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, December 13, 2011

"No limits to Sen. J.D. Alexander's petulance"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board writes that "There are no limits to Sen. J.D. Alexander's petulance."
    The Senate Budget Committee chairman's demand for a mountain of records from state universities comes just weeks after his bullying failed to pry away the Lakeland branch campus from the University of South Florida. Any valid points of inquiry Alexander has are dwarfed by his abuse of his public office and his obsession to create a separate new university as his legacy.

    Subtlety is not one of Alexander's strong points. His heavy-handed efforts to steal USF Polytechnic away from the university were bad enough. But his behavior has only gotten worse since the Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system, voted last month to create a deliberate process for a split that could take several years. This is a vendetta that knows no boundaries.
    "Vendetta politics at its worst".

    "Horrid poll numbers"

    "Rick Scott isn't the only freshman Southeastern governor with horrid poll numbers. But after nearly a year in office, that's small solace for Florida's chief executive" "Focused on Jobs, Rick Scott's Work Generates Low Poll Numbers".

    AIDS drug waiting list

    "Number of Floridians on AIDS drug waiting list ticks back up".

    "Drilling off Cuba prompts talks"

    "Officials from Caribbean countries, including the U.S. and Cuba, met to discuss plans in case a disaster happens at an oil rig off Cuba’s coast." "Oil drilling off Cuba prompts talks in region".

    Scott's Open Government Chief has had enough

    "Rick Scott's Open Government Chief Carolyn Timmann Stepping Down at Year's End".

    Florida League of Cities goes after firefighters and cops

    "The Florida League of Cities argues municipalities across Florida could save hundreds of millions of dollars by revamping pension and disabilities benefits that the state requires for law enforcement officers and firefighters. The league, as a top priority for the 2012 session, wants Florida legislators to overturn state mandates that have been in place since 1999." "League of Cities Seeks to Roll Back Pension Plans for Police, Firefighters". See also "Fla. cities again push legislature to revise law requiring extra benefits for police, firefighters" ("The current law was passed by a Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Bush in 1999, as Bush delivered on a 1998 campaign promise made while getting the endorsement of the Florida Police Benevolent Association and Florida Professional Firefighters Association.")

    Bondi gets a lecture

    "Las Vegas Sands Objects to Bondi's No Casino Comments".

    "Invasion of the surreal"

    Fred Grimm: "It was the invasion of the surreal: thousands and thousands of gelatinous sea creatures, with their dangling venomous tentacles, overwhelming the cooling canal of the St. Lucie nuclear power plant, washing up against the turtle protection nets, clogging the intake screens. So many jellyfish filled the canal that Florida Power & Light shut down the St. Lucie reactor for two days."

    Jonathan Gorham, a marine biologist with Inwater Research Group, the non-profit group overseeing the sea turtle protection program at the St. Lucie plant, said he had seen jellyfish blooms in the Gulf of Mexico last summer large enough to disrupt the shrimp harvest.

    The invasions of July and August, of course, are anecdotes — data points, Gorham called them — but they coincide, unhappily, with scientific theories that jellyfish, which seem to thrive in warmer waters, are harbingers of global climate change. Marine scientists also wonder whether the anecdotal rise of jellyfish might have to do with the decline of fisheries (less competition for smaller marine life), or from the agricultural nutrients that pollute the oceans. Jellyfish seem to do well in oxygen-depleted dead zones that kill most fish.

    Pick your theory. Or all of above. Jellyfish seem to be one of those creatures, like rats, that can adapt to the environmental disasters fomented by man.
    "A bad omen from jellyfish".

    Watering down DRI process

    "In 2009, SB 360 eliminated the 'development of regional impact' (DRI) process in more than half of Florida's 411 cities. This year, SB 1180 would allow local governments in cities and counties still subject to the DRI process to direct those larger developments into a faster alternative 'coordinated review' process." "Bill would create alternative review option for larger developments".

    Term limits

    "Florida Supreme Court to hear term limits case".

    How nice, Scott appoints Mel's son to Orange County Commission

    Dontcha love the Republican blah, blah, blah about folks pulling themselves up by their bootstraps? "Mel Martinez's son replaces Fernandez on Orange commission".

    "Florida activists fear potential 'chaos'"

    "Florida activists fear potential 'chaos' if Supreme Court allows states to bolster immigration laws". See also "Immigration important in 2012 elections, not so much in Florida’s legislative session".

    "The Great and Mystical Carrot Top"

    Daniel Ruth: "The Great and Mystical Carrot Top would proceed with this meaningless exercise in hubris if the only people on the stage were Meat Loaf, Gary Busey and a Kardashian to be named later, because this was never about a presidential public policy discussion. It was always about Donald Trump finagling another opportunity to get before a camera, even if it was on a cable channel with less viewership than Phyllis Diller's fashion tips blog." "Republicans bow before towering ego".


    "Gov. Scott draws rare praise for Everglades budget".

    Scott "Robbing Peter to pay Paul"

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend more money on education. That's the good news in the $66.4 billion budget proposal unveiled last week. Unfortunately, it's also the bad news, since the increase comes at the expense of providing health-care services, a safety-net policy area in need of funding to meet pressing needs." "State budget still relies too much on cuts".

    Romney getting desperate

    "Former Scott campaign manager joins Romney team".

    Program "a lapdog, not a watchdog"

    "Amid the exodus of volunteer elder advocates, state ombudsman leaders had a difficult choice: dismiss a productive volunteer, or allow his outspokenness to influence others. They decided to get rid of him."

    The programs’ new philosophy has pleased ALF owners and lawmakers who support their interests.

    But it has not been embraced by many volunteers, who say the program — inspired during the Great Society program of the 1960s — is becoming a lapdog, not a watchdog
    "Inspections decline as elder watchdogs are muzzled".

    Meanwhile The Miami Herald editorial board writes, "Step it up, AHCA".

    "Florida Family Association a fringe hate group"

    "The conservative group that got Lowe's to pull its ads from a reality TV show about American Muslims has been fighting for more than two decades against gay rights, strip clubs and most anything else that offends evangelical Christians."

    The leader of the Florida Family Association is David Caton, a 55-year-old family values crusader who left an accounting career to found the group in 1987. He said the association has 35,000 members who were urged to email Lowe's to pressure the home improvement giant into dropping commercials during the TLC cable network show "All-American Muslim."

    Lowes has drawn criticism for its decision from leaders in the Muslim community, celebrities and others suggesting a boycott of the store. Despite the growing backlash, the Mooresville, N.C.-based company said Monday it was planning to stick by its decision after the show became a "lightning rod for people to voice complaints from a variety of perspectives - political, social and otherwise."

    Several politicians called the Florida Family Association a fringe hate group, a title Caton shrugged off, saying the group aims to "defend traditional American biblical values."
    "Fla. group in Lowe's flap has history of protests". See also "Florida group at the center of Lowe’s, All-American Muslim controversy".

    "Teacher snared by new election law"

    "Civic-minded teacher snared by new election law".

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