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 Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Scott's "communications strategy that defies parody"

    "Scott’s public communications playbook is by now familiar. He listens intently to questions and acknowledges them with a low-pitched, 'Sure.' For a brief second, it’s possible to think that the governor is about to provide a real answer."
    But as surely as night will follow day and Lucy Van Pelt will yank away the football that Charlie Brown is about to kick, Scott switches to tired talking points that usually begin with, "Step one ..." Even our most highly decorated journalists can’t move the governor off a communications strategy that defies parody.
    "In the Sherman Edwards-Peter Stone musical history lesson '1776,' Founding Father John Adams inveighs against a Continental Congress that can only 'Piddle Twiddle and Resolve.'"
    What would Adams say about the twits and wisdom of Scott’s top flack, Brian Burgess, who has acquired a cult following for his tweet-length diatribes against reporters who displease him?

    Burgess is paid $110,000 a year for his public service as a reporter-wrangler. According to a recent TaxWatch study, that’s a drop in a $12 million public relations bucket.

    In his first state of the state speech, Scott bragged about selling the state airplanes. "Burdening taxpayers with these ongoing expenses is irresponsible and not a core function for government to meet the state's critical needs," Scott said.

    One could say the same about taxpayer-funded media critics.
    "Rick Scott Communications Playbook Wide Open at Press Convention".

    The Week Ahead

    "During a light holiday week, the highlight of the week will be the final space shuttle launch on Friday. Plus, the Department of Environmental Protection holds public workshops on controversial proposals to allow private vendors to build campgrounds in state parks." "The Week Ahead for July 5-July 8".

    "Pink Slip Puppet"

    "In a new YouTube clip titled 'Mike Haridopolos–Pink Slip Puppet,' the progressive group Florida Watch Action uses a series of short sound bites to tie Florida Senate President and U.S. Senate hopeful Haridopolos to Gov. Rick Scott, specifically highlighting his positions on education funding, offshore drilling and high-speed rail. Check it out after the jump." "Florida Watch Action ties Haridopolos to Scott in new video clip".

    Why not raise wages?

    "The Legislature in May attempted to enact a statewide E-Verify program that, under one amendment, would have required all state agencies to use the system to check immigration status of employees. But the E-Verify portion of the bill failed after an impassioned plea by Sen. JD Alexander."

    The Central Florida farmer suggested that the E-Verify requirement could have wrecked the state’s farming, hotel and construction industries because it would make it difficult to find workers since few U.S. citizens want those jobs. ...

    The Central Florida farmer suggested that the E-Verify requirement could have wrecked the state’s farming, hotel and construction industries because it would make it difficult to find workers since few U.S. citizens want those jobs.

    "Americans don’t want to do it," Alexander said during an emotional debate May 3. ...

    One of the business leaders who spoke Tuesday was Jose Gonzalez, vice president for governmental affairs for Associated Industries of Florida, a Tallahassee-based group that represents 10,000 employers and lobbies Florida government.

    Gonzalez suggested that the proposed state E-Verify program that failed earlier this year could have deprived the state of essential workers needed for the hospitality, farming and construction industries.
    "Florida business leaders oppose E-Verify immigration bill".

    Say again, - Floridians don't want to work in the "farming, hotel and construction industries"?

    We respectfully suggest that Floridians do want to work in the "farming, hotel and construction industries", but are unable to because millionaire farmers, hoteliers and contractors do not want to pay fair wages and benefits to Floridians, but would rather exploit workers who are afraid to unionize or assert minimum wage laws or other statutory protections.

    Four candidates file to fill Hill seat

    "With state Sen. Tony Hill, D-Jacksonville, resigning his seat to serve in the administration of newly elected Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, the four candidates who filed to run for the seat in 2012 are moving up their calendars to take part in a special election later this year." "Senate Candidates Changing Plans for Special Election on First Coast".

    Ruining your resume

    "Six of nine high-level vacancies have been filled since the administration of Gov. Rick Scott cleared out most top officials in the Department of Environmental Protection. The two modified positions with vacancies are water policy director and deputy secretary of water policy and ecosystems projects, which was formerly the deputy director for policy and planning." "DEP still working to fill high level vacancies, including modified positions".

    Wingnuts run wild

    "Florida Libertarian Party demands arrest of TSA agents".

    Trib editors drooling by the bucket

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board publishes a Chamber of Commerce press release: "NLRB pleases unions by strangling economy".

    "Insider poll"

    "A strong plurality of our insiders — 37 — view LeMieux as the strongest general election candidate, compared with 27 for Hasner, 11 for Haridopolos and two for McCalister. But among Republicans, 16 said Hasner was strongest in the general, 13 said LeMieux and nine said Haridopolos." "Introducing the St. Petersburg Times' Florida Insider Poll".

    Your tax dollars at work

    "As a candidate, Scott bashed Tallahassee’s special interests and derided the business-as-usual style of state politicians. As governor, he needed to make nice with the Capitol crowd that largely runs the town. He needed Hayden Dempsey — a 43-year-old lobbyist, Jeb Bush hand and an early Scott supporter"

    who as special counsel and legislative affairs director earns $140,000 a year.*
    "Dempsey’s work impressed Scott, who said in an interview that Dempsey 'did a real good job'" during the session.
    But not everyone was impressed. Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole, said he’s known Dempsey for years but didn’t hear a peep from the governor’s senior staff all session.
    "Hayden Dempsey: Gov. Rick Scott’s valuable insider".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *Meanwhile, "State workers get pink slip under Gov. Rick Scott's budget".

    The best he could do

    "Gov. Rick Scott will add 200 more jobs to his tally this week when he trumpets the opening of Keystone terminal at the port in Jacksonville, and the terminal’s first customer, Vulcan Materials." "Scott to Trumpet Port Terminal in Jobs Hunt".

    Ending medicare

    "U.S. Rep. Deutch tells seniors Medicare benefits shouldn't be cut".

    GOP security challenge

    "Tampa's GOP convention a security challenge".

    "Playing both sides against the middle"

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "State lawmakers insist they are following the letter of the law, and the will of the people, on redistricting. They say so even as they're poised to fight a very popular constitutional amendment requiring new congressional and legislative boundaries be drawn with competition in mind, not lawmakers' own job security. Talk about playing both sides against the middle." "State legislators have heavy lift with reapportionment".

    Raw political courage

    "Tax breaks, Hall of Fame, free park entry among new veteran perks in Sunshine State". "Gov. Rick Scott Salutes Veterans, Touts New Laws". See also "Scott touts Florida's 'military-friendly' perks for active-duty members and vets".

    Hughes bolts Guv's office

    "Gov. Rick Scott's spokesman, Brian Hughes, is leaving to become the chief mouthpiece of the Republican Party of Florida. Don't call it a shakeup, though, unless Trey Stapleton was forced out." "Scott spokesman goes to GOP". See also "Another departure for Scott administration".

    Collective bargaining, Florida style

    "Teachers will return to school in August without pay raises awarded annually for length of service, and will face insurance premium hikes of 19 percent for themselves and up to 44 percent for dependents. Younger teachers will also lose thousands of dollars upon retirement after the district halved a bonus for each unused sick day paid upon retirement." "Manatee teachers reject contract, but get no say".

    Dems struggle to connect with Hispanics

    "Florida Democrats have seen their registration numbers swell in recent years, due in large part to a surge in Hispanic voters. But despite their success on paper, state Democratic officials are struggling to connect with Hispanics, who have little representation among the party's Florida leadership. That could spell trouble not just for the future of the party in a state that's now nearly a quarter Latino, but also for President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who will be counting on Latino support during tough races next year."Florida Democrats have seen their registration numbers swell in recent years, due in large part to a surge in Hispanic voters."Florida Democrats struggle to capitalize on Hispanic surge".

    "Nostalgic for Crist"

    "League of Women Voters nostalgic for Crist".

    GOPer blame the unemployed

    "State Sen. Nancy Detert and state Rep. Doug Holder, who represent each other, carried a set of changes to Florida’s unemployment compensation system through the Legislature this year, and had good things to say about the new law after Gov. Rick Scott signed it last week." "Unemployment compensation and the 'job tax'".

    Greer lawyers up

    "Former Republican Party of Florida chair Jim Greer has same attorney as Casey Anthony".

    Luv 4 sale

    "The Haridopolos campaign says it raised more than $900,000 in the last quarter. No cash-on-hand numbers are available. Spokesman Tim Baker said they're very pleased with the haul, which comes on the heels of a big debut fundraising quarter that brought in $2.6 million." "Haridopolos fundraising in".


    "Gimenez as to be installed as new Miami-Dade mayor".

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