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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Friday, August 26, 2011

Will Ricky's deleted email coverup be worse than the "crime"?

    "Rick Scott said he learned within the past two weeks that state transition e-mail accounts could not be recovered from a private computer server, potentially erasing records that state law requires be kept."
    But documents show that Rackspace, the Texas company that provided the e-mail service, notified Scott's transition team as early as March 14 that records no longer existed from 44 of 47 e-mail accounts, including Scott's. ...
    "[T]ransition staffers knew their accounts were being deleted."
    According to documents provided to the Times/Herald, a staffer with Harris Media — an online communications company that set up the transition accounts through Rackspace — wrote an e-mail to the transition team on Jan. 26 saying all accounts would be closed by the end of the month.

    "You will no longer have access to your e-mail inboxes, contacts and messages at that time," the staffer wrote. "Please take time the rest of the week and weekend to copy any of the data you will need from those accounts."

    Chris Kise, a Tallahassee lawyer who advised Scott's transition on public records matters, has said transition members did not understand that message meant information would be deleted.

    Yet that's exactly what happened.
    "Scott transition team knew of e-mail deletions in March, records show".

    RPOFers may start voting in three months

    "Texas Gov. Rick Perry jumped into the presidential race only weeks ago. Speculation continues about whether Sarah Palin or New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will enter the fray as well."

    But if that suggests plenty of time before Republicans start voting, think again.

    Florida has until Oct. 1 to set its presidential primary date, but more and more we hear late January is likely. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is talking about setting her state's primary for Jan. 31, and in that case Florida would likely go earlier. That in turn would surely lead to Iowa caucuses just around the start of the New Year, followed by New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — dashing the Republican National Committee's hopes for no primaries or caucuses before February.

    Everything's in flux, but if all that happens, Florida Republicans may start voting in just over three months. That's because absentee ballots would start going out before Christmas.

    Still plenty of time to start gearing up in Florida? Not really.
    "Not much time left before Republicans start voting".

    Resort casinos

    Myriam Marquez asks "Are resort casinos the name of the game?".

    Bachmann goes Fla-baggin'

    "Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is campaigning in Florida during the second day of her three-day swing through the crucial state."

    Bachmann planned a town hall meeting in Poinciana Saturday morning and later was scheduled to address the Florida Family Policy Council, the group that led the effort to put a gay marriage ban in the state constitution.

    On Sunday she plans to attend a church service in Lutz before meeting with Republican activists in Sarasota.
    "Bachmann takes presidential campaign to Florida". See also "Bachmann begins Florida swing with Tea Party at Jacksonville Beach sub shop"

    "Speaking before the annual awards dinner of the Florida Family Policy Council in Orlando, Bachmann, a three-term congresswoman from Minnesota, repeatedly declared her devotion to Christianity and told stories of how it changed her life."
    She told and interpreted Biblical stories, and offered Christian lessons she said she followed.

    What she did not discuss was the political agenda of the Florida Family Policy Council, an increasingly powerful pro-Christian lobbying force in state politics. It is pushing for legislation and sponsoring litigation to limit abortions, oppose gay marriages and adoptions by gay couples, and to allow prayer in government forums. ...

    Bachmann gave a far more charged conservative political speech earlier Saturday, when she spoke mostly about fiscal and foreign policy issues in a speech to approximately 400 people in the Polk County 55-and-over, gated country club community of Solivita.

    She pledged to repeal the federal health care reform act, abolish the Environmental Protection Agency and dramatically reduce taxes on the highest tax brackets, for people she called "the job creators."
    "GOP hopeful Michele Bachmann gives personal, Christian testimonial in Orlando".

    Another fine entrepreneur

    Funny how these people always seem to land on their feet: "Entrepreneur promising Tampa jobs has failed before".

    Scott considers ditching personal injury protection

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Gov. Rick Scott are considering ditching personal injury protection insurance in Florida." "Repair 'no fault' or junk it".

    Jebbie upset

    "Emails: Jeb Bush was upset Scott fired staffers".

    "For Scott's administration, that is reason to celebrate"?

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Jeopardizing Florida's drinking water, scrapping purchases of sensitive lands, and rubber-stamping permits for agricultural and industrial water hogs puts the state's future at risk. Yet for Gov. Rick Scott's administration, that is reason to celebrate. And for all the damage he and the Legislature already have caused, the governor is just getting started."

    Scott's secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, Herschel Vinyard, conducted an odd 14-minute news conference last week to praise the dismantling of the state's five water management districts. He hailed the districts' efforts to carry out $700 million in devastating budget cuts, and he echoed Scott's vague talk about returning to core missions. Then Vinyard promptly cut off questions about the damage that already has been done to the state's ability to protect and manage fresh water. ...

    The vast majority of the savings next year comes from halting the purchase of sensitive lands. And the districts would slash tens of millions of dollars by forgoing new water supply projects and the maintenance and restoration of water recharge areas.
    "Threatening Florida's water supply".

    Pusillanimous of the world unite

    Another alleged liberal, this time one Randy Schultz, passes on the same, tired Republican Party of Florida/Chamber of Commerce/League of Cities press release, to wit: if nonunion private sector employees - too cowered and pusillanimous to unionize - don't have defined benefit pension plans then public sector employees who risk their lives every day should not have such plans. "Cities must arrest rising cost of police and firefighter pensions".

    It flows downhill

    "Florida industry's fierce fight against EPA pollution rule".

    "Some folks think they're livin' in Tombstone"

    The Orlando Sentinel editors: "Florida's gonna make some folks think they're livin' in Tombstone, Dodge or Deadwood. That's 'cause Groveland just made it possible for pardners there to shoot their guns into the air. Boca Raton took down its 'no guns allowed' sign at City Hall. And yonder in Pinellas County and Jacksonville, they're gettin' rid of laws that plum say you can't fire yer weapon within county and city lines." "Florida needs sequel to tough gun statute".

    "Conservatives begging for federal picnic baskets"

    Mike Thomas remarks that "tea-party politics have now entered the realm of disaster relief."

    I think the Twin Ricks — Scott and Perry — might have qualms with Cantor's pay-as-you-go disaster relief when Florida and Texas get whacked again.

    Perry hasn't been shy about begging for federal disaster aid to handle the record drought in his state. In fact, he got downright ornery when it wasn't swift enough in coming.

    In April, Scott gladly accepted FEMA money to help cover the cost of a raging fire in Southwest Florida.

    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal praised President Barack Obama in May for opening the federal floodgates when the Mississippi River overflowed its banks.

    Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama couldn't thank Obama enough for disaster relief sent after tornadoes pummeled his state last year. More tornadoes brought more help this year.

    There's nothing like a natural disaster to turn a conservative, anti-Washington politician into Yogi Bear, begging for a federal picnic basket.
    "Irene may send fiscal conservatives running to feds for money".

    "Be gone, thou satanic paper pusher!"

    Daniel Ruth: "Ugh, government! Out, foul spot of bureaucracy! Be gone, thou satanic paper pusher! And while you're at it, take your free-spending supernumerary brethren with you, too!"

    Government? We don't need no stinking government! Well, at least we could do with a lot less of it, right?

    And so it goes. Rare is the politician who doesn't decry the creeping multiheaded monster of government, the bane of our existence, the slap-happy drunk slurping away at the trough of the public exchequer.

    There's an old saying in Hollywood that so-and-so will never work again in this town — unless we need him.

    Much the same holds true when it comes to the nameless, faceless minions in the hallways of government. We could do with a lot less of them unless, of course, we need a taxpayer-funded factotum to file a document or perform a service for us.

    With declining county revenues, there will be no shortage of public employees soon to taste the bitter reality of being laid off. The antigovernment disciples who regard government workers as a bunch of incompetent wastrels will be sure to cheer this news — until the next time they have to close on a house, or register to vote, or take a bus.

    Hey, where did all those people go?

    Nowhere good.

    Losing a job is more than merely being denied a paycheck. You lose a piece of your identity. You lose a sense of self-respect. You lose the feeling of contributing to family and society. You lose … you. Been there. Done that.
    "With government, you get what you pay for, and don't".

    Another Florida entrepreneur in action

    Fred Grimm: "Slick talker played the victim".

    Scott leadership team laff riot

    Michael C. Bender: "Late Friday, the Times/Herald was given Wiles' e-mails, which expose tensions between members of the transition team and a scramble for power in Scott's administration."

    After Scott said he would donate his salary to charity, Wiles e-mailed transition director Enu Mainigi: "As discussed, that 'charity' is the governor's staff salary pool. Is that still the plan? If so, need to tell Rick." Scott is not taking a salary but has been criticized by Democrats for paying many of his top advisers more than previous administrations.

    In another e-mail, Fritz Brogan, Mainigi's assistant, e-mailed Wiles and policy adviser Mary Anne Carter asking why Jordan Karem, who had worked on Scott's primary campaign, was on the payroll. "Enu wanted to know where that came from."

    "We discussed him at dinner at China Grill," Carter replied.

    Mainigi then wrote: "I don't recall discussing him. We need to discuss (because) Rick can't stand him."

    In a separate string of e-mails, Carter asked to meet with budget adviser Donna Arduin and the Office of Policy and Budget staff before they met with Scott.

    "Are we not better off going through it without RLS (shorthand for Richard Lynn Scott) and then determine what decisions need to be made?" Carter asked. "If there are going to be areas where policy and politics collide, I think it's best to know ahead of time and not have him involved in initial conversations."

    Arduin, who was Bush's former budget director, wasn't having it. "You will see how budget meetings go by observing tomorrow," Arduin wrote. "The meetings are the governor meeting with his (budget) staff and making decisions."

    Arduin then wrote to Wiles: "Keep the governor out of his budget decisions because we don't want him involved in political decisions … really??!!!"
    "'This process is beyond amazing to me,' Wiles replied.".

    Teabagagoguery hits the road

    The "Tea Party Express has its roots within the GOP, unlike other tea party organizations that have tried to separate themselves from traditional political parties. Organizer Sal Russo is a Sacramento-based political operative who has spent nearly half a century campaigning for Republican candidates. Our Country Deserves Better, the Sacramento-based political action committee that funds Tea Party Express activities, was formed in 2008 to help John McCain's presidential campaign."

    From Sacramento, the Tea Party Express buses decorated with the Declaration of Independence and national map of the tour route headed to Reno for a Saturday evening rally.

    They track east through Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska before spending two days in Iowa. Then it's on to Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, New York, New Hampshire, and Maine. The tour turns south through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
    "Tea Party Express kicks off fifth national tour".

    Meanwhile, Leonard Pitts Jr. suggests that its time for the Dems to grow spines when it comes to Teabagagoguery:
    I am pleased to report the sighting of an artifact so rarely seen among Democrats that it has become the stuff of legend and conjecture, like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. It is called a spine.

    Said spine was briefly glimpsed a little over a week ago at a "jobs summit" in Inglewood, Calif. in the person of Rep. Maxine Waters. "I’m not afraid of anybody," the California Democrat said. ". . . And as far as I’m concerned, the 'tea party' can go straight to Hell."

    Her words left the Tea Party Patriots sputtering about the need to play nice. "The president and all leaders of the Democratic Party, who have called for civility in the past, are neglecting to censure their own," the group said, according to The Washington Post. "Is civility only required from their opponents?" Which is funnier than a Bill Cosby monologue, coming from the folks who turned town hall meetings into verbal brawls and threw rocks through windows because they opposed healthcare reform.
    "Democrats need a spine to stand up to tea party".

<< Home