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 Thursday, March 29, 2012

Q Poll: Nelson holds solid 8 point lead over Mack

    "Florida Sen. Bill Nelson holds a solid 8 percentage-point lead over one of his potential rivals, Congressman Connie Mack, in a new poll that shows Democrats are gaining political ground in Florida."
    Nelson beats Mack by a 44-36 percent margin – a shift of 7 percentage points in Nelson’s favor since January, when the two were essentially tied, according to Quinnipiac University’s Polling Institute. Nelson’s 8-point lead is outside the poll’s 2.8 percent error margin.
    "Poll: Sen. Bill Nelson beating Connie Mack by 8".

    More: "March 29, 2012 - Nelson Opens 8-Point Lead Over Mack In Florida, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Women Are Key To Democrat's Lead".

    Law clearly suppresses the vote among Democratic-leaning constituencies

    The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "The defenders of a new state law that makes it harder to register to vote can no longer dismiss concerns that it will reduce turnout in the November elections."

    A new study shows 81,471 fewer Floridians have registered to vote since the law took effect in July than during the same time period in the 2008 election cycle. The law clearly will result in disproportionately suppressing the vote among minorities, college students and other Democratic-leaning constituencies, and the courts should overturn it.
    "An analysis of registration information published by the New York Times on Wednesday found new registrations have dropped sharply in the eight months since the law took effect."
    New registrations are down by 39 percent in Miami-Dade County compared to the same period four years ago, the newspaper reported. They are down by some 20 percent in Orange County and Volusia County. And they are down 34 percent in Pasco, 23 percent in Hillsborough (where the law is not even being enforced yet) and 21 percent in Pinellas, county elections officials told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday. That is no coincidence, no matter how much state elections officials speculate about other factors.
    "Florida law takes toll on voting".

    "$1B in business tax breaks"

    "Flanked by leaders of Florida's top economic trade groups and agencies, Gov. Rick Scott signed a number of business tax cuts he says will accelerate economic development in the state." "$1B in business tax breaks". See also "Scott signs more tax breaks for businesses into law" and "Jobs Legislation Seeks More Positive Atmosphere for Business in Florida".

    Rubio yawner

    "The surprise endorsement has the potential to give a shot of credibility to Romney, who has failed to excite the deeper conservatives of the Republican base, and instantly added to speculation that Rubio would be his running mate. Rubio was quick to dismiss the idea."

    But it is still significant, given Rubio's rising national status and conservative bona fides. He has feet in both the establishment circles and the tea party.

    And he is Hispanic. Romney has adopted some hard line positions on immigration — as did Rubio during his 2010 run for Senate against then-Gov. Charlie Crist, but he has tried to moderate his positions since entering the Senate.

    The embrace has potential downsides. Rubio's followers may see it as politically calculating and acquiescing to establishment politics. It also may intensify scrutiny of his positions of immigration and other issues.
    "Sen. Marco Rubio endorses Mitt Romney for president". See also "Rubio endorses Romney, says GOP race should end". Related: "Don't do it, Marco Rubio! Why would you want to be vice president?".

    Scott presides over drop in consumer confidence

    "Florida consumer confidence drops in March as gas prices rise".

    "Sanford police threaten to arrest reporters"

    "Sanford police threaten to arrest reporters for asking questions". Related: "Police video: George Zimmerman was in cuffs but no apparent injuries", "Sanford cops wanted to charge Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin case", "No Action Expected on Request for 'Stand Your Ground' Special Session", "Agreement Grows on Clarity for 'Stand Your Ground'", "Trayvon Martin case draws more blacks to Twitter", "Trayvon Martin’s death: When does fight justify deadly force?", "The Florida Independent", "Special prosecutor: I may need no grand jury in Martin case" and "Trayvon Martin: Sanford's tab is $35,000 for PR firm, big TV screen to broadcast meeting on case".

    Martinez pushes tax

    "Ex-Sen. Martinez: Tax could help Orlando's homeless".

    "SoFla Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the map"

    "Florida House leadership believes the Senate map will pass muster in the Florida Supreme Court, but a Justice Department review -- now that might be a tougher sell."

    The House on Tuesday, as expected, approved the Senate’s second effort to create a map based on the less-than-2-year-old Fair Districts Amendments.

    However, a number of South Florida Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the map, questioning the lack of Hispanic representation in South Florida, which could set the map up for rejection by the U.S. Department of Justice under the federal Voting Rights Act.
    "Hispanic Lines in South Florida Could Trip up Senate Map".

    Scott signs pro-business laws

    "Scott signs Workforce, other pro-business laws".

    As of 9:30AM the link did not work

    "How to jump start small business job creation in Florida? Google is teaming with Intuit and the Gov. Rick Scott to offer a free website design, a free domain name and free server hosting for a year."

    Florida businesses can go to http://www.floridagetonline.com get the free website as well as free tools, training and resources to help their business succeed online.
    "Florida offers free website to small business".

    Smith don' like Teamsters

    Nancy Smith: "Bringing a lawsuit is one thing; scaring people half to death dishonestly is another. But such is the culture of the Teamsters Union." "Boo! Teamsters' Notice of 'Dangerous Criminals' Lawsuit a Tad Over the Top?".

    Prayer policies

    "The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, along with other groups, sent letters to school boards this week, warning them not to adopt policies recently allowed by the state that the civil liberties groups says will surely land them in court." "School districts warned not to adopt prayer policies".

    Imagine that

    "According to a recently released study by the Everglades Foundation, the agriculture industry is responsible for 76 percent of the phosphorus pollution entering the Everglades. But despite passage of a 'Polluter Pays' amendment to the state Constitution in 1996, the ag industry isn’t paying for even half of the cost of phosphorus removal, leaving the balance of the burden on the shoulders of taxpayers." "Everglades Foundation study finds that polluters don’t always clean up after themselves".

    One word: "plastics"

    "Orlando faces test with huge plastics trade show".

    Get 'yer stoopid straight

    "PolitiFact: Drug testing bill sponsor wrong about exemption for legislators".

    Divided Supreme Court agrees to hear FRS case

    "A divided court announced Wednesday that it will hear a challenge of a law passed last year that requires public employees to contribute 3 percent of their paychecks to their retirement. Oral arguments are set for early September." "Florida Supreme Court accepts public pension case".

    Influence from U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland?

    "The move to nominate and then pass over Chairman Robert P. Gill for another three-year term on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council prompted some to point to influence from U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City. " "Gov. Rick Scott's reversal on Gulf fisheries council nomination raises concerns".

    Rank opportunist "repeats her talking points"

    "Elected in 2010, the former state prosecutor and former Fox News legal commenter inherited the lawsuit from former Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum. But she campaigned on the issue herself and has seized it as her own since taking office at the beginning of 2011."

    A registered Democrat from 1984 until 2000 when she switched to the Republican Party, she wasn't especially politically involved until running for office.

    Today, Bondi, 46, downplays suggestions that the health care lawsuit may have raised her profile — and as a result, her future prospects in the Republican Party.

    "I don't care about that," she said. "I care about defeating the health care mandate. That's all I care about."

    She repeated her talking points: the legal challenge was about the Constitution, not politics.
    "Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi front and center in fight against health care law". See also "Pam Bondi finds spotlight outside Supreme Court".

    "Dubious logic"

    Frank Cerabino:"Alcee Hastings' denial of nepotism relies on relatively dubious logic".

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