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, October 18, 2011

Grayson "blowing away" other candidates' fundraising totals

    "If campaign dollars were votes, former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson would be headed back to Capitol Hill. The firebrand Democrat raised about $416,000 in the last three months — blowing away the totals of every other House candidate from Central Florida, according to newly filed campaign documents."
    The haul came almost exclusively from more than 11,000 small donors nationwide who responded to Grayson — and his populist campaign letters that targeted everything from the Tea Party to the War on Terror (which he calls the War on Error).
    "Alan Grayson outraises other Central Florida congressional candidates".

    "The Bumpkin Entertainment Preservation Act"

    Daniel Ruth writes that, "This has probably happened to you. ... At last a bully idea alights. You turn to your significant enabler, Betty Sue Betty Bob Betty Jo, and you say: 'Hey, Sweetums! I got a great idea. Let's head over to Hector's House of Half-Wits and do some dwarf tossing tonight!'"

    Alas, back in 1989, those fuddy-duddies in the Florida Legislature banned the tossing of dwarves, a gross injustice and threat to individual liberty that has remained on the books ever since, no doubt leaving tens of thousands of dwarves without the opportunity to be tossed, not to mention the legions of patrons yearning to breathe free in the quest to toss as many dwarves as humanly possible.
    "But perhaps this egregious government intrusion into free enterprise may yet come to an end. If Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Lilliput, has his way, Florida's draconian ban on munchkin pitching will — finally! — be repealed and little people can sail through the air."
    What might we call Workman's landmark legislation? "The Bumpkin Entertainment Preservation Act"?

    Workman, R-Oz, is of the opinion that there are simply too many restraints on our independence. What better example of that than the police state-like ban on hurling people of modest physical stature as far as possible?
    "Making Florida safe for mental midgets".

    Florida unions support occupy movement

    "Occupy Miami garnered public support from local unions .... South Florida Jobs for Justice, together with local labor unions, held a press conference this morning announcing their support for Occupy Miami." "Occupy Miami picks up union support".

    Limit puzzle

    The Sarasota Herald Tribune editorial board: "The term-limits puzzle".

    One trick pony

    The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board: "After being told last week that state revenues may end up short by up to $1.7 billion over the next two years, Scott insisted he would push forward with a plan to cut corporate tax rates to help create jobs." "Scott must face tough economic climate".

    Tampa loosens rules in advance of Republican Convention

    "City officials are reworking Tampa's permit process to accommodate the tens of thousands of protestors expected to descend on the city next August for the Republican National Convention. The proposed changes focus on streamlining the process by removing provisions – such as insurance requirements and a 60 day waiting period to get a special use permit – that have caused confusion and resulted in litigation against previous convention host cities." "Tampa reworking permit rules ahead of RNC convention".

    Another Scott yawner

    "Scott dings anthropology, showcases local manufacturing".

    "Jeb!" can't go away

    "Jeb Bush promotes education agenda on Spanish-language TV".

    Wingnut claims "Muslim Brotherhood is behind Occupy Orlando"

    "In a video clip and blog post published [yesterday], a right-wing activist with ties to GOP Senate candidate Adam Hasner alleges that Occupy Orlando, a Central Florida group that has sprung up in solidarity with the New York-based Occupy Wall Street movement, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood."

    "Hasner ally says Muslim Brotherhood is behind Occupy Orlando".

    How much more?

    "Florida's average unemployment tax rate is among the nation's lowest. So are Florida's benefits."

    That apparently is not enough for the Chamber of Commerce:

    Starting Jan. 1, Florida will cut the 26-week maximum benefit period.
    "Study shows Florida unemployment tax among lowest".

    Redistricting update

    "Members of the Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee favored county lines as the first place to put down new boundary lines for Florida’s growing federal seats. Meanwhile, the number of public submissions to remap Florida under the voter-approved Fair Districts measure is approaching 100, with two weeks until the deadline to get them in." "County Lines Favored for Florida's Redrawn Congressional Districts". Related: "Tampa Bay hearings will highlight difficult moves in urban areas".

    Bill Clinton in Tampa

    "The former president, who routinely earns more than $100,000 per speech, has been keeping a busy schedule with the William J. Clinton Foundation pursuing assorted global initiatives partnering with governments and businesses on everything from economic development to treating and combatting disease." "Former President Bill Clinton to speak at Tampa's Straz Center on March 21".

    LeMieux finds some friends

    "Former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux announced on Monday that he had won the backing of three Republican members of the Florida House of Representatives in his bid to challenge Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012. LeMieux unveiled the backing of Rep. Rachel Burgin of Riverview, Rep. Debbie Mayfield of Vero Beach and Rep. Larry Metz of Eustis." "Senate Hopeful George LeMieux Gets Three More Backers in Florida House".

    "They were spectacularly wrong"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "The utility's misjudgments are resulting in repair costs that will reach at least $2.5 billion, and utility customers could be billed for about a quarter of that. The Florida Public Service Commission should thoroughly examine the situation at Crystal River and ensure that Progress Energy and its insurance carrier — not consumers — cover all repair or replacement costs."

    Public records filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the PSC, and depositions conducted by the Florida Office of Public Counsel, show that in-house staff thought they had the expertise to properly handle cutting into the reactor containment wall — something no other nuclear plant had attempted. They were spectacularly wrong.
    "Utility should foot repair bill".

    Putnam gets more work

    "The U.S. Department of Agriculture formally signed off on a plan to transfer public school food and nutrition programs in Florida to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services." "Federal government signs off on Florida's school lunch shift".

    "Florida's once-exploding Medicaid program is slowing"

    "State economists said growth in Florida's once-exploding Medicaid program is slowing and predicted Medicaid spending will increase by a relatively modest $1.3 billion, or 6.3 percent, next fiscal year. Economists estimated the state and federal government will spend $20.2 billion in the current fiscal year on the jointly funded program and nearly $21.5 billion in 2012-13. The state, though, would be affected by the spending increase more than the federal government. That's due mainly to the expiration of temporary federal assistance of nearly $550 million." "Fla. economists predict modest Medicaid growth". See also "Good News!? Florida Medicaid Deficit to Rise Only $65.8 Million".

    Southwestern Miami-Dade County land war

    "A land war is simmering in southwestern Miami-Dade County."

    Owners of small agricultural tracts claim local officials are running them out of business. The landholders -- many of them first- and second-generation Cuban immigrants -- say the government's tactics remind them of how Fidel Castro seized property and power in Cuba.

    Officials at Miami-Dade's Department of Environmental Resource Management say local and state laws require protection of the area's wetlands.

    But landholders are angry over what they see as a powerful county bureaucracy imposing onerous fines and arbitrary restrictions in an 8.5-square-mile area designated for "wetlands mitigation."
    "Miami-Dade, Small Farmers Battle Over Wetlands Regulations".

    "Letting probation officers handle minor violations"

    "Prison officials say a key factor was letting probation officers handle minor violations without sending probationers back into custody." "Fewer Florida ex-convicts returning to prison".

    "It was the sop lawmakers tossed to Floridians"

    Fred Grimm: "Money to alleviate gambling dependency is disappearing even as the state’s dependency on the gambling industry escalates. A proposal for three big Vegas-style resort casinos in South Florida has support in Tallahassee. Which has set off a clamor for more games and less taxes from South Florida racinos and for video gambling terminals for the state’s other pari-mutuels. Meanwhile, a thousand utterly unregulated gambling arcades have been allowed to flourish in neighborhood strip malls." "Florida shortchanges treatment for gambling addic...".

    'Good news for Florida budget writers"

    "Amid the gloomy outlook a bit of good news surfaces for Florida budget writers".

    "Still fighting to pass the ERA"

    "[S]ome Democratic lawmakers are still fighting to pass the ERA. They will launch the latest effort with a rally Tuesday at the Old Capitol, and though they won't say it aloud, they know their cause doesn't stand a chance." "An era later, some Florida legislators still pushing for ERA".

    "Inconsistent math"

    "At two stops Monday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott was asked about the things that have come to dominate his public schedule: his plan for the 2012 legislative session, his belief that the state doesn't need more anthropology majors and his inconsistent math when it comes to creating 700,000 private-sector jobs in the state." "Scott visits the Tampa Bay area".

    Fla-baggers in a dither

    "Starting January 1, employers in Florida must pay workers $7.67 an hour, up from $7.31. The new rates will mean an extra $14.40 per week for someone who works 40 hours." "Florida's minimum wage will rise to $7.67 on Jan. 1".

    Regulating debit card fees

    "A House Democrat disgusted by big banks and their new monthly fees for using debit cards proposed on Monday to make those charges illegal for Florida customers." "Bill would prohibit debit card fees". See also "Hate the new bank fees? Florida lawmaker wants to make them illegal".

    But see: "Banks Fire Back Against Bill to Ban ATM-Card Fee".

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