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 Monday, October 17, 2011

"Hispanics on fence"

    "Many Hispanics on fence about Obama in 2012". Meanwhile, "U.S. Orders More Florida Counties to Provide Spanish Voter Services".

    "Massive bill to bring resort casinos to South Florida"

    "If Florida is going to be home to Las Vegas-style casinos, it has also got to have Las Vegas-style regulations, say the authors of a massive bill to bring resort casinos to South Florida."

    That includes creation of a state gaming commission and a rule that casino operators give the state access to almost everything — from bank accounts to marital records, safe-deposit boxes, computers and even their homes.

    But, as with every element of this high-stakes debate, a tug-of-war has ensued between the two most powerful international players, Las Vegas Sands and Genting Malaysia. Each wants to use the Florida regulations to put the other at a disadvantage, and each wants to distance itself from the organized-crime elements of the Chinese casinos to keep its regulatory record clean. ...

    The result is a hybrid of Nevada’s and New Jersey’s regulations, she said. Both states are considered the strongest in the nation, and use a two-tired system, with an independent gaming commission to license casinos and set policy and a separate division to enforce and investigate. Both states ban gaming commission members from being involved in political campaigns or contributions.

    The Nevada process is so intense that casino applicants “refer to the investigation as the most trying experience of their lives,” said Robert Faiss and Gregory Gemignani, authors of a new paper from the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas .

    Casino applicants in Nevada must agree to waive some legal rights, the report says. They are asked to disclose personal, financial, marital, legal, and criminal information, and to sign a release that says they won’t sue state regulators because of conflicts arising out of the application process. They also must reveal assets, liabilities, tax information, business experience and bankruptcy history, and disclose where they are getting their investment money.
    "Florida gaming commission to follow N.J., Nevada models".


    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Talks to jump start Everglades cleanup are just that, a start".

    "Monday Morning Reads"

    "Week Ahead for Oct. 17-Oct. 23". See also "Monday Morning Reads: Money, pain clinics, and lawyers".

    Scott was first to propose elimination of ban on "dwarf tossing"

    "State Rep. Ritch Workman has earned national notoriety for his idea to scrap a 22-year-old law that bans dwarf tossing in bars."

    "Is this what Republicans mean when they say they want smaller government?" quipped late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel before unveiling a parody slogan for Workman's re-election campaign video: "He believes dwarves can fly. He believes they can touch the sky."
    Scott actually beat Workman to the punch on the freedom of dwarves to be tossed for money, but Florida's media is just now catching up to it:
    Before national media homed in on Workman, Scott was leading his own charge to repeal 1,000 state rules and change more than 1,200 others.

    He quietly targeted two agency rules related to dwarf tossing, including one that defines dwarfism and another about penalties already covered in law.

    If Workman's dwarf-tossing repeal passes, the accompanying rules disappear, too, saving Scott's team some trouble. Workman insists there was no cooperation with Scott's office.
    "Florida lawmaker's 'zeal to repeal' easier said than done".

    "15 super PACs from Florida have submitted paperwork"

    "During the 2010 election, so-called "super PACs" — political groups that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money — left a big footprint, spending at least $4 million to elect candidates in Florida, including now-U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio."

    And if early filings are any indication, this amount likely will be dwarfed in 2012 as the newly empowered super PACs fight in Florida for the presidency, a competitive U.S. Senate seat and 27 races for the U.S. House.

    Already, at least 15 super PACs from Florida have submitted paperwork to the Federal Election Commission, and the number registered nationally has nearly doubled, from 84 during the 2010 cycle to 155 now, according to watchdog groups.
    "'Super-PACs' ready to spend big bucks in 2012".

    Who are these Orlando occupiers?

    "Marchers stretch half-mile through downtown; protest to continue overnight". "Occupy Orlando demonstrators continued protest overnight at park". "Snare drums banged. The voice of a fed-up grandmother cackled through a megaphone. And 72-year-old Bill Schikora took it all in. Schikora is a Lexus-driving retired insurance salesman who owns two homes and three golf carts. He's not exactly the posterchild of the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement."

    Now, you probably won't see much of Schikora on the evening news. He's not nearly as titillating as the tattoo-covered 22-year-old who's raging against capitalism and better fits the stereotype.

    Yet, as I looked around the Occupy Orlando movement, I saw a diverse crowd that, in many ways, resembled the Tea Party — people of different backgrounds there for very different reasons.

    Most were opposing corporate greed and control over America's political system — the notion at the heart of this movement.

    But there were also people upset about everything from racism to white-collar crime.

    Many were not liberals. There was a large contingency of Ron Paul supporters. And many were fed up with President Barack Obama for continuing to coddle corporate insiders.
    Scott Maxwell: ""
    "Don't dismiss Occupy Orlando or try to pigeonhole the movement".

    "Miller on Main Street"

    "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Craig Miller will spend a day working at a Lake County tire shop next week. Craig, who is vying for the seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla), will spend a 'work day' at Lake Tire & Auto in Tavares from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19. Craig was originally supposed to spend the day working at the shop last month, but canceled it because he was recovering from a motorcycle accident in Altamonte Springs where he had minor injuries." "U.S. Senate candidate Craig Miller to spend day working at Lake County tire shop".

    Ricky "let a sacred cow out of the barn"

    Nancy Smith thinks "It's about time somebody had the cojones to challenge the liberal arts crowd on the veracity of degrees that aren't working in the 21st century workplace."

    And wouldn't you know, that somebody would be Rick Scott. Whatever you say about our governor, the man knows how to let a sacred cow out of the barn.

    "How many more jobs do you think there are in anthropology in this state?" Scott asked a gathering of businessmen at a luncheon last week. "Do we need to use your tax dollars to educate more people who can't get jobs in anthropology? I don't. I want to make sure we spend our money where people can get jobs when they get out."

    Attack liberal arts degrees? Oh, my, how dare he?
    "Gov. Rick Scott's Liberal Arts Masterstroke".

    Disney snaps its fingers ...

    And The Orlando Sentinel editorial board jumps: "Allowing casinos in metro Orlando would severely undermine the family brand that makes the region an economic powerhouse. Disney and dice don't mix. Disney understands that, which is why its cruise ships are among the few without casinos." "State casino expansion must bypass Orlando".

    Connie's Penny Plan

    "This week, Florida Republican Congressman Connie Mack brought to the attention of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction his plan to reduce the size and scope of the federal government and balance the budget by 2019." "Connie Mack Pitches Penny Plan to Committee Studying Deficit Reduction".

    "A radical idea?"

    Beth Kassab: "If Doug Darling, the state's new 'economic opportunity' director, really wants to get aggressive when it comes to holding accountable companies that accept public incentive dollars, there's an easy way to do it. Make the information public. A radical idea? No, but it's one Florida has simply shrugged at for decades." "State should make incentive data public". Related: "Jackson Lab mystery" ("When Gov. Scott met with the Herald-Tribune Editorial Board last week, we hoped to hear why he or his staff didn't support a state investment in Jackson Lab — or what lessons Sarasota County and the community could learn from the experience. The response was disappointing.")

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Give the public its payoff".

    Desai saddles up with Perry

    RPOFer bundler A.K. Desai is infatuated with the swaggering and sometimes tongue-tied Texan Rick Perry:

    Florida has dozens of Republican fundraisers who bundle individual contributions to raise tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for candidates, and this year most are helping Romney. As one of the first — and relatively few — elite Florida fundraisers to embrace Perry, Desai's political profile has risen considerably.
    "He started Universal Health Care in 2002, welcoming its first member in August 2003. Today, Universal serves 116,000 members in 19 states and has annual revenue of about $1.1 billion. About 1,000 employees work out of Universal's downtown St. Petersburg headquarters."
    The expansion had significant bumps. In 2007, state regulators called for liquidating the company unless it shored up reserves by more than $150 million. Universal was drawing a slew of consumer complaints for poor customer service, denial of treatment and aggressive marketing. ...

    In addition to the money Desai has bundled from other contributors, he, his wife and his corporation have donated at least $735,000 to state and federal campaign organizations, including about $480,000 to the Florida GOP and $140,000 to the Republican National Committee.

    Gov. Bush appointed Desai to several state education policy boards starting in 1999, and in 2005 he tapped him for the Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system.
    "Florida fundraiser A.K. Desai sides with Texas Gov. Rick Perry".

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