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 Saturday, August 20, 2011

Florida GOPers oil Jebbie's feet

    "Texas Gov. Rick Perry's entrance into the presidential primary is putting a spotlight on the most powerful Republican family in Florida and the nation, one with no great love for Rick Perry -- the Bush family."
    After only about a week as a presidential candidate, Perry is working hard to establish a presence and a campaign team in Florida, with some initial indications of success.

    But questions also have been raised about whether his well-publicized enmity with the Bush family could affect his chances in Florida, where former Gov. Jeb Bush still dominates GOP politics more than any other single individual.
    "Will Jeb Bush thwart Rick Perry's chances in Florida?"

    "Scott downplays cost of laying off state employees"

    "Scott says a massive South Florida prison privatization plan won't fly if it doesn't save the state money. Scott on Friday also downplayed the cost of laying off state employees at those prisons." "Scott: Fla. prison privatization hinges on savings".

    Rickster's job plan stalling

    "Florida's unemployment rate stalled at 10.7 percent in July ... and the state lost more than 22,000 jobs from the previous month. ... The state average is ... 1.6 percentage points higher than the national rate of 9.1 percent." "Florida's unemployment rate 10.7 percent in July". See also "Scott still positive on jobs despite Fla. losses", "Southwest Florida jobless rate flat" and "Gainesville jobless rate climbs for third straight month".

    Will Scott take responsibility?

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Honoring Florida's constitutional requirements for open meetings and public records has been one of Gov. Rick Scott's toughest adjustments from private business to public office. Now, just as the administration has been making positive changes, comes the revelation that the e-mail accounts of most of Scott's transition team were deleted soon after he took office and that public records probably were destroyed in violation of state law." "Another public records affront".

    "Scott on Friday enlisted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate why e-mail accounts from his transition, including his own, were deleted and whether any of the records can be recovered."

    "State law requires transition records be kept. State archives include documents from governors' transitions back to 1971. State law carries a maximum $500 fine for violations of public records law and more serious penalties, including impeachment, for any official who "knowingly violates" the statutes."

    And then there's sum good ole Texas incompetence to boot:

    The e-mails for Scott's transition team were maintained by Rackspace, a Texas company. The contract with Rackspace was with another Texas company, Harris Media, which handled online communications for Scott's campaign and transition.
    "Gov. Rick Scott asks FDLE to investigate deleted e-mails". See also "Scott orders investigation into deletion of emails".

    Week in Review

    "Weekly Roundup". See also "The Week in Review Aug. 15-Aug. 19".

    "Sometimes tangled and often tempestuous speech"

    "With Congress on its August vacation, West’s trademark brand of heated rhetoric is providing plenty of material for cable TV and the conservative and liberal blogospheres." "Allen West’s words inspire friends, enrage foes".

    GOP candidates go teabagging

    "The four major GOP candidates -- former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner of Boca Raton, former appointed Sen. George LeMieux and businessmen Mike McCalister and Craig Miller -- will share a stage for the first time in Orlando on Saturday, at a debate sponsored by the Florida Family Policy Council and the Central Florida Tea Party." "Let the elbowing begin: Florida GOP Senate candidates head into Saturday debate". See also "Wide-open GOP field masses for U.S. Senate debate".

    Brazilian boondoggle

    The Sun Sentinel editors: "In a time of incredibly tight government spending, it might seem like the wrong message to send a South Florida public official to Brazil on a trade mission. But it doesn't have to be, as long as there is a proper accounting for what was gained after the trip concludes." "Trip could be worthwhile if benefits explained".

    Prison health care watchdog shuttered

    "The watchdog agency for Florida’s prison health care system officially closed down on Thursday, prompting criticism from lawmakers who hoped it could be preserved."

    State Sen. Arthenia Joyner and Rep. Mark Pafford, both Democrats, said they worried the shuttering the Correctional Medical Authority — which was created to help ensure that inmate care complies with the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment — would weaken oversight of the medical treatment for prisoners and could expose the state to lawsuits.
    "As prison health care watchdog closes, lawmakers ask why".

    "Grades are flawed"

    "Former Education Commissioner John Winn tells a higher education panel on Thursday that a newly-enacted grading formula for high schools masks serious problems. He points to recent college readiness score as proof the grades are flawed." "Top state education official says high school grading formula is flawed".

    "Talk about influence"

    The Sun Sentinel editors: "Talk about influence. Future House Speakers Will Weatherford and Chris Dorworth registered for the conference. ALEC's fingerprints were all over Dorworth's bill prohibiting state employers from withholding union dues and requiring members to approve using dues for political campaigns." "Stealth ALEC courts Tallahassee Republican lawmakers".

    "Cloud now hanging over the state's chief law-enforcement officer"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "A misstep that raises questions about her managing skills is just about the last thing Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi needs. Unfortunately, that's the cloud now hanging over the state's chief law-enforcement officer, who is still in her first year on the job." "Pam Bondi must protect AG's good reputation".

    Stearns embarrasses himself

    "U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns is again defending his push to have some of the first responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks checked for terrorist ties."

    The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that — in accordance with an amendment the Ocala Republican tacked onto the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 — the FBI had screened some 60,000 emergency responders to the attacks on the World Trade Center and had not uncovered any suspected terrorists.

    Stearns had proposed the measure as a way to ensure potential terrorists did not reap taxpayer-funded benefits paid to victims in New York City for health care or lost income.

    Federal investigators had not finished the entire list of initial names and will continue to process more people as they request benefits, the Journal noted. So it remains to be seen whether any terrorists would eventually be identified.

    Still, the initial results prompted angry responses from some of Stearns' colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

    Republican Rep. Peter King, of New York, called the exercise “shameful” and “a waste of time.” He also told the Journal that “it put a cloud over extraordinarily good people for no reason.”
    "Rep. Stearns under fire for push to check first responders for terror ties".

    "Law of unintended consequences"

    Aaron Deslatte: "Scott and Republican lawmakers keep getting reminders that the law of unintended consequences is one they can't repeal." "Tallahassee can't repeal the law of unintended consequences".

    On the hustings

    "The former governor strolled on stage Monday in a Polo shirt and khakis, endorsing Jackie Pons for superintendent of schools in solidly Democratic Leon County." "Charlie Crist briefly back on the campaign trail".

    Republican pollsters like Mitt

    Republican pollsters: "If the presidential election were held today, Florida would be a jump ball between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama: 45 percent to 44 percent." "Mitt Romney Leads GOP Field in Florida, With an Asterisk".

    Related: "With Rick Perry surging in the polls, former Massachusetts governor gets the backing of eight state legislators". ""Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman Add to Their Teams in Florida"".

    Even Ricky can't ignore it

    "After years of rampant abuse in some Florida assisted living facilities, state agents have launched a major crackdown by banning new residents from troubled homes and slashing state funds to the worst abusers — including one that forced frail residents to sleep on box springs covered with cardboard and shower with contaminated well water." "Florida cracks down on troubled ALFs".

    Affirming counties' rights

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Term limits for county commissioners have survived a state appeals court's scrutiny. That's a victory for those who like term limits and a defeat for those who don't. And unless the Florida Supreme Court decides to disagree, next year will mark the end of the careers of Karen Marcus (27 years) and Burt Aaronson (19 years) on the Palm Beach County Commission." "High court backs the voters".

    Ricky on illegal immigrants

    "Scott said Friday he believes the Legislature will pass a law next year that cracks down on illegal immigrants, despite lawmakers' failure to reach a consensus on the issue this year." "Gov Scott to push for Fla immigration law in 2012".

    Follow the money

    "To serve as Florida financial regulation chief, attorney had to give up suit".

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