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 Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Scott's approval rate at 37 percent

    "According to a report from Quinnipiac University:"
    "Florida voters, especially women, like Gov. Rick Scott more as a person, but all voters still disapprove 50–37 percent of the job he's doing, in a Quinnipiac University poll released today, compared to a 52–35 percent disapproval Aug. 5 and a 57–29 percent disapproval May 25.

    "Asked if they like the governor as a person, no matter how they feel about his policies, voters split 37–37 percent, compared to a 45–34 percent dislike in the Aug. 5 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University.

    "Women split 36–36 percent on liking Scott, compared to a 47 - 30 percent dislike Aug. 5. Men also split, 39–38 percent, virtually unchanged from 39–42 percent last month.

    "On job approval, Republicans give a 70–18 percent thumbs up, compared to 61–23 percent in August, while women disapprove 55–31 percent, compared to 58–30 percent last month. Democrats disapprove 82–8 percent compared to 78–14 last month. Independent voters disapprove 54–34 percent compared to 50–33 in August. Men disapprove 46–42 percent compared to 46–40 last month.
    "Gov. Rick Scott's approval rate rises to 37 percent". See also "Gov. Rick Scott's charm offensive starting to pay off" and "New poll: Floridians think budget was unfair, agree with welfare drug testing".

    "Conservative Roar from the I-4 Corridor"

    "In a setting comparable to a high school pep rally, hundreds of Lake County residents roared with screams and applause Wednesday as they welcomed presidential candidate Herman Cain."

    As his Cain 2012 tour bus made its way into the resort's parking lot, a marching band from Christian Home & Bible School in Mount Dora performed. The former Pillsbury Co. executive shook hands with thongs of supporters who waited at the resort's entrance for at least 40 minutes during the humid morning to get a chance to meet the Republican candidate.
    "GOP candidate Herman Cain receives thunderous welcome in Lake County".

    Ricky's jobs slow in coming

    "Scott touts 500 new jobs - with Time Warner moving HR to Tampa". see also "Feds’ Tallahassee airport upgrade project could bring 160 jobs to Florida". The apologists abound: "Florida Grows Private-Sector Jobs While Government Work Withers". But see "Northrop Grumman to cut 200 more jobs at its Apopka laser-weaponry plant".

    Perry's team

    "Perry announced that Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, will serve as a co-chairman of his efforts in the Sunshine State along with a host of Republican officials and conservative leaders."

    Cannon will be joined by a crowd of familiar faces from the Florida Legislature in leading Perry’s efforts to win the straw poll. Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, who on Monday was designated as the next president of the Florida Senate, will also be co-chairing the Perry effort. So will Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Tampa, and Rep. Clay Ingram, R-Pensacola.

    The Perry team will also be led by county officials such as Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo, who resigned a seat in the Florida House to run for his current position earlier in the year. Other local officials leading the charge for Perry at Presidency 5 include Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca and Orange County Property Appraiser Bill Donegan.
    "Doubling Down on Straw Poll, Rick Perry Names Heavy Hitters to Lead his Team".


    "Mitt Romney was the overwhelming favorite of Florida donors to GOP presidential candidates — at least before Texas Gov. Rick Perry threw his cowboy hat into the ring. Many of the Republican candidates are arriving in Orlando Wednesday for a three-day forum sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida." "Romney was darling of Florida donors, pre-Perry". See also "Romney in South Fla. ahead of GOP debate".

    Haridopolos' Agenda

    "Casino Resorts, Immigration, Insurance Reform Top Haridopolos Agenda".

    Second amendment stoopid

    "Local governments scramble to repeal gun restrictions".

    From Winter Park to Luxembourg

    "Winter Park businessman Bob Mandell, the White House's nominee for ambassador to Luxembourg, appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations today as the first step in his confirmation process." "Winter Park businessman may become ambassador to Luxembourg".

    Scott considering controversial agenda

    "Gov. Rick Scott considering controversial legislative agenda". See also "Sun Sentinel: Scott’s legislative agenda includes immigration enforcement".

    What's a teabagger to do?

    "Reducing the federal deficit cuts both ways in Florida, because the state is so dependent on federal money."

    With its millions of retirees, the Sunshine State is a magnet for Social Security and Medicare payments.

    With millions more lacking health insurance, Florida benefits from federally subsidized health care through Medicaid.

    And with its large population of active military personnel and military retirees, the state draws billions of dollars from Washington every year in defense contracts and retirement benefits.

    Florida's chief economist, Amy Baker, briefed a panel of legislators Tuesday on the potential impact the state could face as Congress looks to identify at least $1.5 trillion in future savings.
    "Federal budget cuts could bleed Florida economy".

    Newspaper sponsors Bushco propaganda event

    "All the hot-button education issues — from merit pay to charter schools to virtual education — were on the menu today at a luncheon where former Gov. Jeb Bush and other education leaders debated the future of public schools in Florida."

    The "Florida Forward Conversations About the Future" drew hundreds to a downtown Orlando hotel, including teachers, school board members, college officials and politicians. The event was sponsored by the Orlando Sentinel and the University of Central Florida.
    "Jeb Bush leads lively education debate in Orlando".

    Charter madness

    "The growing number of students attending charter schools is amounting to an increase in empty seats at Miami-Dade and Broward traditional schools." "South Florida public schools losing students as charter enrollment increases".

    "Florida's old folks scared out of their wits"

    Mike Thomas: "The survey results are in and Florida's old folks are scared out of their wits. That should give pause to the Republican presidential candidates preparing to debate in Orlando on Thursday."

    Normally, voters throw out the bum presiding over a bad economy. But things are so historically bad that shell-shocked seniors may cling to President Barack Obama like a security blanket if they see Republicans threatening their entitlements.

    I turn your attention to a monthly survey of consumer sentiment done by business researchers at the University of Florida. ...
    "Seniors' depression over economy may bode ill for Perry".

    Wingnuts head to Orlando

    "Presidency 5 participant talks ‘civil war’ between liberals and conservatives". See also "Breitbart to speak at Americans for Prosperity breakfast Friday in Orlando".


    "The Miami-Dade County Commission on Tuesday approved a resolution urging the Florida Legislature to not pass any immigration legislation in 2012. The same day, state Senate President Mike Haridopolis said his chamber would pass the same immigration bill it passed in the 2011 session." "State Senate president promises chamber will pass immigration bill".

    Vern gets a pass

    "Judge shoots down motion to add Buchanan to FEC lawsuit".

    Scott's the titular head of the RPOF

    "To win a primary election one year ago, Gov. Rick Scott filled the mailboxes of Republican voters with embarrassing details about alleged money laundering and theft at the state party."

    Today, Scott is head of that party.

    The role requires the political rookie to raise money, inspire activists and, on Saturday, deliver the keynote address at Presidency 5, a three-day political spectacle in Orlando that will demand attention from Republicans across the country.

    For Scott, the event is an opportunity to define his role as Florida's top Republican.
    "Another first? State GOP chief".

    "Rates settle at sane levels"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Sinkhole rates settle at sane levels".

    Palm Beach blues

    "President Obama's plan to make millionaires pay a minimum tax rate is the latest buzz coursing across Palm Beach -- the island enclave where investment earnings, trust funds and tax loopholes are as rooted as the palm trees." "Obama's 'millionaires' tax' gets attention of Palm Beach accountants, clients".

    Florida's 29 electoral votes likely wins the White House

    The Orlando Sentinel editors: "Who wins Florida's 29 electoral votes in 2012 will likely win the White House. But with respect to the eight GOP candidates who'll debate in Orlando Thursday night, arguing the dos and don'ts of vaccinating young girls won't put Florida in their column. Sounding earnest, educated and eager to do the right thing on other issues might. They include ...." "Answer Florida's Q's and win White House".

    "Hypocrisy of fellow Republicans"

    "Sen. Thad Altman, R-Viera, pledged that state lawmakers would do all they can to make sure Congress dedicates adequate security funding to the event. Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said he wants to make sure law enforcement officials have all the resources they need to keep the event safe. But he couldn’t resist pointing out the hypocrisy of fellow Republicans who reject federal money for other purposes." "Tampa readies security for GOP convention".

    Obama's Florida "math has gotten increasingly difficult"

    "Winning Florida requires that Obama not only turn out Democrats in big numbers, but that he also win at least 50 percent of independents, something he did in 2008 against John McCain, 52 percent to 45 percent. The math has gotten increasingly more difficult."

    Florida tends to mirror the national electorate, and a New York Times/CBS News poll last week found only 37 percent of independent voters approved of the president's performance. Likewise, an August Mason-Dixon poll found 55 percent of independent voters in Florida disapproved of Obama's performance.
    "Florida independent voters who supported Barack Obama in 2008 looking for another change".

    Scott leaning toward an early primary

    "Scott has been clear about when he wants Florida's presidential primary: as early as possible without violating the Republican National Committee calendar and losing delegates to the convention in Tampa next year. But as the state's presidential primary committee prepares to pick a date, Scott seems to be leaning more toward an early primary." "Gov. Rick Scott leans toward early Florida primary".

    "Property owners at the mercy of banks"

    "The push is on in Florida to cut the courts out of the foreclosure process."

    Supporters of the concept — which is used in nearly 30 states — say it will speed foreclosures, get houses back onto the real estate market and boost the economy.

    Opponents say it puts property owners at the mercy of banks.

    Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos all say they are interested in considering legislation to change Florida laws so judges won’t have to referee foreclosures.
    "Rick Scott, GOP to consider taking courts out of foreclosure process".

    Another shameless hit piece on firemen and cops

    A couple of alleged journalists who do the bidding of a corrupt* newspaper company work hard this morning to slam firefighter and cop benefits, like "overtime, special assignment pay, off-duty assignments, longevity bonuses, merit increases, unused sick and vacation payouts, and more." "South Florida city salaries loaded with extras".

    Missing from the hit piece are crazy things like, you know, facts: for example, it is true that firemen like other workers, to receive overtime: however, they receive time-and-one-half pay after working more than 212 hours in 28 days (not more than 40 hours in 7 days like regular folk). 

    It is also true that firemen and cops get "special assignment pay" for extra training, certifications and work on things like SWAT teams and specialized rescue teams (like high angle rescue).

    It is further true that firemen and cops who work "off-duty assignments" which are merely second jobs, actually get paid to do these second jobs (they are paid by the third parties that hire the firemen and cops do this extra work (like paramedics at a college school football game)); indeed in most cases, the employers usually make money from the third parties that hire the firemen and cops to work the "off-duty assignments".

    It is yet further true that some firemen and cops get "longevity" pay, which is merely a form of additional compensation to incent senior firemen and cops to stay on the job (after all, many firemen and cops are driven to retire after, for example, seeing a certain number of dead children and other scenes few of the rest of us ever see); this has the added benefit of ensuring that citizens have the benefit of tough, hard nosed cops and firemen who have seen and can handle just about everything.

    To be sure, some employers have pay systems which determine firemen and cop wage increases, if any, are concomitant with the "merit" of their work as determined by their supervisors, typically through detailed evaluation systems of things like how firemen perform in rescuing citizens from structure fires or extricating broken bodies from crushed vehicles; how well cops do in gunfights with bad guys; how efficient paramedics are in delivering advanced life support to patients in the field; you know, things like that; things we want firemen and cops to be especially good at.

    Finally, it is true that some employers pay employees on an annual basis, or when they leave employment, for some portion of their "unused sick and vacation" time. Indeed, it is a common labor-relations procedure to encourage employees not to use sick leave by allowing employees to recover a portion of their unused sick/vacation leave time; this has the concomitant benefit to the citizenry of saving employers the cost of overtime.

    Funny how we expect the best from Florida's finest but turn around and attack them for being paid to do it.


    - - - - - - - - - -

    * The newspaper company in which this drivel appears is "corrupt" in the sense that the company owners control what it portrays as "editorial" content, and the owners actually overrule editorial board decisions.

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