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 Sunday, September 11, 2011

Media hypocrites eulogize NY firemen, but attack Florida firefighter pensions

    Florida newspaper companies on one hand eulogize those men and women who on September 11 were
    lost in courageous, selfless attempts to save others
    yet turn around and attack the benefits Florida's firemen and cops.

    There are many examples of this self-serving hypocrisy. For example, Floridians can read here about the "363 New York City firefighters and 40 police officers who rushed into the World Trade Center wreckage that morning and never returned", but here are bombarded with snarky attacks about the supposedly "tony retirement pensions of the state's police and firefighters", and about how these benefits "contrast sharply with the private sector".

    Have these alleged journalists no shame?

    Florida on the cusp of resort-style casino gambling

    "The sponsor of the bill to bring resort casinos to South Florida believes that the arrival of gambling giant Genting, the state’s dismal economy and a rush of casino cash give legislators a chance to catch 'lightening in a bottle' and pass the long-sought legislation this year."

    “There is an appetite now to catch these destination resorts and potentially inject $5 billion to $6 billion into the local economy – and that trickles up to the state,’’ said Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami. “If we weren’t in double-digit unemployment and a receding economy, I don’t think there would be much appetite for this bill but, in this environment, it’s almost an obligation to discuss it.”

    In the next two weeks, Fresen and Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, will unveil their proposed legislation to allow Genting Malaysia Berhad and its competitors to bid on three licenses to bring resort-style casinos to South Florida.
    "The proposals will also consolidate the regulation of the existing gambling industry under a single gaming commission and regulate or outlaw so-called internet cafes that have exploited a loophole in state law to open storefront casinos, the legislators said."
    Not everyone is convinced Florida is having a casino-lightening moment. Dan Adkins, vice president of Hartman Tyner which owns Mardi Gras Casino in Hollywood, for example, agrees the odds may be better than usual for getting a casino bill passed this year. But, after decades of trying, he predicts the odds “are still long.”

    Part of the problem is that the resort casinos can’t agree on what they want. (Genting and Wynn Resorts want legislators to allow for multiple gaming permits to be issued in Miami, for example, while Sands wants a single permit.) Local horse and dog tracks still hold sway over many lawmakers, and the Seminole Tribe pays $250 million a year to keep competitors out.

    To gear up for the fight, Genting, the Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and Caesars Palace have hired dozens of lobbyists, written thousands of dollars in political checks and, in Genting’s case, invested millions in Miami real estate.
    "Legislators are counting on rare moment to bring resort casinos to Florida". Related: "Hialeah casino's big ace: Jobs".

    The Teabag express is on its way

    "Florida will take center stage in the presidential race this month, starting with Monday's GOP candidates' debate in Tampa and leading up to the Presidency 5 straw poll, an event expected to identify clearly the leaders and challengers in the race." "Florida is focus of GOP presidential race". See also "Tampa debate on Monday to kick off big Florida push in Republicans' 2012 presidential race", "2012 presidential spotlight hits Florida this month" and "GOP candidates' September events in Florida".

    The spats and ascot crowd

    Kingsley and the spats and ascot swells down at the club don't believe in global warming.

    "Perry has some explaining to do"

    "The focus of the Republican presidential campaign this week turns to Florida, where one in six residents receives Social Security benefits. And Rick Perry has some explaining to do." "As Florida debate looms, Gov. Rick Perry rides into Social Security storm".

    For developers, "the legal terrain has been dramatically shifted"

    "This week, the project is headed back to a courtroom in DeLand. But thanks to a sweeping rewrite of the growth-management act, the legal terrain has been dramatically shifted in favor of the land's longtime owner, a Chicago-based private company called the Miami Corp., and other large landowners and developers." "Growth-law rewrite may pave way for Farmton's 23,000 homes".

    Scott's corporate tax cut scheme in jeopardy

    Aaron Deslatte: "Florida workers' paychecks are being squeezed, with both weekly hours and wages falling. The U.S. Census Bureau is poised to release new national data this week showing poverty increased in 2010."

    State economists are quickly souring on Florida's short-term revenue picture, because the state's economy is more reliant than most on consumer sales, and shoppers can snap their checkbooks closed in a heartbeat.

    So is now the time for Gov. Rick Scott to revisit his campaign pledge to eliminate the corporate income tax? Or is that pledge falling victim to Florida's still-skintight revenue picture? ...

    But the political climate for giving tax cuts to major corporations has worsened. ...

    Major tax reform is always easier when lawmakers have cash to burn.

    When Gov. Jeb Bush and GOP lawmakers phased out the "intangibles" tax on investment earnings, they did so with the cushion of a white-hot real-estate market pouring cash into government coffers faster than they could spend it.

    But state economists cautioned last week that Florida's economy was in danger of quickly slowing down, which could put the state budget in the red once again next year. On Friday, they officially put the brakes on their expectations for growth in 2012 and 2013.

    "Essentially, the economy will be fairly flat … over the next 18 months," legislative economist Amy Baker said. "While we never had a strong recovery, we previously [expected] an uptick beginning in January that we have now removed."
    "Sour economy could delay Scott's corporate tax cuts".

    "U.S. Senator-turned-banker"

    That's our Mel, the "U.S. Senator-turned-banker". Ain't life grand:

    When U.S. Senator-turned-banker Mel Martinez pulled out an oversized check at Miami Northwestern Senior High School on Wednesday, it was a big deal for the school and Liberty City.

    “I’m extremely proud today on behalf of J.P. Morgan Chase to present a check for one thousand dollars,” Martinez said.

    The bank chairman quickly corrected himself as the crowd laughed.

    “A million dollars,” Martinez said. “Sorry about that. It’s that Washington-speak, you know. A thousand, a million, it’s all money.”
    "'That Washington-speak' in Liberty City".

    Perry eager to participate in Florida straw poll

    "Michele Bachmann and Romney have declared they won't actively campaign for the Florida GOP's Presidency 5 straw poll mock election Sept. 24, but Perry says he's eager to participate." "GOP straw poll".

    "Top Republican hopefuls have given up on the Hispanic vote"

    Andres Oppenheimer: "Like many Latin American immigrants watching the Sept. 7 televised debate among Republican hopefuls, I drew a clear-cut conclusion after the show — these guys don’t like us."

    How can the Republican Party win the 40 percent of the Hispanic vote that most pollsters say it will need in the 2012 elections if their front-runners alienate Hispanic voters on issues such as immigration and cutting social programs, I asked several Republican strategists.

    Republican pollster Nicole McCleskey told me that “what’s going to be the key factor in 2012 is Obama’s poor performance among white voters. Because he is doing poorly among white voters, it decreases the necessity of the Republican candidate getting to that 40 percent figure.”

    My opinion: In their quest for support of their party’s right wing in the primaries, top Republican hopefuls have given up on the Hispanic vote. That’s likely to cost their party the 2012 elections. ...

    What we don’t need is cheap demagoguery. I, for one, felt that none of the front-runners likes Hispanic immigrants.
    "Republican hopefuls giving up on Hispanic vote".

    Huntsman shifts manpower out of Florida headquarters

    "Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is turning his attention away from Florida toward New Hampshire. Though he has hired former Jeb Bush and Tim Pawlenty fundraiser Ann Herberger, Huntsman is shifting manpower out of his Orlando campaign headquarters to New Hampshire, where he has consistently polled toward the bottom of the field. The campaign early on had committed to participating in the Florida straw poll, but on Friday said shifting attention to New Hampshire partly reflected "the diminished importance of Florida's 'P5.'" "Presidency 5 spurned".

    Second amendment stoopid

    "Deadly accidental shootings on the rise in South Florida".

    Obama campaign hires Jotkoff

    "Former Florida Democratic Party communications director Eric Jotkoff has been hired to be Florida press secretary for Barack Obama's campaign, Organizing for America." "Obama campaign hire".

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