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 Sunday, July 10, 2011

GOP policies drain millions out of Florida's local economies

    Florida Republicans are discovering that their race to the bottom has adverse economic consequences: "State budget cuts will begin draining millions of dollars out of the local economy this month as government employees see their paychecks shrink. The average government worker in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties will lose $1,151 annually as the state". "Smaller salaries for government workers, worries for businesses that rely on their patronage". Related: "Unemployment rate worse for South Florida blacks" and "Volusia space shuttle workers face layoffs". More: "Inmate labor rankles".

    Scott appears "combative, callous or indifferent"

    Lloyd Dunkelberger points out that "while pollsters generally agree Florida's Rick Scott is among the most unpopular governors in America -- if not the most unpopular -- the reasons behind his bad numbers are harder to pinpoint."

    A series of polls over the last two months show large segments of Florida's population, ranging from women to Hispanics to independent voters, have been turned off by the governor.

    Some polling data suggests his plunge in popularity -- which was never that high, given his narrow victory over Democrat Alex Sink in November -- is related to some of his policy decisions, including calling for a more austere state budget that included the elimination of thousands of state jobs and major cuts in school spending.
    "But style also appears to be a factor, with the governor appearing by turns to be combative, callous or indifferent to the effect of some of his decisions."
    Scott's downward track was noted first with a Quinnipiac University poll in May, showing 57 percent of Florida voters disapproved of Scott, with 29 percent supporting him.

    In mid-June, polls from Republican and Democratic pollsters continued to show more Floridians disapproved of the governor than approved of him.

    His best poll, from the Republican firm Viewpoint Florida, showed 51 percent of voters disapproved, with 45 percent in support.

    A poll from Public Policy Polling showed 59 percent of Floridians disapproved of Scott, with 33 percent in support.

    "I think that voters are tired of him being so controversial and looking like he just wants to pick a fight with everyone," said Tom Jensen, director of the Democratic Public Policy Polling.
    "Jensen said Scott's numbers were the worst among any governor, citing the company's surveys in some 40 states."
    Quinnipiac said Scott's numbers were lowest in the roughly dozen states where that university does its surveys, including some of the largest swing states.

    Taken as a whole, the polls showed Scott drawing the strongest opposition from Democrats, women, younger voters and minority groups.

    The PPP poll showed Hispanic voters disapproving by 69-28 percent and black voters, a strong Democratic constituency, by a 90-4 percent.
    Much more: "Causes of Rick Scott's low ratings hard to nail down".

    "Mianigi prefers to stay in the shadows"

    A lenthy puff piece by Mary Ellen Klas: "The most influential person in Gov. Rick Scott’s inner circle is unknown to most people in Florida, including Tallahassee’s political elite who make it their job to know everything."

    That’s because Enu Mainigi, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer and the governor’s confidante, prefers to stay in the shadows. ...

    Mainigi is a devoted Republican, but acknowledges she is more socially moderate than Scott. She’s married to John Walke, a Democrat and director of the clean air program for the National Resources Defense Council.
    Much more here: "Scott’s confidante Enu Mianigi keeps low profile".

    Ricky wants 500,000 more registered RPOFers

    "Scott implored nearly 200 St. Lucie County Republicans on Friday that the party needs 500,000 more registered voters statewide. The additional voters are needed to ensure the GOP's dominance in the state government, to unseat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and to further the conservative agenda, he said." "Scott attempts to rally GOP voter registration during dinner in Port St. Lucie".

    SunRail spurs

    "When Gov. Rick Scott gave the green light for building SunRail — the commuter train linking DeLand with Poinciana through downtown Orlando — the good news wasn't limited to those along the Interstate 4 corridor." "SunRail's approval spurs talk of link to Lake, northwest Orange".

    "Romney may be able to have it both ways"

    "Looks like Mitt Romney may be able to have it both ways on the Florida GOP's Presidency 5 straw poll in September. On the one hand, Romney has declared he won't be campaigning for Florida's straw poll in Orlando, or others elsewhere. But Romney is making sure he spends a lot of time with Presidency 5 straw poll voters just before it takes place." "In for straw poll".

    You can thank Ricky for this

    "SunRail costs up by almost $5 million because of Scott's delay".

    "Not suspicious types"

    "Talk about an early start. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater last week opened a campaign account to start raising money for 2014. Good thing we're not suspicious types. Otherwise we'd be speculating about whether someone was amassing money for a re-election campaign knowing he could transfer it to a gubernatorial campaign should the opportunity present itself." "2014 fundraising".

    Rubio's Teabaggery

    "One of Marco Rubio's first national backers in his seemingly quixotic campaign against Charlie Crist was Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Now Rubio has written the forward to DeMint's new book about the tea party movement, The Great American Awakening: Two Years That Changed America, Washington and Me." "Forward by Rubio".

    Hastings asks court to throw out harassment claims

    "Congressman Alcee Hastings asked a court Saturday to throw out claims that he subjected a former employee to sexual harassment and retaliation when he was co-chairman of an independent U.S. agency. The Florida Democrat said the case should be handled according to congressionally-approved administrative and judicial remedies — and not the U.S. District Court in Washington, where the plaintiff, Winsome Packer, lodged her complaint. " "Hastings calls for dismissal of sexual harassment case".

    Obama's ambassador hits town

    "Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor and ambassador to China, makes his first visit to the Tampa area." "Huntsman visits Bay area, believes record will win GOP voters".

    Contracts awarded to companies linked to Workforce board members

    "Florida's 24 regional work-force boards pride themselves on helping unemployed Floridians get back on the job. But they're also pretty good at finding work for their board members." "State work-force agencies gave board members big contracts".

    Barriers to Hispanic health care access

    "Research conducted by California Latinas for Reproductive Justice shows that immigrant women feel their culture is creating a barrier to proper health care access." "Survey: Latinas say 'service providers not understanding their culture' is a barrier to health care access".

    Nelson holds Puerto Rican town hall

    "Democrat [sic]* leaders, including U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, held a town hall meeting Saturday to listen to the concerns and garner the support of Puerto Ricans living in Central Floirda [sic]." "Nelson, other Dems reach out to Puerto Ricans in Orlando".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *The alleged journalist who penned this piece is less than informed about the names of the major U.S. political parties: it is the "Democratic" Party not "Democrat" Party. As explained in an old New Yorker column by Hendrik Hertzberg, "there’s no great mystery about the motives behind this deliberate misnaming. 'Democrat Party' is a slur, or intended to be—a handy way to express contempt. Aesthetic judgments are subjective, of course, but 'Democrat Party' is jarring verging on ugly. It fairly screams 'rat.' At a slightly higher level of sophistication, it’s an attempt to deny the enemy the positive connotations of its chosen appellation." "The 'ic' Factor".

    "Gasbags posing as seasoned courtroom veterans"

    Carl Hiaasen: "A true headline among the flurry of stories posted on Yahoo following the Casey Anthony verdict: 'Kim Kardashian weighs in.' It’s fairly horrifying that anyone gives a rat’s ass about Kim Kardashian’s take on the Anthony case. On the other hand, she couldn’t be more clueless than some of the motor mouths who landed TV gigs as 'legal experts' during the trial coverage."

    Never have the airwaves and bandwidths of this country been so clogged with gasbags posing as seasoned courtroom veterans, or lightweight has-beens seeking to jump-start their careers.

    High on Casey-mania, cable networks such as HLN were frantic to fill airtime with talking heads, and by the end of the trial you wondered if they were just yanking random lawyers out of the hallways and shoving them in front of the camera.
    "Casey-mania and the talking heads".

    Mike Thomas: "Jury was right to acquit Casey Anthony". Related: "Florida Politicians, Lawyers Continue to Respond to Casey Anthony Decision".

    "Sentimental journey"

    The Miami Herald editors: "With last shuttle flight, Florida must hustle to keep and grow an $8 billion business". "Sentimental journey".

    Courtesy of the "values" crowd

    "At an age when most professionals hit their peak earning years, [this teacher] is now trying to figure out if he can still afford basic cable TV, Friday night pizza and the cellphones that keep him in touch with his teenage daughters." "Salary setbacks test teachers' love for the job".

    "Orange County to lead the state in growth"

    "Orange County is expected to lead the state in growth for the next 30 years, adding nearly 670,000 residents by 2040, according to the latest projections from theUniversity of Florida." "Orange expected to lead Florida growth next 30 years".

    Palm Beach Post hit piece on firemen

    In an unbalanced hit piece on fire-rescue personnel, The Palm Beach Post whinges that "more than half of Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue's employees were paid over $90,000 [presumably pretax] in the 2010 budget year, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of the department's payroll. ... The department serves property owners in unincorporated areas and 17 municipalities." "More than half of county's fire-rescue employees earn more than $90,000".

    The story carefully fails to mention how many hours a week - over and above 40 hours - these fire-rescue personnel work (hence the reference to annual salary rather than hourly rates); whether the numbers cited are gross, pretax income; how much was overtime is included in the calculations; and conveniently neglects to mention the 3% pay cut received on July 1 due to the FRS legislation in Tally. Also unmentioned is how frequently the average fire-rescue worker is up to her elbows in our blood, urine, vomit and feces as they save our corpulent No dearth of girth in Florida">asses.

    Meanwhile, "Many South Florida cities amass large reserve funds".

    Graham likes Iorio

    "We asked former Sen. Bob Graham who the future strong statewide Democratic candidates are, and, intriguingly, he tossed out just one name. ... Pam Iorio". "Bob Graham names one promising Democrat for Florida: Pam Iorio".

    "Crass thoughts"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Not that local officials are thinking of anything other than public safety when they install red-light cameras, but maybe they should entertain the crass thought -- for the first time, no doubt -- that these cameras will not turn out to be the ATMs of law enforcement." "Traffic cameras won't end budget woes".

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