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 Friday, September 16, 2011

"As they fingered their nooses"

    "The truculent faithful started lining up for the CNN/Tea Party Express presidential debate Monday at the Florida State Fairgrounds under a hot sun, which only seemed to make some of these folks testier."
    In her opening remarks, Tea Party Express co-chair Amy Kremer, after all the usual yada-yada-yada about taking the country back blah-blah-blah, told the assembled crowd as they fingered their nooses and stirred their tar pots that it is the tea party that "is going to choose the next president, not the Republican Party."

    And not one of the eight pandering sycophants on the stage had the intellectual honesty to respond to Kremer's demagoguery by saying something like: "Excuse me, but I'm running to capture the Republican Party nomination for the presidency of the United States. I'm a Republican first and proud of it. Really, one of the biggest miscalculations my party ever made was giving you folks any credibility. And while I certainly welcome any support I can get, I'm not campaigning to become the leader of a foaming-at-the-mouth political cult. Frankly, I'm only here tonight to get some national face time on CNN."

    Now that would have taken some political courage.
    "At tea party debate, a strange brew".

    Cannon wants GOP primary before Feb. 28

    "House Speaker Dean Cannon says he is determined that Florida be the fifth state in the nation when it comes to choosing a presidential nominee. That means Florida would have to set its primary before Feb. 28, which is the date Arizona recently chose, breaking Republican National Committee rules. The RNC only wants Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to vote before March 6." "Committee to set Fla. presidential primary to meet". See also "Selection Begins Friday for GOP Primary Committee".

    "Federal government a more active partner in the Everglades restoration"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "There's a lot to like about a new federal plan that could help save the Everglades by preserving as many as 150,000 acres between Orlando and Lake Okeechobee — many of them wetlands that feed the River of Grass"

    The plan, costing at least $600 million, would make the federal government a more active partner in the Everglades restoration — a responsibility it has shirked since agreeing in 2000 to share the project's funding. The money would come from offshore oil leases.

    By preserving the wetlands, forests and prairies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would be safeguarding habitats that several protected species call home: the Florida black bear, panther, scrub jay and Everglades snail kites, among them.
    "New federal effort could help Everglades".

    Grayson talks Taliban

    "Grayson correctly quoted a figure from a national story about U.S. money being diverted to "the Taliban, criminals and power brokers with ties to both." A member of the Commission on Wartime Contracting -- and an expert in the field of government contracting -- found this information credible based on extensive research."

    But Grayson's statement comes with two minor caveats. He said that tax dollars went "straight to ... the Taliban." The process is actually more complicated and involved a type of money laundering. And the money went to bad actors other than the Taliban in some cases. Those are noteworthy clarifications and enough to rate Grayson's statement Mostly True.
    "$360 million straight to Taliban?".

    Huntsman gets desperate

    "Down in the Polls, Jon Huntsman Looks to Jeb Bush Jr. for a Jolt".


    "Motorists across Florida and the nation should expect more toll roads ahead as gas-tax revenues dwindle and Congress struggles just to extend the levy for another six months." "Experts: More toll roads likely as gas taxes drop off".

    Teacher layoffs

    Kenric Ward: "Teachers Union 'Crying Wolf' Over 'Layoffs' as Districts Eye New Salaries".

    "What's the legal term for Duh?"

    Scott Maxwell: "For today's political update, we visit our state capital, Havana."

    Oops. I meant Tallahassee.

    I've been getting the location confused ever since Florida leaders started using the public's money to try to overturn the public's vote. It's the kind of thing you'd expect in countries run by dictators or authoritarians.

    Anyway, the latest out of Pyongyang has Speaker Dean Cannon trying to decide whether to continue trying to overturn your vote for Fair Districts.

    A federal judge told Cannon that, no matter how much he and Democratic U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown like the gerrymandering status quo, they have no legal right to overrule the public.

    What's the legal term for Duh?

    The ruling sent shock waves through Damascus — sorry, Tallahassee — where legislators scrambled for answers.

    Obviously, their first instinct was to blame the ruling on a liberal activist judge who was "legislating from the bench."

    But that was hard to do when Judge Ursula Ungaro was first put on the bench by Republican Gov. Bob Martinez — and then later promoted by Republican President George H.W. Bush.

    So now everyone in Riyadh is wondering how they can justify spending even more of the people's money against them.
    "Shady pols".

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park "has spent roughly $200,000 of the public's money fighting the public's will. Amendment 6 prohibits the Legislature from drawing congressional districts 'with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent.'" "Obey court, and the people".

    Enough TaxWatch-worship

    "State GOP Takes Wary Approach to TaxWatch Agenda". Background: "TaxWatch report suggests more than $4 billion in government cost savings".

    State scraps plan to limit HMO choices

    "State officials have scrapped a move to limit to the number of HMO choices for state employees in an attempt to settle legal challenges." "State backs off plan to limit HMOs for state workers".

    Proposed DEP draft water quality rule criticized by all

    "If the department proceeds with rule adoption, DEP hopes the rule would replace U. S. Environmental Protection water quality standards that industry groups claim would cost them billions of dollars to comply with. Industry and environmental groups alike have criticized the draft state rule but industry reps have offered support for the effort." "DEP draft water quality rule faces criticism on both sides".

    Recession inequality

    "The impact of the recession and inequality on U.S. and Florida workers".

    "Split response from Florida pols"

    "President Barack Obama, just days away from introducing a blueprint to reduce the nation's deficit, has taken off the table any cost-cutting changes in Social Security benefits." "Obama reversal on Social Security draws split response from Florida pols".

    Legal "scholars" speak

    "'Disruptive' Teachers Union Lawsuit Won't Wash, Say Supporters".

    Meanwhile. the Sarasota Herald Tribune editorial board: "the biggest classroom morale buster may be the new state law that heaps additional job insecurity on teachers — those public servants on whom we rely to prepare Florida's next generation of citizens, workers and leaders. Passed by the Legislature in the spring and signed by Gov. Rick Scott, the new law ties teacher pay and job longevity to evaluations that are largely based on student learning metrics — metrics that are ill defined, undeveloped and unproven."

    Who will create these tests and how they will be paid for are questions of great concern.

    On Wednesday, two unions — including the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association — filed a lawsuit against the new state law, charging that it violates collective bargaining guarantees that are ensconced in the state constitution.

    The litigation, unfortunate though it may be, is evidence of the Legislature's failure to get and heed adequate teacher input before making sweeping changes.

    Nobody, including teachers, should be exempt from accountability. But the state measure — too glibly described as "merit pay" — does little to reward classroom excellence. Instead, it focuses on testing-intensive teacher evaluations that are problematic at best.
    "Teachers law deserves to fail".

    Board of Governors meets

    "The Board of Governors voted Thursday to seek $460 million more in funding than it received in this past session, and discussed plans for strategic changes across the state university system, including a greater emphasis on online classes." "Board calls for increased university funding, mulls strategic changes".

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