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, March 12, 2012

Business groups "wildly successful" in the Session

    "The total package of business tax relief approved during the 60-day legislative session that ended Friday totaled about $750 million this year, and more than $2.5 billion over the next three years."
    Business groups, like the Florida Chamber, wield considerable sway in the Legislature, and leverage their ability to raise money, fund campaigns and create economic development. In the last two years, they've been wildly successful, seeing most of their wishes turned into law. That success includes special tax cuts carved out for specific individuals or entities with advocates in the Legislature. ...

    Other winners: AT&T, Verizon and other telecommunications companies, who saw taxes on communication services slashed anywhere from $35 million to $300 million per year after a late amendment by Bogdanoff. AT&T, which has 74 Florida lobbyists, spent $1.68 million on lobbying last year, more than any other company.
    "Lobbying pays off big for business in Florida's 2012 session".

    "". See also "" and "".

    "The bloom is off the charter school rose"

    "The charter school lobby came to Tallahassee this year with an ambitious agenda: Win a share of school districts’ construction dollars. Create a separate high school sports association. Empower parents to demand charter-school conversions."

    But they fell short on almost all counts.

    The defeats came as a stinging surprise for the charter movement, which had enjoyed a string of victories in previous legislative sessions. Just last year, state lawmakers gave high-performing charter schools the green light to grow more rapidly — and pay less in administrative fees.
    "Politics — especially the politics of a redistricting year — may have been partly to blame."
    Any state lawmaker not facing term limits has to run for re-election once the new district maps are complete. The Florida Education Association and countywide teachers’ unions, which have opposed the rapid expansion of charter schools, remain a formidable force in local elections. And statewide polls show considerable support for public schools.

    “Charter schools, especially when packaged with policies that have the potential to destabilize traditional public schools that are in most ways functioning OK, can stir opposition from families and politicians that are loyal to public schools in their own communities,” said Jeffrey Henig, a professor of political science and education at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

    Henig also noted that the public perception of charter schools is changing.

    While the schools were initially seen as home-grown enterprises, they “are increasingly seen to be funded and promoted by ‘outsiders’ that voters regard suspiciously,” he said, referencing the corporations that sometimes run schools.

    Late last year, The Miami Herald reported that charter schools have become a $400-million-a-year industry in South Florida, home to the nation’s fourth- and fifth-largest school districts. In some cases, the educational mission of the school has clashed with the profit-making mission of the management company.

    Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, said there is also growing awareness that charter schools, on average, perform no better or no worse than traditional public schools.

    “I think the bloom is off the charter school rose,” he said.
    "Charter school backers find little support in Tallahassee". The latest from Diane Ravitch: "How, and How Not, to Improve the Schools".

    "Move all but guarantees Dems will hold seat after 2012"

    "Scott appointed a Republican to replace Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe, but county GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein concedes the move all but guarantees Democrats will hold the seat after the 2012 elections." "Palm Beach County GOP chief concedes next state attorney likely to be Democrat".

    "First Florida Bank of Campaign Finance"

    "Call it the First Florida Bank of Campaign Finance. A single ZIP code — 33480, covering the towns of Palm Beach and South Palm Beach in Palm Beach County — has provided more individual contributions to candidates in the 2012 presidential race than the next four most-generous Florida ZIP codes combined." "Florida's 'ATM' spews cash for Romney, Obama".

    Raw political courage

    "Florida sales tax holiday could win approval Friday".

    "Jolt of oxygen to a deflated state Democratic Party"

    Nancy Smith: "Judge Jackie Fulford did more than dig a potential $2 billion hole in the Florida budget. She gave back to a redefined union movement in this state the two things it lacked most -- muscle and heart."

    At the same time she delivered a jolt of oxygen to a deflated state Democratic Party.

    Now look at them. The Dems and the unions -- symbiotic black holes in the eyes of fiscal conservatives -- are downright giddy. Judge Fulford has them on a roll.
    "Public Employees' Pensions Can Sink the Ship".

    Gub'ment reger'lation

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "lorida needs a coordinated statewide effort to put out of business timeshare resale companies preying on the elderly and the desperate." "Go after timeshare cheaters".

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