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 Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jeb is crazy enough to win the GOP nomination

    Mike Thomas whines that he and the rest of
    the Jebbies must decide if their search for an alternative to Romney turns into a search for an alternative to Perry.

    Which would be Romney.

    Unless Gov. Chris Christie becomes the alternative to Perry and Romney, given that Jeb isn't interested in becoming the alternative to all of them.
    Jon Huntsman apparently was a suitable alternative to Jebbites like Thomas, but even Thomas concedes
    Jon Huntsman isn't crazy and won't even pretend he's crazy, ruling him out.
    "Straw poll vaults Cain as Perry fizzles".

    Thomas seems to concede that Jeb Bush is crazy; indeed, crazy enough to win the GOP nomination

    Rubio laff riot

    "Marco Rubio, the West-Miami Republican tea party favorite, is about to write about his life story, his political thoughts and the story of his improbable victory last year in the Senate race vs. former Gov. Charlie Crist."

    Born in 1971 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami, Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants who left Cuba just before the 1959 revolution. The family later moved to Las Vegas, where Rubio’s father worked as a bartender and his mother at the Imperial Palace casino.

    In 1985, Rubio’s family moved back to Miami, where he graduated from South Miami Senior High School four years later. He graduated from the University of Florida and then the University of Miami with a law degree. At age 27, he was elected to West Miami City Commission and then won his state House seat in 2000. Seven years later, he served as the first Cuban-American House speaker in Florida history.

    Despite being able to command the nation’s microphone almost at will, Rubio still wants more. And his book is the key.
    "Rubio to pen autobiography".

    "We're talking certifiably Norman Bates kind of crazy"

    Daniel Ruth: "Let's suppose for a moment that you are a Republican and in a moment of experiencing a massive brain lapse, you think it might be a peachy idea to run for public office. Where to begin? What to do? "

    Judging from the Conservative Political Action Conference held in Orlando last week, the first thing you need to do is get completely crazy. Not just a little bit crazy. Not just the addled Uncle Festus in the attic crazy.

    Nosiree, we're talking certifiably Ezra Pound/Zelda Fitzgerald/Col. Kurtz/Norman Bates kind of crazy.
    Ruth continues:
    Fortunately, once you check your sanity at the gates of FreedomWorks, you'll have no shortage of role models to emulate.

    What better place to start than Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who channelled her inner Carrie Nation, accusing the media of engaging in a calculated assault on Christianity by promoting the ideas espoused in The Da Vinci Code and condemning the The Passion of the Christ. ...

    It is axiomatic in Republican Party politics that candidates for office face having their Koch Brothers epaulets ripped off if they don't invoke Ronald Reagan's "Shining City on the Hill" reference in every speech. ...

    During his speech at CPAC, Senate candidate Adam Hasner at times sounded breathier than Enya as he decried the short memories people have in politics. That is actually a good thing for the former Florida House member, since he supported high-speed rail and the federal stimulus package before these issues became satanic policies aimed at opening the doors to communist domination.

    Still Hasner won the straw poll, as well as a two-week engagement opening for Celine Dion at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
    Much more here: "Republican Party sends in the clowns".

    Islam and Teabaggery clash at Broward GOP meeting

    "Islam and tea-party activism clashed at a raucous meeting Monday night when a group of Broward County Republicans blocked a Muslim activist as a member of the party's executive committee."

    Republicans, who changed their rules to publicly vet Nezar Hamze then vote on his application by secret ballot, said they didn't oppose him because he was a Muslim — but because he is associated with the Center for American-Islamic Relations, whose Washington-area affiliate was an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal terrorism indictment.

    Hamze, CAIR's South Florida director, said his local group had nothing to do with the suspect activities in Washington. He said CAIR advocates for civil rights for Muslims, who have been unfairly targeted ever since Sept. 11.

    "I'm aligned with Republican values. And I want to serve the party," Hamze said, who earlier told a reporter that any effort to block him was the result of anti-Islamic "bigotry."

    At times, when he addressed the packed room at the Sheraton Suites in Fort Lauderdale, a few members shouted out among the crowd of about 300.

    "Terrorist!" said one man. ...

    In the end, the Broward Republican Executive Committee voted 158-11 to block him from committee membership. He can still attend meetings, but as a member of the public. ...

    After the vote to deny membership, Broward Executive Committee chairman Richard DeNapolis said simply: "Mr. Hamze, your membership has been denied."

    The crowd cheered loudly.
    "Broward GOP blocks Muslim from top committee".

    New GOP darling would hit Floridians with 15 percent tax rate

    "Herman Cain stunned the Republican political establishment Saturday, easily winning Florida's Presidency 5 straw poll by trumpeting a platform of tax reforms he calls the '9-9-9 Plan.'" Among other things,

    Cain's national sales tax, in effect, would attempt to make up for the reduction of federal revenue by creating the 9 percent income tax. The national sales tax, which would help fund the federal government, would be on top of state and local sales taxes, which fund state and local government. In Florida, that would create a hypothetical tax rate of 15 percent in most parts of the state. In the Wall Street Journal, Cain said the national sales tax would be levied "on all new goods." (A good question to ask would be whether services are exempted.) Most economists agree that a national sales tax would raise the relative tax burden on low- and middle-income earning taxpayers. "The main reason is that low- and middle-income households consume more of their income than high-income households do," said William Gale, senior fellow for economic studies at the Brookings Institution.
    "The facts on Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax reform plan". Related: "Herman Cain Draws New Attention -- And Scrutiny".

    Another fine statistic

    "Florida has fewer registered nurses in schools than 47 other states".

    Florida ninth worst state for student loan defaults

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Figures released by the U.S. Department of Education this month showed more than one in 10 Floridians required to start repaying student loans in 2009 had defaulted by the end of last year. The state's 10.5 percent default rate topped the national rate of 8.8 percent, and made Florida the ninth worst state for students going belly up on their loans." "Student loan default surge begs for state action".

    From the "values" crowd

    "McClatchy/Kaiser: Lawmakers straining budgets of children’s hospitals".

    Apopka handout

    "In a committee meeting held last week, state legislators from both parties began moving forward on plans introduced by state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, to help farm workers and residents of Apopka." "Legislator’s plans to help Apopka workers move forward".

    LeMieux endorsements

    "Three more state legislators are backing former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux for the Republican nomination to take on Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012.

    Two state senators -- Nancy Detert of Venice and Paula Dockery of Lakeland -- and one state representative -- Clay Ford of Gulf Breeze -- gave LeMieux their endorsements on Monday in a statement released by LeMieux's campaign team.
    "Three More State Lawmakers back George LeMieux".

    Drug testing lawsuit drags on

    "A federal judge in Orlando on Monday gave Florida officials 14 days to respond to a lawsuit challenging the state's ability to drug-test applicants for temporary cash assistance." "State Gets 14 Days to Defend Drug-Testing Law".

    Florida's Obama-bashing one step closer to the SCOTUS

    Travis Pillow: "The Justice Department did not seek a circuit court rehearing by Monday's deadline, which increases the chances that the challenge will reach the high court during its upcoming term." "Florida's challenge to federal health care reform moves a step closer to U.S. Supreme Court".

    Home sweet home

    "29 billionaires call Florida home".

    Buss testifies

    "Saying an important principle was at stake, Gov. Rick Scott was insistent that former prison chief Ed Buss not testify under oath in a lawsuit against the state over the privatization of dozens of state prisons. But a state judge ruled Buss had to answer questions and on Monday he was deposed." "Fired prisons chief talks".

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