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 Saturday, October 01, 2011

"Florida wreaks havoc on presidential primary schedule"

    "State leaders wreaked havoc on the presidential primary schedule by setting Florida’s 2012 presidential primary for Jan. 31 — provoking a torrent of anger in Iowa and South Carolina." "Florida sets Jan. 31 primary date, bucking GOP rules". See also "Florida presidential primary will be held Tues., Jan. 31", "Florida's presidential primary election set for Jan. 31", "Early primary could hurt Florida, some Republicans say", "Presidential primary schedule likely to start in early January with Florida setting Jan. 31 election" and "Early-Voting States Want Tougher Penalties for Florida; GOP Says No". Related: "Strawn wants punishment for pro-calendar leap voters" ("chairman of the Iowa Republican Party is asking officials at the national level to enforce new sanctions on Florida Republicans.")

    "Critics of the decision, including some prominent Florida Republicans, say the move could backfire and actually diminish Florida's influence."
    That's because, under national party rules, the RNC decreed that only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina can conduct elections before March 6 — Florida will have lose half of its 99 delegates, making it less of a prize for candidates who don't want to spend the millions of dollars it costs to run a statewide election in the Sunshine State.

    "The only thing others will say is that going early will help Florida be more significant. I would submit that we will be less significant, because no candidate can get momentum from the few delegates they will get from Florida," said Republican national committeeman Paul Senft of Haines City. "Further, how much more significant can we get than hosting the convention? … We will have little, if any, impact on the delegate count for any candidate."

    Nonsense, counter supporters of the early primary. Delegates don't mean much, anyway.

    "It is indisputable that what matters most in the early primary season is MOMENTUM, not delegates,'' U.S. Rep. David Rivera of Miami wrote in an e-mail to party officials Friday. "That is why states like Iowa and New Hampshire, which have minuscule delegates, matter. As in 2008, Florida will provide overwhelming momentum not because of our delegate count, but because Florida's critical role in the November election."

    Rivera, 46, may not recall the 1976 primary when Gerald Ford lacked enough delegates to secure the nomination, and only won after a convention floor fight with Ronald Reagan.
    "Early primary a gamble for Florida".

    "Paul Senft, one of three Florida representatives on the Republican National Committee, emailed the four GOP leaders of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada Friday morning to apologize for and note his embarrassment of his inability to keep his state’s primary from moving into January." "Not unanimous in Florida about the date".

    And the guy has the audacity to expect a pension?

    "A Hillsborough County deputy was shot Friday night while responding to a 911 call." "Hillsborough deputy wounded in shooting; suspect in custody".

    PBA wins privatization case

    "A state judge ruled Friday that the Legislature violated the law and Florida's Constitution by using budget language to order prisons to be privatized in 18 South Florida counties, and demanded that the project be stopped immediately."

    "Actions taken to date are declared illegal without authority in violation of law," Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford wrote in a strongly-worded, six-page decision that faulted lawmakers for a lack of transparency.

    Fulford said the Legislature trampled on existing privatization law by ordering the Department of Corrections to seek proposals from private vendors to run 29 prisons and work camps. She also found that the project violated state law because the agency failed to do a business-case study of the pros and cons of privatization before seeking proposals from vendors.

    Fulford emphasized that privatizing state prisons is allowed by law, but that the Legislature went about it the wrong way.
    "Florida judge rules prison privatization procedure unconstitutional". See also "Florida judge calls prison outsourcing unconstitutional", "Judge blocks lawmakers' plan to privatize 29 South Florida prisons", "Prison privatization plan ruled unconstitutional" and "Prison privatization on hold after court ruling".

    Meanwhile, legal geniuses "Rick Scott, Mike Haridopolos Critical of Judge's Prison Ruling".

    Note: Fulford is the same judge who is hearing the FRS lawsuit.

    No can do Ricky

    "U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown has waded into the uproar surrounding Workforce Central Florida, insisting that Gov. Rick Scott has no authority to block federal funding of the region's embattled jobs agency. Brown, D-Jacksonville, said in a statement that she had spoken with U.S. Labor Department officials and was assured that 'it is out of the purview of the Florida Governor to halt the program's funding.'" "Scott can't stop Workforce funds, Rep. Brown says".

    Entrepreneurs in action

    "20 South Floridians indicted in home equity loan fraud case".

    What's wrong with Hillsborough?

    "Iuculano launches anti-gay attack on Beckner".

    Yost lashes out at Brown

    "In an email sent out to supporters this morning, Corrine Brown opponent Mike Yost lashes out at the Democratic congresswoman’s decision to continue her lawsuit against Fair Districts Amendment 6." "Yost on redistricting appeal: Brown ‘as predictable as they come’".

    Runnin' wit' the devil

    "At an Orlando conference for crisis pregnancy centers packed with more than 1,000 attendees, former Planned Parenthood employee-turned anti-abortion advocate Abby Johnson told the room that they had to fight Planned Parenthood, a group she says is 'working with the devil.'"

    Meanwhile, erstwhile devil-fighter,

    Congressman Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala, has asked the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, for the organization’s financial and policy records as part of an investigation into the chain of clinics. Stearns chairs a subcommittee on oversight and investigations in the U.S. House. Stearns was asked to look into Planned Parenthood by Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion rights group that put together a report with the aim of convincing members of Congress to defund Planned Parenthood.
    "Abby Johnson: Planned Parenthood ‘working with the devil’".

    "Looking more like Old Florida than new"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board:

    Not one woman sits on the Board of Trustees at St. Petersburg College, where more than six of every 10 students are female. There's only one woman and one minority on the board at Hillsborough Community College, where women and minorities make up 56 percent and 50 percent, respectively, of the student body. Gov. Rick Scott, in finally making appointments at these two taxpayer-funded institutions, has produced boards of trustees that look more like Old Florida than new.
    "Lack of diversity on college boards".

    "Unless money falls out of the sky"

    "Jane Johnson, the governor's top budget aide for health care spending, warns at hearings on legislative budget requests that 'unless money falls out of the sky' more budget cuts appear likely." "Health care agencies are told that budget cuts will likely be 'a reality' in 2012".

    Week in Review

    "The Week in Review for Sept. 26-Oct. 1". See also "Weekly Roundup: Hello, January Primary; Goodbye, Colorful Governor".

    Polluters outraged

    "The waters of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge - a remnant of the northernmost portion of the original Everglades - must be protected by Florida's strict phosphorus reduction rule, a federal judge ruled today." "Judge: Water leaving Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge must meet strict phosphorus rule".

    Atwater's Teabaggery

    "'There are people bent on changing who we are. Half the population feels entitled to the sweat and sacrifice of the other half,' Atwater told an Indian River Tea Party gathering in Vero Beach last week." "Jeff Atwater Assails Citizens Insurance, Encourages Conservatives".

    One in six Floridians live in poverty

    The Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy reports that "the number of Floridians in poverty surpassed three million in 2010, the Census Bureau reported last week."

    One of every six Floridians and almost one of every four children under 18 live in poverty. That means they live in a two-person family earning no more than $14,676 annually or a three-person family earning no more than $17,374.

    It is in this environment of growing poverty that the Florida Legislature cuts safety net programs like unemployment compensation and Medicaid designed to cushion Floridians from the worst effects of economic downturns. State policymakers also reject federal funding for health and social services for Floridians and oppose the federal health care law that would provide insurance coverage to millions of the uninsured.

    Read the report.
    "Three Million Floridians in Poverty; Legislature Cuts Safety Net".

    Broken clocks

    "The GOP presidential candidates and Florida Republicans disagree on many issues, but they mostly agree that K-12 education policies should be designed at the local level and that the federal government should play a limited role." "GOP presidential candidates want to limit federal role in K-12 education".

    Poor Vern

    "Buchanan has been plagued with rumors of campaign fraud in recent years. In June, his former business partner was fined nearly $68,000 for reimbursing employees who donated to Buchanan’s 2006 and 2008 campaigns. That business partner alleges Buchanan himself orchestrated the scheme. At least 14 other lawsuits have made similar allegations." "Venice retiree files ethics complaint against Buchanan".

    Ordinances prohibiting guns in parks are now null and void

    "As of Saturday, gun laws are uniform throughout the state. Local ordinances prohibiting guns in parks or at the ocean are null and void." "New state law puts bullet in local gun ordinances". See also "With change in state law, guns now allowed in Palm Beach County governmental center".

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