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 Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Florida crazier than previously thought

    "As a former Republican Party of Florida chairman, Al Cardenas knew the government in Florida is conservative."
    As the chairman of the American Conservative Union, he admits his reaction was “Wow” when he saw how conservative the Legislature had become.

    “It was a wow moment for the movement,” Cardenas said Tuesday as the ACU released its first conservative ratings of the Florida legislature. “You let these experts come up with the matrix and they came with an analysis of dozens of bills and figured out which were best to home in on and then you grade them.”

    Of the 160 members of the Senate and House, 106 – all Republicans – scored at least an 80 when graded on 19 topics eyed by the Washington, D.C.-based ACU.

    The topics range from teacher tenure reform, property insurance reform, immigration reform, pension reform, health care, and ultrasound requirements to red light camera repeal, spending caps, charter schools and virtual education expansion.
    "American Conservative Union Says Florida Legislature More Conservative than Expected".

    "The 2012 political chessboard"

    "Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney dashed across the state Monday raising cash at three private fundraisers."

    In Tallahassee, we're told, he veered into some talk about the 2012 political chessboard.
    "Romney said after airing ads in Iowa for nearly an entire year during the 2008 campaign, he has not run any spots to date. Romney told the crowd his campaign calculus was that he could spend nothing and come in fourth or spend a bit and finish second or third."
    Romney predicted a tea party favorite would win Iowa and that he would take New Hampshire. Romney told the crowd he would seal the nomination by then winning Florida's Republican contest.
    "Romney says it's all about Florida".

    "Act would repeal the sugar loan program"

    "A bill recently introduced by congressmen from Pennsylvania and Illinois could have a far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, much of which is based in South Florida."

    The Free Market Sugar Act would repeal the sugar loan program and amend the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (known as the Farm Bill), perhaps the most important piece of legislation impacting U.S. sugar interests. Written every five years, the Farm Bill helps sugar growers with farm subsidies (which some dismiss as “corporate welfare”) and a series of quotas that tightly control the supply of imported sugar, a benefit to the handful of American sugar producers who pocket around $1 billion in excess profits a year, and a detriment to candy companies that buy U.S. sugar at prices two to three times higher than the global market rate.
    "Free Market Sugar Act challenges sugar subsidies, price controls".

    Rubio's "admittedly modest legislation"

    "Looking for what he called “rapid action” on the economy, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio joined Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware in tearing apart the various Republican and Democratic and White House jobs proposals in search of some rare common ground."

    The two introduced their admittedly modest legislation, known as the “Agree Act,” on Tuesday. It won’t break any new ground, both said. What it might do is inspire confidence in the economy as well as reassure business owners and investors that Washington isn’t completely gridlocked, Rubio said.
    "Rubio pushes compromise jobs bill". See also "Rubio and Democrat propose jobs bill".

    Cain making a strong push in South Florida today

    "Some of the luster’s off Herman Cain’s presidential campaign, but he’s making a strong push in South Florida today to help him stay on top in the nation’s most-important swing state of Florida." "Herman Cain campaigning in South Florida today". See also "As poll numbers fall, Cain makes S. Fla. swing Wednesday, including West Palm Beach".


    "A Florida House committee will begin discussions Wednesday to answer the call for reform of personal injury protection auto insurance by Gov. Rick Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater." "Legislative Efforts Underway to Salvage PIP Auto Coverage from Rampant Fraud". See also "Governor and CFO team up on PIP proposal".

    Union haters drooling

    "Pat Santeramo, the longtime president of the Broward Teachers Union, will not be in charge of the union while he is under investigation by the Florida Elections Commission and the Broward State Attorney’s office for his handling of union dollars." "Broward Teachers Union president not in charge while under investigation". See also "Broward Teachers Union faces uncertain future".

    Florida "ground zero for Medicare fraud"

    "Medicare officials will target Florida and seven other states next year to try to prevent fraud by previewing claims before they are paid for some medical services and equipment. Florida was selected for the demonstration project because it has one of the highest rates of improper payments, another sign that it is ground zero for Medicare fraud." "Medicare will screen for fraud in Florida".

    "They've already proven themselves at being prostitutes"

    "Gov. Rick Scott's top jobs officials were told Tuesday to find a better way to track tax incentives the state has spent or else risk getting less cash next year."

    Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, told [Enterprise Florida CEO Gray] Swoope the state should not pay any companies for the "privilege" to relocate to Florida.

    He said the state should do a better job of "taking care of existing businesses" and that low taxes and fewer regulations should be incentive enough to attract new job creators.

    "They don't need to be paid to move here because normally when you pay a company to move here, as soon as that incentive is done they're looking for the next state that's going to put some more money on the table, and they relocate again because they've already proven themselves at being prostitutes," Bennett said.

    Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, chairwoman of the subcommittee, scolded Bennett for the ribald language saying, "It's a little early in the morning for that, Sen. Bennett."
    "Legislators give Gov. Rick Scott's jobs czar an earful over incentive deals".

    Another education flim flam?

    "Jax senator wants 2 percent of all gaming money for education".

    Gambling scramble

    "Gambling scramble: Palm Beach County considers slots vote; Fla. senator wants casino agency to run Lottery". See also "Sen. Bogdanoff aims to rope Lottery into gaming commission", "Bogdanoff: Bye Bye Dept. of Lottery" and "Orlando-based No Casinos supporting Hialeah case".

    Haridopolos trying hard to do the right thing

    "Senate President Mike Haridopolos is reviving his efforts to pass a claims bill for a former Brevard County man convicted of murder on the strength of faulty evidence and lying witnesses." "Haridopolos says House won't 'play games' with claims bills again".

    Vern among America’s wealthiest 1 percent

    "According to new information released by USA Today, Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, is among America’s wealthiest 1 percent, currently under attack by Occupy Wall Street protesters." "Florida congressman part of the 1 percent".

    "Nothing good happens for the Everglades unless the federal government pushes"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Correctly, U.S. Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar wants to make nice with Gov. Scott on the Everglades - but not too nice."

    ... the Obama administration believes that in this most crucial of swing states it can use the Everglades as a campaign issue against a governor whose poll numbers and standing with environmental groups are lower than the president's. Politics aside, the record shows that nothing good happens for the Everglades unless the federal government pushes. We would like for Mr. Salazar to keep pushing.
    "Keep pushing on Scott's plan".

    Atwater goes after lawyer referral services

    "Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater on Tuesday called for a ban on accident lawyer referral services, like 1-800-ASK-GARY and 411-PAIN, which have proliferated on television, Facebook and other media in recent years." "Atwater targets referral services".

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