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 Tuesday, September 06, 2011

White House Hispanic Summit in Orlando

    "Members of President Barack Obama's staff will be in Orlando on Friday and Saturday to host what is being billed as the first White House Hispanic Summit outside Washington. The two-day event will cover topics such as immigration reform, economic recovery, education and health care. Local organizers say it's an opportunity for Hispanics of all backgrounds and political affiliations to learn about federal programs and to influence policymaking by speaking directly to people who advise the president."

    The GOPers are grumpy:
    Some Central Florida Republicans are charging that the summit is really a campaign event for Obama.

    Angel De la Portilla, a local Republican strategist, called the summit "a ploy" and said it's taking place in a battleground state where the Hispanic population has grown rapidly.
    "White House to host Hispanic summit in Orlando".

    Will Mica make another mess?

    "With Congress returning to work after Labor Day, a conflict is brewing between the Obama administration and Republicans in Congress -- and a Florida congressman [U.S. Rep. John Mica] should be playing a vital role."

    On Wednesday, President Barack Obama and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called on Congress to extend transportation program funding, including for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The White House insists that a million jobs are at risk by not continuing the funding.
    "Obama and John Mica Spar Over Transportation Bills".

    Turning the academy into Walmart

    "After ending teacher tenure and launching performance-based pay programs at Florida's K-12 schools, Gov. Rick Scott is setting his sights on higher education. The challenge to entrenched powers at the ivory tower could make the 2011 Legislature reform fight look like a a dustup in the kindergarten sandbox." "Tenure Battle Looms at Florida Universities, Colleges".

    Universal ID card?

    "Issue Floridians a single ID card that would hold several kinds of vital information: your driver's license, car insurance, health insurance and voter registration. Good idea?"

    Secretary of State Kurt Browning, Florida's chief elections official, is concerned.

    First of all, not everybody who drives a car is registered to vote, Browning notes, and not everyone who votes has a driver's license.

    Second, because motorists' driving histories are legally available to certain private firms (but not for marketing purposes), there will be a debate over making more of that information easier to get.

    Third, if a voter who doesn't drive is forced to pay for an ID card, that's certain to raise constitutional issues of a poll tax in disguise.

    "If Highway Safety is going to be the one issuing this ID, there's going to be a fee associated with producing the ID. You can't be penalizing folks that don't have the resources to pay for this ID and thus won't be able to vote," Browning says.

    Simply put, voting is free.

    "It's a great idea in some regards, but I'm not sure it's practical in the area of voting," Browning says.

    State law does not mandate that a voter produce a driver's license. Several types of photo ID are allowed.

    Still, Browning is cool to the idea of using a driver's license as the universal form of ID.
    "Florida studying a possible universal ID for everyone".

    "Like a washed-up starlet"

    "Like a washed-up starlet, Florida's writing FCAT keeps going under the knife. In the past seven years, the all-important exam has had five major makeovers." "Many makeovers later, FCAT progress hard to measure".

    "A much less trying budget-writing experience next year"

    The Daytona Beach News-Journal editors: "Earlier this year, Florida lawmakers performed the thankless task of putting the state's fiscal house in order by making major cuts in the budget. The cuts drew howls of outrage from across the state, but in pressing on against powerful resistance from state employees and education officials, the Legislature set itself up for a much less trying budget-writing experience next year." "Hard decisions put state's finances in order". Background: "State may avoid budget shortfall next year".

    "Tax cuts for corporations"

    Lloyd Dunkelberger: "All indications are that Scott, working with an equally conservative Legislature, will pursue tax cuts for corporations while limiting, if not cutting, more state spending. Pursuit of that agenda will play out in the coming months as Scott and lawmakers develop a new budget for 2012-13." "Scott still looking for tax, spending cuts".

    "Giv[ing] banks quicker access to repossession"

    "For the third consecutive year, Florida lawmakers will attempt to fix the state's foreclosure court mire with legislation that streamlines the process and, in some cases, gives banks quicker access to repossession." "Florida legislature trying to bust foreclosure backlog - again".

    OMG ... is it a "tax increase"?

    The Tampa Trib editorial board: "So far, lawmakers have been terrified of anything that might be labeled a tax increase. But collecting the sales tax [on internet sales] does not represent an increase in taxes. It simply treats all businesses the same — the reason state business and civic leaders have formed Main Street Florida to push for collection of taxes owed on remote sales." "Handicapping state merchants".

    "Tuesday Morning Reads"

    "Tuesday Morning Reads: Labor Day weekend edition".

    Ricky wants to repeal 1000 rules "in one shot"

    "Scott is on a crusade to repeal more than 1,000 state rules that target everything from dwarf tossing to gambling and real estate licenses."

    The rules — which are crafted by state agencies to implement laws passed by the Legislature — typically are repealed by the agency that wrote them.

    But the governor's office now says it will ask lawmakers to repeal all of the rules in one shot next year. ...

    Democrats don't object to the idea, but they want Scott to follow the typical process, which includes public notices and sometimes public hearings.

    "We should always be looking at the rules, but we should maintain the process we've set forward," said Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando.

    Scott has made rule-making one of the key points of his first year in office. In January, he signed an executive order requiring his newly created Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform to formally sign off on all proposed rules. The Supreme Court ruled last month that the order violated the state Constitution.

    But the court order doesn't stop Scott from reviewing rules and recommending changes.
    "Gov. Scott takes aim at state rules".

    While we're at it ... let's gut her pension

    "Fla. police officer still critical, shooter jailed".

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