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, April 13, 2012

"Rubio will have to dream up something more than a talking point"

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "For roughly the past two weeks, Sen. Rubio has talked about offering a Republican version of the Development, Relief and Education of Minors (Dream) Act, which passed the House during the lame-duck session of December 2010 but got only 55 of the necessary 60 votes in the Senate to end a filibuster. The Dream Act would have conferred Permanent Resident status on undocumented minors who met certain conditions and served two years in the military. Permanent residents can apply for citizenship."
    Sen. Rubio has called the Dream Act "amnesty." He's wrong. Nothing that imposes conditions can be "amnesty." But as his party's Hispanic star, from a state whose Hispanic voters could tip the presidential election, Sen. Rubio can't sidestep immigration as he did in 2011 while delivering hyped speeches on many other major issues. ...

    It's mid-April. The Senate takes off most of August. Nothing big gets done after Labor Day in election years. Yet Sen. Rubio complained to National Review that "Democrats and the left don't want to solve this issue; they want this issue to remain out there because they want to use it as a political tool."

    In fact, Senate Republicans have been the main impediments to immigration reform, even when President Bush finally pushed the issue. To make his case, Sen. Rubio will have to dream up something more than a talking point.
    "Rubio still undocumented". See also "" and "".

    "Disquieting questions"

    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board write that Zimmerman's arrest "raises anew disquieting questions about Florida's broadly drawn "stand your ground law," invoked in his defense." "Charges reveal 'stand your ground' law's flaws".

    Florida's ALEC shills

    "Florida Legislators with ALEC Ties".

    Teabaggers going after Florida Supreme Court

    "More than $450,000 has been cobbled together in the first three months of the year for the retention efforts of state Supreme Court justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince."

    Lewis, Pariente and Quince were appointed to the court by former Gov. Lawton Chiles. Lewis and Pariente were appointed to the court by former Gov. Lawton Chiles. Quince was appointed by both Chiles and former Gov. Jeb Bush.

    The three justices are facing heat, as did two others in 2010, for being viewed as judicial activists, highlighted by voting to block a measure that would have allowed Floridians to block the Affordable Health Care for America Act, better known [by the Teabagger crowd] as Obamacare[*], two years ago.

    The anti-retention effort is being headed by the Orlando-based Restore Justice 2012, an outgrowth of efforts of local tea party activist Jesse Phillips.

    Phillips said Wednesday that the justices may be “scared” after a similar effort two years ago resulted in some of the lowest votes ever in favor of retention.

    On its website -- restorejustice2012.com -- the group claims “Our State Supreme Court is among the worst offenders and has frequently meddled in the democratic process and taken upon itself to determine outcomes that our state Constitution leaves to voters, not judges, to decide."

    The group points to the court's 2006 decision to reject a law passed by the Florida Legislature that created the country's first statewide education voucher program and the 2010 decision that blocked a state constitutional amendment going before voters to ban any laws that required Florida residents to participate in a health care system.

    “The Florida State Supreme Court has taken it upon itself to decide matters lawfully left to voters to decide,” Restore Justice stated. “They have disenfranchised every voter in the state on multiple occasions and greatly overstepped their constitutional limitations, proving that they truly are one of the most activist courts in the nation.”
    "Money Rolling In for Supreme Court Justices Facing Tea Party Retention Challenge".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *Of course, the same Teabagger crowd wants activist SCOTUS judges to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Go figure.


    "UF and FSU ask Rick Scott to OK tuition bill".

    Governors like Scott exist to squash hope

    The Pensacola News-Journal editorial board: "We don't know if Gov. Rick Scott is captive to his ideology, or perhaps to what he thinks that ideology should or might be. Or to what the voters he thinks he needs to please to get reelected think it is."

    Confusing? Well, Scott seems confused, too.

    This week the governor vetoed a bill that passed, on a total vote of 152-4, through one of the more conservative legislatures in the country. Yes, it was a remarkably progressive bill to get through the Florida Legislature, but it just goes to show that you should never give up hope.

    Of course, governors like Scott seem to exist to squash hope.

    The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Ft. Lauderdale, was progressive — and fiscally conservative, too. It struck a small but symbolic blow against the idea that we need lengthy jail sentences for people whose real crime is their inability to stay off drugs.
    "Scott gets it wrong".

    Republican leaders interested in helping carpetbaggers

    The Tampa Bay Times editorial board writes that Florida is "contributing to Amazon.com's dominance and the demise of true market competition."

    State leaders' refusal to modernize the state sales tax system and demand payment from Internet-only retailers has put Florida retailers at a disadvantage for more than a decade. It also has robbed the state of revenue needed to pay for schools, prisons and other programs. Customers shopping at bricks-and-mortar stores in Florida pay sales tax, while those who buy online from an out-of-state seller do not.

    The 2012 legislative session initially held great promise for leveling the playing field. Bills to require Internet-only sellers to collect and remit sales taxes from Florida customers had bipartisan support. The year before, the three states with larger populations than Florida — California, New York and Texas — embarked on their own strategies.

    In the end, nothing changed. Tallahassee's Republican leaders apparently are still more interested in helping carpetbaggers than homegrown businesses who employ Floridians.
    "In retail battle, Amazon wins again".

    Dershowitz slams "politically motivated" arrest

    Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz called the arrest "called the affidavit justifying Zimmerman’s arrest 'not only thin, it’s irresponsible.' He went on to criticize the decision to charge Zimmerman for second degree murder by special prosecutor Angela Corey as being politically motivated."

    “Most affidavits of probable cause are very thin. This is so thin that it won’t make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge,” Dershowitz said. “There’s simply nothing in there that would justify second degree murder.”

    Dershowitz said that the elements that would constitute that crime are non-existent in the affidavit. “It’s not only thin, it’s irresponsible,” said Dershowitz.

    Dershowitz went on to strongly criticize Corey’s decision to move forward with the case against Zimmerman. “I think what you have here is an elected public official who made a campaign speech last night for reelection when she gave her presentation and overcharged. This case will not – if the evidence is no stronger than what appears in the probable cause affidavit – this case will result in an acquittal.”

    Smerconish identified the total lack of any mention of the supposed fight that occurred between Martin and Zimmerman prior to Martin being shot. He said he was disappointed that he did not see any mention of that conflict that led to Martin’s murder.

    “But it’s worse than that,” said Dershowitz. “It’s irresponsible and unethical in not including material that favors the defendant.”

    “This affidavit does not even make it to probable cause,” Dershowitz concluded. “everything in the affidavit is completely consistent with a defense of self-defense. Everything.”
    "Harvard Prof. Alan Dershowitz: Zimmerman Arrest Affidavit ‘Irresponsible And Unethical’". See the interview here.

    Tribune employee, Scott Maxwell, sees it differently: "Corey looks courageous, savvy in Trayvon Martin case so far".

    "Florida has yet to jump on the wind-farm bandwagon"

    "The American Wind Energy Association reported Thursday that the Sunshine State is home to 15 plants manufacturing wind-power components for use elsewhere."

    The facilities range from GE Energy's turbine manufacturing plant in Pensacola to Atlantic Bearings' power-transmission parts supplier in Doral.

    A 16th company, turbine maker 5D, is set to crank up an assembly plant in Sarasota this year.

    Though nearly 3,000 Florida workers are employed by these firms -- ranking the state ninth nationally in wind-power jobs -- their products and services are exported.

    Like most of its neighbors in the sultry Southeast, Florida has yet to jump on the wind-farm bandwagon that's rolling across the country, AWEA said.
    "In Sunshine State, Wind Generating Jobs, Not Power ... Yet".

    Poor Vern

    "Democrat Keith Fitzgerald’s campaign for Congress today announced that it raised nearly $300,000 in the first three months of 2012. Fitzgerald’s campaign received more than 1,500 individual contributions, with an average contribution of $136." "Buchanan opponent raises nearly $300,000 during first quarter of 2012".

    Counties Go to Court

    "Counties Go to Court to Fight State Medicaid Billing". See also "Counties announce lawsuit to block Medicaid billing scheme".

    Thanks yet again, Mr. Obama

    "State governments raked in $763.7 billion in tax revenues during the 2011 fiscal year, up 8.9 percent from the previous year, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. ... Most states reported increases among most types of taxes – income, license, severance, etc. – but Florida’s bump in revenue came mostly from a 4.4 percent rise in sales taxes, taking in $19.4 billion." "States' tax revenues up across nation".

    Related: "Foreclosures down in U.S., up in Florida for first quarter of 2012".

    "Guillen flap brings out worst in everybody"

    Hate to break it to you, but "many people in and from Latin America feel differently about Fidel Castro than Cuban exiles do."

    "Many non-Cuban Latinos share Guillen's positive view of Castro". Even Fabiola Santiago acknowledges that "Ozzie Guillen flap brings out worst in everybody".

    "Volusia will be political hotbed"

    "Regardless of what happens when the Florida Supreme Court reviews the new state Senate boundaries for a second time, Volusia County can still figure to be the battleground for one of the state's most competitive races."

    The race for the District 8 Senate seat was the only one in Florida to have solidly funded candidates from both major parties before the Legislature's redistricting process began. New campaign reports -- which had to be sent to elections officials postmarked by Tuesday -- suggest the race is only growing tighter.

    County Chair Frank Bruno, a Democrat, made another strong showing in the first three months of the year, raising more than $30,000. Republican Dorothy Hukill raised $17,000, but the four-term House member was barred from raising money for most of the quarter because the Legislature was in session.

    She still holds an advantage of more than $55,000 in cash raised, but Hukill may have to start spending hers sooner, with the recent challenge from former Republican House member Pat Patterson. Patterson had time to raise only $2,300 after joining the race in March, but he was sitting on more than $70,000 from earlier campaigns.
    "Donations indicate Volusia will be political hotbed".

    Goin' local

    "Edgewater man announces run for Volusia County chair" and "Port Orange mayor picks up competition".


    "Scott will work behind the ticket counter, in the airport's communications center and as a skycap over the course of his work day." "Obama, Scott both at Tampa airport Friday".

    Makin' money

    "Party donations soften during first quarter". See also "Flagler House candidates raise far less".

    More time in FRS

    "State Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera said he was prompted to run after property appraiser Pedro Garcia told the city of Miami it might have to pay property taxes on parking garages at the new Marlins ballpark." "Miami state Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera to run for Miami-Dade property appraiser".

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