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 Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Scott, Rubio ditch Fla-bagger convention

    "Representatives from the offices of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Gov. Rick Scott report that neither will be attending the Florida Tea Party Convention scheduled for this weekend, despite their inclusion on the event’s agenda."
    Both are included as speakers on the current convention agenda, along with a slew of right-wing activists and speakers. ... According to the convention’s website, sponsors of the event include Freedom Works, the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Craig Miller’s U.S. Senate Campaign and the Oath Keepers.
    "Scott, Rubio not attending this weekend’s Florida Tea Party Convention".

    Scary Facts About the Everglades

    "Environment Florida released its 'Ten Scariest Facts About the Everglades' at a press conference coinciding with Halloween." The full list:

    - Over the last 100 years, the Everglades have shrunk to less than half their original size as agricultural and residential development in the region expands. The process has been accelerated over the last 30 years by the growth of the sugar industry and skyrocketing development of Florida’s east coast.

    - Due to recent decisions made by the Supreme Court, 29% of streams in Florida are at risk of losing their Clean Water Act protections.

    - Water from Everglades National Park and other areas drains into the Biscayne Aquifer, which is the source of drinking water for Dade, Broward and some Palm Beach County residents. Meaning more than 7.7 million people depend on the Everglades for drinking water. Without the Everglades to “recharge” this underground water supply, the aquifer would be in danger of running dry or being contaminated by salt water.

    - The Everglades has among the highest mercury levels in fish in Florida. The average male Florida panther has higher estrogen levels than females, due to the estrogenic properties of mercury in the fish they eat. The mercury comes from coal-fired power plants and industrial facilities like cement plants.

    - Polluted runoff from nearby sugarcane and other agricultural operations as well as encroaching urban sprawl significantly alters the Everglades’ complex and unique water chemistry. This year, the SFWMD acknowledged that even if pollution loading to Lake Okeechobee stopped today, it would take more than 20 years for water quality in the Lake to be restored.

    - South Florida Water Management District currently allows discharge of water into the Everglades that contains 9 times more phosphorus than allowed under the Clean Water Act. This creates what is called nutrient pollution that causes harmful algae blooms.

    - Nutrient pollution causes algae blooms that take oxygen out of the water, suffocating much of the natural flora and fauna. More than 25 percent of the remaining Everglades has been damaged by excessive nutrient pollution. Clean-up of Everglades phosphorus pollution was supposed to be completed by 2012, but the state legislature extended it to 2016. Now Gov. Rick Scott is requesting the deadline be pushed to 2022 and asking for millions more dollars.

    - Phosphorus levels in Lake Okeechobee are 3.5 times higher than recommended, causing algae blooms and other indicators of profound imbalances. Wastewater utilities dry sludge from sewage treatment plants and spread it on fields in the Lake Okeechobee watershed as a disposal method. Sludge contributes nearly a quarter of the phosphorous in the watershed.

    - Around 1913, water levels in Lake Okeechobee dropped from around 22-feet above mean sea level to about 15-feet above mean sea level, primarily to provide flood control. By maintaining the lake at these lower levels, the Everglades system has also lost its single largest place to store water.

    - Pythons are an invasive species in the Everglades, eating small mammals and disrupting the natural food chain. In the last 4 years, more than 230 pythons have been found in the park. At 19 feet long, they also pose a threat to humans. In the Everglades 26 percent of all resident mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish are not native to the region, and South Florida has one of the largest non-indigenous faunal communities in the world.

    "Environmental group publishes ‘Ten Scariest Facts About the Everglades’".

    "Senator wants to end secrecy surrounding deals"

    "A Republican state senator wants to end secrecy surrounding deals that use tax dollars to lure companies to Florida or that keep existing businesses from leaving." "Florida senator wants to end secrecy on tax incentives for businesses".

    Occupy Florida

    "Occupy Miami weathers another tough weekend". See also "" and "".

    Will Scott take credit for these jobs? ...

    ... if so, perhaps he will take credit for "NASA [having] shed 4,000 jobs since 2009 as the space shuttle program has been retired."

    "NASA announced a public-private partnership Monday with Space Florida, the state’s aerospace economic development agency, to lease the Kennedy Space Center's Orbiter Processing Facility-3 -- the space shuttle's main engine-processing facility -- to Seattle-based Boeing Co." "Boeing's Manned Capsule to Launch 550 Jobs at the Cape". See also "Boeing to build spacecraft in Space Coast, bring jobs to Florida".

    "Dispensing funds to party potentates"

    Daniel Ruth: "150 large is the number LeMieux received in his role as a consultant for the Florida Republican Party, after he (you're not supposed to notice this) stopped serving as chief of staff to the GOP's answer to the heretical Galileo, the Obama hugger Gov. Charlie Crist."

    For his part, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate insists he earned $150,000 in his role advising the party on how to reach out to Hispanics and African-Americans. And judging from the — to put it mildly — lack of hordes of minority voters tripping over themselves to cast a ballot for, say, Gov. Rick Scott, one might conclude LeMieux's consulting skills might be viewed as just a pinch wanting.

    Perhaps a rare cynic among us might suggest LeMieux's $150,000 idea of minority outreach pretty much consisted of devising a strategy for Republicans to play more Aretha Franklin and Julio Iglesias tunes at their pep rallies in The Villages. You never know, it might work.

    When former state party chairman Jim Greer was told LeMieux justified his $150,000 air kiss by functioning as a sort of GOP version of Al Sharpton meets Cesar Chavez, he almost did a spit-take rivaling Milton Berle at a Friars Club roast.

    Greer suggested LeMieux did less work for the 150K than Kato Kaelin. Instead, Greer noted the six-figure largesse was really little more than a bonus payment for helping Crist, the GOP's answer to Marshal Petain, (and you're really not supposed to notice this) get elected governor.

    Greer is currently facing criminal charges for setting up a double, super-secret fundraising operation that funneled $125,000 to himself for apparently doing even less work than LeMieux did for his door prize. So it would be understandable to think Greer is hardly a disinterested figure here.

    But since Greer has proven to be somewhat adept at dispensing funds to party potentates with all the accountability of a Libyan weapons arsenal audit, you could think of the former chairman as something of an expert witness.

    Besides, LeMieux already had received some $200,000 in state party monies for helping his once (and this one you're really supposed to purge from your memory) great, close, dear friend, buddy and pal Charlie Crist win his primary and the general election for governor.
    Much more here: "LeMieux's wit, wisdom rings up at $150,000".

    The Week Ahead

    "The Week Ahead for Oct. 31 to Nov. 6".

    Planned Parenthood to join Awake the State rallies

    "Planned Parenthood has announced it will join Awake the State in rallies taking place all over Florida tomorrow." "Planned Parenthood to join Awake the State at rallies tomorrow".

    Florida Forever

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Support Florida Forever, despite budget woes".

    Privatization appeal

    "At the request of the Legislature [and notwithstanding the report yesterday that "Ruling on privatization of state prisons to go unchallenged"], the state will challenge a judge's order blocking privatization of 30 prisons in South Florida. Shortly before the courts closed for the day Monday, Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a notice of appeal with the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee."

    Bondi's spokeswoman said she did so at the request of the Republican-led Legislature, which was not a party to the original lawsuit but whose actions were sharply criticized in the original ruling.

    The decision extends the state's effort to implement the most ambitious outsourcing of government-run prisons to date in the United States.
    "Florida appeals judge's decision to block prison privatization plan". See also "Florida lawmakers to fight court ruling about way they tried to privatize prisons".

    Attacks on Mack unleashed

    "With U.S. Rep. Connie Mack preparing to enter the Republican primary field looking to challenge Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012, fellow Senate hopefuls unleashed attacks on the newcomer to the race. The team behind former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, who is running in the Republican primary, used Halloween to attack Nelson, Mack and former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, who is also running in the Republican primary. " "GOP Senate Hopefuls Take Aim at Bill Nelson -- and Start Attacking Connie Mack".

    Jebbie keeps his head down

    "The Daily Beast has a short story on former Gov. Jeb Bush and his role in today's political landscape." "Daily Beast: Jeb is the GOP's grown-up".

    Never-used Gambling loophole

    "Miami could be home to South Florida's eighth slots-and-poker casino long before any destination gambling resort breaks ground, under a permit quietly sought by the owners of Flagler Dog Track and Magic City Casino and approved by state regulators. Flagler lawyer John Lockwood uncovered a never-used loophole in a 30-year-old parimutuel law and used it to persuade the state Division of Parimutuel Wagering to give West Flagler Associates a permit to operate summer jai alai — and potentially slot machines." "Florida state regulators okay jai alai permit that could endanger Seminole gambling compact".

    No Dem is running against Young

    "At least on the Democratic side. U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s health has declined and he's been forced to raise money for re-election earlier than usual. Yet no Democrat is running against the 80-year-old incumbent." "No takers for Young".

    Goin' local

    "The results of Tuesday’s municipal elections could indicate if voters have had enough with incumbents — or if they are willing to keep them in office after a series of tough budget years. But turnout is generally expected to be low." "Four Miami-Dade cities hold municipal elections Tuesday". Related: "2 races on Miami ballot: one tame, the other tense".

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