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 Friday, March 02, 2012

"Medicaid budget could sink to a new low"

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "State budget gimmicks are nothing new for the Florida Legislature. But next year's Medicaid budget could sink to a new low: Counties — and by extension local taxpayers — could be forced to pay bills they do not owe. Hospitals would see Medicaid reimbursement rates further slashed. Medicaid patients would have limits on emergency room visits, and doctors may not receive a reimbursement increase because of an ideological fight between Republican lawmakers and the Obama administration." "Medicaid cuts and gimmicks".

    Scott needs to either push lawmakers — or lead

    The Miami Herald editors: "Gov. Rick Scott needs to either get behind state lawmakers and push — or jump out front and lead. Either way, reforms that crack down on the worst assisted-living facilities in the state should not remain stalled in the Legislature or, worse, be allowed to die from lawmakers’ inaction." "Gov. Scott needs to push Legislature for ALF reforms".

    "Energy Plan Given Spark of Life"

    "Putnam's Energy Plan Given Spark of Life as Session Enters Final Phase".

    "Leave it to the Confederacy of Dunces"

    Daniel Ruth: "Ah, from the mouths of fools."

    Leave it to the Confederacy of Dunces, otherwise known as the Florida Legislature, to expose its self-importance.

    During a heated debate over whether lawmakers should pay the same rates for health insurance as state employees, Sen. Mike Bennett, R-He Thinks He's Special, argued if elected officials had to cough up more money "you're going to lower the pool of people who can afford to take this job."
    "Uh, senator? Given the Minister of Silly Walks quality of what passes for leadership in the Florida Legislature, that pool was drained dry a long time ago."
    Sen. Joe Negron, R-Martin Luther, began the apostasy when he suggested it might be a nice act of solidarity if the Legislature voluntarily agreed to give up its cushy health insurance plan, which calls for only $8.34 a month in individual coverage and $30 a month for family coverage.

    Negron argued legislators should pay $50 a month for individuals and $180 a month for family coverage, just like janitors, prison guards and other state workers.

    By a voice vote the measure was killed faster than an al-Qaida kingpin on the receiving end of a drone strike. That enabled all those brave, courageous, principled Tallahassee Disraelis to avoid having their names attached to rejecting Negron's idea.

    Still, a few of the Legislature's Foundering Fathers did seize upon the heretical notion they should pay as much as a state custodial workers. They noted the extreme sacrifices they make to serve, not to mention how much more valuable they are to the inner workings of government.
    "Health plan heresy: Pay what others do".

    The Sarasota Herald Tribune editorial board: "Legislators keep their insurance cheap".

    "Partisan rancor"

    "Partisan rancor divides state congressional delegation".

    "Spin over substance"

    Scott Maxwell: "With chamber groups, it's spin over substance".

    Judge hears case against voter sign-up law

    "The League of Women Voters and other nonprofit organizations that wage voter registration campaigns challenged the state of Florida in a Tallahassee federal court Thursday, in a fight that could determine how many Floridians vote in November." "U.S. judge hears registration groups' case against voter sign-up law".

    School prayer

    "School prayer bill likely to become law".

    Citizens "Reform" Faces Rising Storm

    "Reform of Citizens Insurance Faces Rising Storm Among GOP Senators".

    Anti-Sharia' Bill

    "Florida mulls outlawing Shariah, other foreign law". See also "House Passes 'Anti-Sharia' Bill; CAIR Vows Court Challenge" and "‘Anti-Sharia’ bill banning foreign law passes House over protests".

    ProtoBagger attempts to position himself as a moderate

    Howard Kurtz is laughably wrong when he writes that the GOP "has marched inexorably to the right in a way that leaves [Jeb Bush] decidedly out of step." Kurtz is buying in to Jebbie's attempt to position himself as some sort of a moderate, as indicated by this recent utterance by Bush:

    “I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective.”
    "Why Republicans Need to Get Over the Idea of Jeb Bush in 2012".

    The reality is that Jeb has always been drinking tea; indeed, it is fair to describe Bush as a protoBagger.

    Of the many expressions of protoBaggery during Bush's reign as Governor, was his attempt to have Florida law enforcement officers kidnap Terri Schiavo from her Hospice bed to have her force fed. At Bush's direction,
    Florida [law enforcement] officials planned to seize Terri Schiavo on Thursday from her hospice bed. But local police got in the way ... Participants in the high stakes test of wills, who spoke with The [Miami] Herald on the condition of anonymity, said they believed the standoff could ultimately have led to a constitutional crisis and a confrontation between dueling lawmen."
    "State Tried Schiavo Grab".

    There's much more: A lengthy 2007 Washington Post piece considered how Jeb Bush might be different than his brother had he (Jeb) been elected instead:
    Under President Jeb, the nation still would have had large federal tax cuts, skewed heavily toward the rich -- or the "risk takers" and "job creators," in Bush family parlance.

    In Florida, he reduced taxes by $12.2 billion over his eight years, with more than half of that going to the wealthiest 4.5 percent of the population. That saved the average risk taker more than $1,500 a year by the time Jeb left office. And much as President George W. Bush cites tax cuts as the explanation for any positive economic results, Gov. Jeb Bush says that his tax cuts created jobs in Florida and gave us the best economy in the country. (In reality, Jeb had the lowest job-creation rate of any Florida governor dating to 1971.)[*]
    Regarding education policy, "Jeb succeeded in introducing the nation's first statewide school-vouchers program."
    The results are unclear: Jeb says that students who used vouchers to attend private schools received better educations than they had been getting in public schools. But all we know is that the vast majority of such schoolchildren received religious educations at the public's expense. Gov. Bush refused to release the scores for the few voucher children who had to take the public-school standardized test, so whether their educations were superior or awful remains anyone's guess.
    "That leads to the key question of a Jeb Bush presidency."
    In public, of course, Jeb has supported his brother's decision to invade Iraq. "It's tough," he said in a recent interview with Newsmax.com. "Thank God the president has been resolute, because it's not a popular war." But would Jeb have made the same choice? Would his state of the union speech this week have to include a lengthy discussion of a war in Iraq gone horribly wrong?

    Unlike George, who ridiculed his classmates at Yale University for opposing the Vietnam War but then sought refuge in the National Guard, Jeb was troubled enough by that war that, according to his mother in a 1984 interview, he considered registering as a conscientious objector. Ultimately, he chose not to hurt his father's political career -- at the time, George H.W. Bush was President Richard M. Nixon's ambassador to the United Nations -- and registered for the draft. He was never called. "I had no compelling reason to go to Vietnam" he told the Miami Herald in 1994.
    "What Would Jeb Do?"

    There's much more.

    Meanwhile, "Daily Briefing – Bush Still A Factor In 2012" and "Republicans seek Jeb Bush candidacy".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *"The bulk of the state's tax cuts have gone toward businesses and investors. Lawmakers joined a federal phase out of the estate tax in 2002, resulting in a net $2 billion plus tax cut .... And Bush has led the charge against the state's intangibles tax on investments. Since 1999, the tax (on individuals with at least $250,000 of investments) has been reduced four times with a total cumulative cut of nearly $4 billion." "Gov. Bush defends his record of tax cuts".

    Sweeping anti-abortion legislation

    Update: "Senate's defeat of opt-out measure on birth control pleases local advocates".

    "The House passed sweeping anti-abortion legislation, but the future of the bill remains in doubt in the Senate." "Anti-abortion measure passes House, prospects in Senate uncertain".

    "No-Fault Insurance Reform"

    "No-Fault Insurance Reform Poised for House Vote".

    "Reversal on oversight of offenders"

    "Looking to cut expenses by about $79 million through June, the state’s probation officers are being told to curtail monthly field visits of offenders." "Probation officers alarmed by policy reversal on oversight of offenders".

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