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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

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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, December 27, 2011

"10 emerging political stories to an eye on in 2012"

    Steve Bousquet's "10 emerging political stories to keep a close eye on in 2012."
    10. Outsourcing, in or out? ...

    9. Greer's trial. When Jim Greer goes on trial for alleged misdeeds as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, the GOP's free-spending, credit card-loving ways will be on trial, as well.

    8. Jack's turn? Two GOP senators are quietly battling to determine which one will become Senate president in 2014: Jack Latvala of Clearwater and Andy Gardiner of Orlando. ...

    7. Line drawing. Reapportionment plans for the state House and Senate, and U.S. Congress will shape the state's political leadership for years to come.

    6. Where there's a Will … Pasco's Will Weatherford, just 32, is the House point man on reapportionment and will become speaker of the House in fall 2012. ...

    5. PPP. The three letters stand for presidential preference primary. Mark the date: Jan. 31. That's when Florida Republicans exert their influence in the selection of the GOP nominee to be formally crowned at the party's convention in August in Tampa.

    4. Senate sendoffs. Next year is when term limits exact their full impact on the state Senate, emptying the chamber of much of its experience and institutional know-how. ...

    3. Mack the Fourth. Will U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV follow his namesake father's footsteps all the way to the U.S. Senate?

    2. Election machinations. The Legislature's big changes to early voting and voter registration in Florida are still unresolved and in the hands of three federal judges in Washington, D.C. Approved or not, they will be a rallying cry for Democrats in 2012.

    1. Rick Scott 2.0. The governor has a full year of experience under his belt, and he embarks on the second year of his term with lots to prove.
    "Big Florida political stories to watch in 2012".

    "Stunting the growth of a promising new industry"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "This month a state House panel approved a bill to repeal the 2008 state law that requires most gasoline sold in Florida to include up to 10 percent ethanol. Sponsor Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Fort Walton Beach, decried the government 'crawling into our gas cans.' Time for a reality check: The bill wouldn't accomplish its purpose. And it could end up stunting the growth of a promising new industry in Florida." "Fla. shouldn't give up on renewable fuels".

    2012 Session Outlook

    See "2012 Session Outlook: Justice and the Courts" and "2012 Session Outlook: Real Estate and Growth Management".

    Florida GOP locks crazies in the attic ... for now

    "After an amped-up year of major policy changes, Gov. Rick Scott and Republican leaders may be moving toward the political middle - a stance many say is a sure sign that a major election season is approaching."

    Ruling Republicans plan to advance a limited agenda when the legislature convenes next month, a downshift that could be designed in part to avoid the polarizing, partisan clashes that dominated this year's session and its aftermath.

    Florida is the nation's largest toss up state in the presidential contest. But just as in the other key presidential battlegrounds of Ohio and Wisconsin, governors suddenly are showing signs of reaching out to opponents after declaring war on them.
    "Gov. Rick Scott and Republican leaders may be moving toward political middle".

    Social issues low on the list

    "Anti-immigration rhetoric flared up on Florida's 2010 campaign trail and became a winning wedge issue for Gov. Rick Scott, who used it to woo the tea party and help win election. But with the 2012 legislative session fast approaching, social issues such as immigration, abortion and welfare change are taking a back seat in the state capital." "This session, social issues are low on Florida lawmakers' list".

    The Week Ahead

    "The Week Ahead for Dec. 27 to Dec. 30".

    Don’t ask, don’t tell about redistricting

    "Many lawmakers and other key players in Florida’s process for drawing new congressional and legislative districts have adopted their own don’t ask, don’t tell policies. That includes Senate Reapportionment Committee Chairman Don Gaetz. The Niceville Republican insists he doesn’t know, nor does he want to know, how the maps proposed by his panel will affect incumbent members of Congress and the Legislature." "Lawmakers have little to say about redistricting".

    From the "values" crowd

    "Just as Medicaid prepares for a vast expansion under the federal health care overhaul, the 47-year-old entitlement program for the poor is under increasing pressure as deficit-burdened states chip away at benefits and cut payments to doctors." "State cuts to Medicaid affect patients, providers".

    More from the "values" crowd

    "Florida defends its denial of tuition waivers for homeless".

    "Ask Charlie Crist"

    Randy Schultz: "Name recognition alone can't create a network of professionals and volunteers. Ask Charlie Crist."

    Not long ago, Mr. Crist was Florida's most popular politician. In 2008, Republican presidential candidates competed for his endorsement. Until that point, Mr. Crist had had the good sense to know his limits. In 11 years, he went from obscure state senator to governor by moving carefully, like someone testing rocks while crossing a stream. When he ran for the Senate in 1998 against Bob Graham, Mr. Crist knew that he would lose. The campaign, though, made him a statewide candidate.

    His time on the vice presidential speculation list, though, made Mr. Crist stop looking at the rocks. In May 2009, barely two years into his term as governor, he announced that he would run for the U.S. Senate seat that Mel Martinez was leaving early. Mr. Crist then named his former chief of staff, George LeMieux, to be the placeholder. That was a sign of entitlement.

    A year later, the tea party ascendant in the Republican Party, Mr. Crist had lost the GOP base. He had to make that Senate run as an independent, putting together his own organization. He did defeat a weak Democrat, Kendrick Meek, but he finished 20 points behind Marco Rubio.

    Mr. Crist picked up some Democrats who thought that he had a better chance of beating Mr. Rubio. He probably picked up some moderate Republicans who shun the tea party's reactionary philosophy. What Mr. Crist couldn't pick up were all those Republican volunteers who staff phone banks, stuff envelopes and drive voters to the polls. He couldn't get the staffers who keep campaigns focused and nimble. He couldn't put together an organization to campaign effectively in Florida.

    Granted, Mr. Crist had the additional problem of credibility as a third-party candidate. He left the GOP only because he would have lost the primary. Still, if someone with Mr. Crist's profile couldn't pull it off, who could?
    "Forget third party. Demand major change from major parties".

    Pari-mutuel confusion

    "In spite of state laws on the issues, confusion still surrounds Internet sweepstakes cafes, Internet sales taxes, the tax rate on hotel rooms sold by online travel companies and what types of pari-mutuel activities are allowed in Florida." "Despite calls for clarity, some state laws remain muddled".

    Second amendment stoopid

    "Toddler critical after being shot in the head".

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