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 Saturday, April 21, 2012

Jebbie sniffs around VP slot, though he wouldn't help Romney much in Florida

    Jeb Bush announced that, if asked, he'd deign to "consider" an invitation from Romney to join him on the GOPer ticket.
    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told Newsmax, a West Palm Beach-based conservative and influential website, that he would consider running as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate.
    "Jeb Bush: 'I’d consider' the vice presidential job". See also "Bush: I'd consider running with Romney".

    That Romney wouldn't bother to ask is understandable. After all, the most recent polling shows Romney trailing in Florida, even with "Jeb!" on the ticket. The divisive Bush merely brings
    the race within three points at 49-46 [in Obama's favor]. Bush continues to be a popular [(more accurately polarizing)] figure in the state with 52% of voters viewing him favorably to [a strong] 40% with a negative opinion
    Bush doesn't do much better than Florida's other prominent GOPers. For example, with Marco Rubio:
    on the ticket Romney actually drops from 45% to 43% with Obama staying at 50%. There's not much evidence Rubio would be able to draw Hispanic voters to Romney. In the straight Obama/Romney match Obama leads 52-37 with Hispanics and in the Obama/Biden v. Romney/Rubio match Obama still leads 52-37 with Hispanics. Rubio is not an overwhelmingly popular figure in Florida with 43% of voters approving of him to 41% who disapprove.

    West and Scott aren't serious VP possibilities anyway, but they'd both have a negative impact on Romney in Florida. With West on the ticket Obama's lead expands to 10 points at 50-40 and with Scott in the mix it goes even larger to 11 points at 51-40.
    "Obama doing well in Florida".

    Redistricting goes to court

    "Florida Supreme Court justices were wary of arguments Friday by the state Democratic Party and allied groups urging that they toss the legislature's latest attempt at drawing new Senate district lines." "Florida justices hear Democratic challenge to Senate district line rewrite". See also "Fla. justices cool to redistricting challengers".


    "Pawlenty stumps for Hasner and Romney in Boca".

    Scott vetoes

    "Scott vetoed four budget-related measures Friday, including one designed to shore up the state hurricane catastrophe fund by selling tax credits to insurance companies. The so-called Florida Insurance Tax Pre-Payment Program was pushed by banking industry lobbyists and was one of the last budgetary maneuvers by Senate Budget Chairman JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales." "Scott vetoes four budget-related bills, including hurricane catastrophe fund proposal".

    Florida adds jobs, Scott takes credit, but Florida still trails national trend

    "During the past 12 months, the state has fared better, adding almost 90,000 jobs — an increase of 1.2 percent. Nationally, total jobs are up 1.5 percent." "Florida, Orlando jobless rates fall in March". See also "Region's jobless rate takes another big drop", "Palm Beach County's unemployment at 40-month low" and "State Employment Outpacing Florida Economists' Projections for Recovery".

    "Scott's phony commitment to cost-efficient government"

    "Scott, ignoring calls for a veto from influential business leaders, signed a measure into law Friday that will create the state's 12th public university."

    Scott's decision will allow a branch campus of the University of South Florida in Lakeland to become a stand-alone university. It follows months of wrangling over the future of the school that will now be called Florida Polytechnic University.

    Last year backers of the school called for independence, but instead the state board that oversees universities insisted that the school meet accreditation and other requirements over the next several years before being allowed to part from USF.

    State Sen. J.D. Alexander, however, used his clout in the GOP-controlled Legislature to pass a bill that called for a "divorce" from USF as soon as possible.

    The Lake Wales Republican and powerful Senate budget chairman called it a "great day for Florida." He said it will help the state since the school's focus will be on producing graduates in fields such as science, technology, engineering and math.

    But critics questioned the idea of establishing a start-up university during a year when the overall state university system had its state funding cut by $300 million. The school also will not initially have any students since current USF students will be allowed to remain enrolled at the branch campus.

    "This move is nothing more than an appalling and wasteful power play by the Republicans in Tallahassee," said Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Brannon Jordan.
    "Gov. Rick Scott signs off on new state public university". See also "Scott approves state's 12th university, Florida Polytechnic, after cutting $300 million from colleges" and "Gov. Rick Scott approves bill creating new state university".

    Joe Henderson: "Scott's commitment to cost-efficient government is as phony as his pledge to produce more math and engineering students."
    Bully 1, Common Sense 0.

    Actually, it wasn't as close as the score indicated. State Sen. JD Alexander got what he wanted while everyone else, especially the students of what we'll have to start calling Florida Polytechnic, got mugged.

    They can spin it any way they want, but that's what happened when Gov. Rick Scott announced late Friday afternoon he had signed the bill taking Poly away from the University of South Florida. It now becomes the state's 12th independent university.

    Scott did this despite impassioned requests by the thousands to veto Senate Bill 1994, which moved up the timetable established by the Board of Governors for an independent Poly from eventually to immediately. Apparently, it makes sense in Tallahassee to create a new university while slashing the budgets of the other 11 by hundreds of millions.
    "Bully Alexander gets his way on university".

    Gaetz claims FlaDems wanted back-door redistricting deal

    "While publicly posturing for "fairness" in redistricting, a group of top Florida Democrats privately pushed for maps that would benefit party brass, according to documents obtained by Sunshine State News."

    Among the maneuvers detailed in intra-party emails and other correspondence about Senate district boundaries that would ultimately come under review by the state Supreme Court:

    - Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith "attempted to cut a deal to alter an area of the state that was not objected to in any way by the Florida Supreme Court for the sole purpose of creating a district for himself so he could return to the state Senate."

    - Another state Senate seat would be drawn for Volusia County Democratic Chairman Frank Bruno.

    - Changes would be made in Broward County to "further weaken the area represented by Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff," R-Fort Lauderdale.

    - In exchange, the Democratic Party would assure the necessary votes for the revised maps, drop its lawsuit and file a brief in support of the plan at the high court.

    An FDP spokesman flatly denied the scenario. ...

    Redistricting Committee Chairman Don Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, confirmed that he was approached by Democrats "to enter into some kind of political deal."
    "Democrats Tried to Hatch Back-Door 'Deal' on Redistricting, Don Gaetz Says".

    Weekly Roundup

    Michael Peltier: "Scott signed a $70 billion budget this week as he touted new money for education, but wielded more than $142 million in vetoes for projects he said the state can't afford. Facing a budget that had already been cut after successive years of tough economic times, the governor's veto pen used less ink this time, as he marked out far less than the $600 million he axed a year ago." "Weekly Roundup: $70 Billion Good; $142 Million Bad".

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