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, December 05, 2011

"Economic development efforts have been less than impressive"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "Smart investors don't throw good money after bad. But that's just what the Republican-led Legislature is being asked to do by Gov. Rick Scott's Department of Economic Opportunity."
    Despite a series of bookkeeping gaffes in recent weeks and less than impressive performance by predecessor agencies, DEO is seeking 250 percent more money in 2012-13 to woo businesses to Florida or to help those already here to expand. Last month, members of the Senate budget subcommittee that oversees the agency's spending said all the right things, but the proof will come in the action. If Republicans are true to their mantra of making government operate more like a business, they won't even consider doubling down until they have a full accounting of the money the agency and its predecessors have already spent.
    "A ridiculously broad public records exemption in state law makes it all but impossible to timely monitor how Florida spends its economic development funds and hold state and local officials accountable. Taxpayers have little choice but to trust that state bureaucrats and elected officials are delivering agreements that will add value to the state, not just giving sweetheart deals to some businesses. But a recent glimpse behind the curtain — provided by Scott's newly created DEO — suggests the state's economic development efforts have been less than impressive."
    DEO recently provided a bare-bones accounting of business incentives over the past 15 years showing that most deals, negotiated in secret, never panned out as expected.
    "Don't throw good money after bad". Related: "Secret jobs deals corrode public trust".

    See you in Havana

    "Since the first charter flights from Tampa to Cuba in nearly 50 years began, business leaders have been reaching out to the island nation and even invited Cuban diplomats to visit." "Tampa business leaders hope to strengthen ties with Cuba".

    "This is unfortunate news"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "On Thursday, college students in the Sunshine State were put on notice they may have to pay more for school as the Legislature grapples with the revenue shortfall. "

    State Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, told the Tampa Tribune that the primary targets will be health and human services and higher education.

    This is unfortunate news. College tuition at Florida's 11 state universities may be cheaper than in other states but it's still no easy purchase. While no part of the budget should be sacrosanct during budget hearings, lawmakers should be careful how they apply cuts to college funding.

    Many students go into long-term debt to pay tuition and fees. Students often use loans to help pay for room and board. Student debt puts a drag on the economy and the students' post-college efforts to achieve financial independence.
    "Florida college students in budget crosshairs".

    "Miami is Digging"

    "Port of Miami is Digging for Growth".

    Blaming Charlie

    Nancy Smith: "Apparently if you're an environmentalist in Florida, Charlie Crist is like a polar bear in a blizzard. You don't see him. That's the only explanation I can figure for former Gov. Bob Graham and a new conservation coalition blaming the 2011 Legislature for weakening the state's green programs -- yet not a word of admonition for Crist, Gov. Rick Scott's self-serving predecessor." "Somehow, Conservation Coalition Manages to Give Charlie Crist Another Pass".

    Florida Health Choices program

    "Hatched in 2008 when Marco Rubio held power in the state Capitol, the Florida Health Choices program expects to start offering health-insurance plans to small businesses in July 2012. Chairman Aaron Bean on Friday acknowledged frustrations with the pace of Florida Health Choices, which supporters have long touted as a new type of 'marketplace' for buying health coverage. But he also said officials want to make sure it is developed correctly." "Florida Health Choices to Offer Small-Business Health Plans by Summer 2012".

    "Lawmakers could find themselves out of a home"

    Mark K. Matthews and Aaron Deslatte: "Several Florida lawmakers could find themselves out of a home next year — at least politically — if the state Senate gets its way in drawing new congressional boundaries for the 2012 elections." "For some lawmakers, new districts may not include their homes".

    "Bahamas oil may imperil Florida"

    "Bahamas oil wells may imperil Florida".

    Bono and Rubio

    "During an international conference about fighting the global AIDS epidemic, U2 lead singer Bono started a hearty round of applause to salute the Florida senator for affirming his commitment to using American foreign aid dollars to combat AIDS in Africa." "Wallace: Sen. Rubio shares limelight with rock star Bono".

    "Many thanks from Gov. Scott"

    "The governor's office sent an automated 'Thank you for contacting governor Rick Scott' reply. And it replied again. And again. And again. All together, 12,658 times between 5:16 p.m Thursday and 8:49 a.m. Friday." "Thanks, that's many, many thanks from Gov. Scott".

    "Dark cloud shrouding the Sunshine State"

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board:

    In 1981, William Dillon was sentenced to life for a Brevard County murder.

    Three years later, Anthony Caravella also got life for a rape and murder in Miramar.

    And in 1996, Chad Heins was sentenced to life for the murder and attempted rape of his sister-in-law in her Mayport home.
    "Had the trio received death sentences, none likely would have lived to see his eventual exoneration. Condemned Florida felons spend an average of 12.9 years on death row before execution. Each languished at least 13 years behind bars before post-conviction DNA testing cleared him."
    Such troubling foul-ups gave birth to the Florida Innocence Commission. It wisely reviews wrongful conviction cases and gives counsel to avoid similar blunders. Yet, despite the dark cloud shrouding the Sunshine State — a U.S.-high 23 innocent people on Florida's death row have been exonerated since executions resumed in 1979 — the state inexplicably resists applying similar scrutiny to death penalty cases.
    "Death penalty should be unanimous".

    First domestic-partnership registry in Central Florida

    "Orlando is poised to establish an official registry where couples can record their relationships, a measure that will bypass legal roadblocks that often prevent gays from participating in a partner's medical, funeral and other decisions. If approved by the City Council at public hearings Monday and next week, Orlando would have the first domestic-partnership registry in Central Florida." "Orlando set to OK couples' registry".

    Out here in the fields

    "Florida farmers, worried that lawmakers could strip them of their largely undocumented workforce, are warning of an impending crisis in their fields." "Florida farmers warn of impending crisis if undocumented workers taken away".

    Scott's "modest approach" to 2012 budget

    "A more politically seasoned Scott is expected to roll out his second-year budget proposal Wednesday at the Capitol, flanked by agency heads and executive staff, not the army of grass-roots activists he had hoped, in vain, would intimidate lawmakers into fully accepting his earlier plan." "Gov. Scott likely to have more modest approach to 2012 state budget".

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