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, January 03, 2012

Casey Anthony prosecutor steps into political arena, and he's a Dem

    "Jeff Ashton announces state attorney bid Tuesday".

    The Week Ahead

    "The Week Ahead for Jan. 3 to Jan. 6".

    Rewrite of 'destination resorts' bill

    "It's already tough enough to get conservative lawmakers behind the concept of three new casinos in Florida, no matter how swanky. But the resorts' prospects may be even trickier now that a rewrite of the 'destination resorts' bill overhauls all types of gambling in the state, from greyhound races to scratch-off lottery tickets. "

    Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, the bill's sponsor, recently released the latest version of the plan she says will rein in gambling. The Senate Regulated Industries Committee is slated to take up her bill during the first week of the legislative session, which begins Jan. 10.

    Her original measure (SB 710) would create a statewide gambling commission and allow up to three casinos - whose operators promised to spend at least $2 billion each over five years on construction - to build upscale resorts in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

    But now all bets currently being wagered in Florida - at Internet cafes, poker tables and slot machines, as well as on horse and dog races - have been added to the mix.
    "Bogdanoff's latest plan would:"
    - Require voters in each county to approve new gambling of any type in that county, including the casinos proposed in South Florida; put an end to the prospects of barrel racing as an authorized form of quarter horse racing, except at a Panhandle track; and allow casinos to open anywhere in the state, as long as voters approve.

    - Allow the existing pari-mutuels - including Palm Beach Kennel Club - to have slots, if voters approve. And, if voters sign off, the tracks could offer any kind of games played at the casinos, including blackjack, if they agreed to spend at least $100 million over three years to upgrade their facilities.

    - Bar any new racetracks or jai-alai frontons from opening after July, do away with more than a dozen dormant pari-mutuel permits and have the state buy back four active permits, using proceeds from the casino licensing fees.

    - Shut the door on at least 1,000 Internet cafes throughout the state, now largely unregulated and not considered under Florida law as betting games.
    "Florida casinos bill a catch-all, addressing the lottery, dog tracks, jai-alai, and Internet cafes".

    Feds to investigate abortion clinic blaze

    "Federal investigators plan to join the investigation of a suspicious fire at a Florida Panhandle abortion clinic that has been the site of deadly violence in the past, officials said Monday. The early Sunday fire at American Family Planning in Pensacola largely destroyed the two-story building, said Lt. Kevin Fiedor of the state fire marshal's office." "Federal officials join abortion clinic fire probe".

    Rail bad, Air Force planes good

    "Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer will build 20 aircraft for the U.S. Air Force in Jacksonville."

    Embraer, which has been building a deep footprint in Florida, announced Friday the $355 million contract to provide its A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to the U.S. military.

    Gov. Rick Scott commended the bipartisan teamwork that helped land the contract for the construction facility at Jacksonville International Airport.
    "Scott Commends Bipartisan Efforts to Land U.S. Air Force Contract in Jacksonville".

    What Sunshine State News readers are reading

    "President Barack Obama found his way into four of the top six most-read Sunshine State News reports in 2011 and, as no surprise, they are pieces that the White House occupant probably won’t be highlighting in next year’s re-election effort." "Obama Most-Read Stories on Sunshine State News".

    "Scott could use a history lesson"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "It was open season on judicial independence in Florida during the 2011 legislative session. Lawmakers introduced a series of insidious proposals to boost their sway, or the governor's, over judges."

    One of the worst proposals would have given the governor sole discretion in naming the panels that nominate candidates for appointment to the bench. It passed in the House, but was wisely rejected by the Senate amid bipartisan opposition.

    Yet Gov. Rick Scott recently said he hopes the proposal comes back. "When you're elected governor," he declared in a recent interview with WFLA radio in Tallahassee, "people expect you to not have a limit on who you can appoint."

    We're not sure which people the governor has been talking to, but it's a safe bet it wasn't any Florida historians. Scott, who moved to the Sunshine State in 2003, could use a history lesson. ...

    Restoring unlimited power for governors to appoint judges would ignore Florida history. It would bring back the bad old days, when governors could easily fill judgeships based on politics instead of judicial merit. The Legislature must reject this terrible idea — again.
    "Don't give guvs sole power to pick judges".

    Romney's Florida volunteers head north

    "Tampa Bay area volunteers brave Iowa winter for Mitt Romney".

    "Unbelievably dopey stuff elected officials dream up"

    Daniel Ruth writes, "thank goodness there are distinguished public servants out there, like Nebraska Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Terry, who are willing to stand up and be counted as a champion for the irritating boiler room robo-call industry."

    Terry is the creative genius behind the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011, which would permit businesses or organizations to ring up your cellphone whenever they want. And here's the best part. You, of course, would have the privilege of paying for the call. ...

    At the moment, mobile phone customers can only be robo-called if they have given their explicit consent to be interrupted in the middle of dinner to experience some come-on to purchase insurance, or contribute to a charity, or receive information from their bank.

    Terry's legislation would do away with all that antisocial behavior and open up your cellphone access to the many fine and well-meaning telemarketers, political hucksters and charlatans competing to dip into your pocket.
    "In response to Terry's Mobile Information Nagging Call Act of 2011, 54 state and territorial attorneys general, including Florida's Pam Bondi, have joined together to urge Congress to consign the legislation to the junk heap of unbelievably dopey stuff elected officials dream up."
    It is just a guess, but when 54 of the nation's various attorneys general band together in a bipartisan effort to declare Terry's effort to invade the collective privacy of Americans from coast to coast, it might be an indication this is probably the dumbest piece of federal lawmaking to come down the pike since Prohibition.
    "Nuisances on my phone and in Washington".

    Broward elections "all over the calendar"

    "Broward city elections all over the calendar this year".

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