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 Thursday, October 20, 2011

Justice Department investigating Buchanan

    The federal Department of Justice
    has launched an investigation into Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota. Buchanan has long been plagued with rumors that he violated campaign finance laws, but a former business partner and a car dealership the two once co-owned, however, took the brunt of those claims — eventually being fined nearly $68,000 for what the FEC called an “extensive and ongoing scheme.”
    "Department of Justice investigating Florida congressman".

    West fights for America's wealthiest 1 percent

    "U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, told a town hall audience Tuesday that he stands with Occupy Wall Street protesters in opposing corporate bailouts, but he disputed the movement's claim that America's wealthiest 1 percent aren't paying their fair share of taxes." "West disputes Occupy movement's '1 percent' claim as group protests in Palm Beach".

    "Recognizing the extraordinary nature of police service"

    The Sarasota Herald-Tribune editorial board: "In voting to stick with police pensions, Sarasota city commissioners chose the right path Monday. Their decision — after a long, dramatic night of testimony and months of union impasse — is a reasonable compromise. It recognizes the extraordinary nature of police service yet saves money." "Protection for the police".

    Wingnuts run wild in Jax

    "Promoting state sovereignty, a convention of 10th Amendment advocates will gather on Jacksonville's riverfront Saturday with a simple but radical message: 'Nullify Now!'"

    More fundamentally libertarian and anti-establishment than the "Occupy" movement that hit town last week, the "Nullify Now!" tour challenges what organizers assail as "federal overreach."

    “We’ve got exploding debt, war without end, government demanding we purchase health insurance on its terms and federal agents raiding business for the heinous crime of selling whole milk,” said Michael Maharrey, spokesman for the 10th Amendment Center.
    "Blasting Feds, Jacksonville Conference Will Declare 'Nullify Now!' on Saturday".

    "Florida is among those chiseling — even hacking — away at voter protections"

    The Miami Herald editors: "At this point in American history, imposing poll taxes and literacy tests would be a too-obvious attempt to suppress the voting rights of African Americans and other minorities. Not that anyone should want to in this, the land of the free."

    But as Republican-controlled legislatures have taken the reins across the country, there has been a disturbing trend in laws being enacted that place unnecessary hurdles between the voting booth and minorities, young voters and seniors. Democrats fret that the laws will discourage or prevent eligible voters in those categories — who tend to vote for them — from going to the polls.
    "Unfortunately, the state of Florida is among those chiseling — even hacking — away at protections, perhaps running afoul of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and subsequent mandates that dismantled barriers to this constitutional right."
    Florida, to its shame, remains among very few states in which ex-felons are not automatically eligible to vote again upon their release from prison. Where there was a brief respite of common sense under the administration of Gov. Charlie Crist, who relaxed the stringent rules under which ex-cons could see their civil rights restored, the Scott administration has resurrected the arbitrarily long period of time before one can even seek rights-restoration.

    Now, state lawmakers and the administration appear to have many other Floridians in their sights.
    "Blocking the path to the polls". Meanwhile, "U.S. judge dismisses ACLU challenge of Florida election law".

    Big of him

    "Gov. Rick Scott released a new executive order that requires his Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulation Reform to abide by a recent Supreme Court ruling that said his decision to freeze all new rules was unconstitutional." "Scott orders office to comply with Supreme Court ruling". See also "Scott grudgingly complies with Fla. court ruling".

    Bill would permit three resort casinos in South Florida

    "The bill, which has been expected for several weeks, has been delayed while its authors say they have attempted to cover every nuance in the legislation that would allow up to three resort casinos in South Florida and create a state gaming commission to regulate it and all forms of gaming in the state." "After holdup, resort casino bill to be filed this week".

    Redistricting update

    "Florida senators charged with drawing legislative and congressional districts said preserving minority representation should be a top priority Tuesday, as they began examining potential maps for the central and northeastern parts of the state. " "Redistricting efforts to prioritize preserving minority districts". See also "‘Racial protection ‘paramount’ in new maps, panel says" and "Round-up of media coverage of redistricting for 10/19".

    Romney gets Atwater

    "Mitt Romney Gets the Backing of Jeff Atwater".

    "The economic clouds are darker in Florida"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board:

    Orlando is under water. Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami are nearly submerged. Of the 10 worst cities in the country when the size of mortgage debt is compared with property value, five are in Florida. That puts the challenge facing this state in stark perspective.

    Now where is the life preserver from President Barack Obama or Gov. Rick Scott to help drowning homeowners?

    If it looks like the economic clouds are darker in Florida, they are. The state's unemployment rate remains higher than the nation's. A record number of home foreclosures are still working through the system. The go-go days of growth are long gone. Homeowners who owe more on their houses than they are worth cut their spending, which reduces consumer demand, which lowers income for businesses, which results in too little job creation to turn things around.
    "Florida's sinking feeling".

    Florida may reject a $100 million federal early learning grant

    "Florida will reject a federal early learning grant of up to $100 million if it comes with strings attached including any requirement for state funding, Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday. Scott's warning coincided with the state's application for the grant offered through President Barack Obama's Race to the Top program. It is part of the federal stimulus program that Scott has criticized in the past." "Scott: Fla. will reject grant if strings attached". See also "Scott wants the feds' school cash, but not their two cents". Related: "Florida Seeks Race to the Top Funding; Tea Party Sees Trouble Ahead".

    Florida university salaries online

    "Gov. Rick Scott wants Florida universities to list what graduates earn". On a separate subject, "DATA MINE: Search Florida university salaries online".

    Hialeah mayoral race

    "With just a few months in office as mayor of Hialeah, Carlos Hernandez has managed to quickly build his own record and show he can play politics like a veteran — all in the hopes of holding on to power in a Nov. 1 special election. ... In the race to keep his title as strong mayor, Hernandez faces seasoned opponents: long-time former Mayor Raul Martinez and former state Rep. Rudy Garcia. Political newcomer George Castro is also running." "Hialeah mayor fights to keep job in November’s election".

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