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, August 04, 2011

Never mind that "majority of the votes wins" thing

    The Saint Petersburg Times editors write that "loyalty to country is in short supply on Capitol Hill as partisan politics pervades the FAA kerfuffle. Many of the small, rural airports targeted to lose funding under the House bill happen to be in states represented by Senate Democrats. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, has insisted he is trying to ferret out wasteful spending. But that's a disingenuous argument as the daily toll of lost FAA revenue far exceeds the $14 million yearly allocation for the rural airports." "Congress' snit idles thousands".

    Not to worry. The Orlando Sentinel editorial board rushes to the aid of Saint Mica, observing that Mica and his fellow union haters "have a point about the labor changes, which reverse union election rules that are 75 years old." "Congress picks politics over jobs in FAA fiasco".

    Mike Thomas whines that "the person blamed for this calamity is our very own U.S. Rep. John Mica, a regular one-man Tea Party terrorist cell." "Blame for FAA fiasco falls squarely on Democrats".

    Nowhere mentioned by Florida's ink stained wretches is the "labor" thing at the bottom of this, to wit:
    The change, which the National Mediation Board put into place [and has upset Delta airlines], requires an employee vote on labor representation to be approved by a majority of those voting when previously, the rule required a majority of all affected employees, meaning that employees who failed to vote were counted as "no" votes.
    That is to say, elections are to be determined by those who vote, not merely those who are eligible to vote. Ya know, just the way elections are conducted for the President and every other elected official in this country.

    Curious that the Orlando Sentinel editors can't bring themselves to explain what these "labor changes" that Mica supposedly "has a point"; they're obviously embarrassed to admit that they disagree with the proposition that union elections should be decided by the majority of employees who actually bother to vote ('Ya know, like in any other election). Instead, the editors believe that people who don't bother to vote in a union election should be considered as having voted "no".

    'Ya reckon?

    "Public employees apps to DROP spiked with pension changes".

    Bondi's less than courageous step

    "The dispute over the recent firing of two state foreclosure fraud attorneys led some state Democrats to call for a federal review of the matter Wednesday, even though state Attorney General Pam Bondi is already calling for an external investigation."

    Meanwhile, Bondi took the less than courageous step of writing

    to Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater Wednesday asking him to appoint an inspector general to look into the matter.
    "Dems Pile Pressure on Pam Bondi Over Foreclosure Firings". More: "Bondi wants fellow Republican to lead inquiry into dismissals".

    See also "Florida lawmakers ask feds to investigate firing of state foreclosure investigators".

    "Bleeding construction jobs"

    "Southwest Florida and rest of state still bleeding construction jobs".

    Race to the bottom

    "Lingering questions about Florida’s eligibility for new Race to the Top money".

    "This is odd because Justice"

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "If Gov. Rick Scott and his administration are so convinced that major changes to election laws indeed will eliminate voter fraud (or the potential of it) — not merely make voting difficult for minority and poor people — he’d seek an imprimatur of fairness from the federal Department of Justice."

    What could be better proof than an OK from an agency perceived by his administration to be in thrall to the political opposition?

    Instead, Gov. Scott’s appointed secretary of state, Kurt Browning, is making an end run around Justice and seeking “preclearance” on those changes from the federal district court in Washington. The 1965 Voting Rights Act provides for preclearance from Justice or from the federal court for changes in states and counties with a history of discrimination. Justice usually is the venue for preclearance, and Mr. Browning first applied to Justice.

    Now, Mr. Browning says, rather snidely, that he wanted to move preclearance to the court to eliminate “the risk of a ruling impacted by outside influence” from Justice and to be “assured of a neutral evaluation based on the facts.”

    In other words, a Department of Justice headed by an Obama appointee would be less “neutral” than a federal court with many appointees from Republican presidents.
    "Making an end run around Justice".

    "Temptation to cheat"

    Fred Grimm: "Tying FCAT to dollars is temptation to cheat".

    How theocratic of them

    "programs because of their disagreement with federal health care reform, Florida officials accepted more than $2.5 million made available by the Affordable Care Act to fund its abstinence-only sex education grant program." "State accepts Affordable Care Act dollars for abstinence-only sex education".

    Scott laff riot

    "On Debt, Rick Scott to Feds: Live by Florida's Example".

    Q poll ain't Dem friendly

    "Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads the field of Republican presidential candidates in Florida and is tied with President Barack Obama in the state, according to a new Quinnipiac poll released Thursday morning."

    Obama's approval rating in Florida, 44 percent, remains unchanged since July.

    Mike McCalister leads the pack in Florida's GOP U.S. Senate primary with 15 percent. McCalister, a Plant City tree farmer, was not included in the last poll in July. In his first race for office in 2010, he finished with a surprising 10 percent of the vote in the three-way Republican primary for governor.

    McCalister was followed in the poll by former Sen. George LeMieux (12 percent), businessman Craig Miller (8 percent) and former state House Rep. Adam Hasner (6 percent). Most Republican voters (53 percent) remain undecided.
    "Poll: McCalister, Romney leading Republican primaries in Florida". See also "Obama's Florida poll numbers continue to erode", "Bill Nelson Wilts in the Summer Heat", "Obama Cooling Off, Heading South in Florida", "Poll: Debt ceiling fight hurts Obama in Florida" and "AUGUST 4, 2011 - DEBT DEAL DOESN'T RESCUE OBAMA FROM FLORIDA CRASH, QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL FINDS; ROMNEY CLOSES GAP IN 2012 PRESIDENTIAL RACE".

    "Who’s picking up part of the tab? Taxpayers"

    "Dozens of Florida legislators are in New Orleans this week for three days of pro-business pep talks, policy seminars and great food."

    The annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, features topics such as public pensions, Medicaid reform and tax policy, with such conservative stalwarts as economist Arthur Laffer and former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey.

    And who’s picking up part of the tab? Taxpayers and lobbyists.
    "Taxpayers on hook for lawmakers’ New Orleans trip". See also "Dozens of Florida Republicans at ALEC legislative conference courtesy of taxpayers, lobbyists".

    "Serious questions"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "The global financial services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers did the right thing Wednesday by withdrawing its bid for $1.1 million in local tax incentives in exchange for growing its Tampa-based operations. The behind-the-scenes deal was rushed under a state law that grants near total secrecy to job-development deals. The few revelations so far raise serious questions about whether the firm qualified for the money and whether the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County were either misled about the application or unprepared to judge it on its merits." "Jobs deal: red faces, questions".

    "Poll numbers lower than a septic tank"

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board thinks "it would be easy to ridicule Gov. Rick Scott's revival of former U.S. Sen. and Gov. Bob Graham's workdays as a desperate ploy by a politician whose poll numbers are lower than a septic tank." "Scott's workday pledge".

    Yee haw!

    "The city’s host committee has raised about $15 million of its $55 million goal to support next year’s Republican National Convention in Tampa." "Tampa readies for GOP national convention". See also "RNC chair: Florida GOP will feel penalty for early primary".

    Killing him softly

    "Lawyers for a man who shot and killed a Coral Gables police officer 33 years ago failed to prove that the new use of a drug in Florida's lethal injections would cause inmates serious pain, a Miami-Dade judge ruled Wednesday." "Judge rejects challenge to Florida's execution drug".

    "Blistering internal feud"

    "A blistering internal feud in the Jon Huntsman presidential campaign is erupting into public view, with dueling camps trading charges and an exodus of campaign officials." "Drama and departures in the Jon Huntsman campaign".

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