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 Friday, July 08, 2011

Hasner "the Shih Tzu of the tea party"

    Daniel Ruth: "At some point almost every political campaign enters the parallel universe phase where black becomes white, day is confused with night and interpretations of history can take on a Casey Anthony-esque approach to the truth telling."
    That brings us to former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, who wants to be the Republican U.S. Senate nominee in the worst possible way, even it means rebranding himself as the Shih Tzu of the tea party.
    "Hasner, who when it comes to scholarship will never be confused with Plutarch, took the occasion of his Fourth of July gospel missive to his supporters to link the nation's economic woes to the threat Adolf Hitler's Third Reich posed to the world."
    "Today the biggest threat to our liberty is not a foreign government, but our own," the sage of Boca Raton opined, adding: "We face more restrictions on our liberties from stifling bureaucrats than from threats abroad." ...

    However, there is no evidence Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrikakorps is getting ready to invade Wauchula. ... Nor are V-1 rockets hurtling over Two Egg. ...
    "Hasner has raised a fairly modest $560,000 for his Senate bid, which will probably be enough to pay for some statewide television spots at 4 a.m. on cable's Knitting Channel 892."
    But like any huckstering glad-hander, Hasner proclaimed he was proud that he didn't raise much money since the apparent lack of interest in his political ambitions by people who could help him validates his image as a grass roots candidate fighting against dealmaking Tallahassee "insiders."

    If anyone would know how to take on "insiders" it would be Hasner, who served as a Tallahassee insider for eight years, including his stint as a dealmaking insider's insider majority leader from 2007 to 2010.

    Interesting, isn't it, how some politicians decry the evils of "insiders," while they shill and kowtow and grovel away any scintilla of self-respect or intellectual honesty to gain entry to the world's most exclusive club of insiders?
    "Hasner's formula: pander, scare, repeat". See also "Grassroots support counts more than raising green".

    Dems crossing their fingers

    Dems nationwide are crossing their fingers about the possibility of Florida's "After All, He Is Black" crowd having an earlier role say in the Republican primary process.

    "Here's something new for Florida: hold an election on a Thursday or a Saturday."

    That prospect looks more and more likely as Florida Republican leaders look to schedule the 2012 presidential primary early enough to ensure the state is crucial in picking the Republican nominee but late enough to avoid wreaking utter havoc on the national primary schedule.
    "Nothing is decided and may not be for months, but Republican leaders are leaning toward scheduling the presidential primary for Thursday, March 1, Friday, March 2, or Saturday, March 3, 2012."
    That would make it the fifth nominating contest — after Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — but would still run afoul of rules set by the Republican National Committee.
    "Florida Republican leaders push for early 2012 presidential primary date, despite threat from RNC". See also "Florida leans into March primary date".

    Ricky's big promises

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Gov. Rick Scott said he'd make himself more available to Florida's media corps during a luncheon appearance last week at the Florida Publishers Association and Florida Society of News Editors joint annual meeting. Let's hope the governor complies with his pledge. As we've said before, the governor only hurts his own cause by keeping the state's media organizations at arm's length. That was proven to be the case in this year's session, where the governor struggled to build broad support for key pieces of his agenda." "Gov. Rick Scott pledges to spend more time with Florida media organizations".

    Entrepreneurs in action

    "Even before they start boring the tunnel to the Port of Miami, executives of the multinational firm in charge of the project are asking for more money from an emergency reserve fund to cover the cost of what they say is needed grouting in the limestone beneath Biscayne Bay, where the $1 billion roadway will be built." "Firm building Miami tunnel seeks more money months before starting to drill".

    Batista crowd in a dither

    "The quest for Tampa International Airport to provide direct flights to Cuba continues weeks after many expected charter flights would have begun, following initiatives the Obama administration outlined in January." "Tampa officials, groups continue to push for Cuba flights".

    TeaBagger settles lawsuit

    "A state prosecutor and a lawyer who resigned over an order to stop speaking at tea party rallies and other conservative gatherings said Thursday they have settled a federal lawsuit she filed over her ouster."

    State Attorney Robert "Skip" Jarvis of Live Oak said his office will pay a portion of KrisAnne Hall's legal fees. Hall, a former assistant state attorney, agreed to drop her suit in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville. Both declined to say how much of her lawyer's fees the state would pay, and the information was not immediately available from public records. ...

    Hall was fired last year when she resisted Jarvis's order that she stop speaking at tea party rallies and on talk-radio programs in the North Florida area. Jarvis maintained that, even though Hall traveled and spoke on her own time and stated that she was not speaking for the state attorney's office, her activities inevitably reflected on the Third Circuit prosecutor's office.

    Hall argued that she did not give up her First Amendment rights when she became a state employee. She said she did not take sides in partisan elections but only taught people about the original intent of the nation's founders.

    Jarvis, who is up for re-election next year, was picketed by Hall supporters at his Live Oak office. Some political candidates last year rallied around Hall, but Jarvis insisted the issue had become a test of an employer's ability to control activities of employees that reflect on an agency.

    Hall will not get her job back under the agreement.
    "Jarvis, lawyer settle federal suit".

    Like flies to a corpse

    "Florida’s political and legal leadership continued to react Thursday to a jury finding Casey Anthony not guilty of murder or manslaughter in the case of her dead 2-year-old daughter, Caylee." "Florida Politicians, Lawyers Continue to Respond to Casey Anthony Decision". See also "Florida lawmakers introduce 'Caylee's Law' in response to case" and "Florida Senate ready to start work on a 'Caylee's law' this fall".

    Wingnuts with bucks

    "A Republican-leaning fundraising group with ties to GOP strategist Karl Rove has launched a new phase of its $20 million ad campaign attacking Democrats. Crossroads GPS is running television ads targeting five Democratic senators up for re-election in 2012. They are Bill Nelson of Florida ..." "GOP-leaning group hits Democrats in new TV ads".


    "SunRail watch: How to make it work, unlike TriRail".

    Harder to challenge the language of a ballot measure

    "Florida GOP legislators slipped new little-noticed rules into this year’s elections bill that make it harder to challenge the language of a ballot measure, just as two controversial amendments made their way onto the 2012 ballot." "Elections overhaul makes it harder to challenge 2012 ballot measures".

    "Scott's primary threat"

    Kevin Derby: "Rick Scott's Primary Threat Is in the General Election".

    Never mind the pollution

    "The chorus of voices speaking out against a set of strict pollution standards to govern state waterways continues to grow. An Orlando meeting scheduled for July 25-27 will deal almost solely with the economic impact of the nutrient criteria, which industry leaders say will cost Floridians billions." "Conference on economic impact of new EPA water rules scheduled for late July". Related: "Infographic: Florida's best and worst beach water quality by county".

    Florida's all-Republican Cabinet a "millionaires club"

    "When Gov. Rick Scott and the all-Republican Florida Cabinet meet, it's mostly a millionaires club, new financial disclosure reports show." "Florida Cabinet mostly a millionaires club - only Bondi worth less". Related: "Scott remains far wealthier than other statewide elected officials".

    Florida GOPers eying Social Security and Medicare

    "As President Obama signaled Thursday that he was willing to negotiate a wide-reaching deficit agreement that could include previously untouchable entitlement programs including Social Security and Medicare, Florida's Congressional representatives said they may not be so willing yet to strike a deal." "Florida Republicans, Democrats not ready for a debt deal yet".

    Allen West is positively drooling: "Shocker: Congressman Allen West 'commends' Obama".

    The cost of manatees

    "Does protecting manatees mean water will cost more?"

    "Reducing taxes has no discernible impact on job growth"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editors courageously state the obvious: "tax cuts don't produce jobs". They write:

    It's a modicum of good news that Florida's unemployment rate has declined to 10.6 percent, the lowest since August 2009. But it would be a mistake for Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers to seize upon these numbers to justify further reducing Florida's already low corporate income tax rate to woo new companies here. Contrary to the common mantra of the state's Republican leaders, tax cuts don't produce jobs. Good schools, strong infrastructure and a good quality of life seem to be far better inducements for corporate relocation.
    "Florida has the fifth lowest corporate income tax rate in the country at 5.5 percent, trailing only South Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming and Nevada — states hardly in Florida's league. Yet Florida's unemployment rate remains far higher than the 9.1 percent national average."
    Recently, both a Tax Foundation study and University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith have argued that reducing taxes has no discernible impact on job growth.
    "Tax cut mantra collides with facts".

    Imagine that

    "To avoid a projected $25 million shortfall in next year's budget, Hollywood's finance director called for increasing property tax rates and fire protection fees at a Thursday workshop. On the upside, no additional layoffs or pay cuts were calculated into the city's financial blueprint and depleted reserves would be replenished." "Hollywood may raise tax rates and fire fees".

    Ballard settles lawsuit over home infested with rotted wood

    "Lobbyist Brian Ballard and novelist Jeffrey Shaara have quietly settled a contentious lawsuit in which Shaara accused Ballard of selling him a nearly $1 million home infested with rotted wood." "Lobbyist Brian Ballard, author Jeffrey Shaara settle lawsuit over sale of home".

    Does Bondi need a lawyer?

    "Bondi said she relied on her accountant when completing her 2009 form as a candidate and used that as a template for the 2010 disclosure. Nancy Watkins, one of Florida's best-known Republican campaign finance managers, was Bondi's campaign treasurer. Watkins did not return a call for comment." "Attorney General Pam Bondi will amend disclosure form that shows no income for 2010, no bank accounts". More: "Bondi will change her financial disclosure forms".

    Silly constitution keeps gettin' in the way

    "Right now 399 inmates, including three females, await their fate on Florida's death row. But the state has executed just 69 people since the death penalty was reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976."

    The status of the death penalty in the Sunshine State is far from settled -- and, with the death of toddler Caylee Anthony and the emotional trial of her mother, the issue has suddenly sprung to life again.

    Here is the problem: With the current rate of executions, it would take the state of Florida nearly 200 years to execute the prisoners currently on death row. Inevitably, with the backlog, some of them will see their sentence effectively commuted to life in prison.

    But that's not the only problem plaguing Florida's death penalty. A recent ruling from a Miami federal judge has called into question the state's entire method of arriving at death sentences.
    "Florida Death Row Problem Resurfaces".

    Plus he was mean to Dubya

    "Florida Republican Congressman Connie Mack, the chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, turned up the heat on Venezuela this week and called for the Obama administration to include that South American nation on the list of countries that are recognized as state sponsors of terrorism. " "Connie Mack Calls for U.S. to List Venezuela as State Sponsor of Terror".

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