recently filed financial disclosure form. That’s more than the $8.3 million he reported in 2009 and the $3.7 million he earned in 2008." "Scott: Florida’s $100 million governor". See also "Financial Disclosures: Rick Scott's Income Takes a Knock" and "Scott's net worth halved in 2010, but still tops for a Florida governor at $103 million".

    Bits and Pieces

    Kevin Derby's "Political Bits and Pieces".

    Death penalty "a dangerously faulty process"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Florida's death penalty is costly to administer, fraught with legal pitfalls and, according to at least one federal district judge, unconstitutional."

    But the legislative agency charged with evaluating the way the state administers the death penalty ceased to exist last week — even as Gov. Rick Scott signed his first death warrant.
    "Now Florida has no mechanism for scrutinizing the fairness, accuracy or efficacy of the state's death penalty."
    As a fiscal conservative looking to make government work better, Scott should not be satisfied with the problem-ridden status quo. He should use his executive authority to create a task force to do a comprehensive review of the state's death penalty. ...

    Florida has the dubious honor of exonerating 23 inmates sentenced to death, more than any other state, which is indicative of a dangerously faulty process.
    "Florida's flawed death penalty system".

    "Dems edge GOPers"

    "A poll released by a left-leaning North Carolina polling shop Wednesday found that Florida voters are against the Ryan Medicare plan and aren't completely on board with gay marriage, but they love the Florida Gators."

    * Forty percent of voters oppose U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare overhaul, with 24 percent supporting it.

    * On gay marriage, 53 percent think it should remain illegal, while 37 percent support it. However, only 31 percent said there should be no legal recognition at all of same sex couples.

    * Generally, Dems edge GOPers in a popularity contest.
    "PPP survey says Floridians like Dems a tad more than GOP, love the Gators (Public Policy Polling surveyed 848 Florida voters from June 16 to June 19 with a margin of error for the survey at 3.4 percent.)"

    New RPOF communications director

    "Brian Hughes is the new communications director for the Republican Party of Florida. He moves over from Gov. Rick Scott's office, where he served as deputy communications director." "Hughes named RPOF communications director".

    Raw political courage

    "In response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in March that appears to threaten a Florida law making it illegal to disturb military funerals, state Rep. Pat Rooney, R-Palm Beach Gardens, has proposed a bill that would create a 500-foot buffer around military funerals." "Rooney files funeral protest bill in reaction to Supreme Court free speech decision". More political courage: "South Florida legislator crafts 'Caylee's Law'".

    Workers' comp carrier on hook for exploitation

    "A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee ruled on Tuesday that Luis Aragon was entitled to benefits after falling from a roof at a Jacksonville job site, suffering injuries to his foot and arm. ... Concluding that the employer, HDV Construction Systems, should have known it had an undocumented worker in its employ, the judges said it was only right that the company foot the bill. To rule otherwise, the judges said, would have put Aragon's medical bills on the taxpayers, presumably through unreimbursed emergency-room care."

    Robin Stublen, a tea party activist and proponent of E-Verify, said Florida's workers' comp board should look into levying fines against employers who hire illegals and that offending companies' books should be audited.

    And he wasn't ready to cut Aragon any slack, either.

    "No one forced this man to come here. He knew, or should have known, that he was breaking our laws. He should not be rewarded for breaking those laws," Stublen said.
    "Lawmakers Blast 'Illegal' Workers' Compensation Case".

    Feds will have less influence in redistricting

    "As Tallahassee legislators prepare to set new lines for the 2012 elections, it looks as if federal lawmakers will have even less influence than usual."

    The two state lawmakers in charge of redistricting have pledged not to meet with lobbyists representing members of Congress looking to safeguard their seats. Similarly, they've prohibited their staff from including incumbents' home addresses on draft maps of future districts so as not to influence the new boundaries.

    The tack has Senate reapportionment chair Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, predicting a major shake-up in how Florida's congressional districts are configured.

    "I would be surprised [when the maps are done] if there are not incumbents who discover they no longer live in the districts they represent," Gaetz said.

    Thanks to a population boom during the past decade, Florida will add two new U.S. House seats to the 25 the state already has — and which Republicans control by a 19-to-6 margin. How — and where — those new seats are drawn will have a significant impact on the next decade of elections.

    Complicating matters is a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2010 that expressly forbids the Legislature from drawing congressional districts that "favor or disfavor an incumbent or political party." The so-called Fair Districts measure also pushes lawmakers to create seats that are "compact" and respect city or county lines.
    "Butt out on redistricting, Florida legislators tell Congress".

    The best Pawlewnty could do?

    "GOP Presidential Candidate Tim Pawlenty Gets the Backing of Future House Leadership". See also "Florida brass back Pawlenty".

    Rubio, Ros-Lehtinen would chase kids across state lines

    "Florida GOP lawmakers recently introduced federal legislation requiring each state to uphold other states’ parental notification before abortion laws in both chambers of Congress. The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (aka CIANA) was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in an effort to correct a 'loophole' in abortion laws that allows a minor to cross state lines in order obtain an abortion without notifying her parents."

    Critics of the bill claim that it is "hopelessly complicated," as well as unnecessary.
    "Rubio and Ros-Lehtinen’s ‘hopelessly complicated’ abortion bill". At the same time, "New website aims to expose supposed ‘pro-choice violence’".

    Big of him

    "The new chief of staff to Gov. Rick Scott , Steve MacNamara, sent out a blanket email to his contacts from his personal account reminding them of his new job and the changes it might bring. The message was clear: Starting July 5, any emails that aren't personal in nature will be immediately forwarded to his personal account and be subject to public record requests." "Scott's new aide says his personal email account will be public record".

    Piece by piece

    "More than 400 people packed a senior center in Dunedin while hundreds more clamored to get in. In Crawfordville, some speakers among the crowd of about 100 said the proposal for 120 camp sites at Wakulla Springs appears rushed." "Hundreds pack into DEP public hearings on proposals for campgrounds in state parks".

    Scott looking at a challenger?

    "In a recent poll of Florida Current readers, respondents said that they thought Scott would draw a GOP challenger because some Republicans think Scott will lose in the general election. This view is perhaps reinforced by the drop in Scott's approval ratings. A Quinnipiac University poll released in late May that found that 57 percent of voters disapprove of the job the governor is doing. Public Policy Polling released a poll last week that found that 59 percent of those surveyed disapproved of Scott. Even so, Scott stated that he will seek re-election in 2014." "Readers think Rick Scott will draw Republican challenger in 2014 election".

    State employees dropping

    "Applications to the state's deferred retirement program, known as DROP, spiked leading up July 1, when major changes to the public pension plan took effect. The numbers haven't been tallied yet, but state Department of Management Services Kris Purcell said it is "safe to say significantly higher than most years and higher than last year."" "DROP gets lots of new members with pension changes".

    "Welcome back, Jim Crow"

    Echoing what The Miami Herald editorial board wrote back in March in "Welcome back, Jim Crow" about Florida's toughening the felons’ rights-restoration process,

    Former President Bill Clinton Wednesday compared GOP efforts to limit same-day voter registration and block some convicted felons from voting to Jim Crow laws and poll taxes.

    In a speech to liberal youth activists Wednesday, the former president called out proposals in battleground states like Florida and Ohio that could limit the voter rolls.
    "Bill Clinton likens GOP effort to Jim Crow laws".

    Gimenez takes the reins

    "As Miami-Dade County’s new mayor, Carlos Gimenez, formally took office, he said his priorities include reducing the property-tax rate and making government more efficient." "New Miami-Dade mayor takes ceremonial oath".

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