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 22, 2012

The "Stand Your Ground" law, another fine Jebacy

    "When the so-called Stand Your Ground bill went to a vote in the Florida Senate on March 25, 2005, the final tally was 39-0."
    The bill was passed by the House 92-20 a few weeks later, then signed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush in late April 2005. On Oct. 1, 2005, it became law.

    And now that law is at the heart of a national debate, and international outrage, after the shooting death of Miami teen Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford last month.

    The law dramatically expanded self-defense and lethal force boundaries in Florida, stipulating that citizens had "no duty to retreat" and could meet "force with force" if they got into confrontations in places they were legally entitled to be. If someone "reasonably believed" they were in "imminent danger" of death or serious injury, they could use deadly force and be immune from criminal prosecution or civil liability.

    Before Stand Your Ground, citizens had to try to avoid using deadly force unless they were in their homes.
    "More on Trayvon Martin death and Stand Your Ground law". Notice how The Orlando Sentinel editorial board neglects to mention Jebbie's complicity in their editorial today: "Teen shooting recalls state's NRA love affair".

    "Senate anoints Scott as the High Regent Plenipotentiary"

    Daniel Ruth: "A few days ago members of the Florida House gaveled themselves into session, spent 11 minutes gazing at their collective navel, slapped each other's backs while spinning around in their leather chairs and then promptly adjourned."

    Some good-government nitpickers regarded this exercise as an absurdly ridiculous waste of time and money, which it most certainly was. But historians might well regard those glorious 11 minutes of public service as the high water mark of the Legislature.

    If anything, the House proved that it is quite capable of actually being efficiently unproductive for 15 minutes vs. the majority of its annual 60 day session.

    Why waste time with antiquated concepts like a legislature, since the House and Senate agreed to anoint Gov. Rick Scott as the High Regent Plenipotentiary and All-Around Big Shot of Florida?
    "Thanks to a legislative abdication, the Shah of Tallahassee has been handed the power over state agency rulemaking, as well as the authority to remove members of local workforce agencies and, just for the fun of it, given a $101 million slush fund to spend as he likes on economic incentives."
    Who is really running the state since the Legislature opted to turn itself into the equivalent of a middle school student council?

    Aside from the Mikado of South Monroe Street, you have Tallahassee's lobbyist corps, which a recent State Integrity Investigation report concluded is about as transparent in its activities as the Skull and Bones society.

    Florida received an overall grade of "C-" for openness, dragged down in part because of lax laws allowing those trying to sway legislation to make unlimited contributions to political parties. If this were regarded the same way Tallahassee penalizes schools for lousy FCAT scores, you would have to shut down state government for its incompetence.

    There are about 2,000 registered influence peddlers in Tallahassee's $127 million lobbying industry, writing and promoting legislation. There are 120 House members and 40 Senate members, part-timers and term-limited, most of whom aspire someday to become a lobbyist. Well, we all have to have our dreams.

    So who do you think has the most clout, Caesar Scott and 2,000 checkbooks? Or 160 lambs willingly slouching to the slaughter?
    Much more: "King Scott and his legislative minions".

    "Southerland could face stiffer headwinds this year"

    "U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, a funeral home director by trade, buried one blue dog Democrat in 2010. Depending on who emerges from a four-way Democratic primary, he aims to take down another this fall."

    The freshman congressman ousted longtime Democratic Rep. Alan Boyd in the North Florida district as Republicans swept House seats across the country in the midterm election.

    Southerland could face somewhat stiffer headwinds this year, as his 2nd Congressional District has been redrawn to include all of Tallahassee, and therefore more Democratic voters.

    Four Democrats are in the race with hopes of knocking out Southerland, a tea party favorite. Their task may have gotten easier with the withdrawal of independent Nancy Argenziano on Wednesday.

    Former state Sen. Al Lawson, who fought the blue dog Boyd for the Democratic nomination in 2010, is back this year.
    "Rep. Steve Southerland Could be Hounded by Blue Dog II in 2nd District".

    "Farcical scene does not bode"

    The Tampa Bay Times editorial board: "Struggling for a legal method to number new districts, a Senate committee on Wednesday used two sets of lottery balls. The farcical scene does not bode well for today’s second attempt by the full Senate to approve districts that will meet new constitutional standards. " "In numbering districts, silliness all over the map".

    See also "Senate gambles with lottery-style drawing to settle map disputes", "Political redistricting isn't a crapshoot, but in Tallahassee, it's a bingo game" and "Political redistricting isn't a crapshoot, but in Tallahassee, it's a bingo game".

    Rivera "see NOTHING! Know NOTHING!"

    "During a recent interview on Univision’s Al Punto, Florida Congressman David Rivera, R-Miami, denies having any knowledge of the state or federal investigations focused on his personal and campaign finances. In the interview, Rivera says he '[doesn't] know anything about' an investigation, which he calls 'propaganda from the Democrat party.'" "VIDEO: Rivera denies knowledge of investigation into his finances".

    Doomed duo of Romney-Rubio

    Bushco apparently wants to keep a path clear for Jebbie a run in 2016. What better way to do it than supporting the obviously doomed duo of Romney-Rubio in 2012. Jebbie "Bush, 59, the son of a president and brother of another, pushed aside any interest in running with Romney. But he has strong feelings on whom he wants Romney to pick as a running mate. 'Marco Rubio,' he said of the freshman Florida GOP senator, who served as a volunteer on Bush's governor's campaign." "Jeb Bush: It's time to support Romney".

    Meanwhile, "Progressives launch anti-Marco Rubio website".

    Argenziano back to Tally?

    "Argenziano drops bid for Congress, plans to run for House seat".

    Another restoration project veto?

    "The Legislature's 2012-13 state budget includes $5.6 million for St. Johns River restoration projects and $4.8 million for restoration at Lake Apopka north of Orlando. Last year, Scott vetoed $10 million for St. Johns River restoration projects. Senate supporters are hoping for a better outcome this year." "Scott again faces decision on vetoing environmental restoration projects".

    Another voting restriction challenged

    "A change-of-address provision in the state's new election law is discriminatory, the federal government contends. It also opposes a reduction in the number of early voting days and new restrictions on voter registration drives." "Justice Department opposes another Florida voting provision".

    Scott bragging about new 7-Eleven stores

    "The governor attended announcement ceremonies in Melbournes and Jacksonville on Wednesday. The Melbourne event heralded the opening of an engineering center by Brazilian jet-builder Embraer S.A., and in Jacksonville he helped break ground for a new push of 7-Eleven stores into the area." "Scott touts job creation at two east coast events".

    "Jeb!" overshadowed by Etch-A-Sketch gaffe

    "For Mitt Romney, Etch-A-Sketch gaffe competes with Jeb Bush endorsement".

    It took a lawyer?

    "Miami-Dade should not enforce a new state law that prohibits the hiring of companies with business ties to Cuba because it conflicts with federal law, according to an opinion issued Wednesday by the county’s chief attorney." "Miami-Dade advised not to follow new Fla. law restricting hiring of businesses linked to Cuba".

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