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 12, 2011

Newt hires Rubio’s former campaign chief

    "Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich has hired U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s former campaign chief be his Florida director."
    Jose Mallea, who has ties to former Gov. Jeb Bush’s political machine as well as Miami City Hall, brings Gingrich’s campaign a wealth of connections to Florida Republicans and Miami-Dade’s Hispanic community. Mallea is also a co-owner of Local Craft Food & Drink in Coral Gables.

    Mallea’s hiring has an immediate benefit for Gingrich: The name “Rubio” winds up in the same headlines as “Gingrich.”

    Rubio, a vice presidential short-lister and conservative star, isn’t playing favorites in the race. And there is no sign he is subtly favoring Gingrich, who helped the former Florida House Speaker publish his “100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future.”
    "Newt Gingrich hires former Marco Rubio campaign chief Jose Mallea".

    "Wave of tea party conservatives"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board reminds us that "reasoned arguments for fluoride were drowned out in October by a wave of tea party conservatives". "On fluoride, hold officials responsible".

    Expect a RPOF battle royale

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "State Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, insists that her mega-casino bill (SB 710) and the House version (HB 487) would provide 'a major change in the direction of gaming' but would not create a major expansion. The state's attorney general, agriculture commissioner and chief financial officer know better. The Palm Beach County Commission's decision last week toward allowing slot machines at the Palm Beach Kennel Club is proof that the only "direction" in which these bills would send gambling is up."

    So Cabinet members Pam Bondi, Adam Putnam and Jeff Atwater, formerly a state senator from Palm Beach County, have come out against the gambling expansion. So has Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, chairman of the Regulated Industries Committee. Any casino bill would have to get through that committee.
    "Bogdanoff shows her cards".

    Yost claims "lawmakers have 'let us down'" with redistricting

    "In an email sent out to supporters, Rep. Corrine Brown’s 2012 challenger Mike Yost writes that he will continue to fight against the state Legislature’s proposals for how to redraw congressional districts, saying lawmakers have 'let us down' by keeping Brown’s mostly unchanged." "Brown opponent continues to decry redistricting proposals".

    Florida Republicans embarrass themselves fast and furiously

    "U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder continued to draw criticism last week from Republicans representing Florida in Congress over Operation Fast and Furious, the failed sting operation launched by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ['using the same controversial tactic for which congressional Republicans have been criticizing the Obama administration'] that allowed 2,000 guns to fall into the hands of Mexican criminal cartels -- one of which was used to killed U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010." "Florida Republicans Hammer Eric Holder on Fast and Furious".

    As Florida's homeless shelters fill to capacity this Holiday Season ...

    After Frank Cerabino's "Excellent question. If you’re in the third grade", Nancy Smith comes to Senator Stephen Wise's defense of "a bill to make sure that if the state public schools close down for any length of time that includes Christmas Day, that time off should be called Christmas Break -- not as it is today, Winter Break."

    She continues:

    Until political-correct-creep found Florida, students were taking a Christmas Break in Sunshine State schools. Christmas Break, not Winter Break.

    Happily, Sen. Wise, R-Jacksonville, subscribes to the belief that religious freedom means the right to embrace the customs and meaning of Christ's birth.

    “The majority of people in America are Christians,” Wise told a Jacksonville TV station last week. “So I said, why don’t we just call it Christmas Break?
    "Christmas Break: Good Call, Sen. Wise".

    Pitting health care against education

    The reliably right wing Daytona Beach News Journal editors say that "Gov. Rick Scott has taken the right approach in trying to rein in Medicaid costs while increasing spending on K-12 education. Scott attempts to pull this off while dealing with a budget shortfall between $1.7 billion and $2 billion." "Gov. Scott's budget plan has the right priorities".

    Orlando has become more accepting of the gay community

    "The relatively easy passage of a new domestic-partnership registry in Orlando is the latest sign the city has grown more accepting, members of the gay community say. The registry, which grants limited rights to unmarried couples, won unanimous approval from Mayor Buddy Dyer and the six-member City Council at an initial vote Dec. 5. It is expected to easily pass a final vote Monday. Council members even wore red to show their support." "Vote shows Orlando is growing more gay-friendly".

    The best he could do

    "Smiling, waving and squinting in the midmorning sun, Gov. Rick Scott's No. 2 [Jennifer Carroll] is 15 minutes late when she boards the USS Underwood. In her only role during the event, she stumbles through reading a proclamation."

    One of Carroll's more memorable first-year moments came during an aggressive speech to kick off the Republican Party of Florida's Presidency 5 event in September. She condemned The Da Vinci Code as anti-Christian propaganda and compared the media to dictators and socialist rulers. ...

    But Scott has been disappointed in Carroll's office, too.

    Carletha Cole, one of Carroll's few staffers, was arrested in October over allegedly secretly taping her colleague, Carroll's chief of staff, John Konkus, talking about interoffice drama.

    Cole had been fired for complaining about the office to the Florida Times-Union, Carroll's hometown paper.

    Before going to the newspapers, Cole's trash can was set on fire by another Carroll staffer, Beatrice "Bibi" Ramos.

    Investigators found a match and a cigar in the trash. The case was dismissed as an accident. Records show the evidence was destroyed after FDLE agents talked with Carroll, but before they spoke to Ramos.

    The day after dismissing the case, Carroll wrote John Hamilton, the lead investigator, a letter of recommendation.

    Carroll said the fire was a mistake and that Cole was a disgruntled employee. ...

    Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, describes her as "aggressively confident." ...

    Carroll has trouble with paperwork: She reported her net worth as $202 million in 2005, or about $200 million too much. Altered documents in 2006 helped her consulting firm appear eligible for Jacksonville contracts, according to the Times-Union.

    Scott can elicit cringes from audiences and his staff when he jokes that it takes Carroll long to fix her hair or put on makeup. ...

    Carroll was rumored as a potential U.S. Senate candidate in 2012. After twice coming up short to unseat U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, frequent appearances in Jacksonville feed speculation that she'll try a third time.

    Carroll considered both options, but said she has more influence over state policy in her current job.
    "Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll looking for a bigger role next year".

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