Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 Monday, April 16, 2012

"Strategy of the tea party/GOP/Scott cabal has backfired"

    Stephen Goldstein: "No state is more heavily invested in killing the federal Affordable Care Act than Florida."
    Taxpayer dollars have been used to take a major benefit away from taxpayers. Former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum couldn't wait to take the lead in suing to overturn ACA. In 2009, before he became governor, Rick Scott founded and invested millions in Conservatives for Patient Rights to fight federal initiatives and strengthen the "free market" in health care. What else would you expect from a man who made his millions as a corporate raider of for-profit healthcare providers?
    "Since he became governor, Scott and current Attorney General Pam Bondi have continued the fight with other states that joined McCollum's original lawsuit. Scott has refused to implement parts of ACA because he believes it will be declared unconstitutional."
    But, now that the case has been argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, it is clear the strategy of the tea party/GOP/Scott cabal has backfired: It has put itself and the Court in a lose-lose position. If it rules against all, or any part of, the Act, it will infuriate millions of Americans already enjoying benefits from ACA — and throw the country into chaos. If it rules for the Act, it will infuriate the right-wing. ...

    No matter which side wins in the Supreme Court, no matter which party wins in November, the fight for health system reform will continue and, until the issue is resolved, average Americans will be the losers. Thank you Gov. Scott!
    "Health care debate helps Democrats".

    Enough to make you cringe

    The journalism majors at Politifact take a shot at the definition of "Communism": "PolitiFact Florida: Rep. Allen West goes too far in Commie comment".

    False dilemma

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board goes after public employees:

    Fire-rescue workers have difficult jobs that can put them in dangerous situations, so they deserve fair compensation. But during the real estate bubble, their salaries rose to levels that are no longer sustainable and are out of whack with pay scales for other fire-rescue agencies and exceed those of law enforcement.
    "Best response: Cut salaries".

    Because Palm Beach County fire-rescue workers' pay is greater than "other [unnamed] fire-rescue agencies and exceed those of law enforcement", their pay should be cut? This assertion is false on many levels, but we'll go with false dilemma.

    The editors are of course uninterested in logic: rather, they don't like uppity employees in the neighborhood because, after all, we don't want the boys down in the press-room getting ideas about, wage increases, defined pension plans and other Commie stuff.

    Winger whine

    Nancy Smith argues that the traditional media was going all librul on self-financed gub'ner Rick Scott (she apparently thinks it is unfair to mention that Ricky once pled the fifth 75 times and his company paid a $1.7 billion federal fine). She writes: "If ever a story carried a ring of familiarity, the Gov. Scott Walker recall in Wisconsin is it for me. It's the story of a tea-party-conservative governor roundly disliked by unions, sour-grapes election losers and a liberal press."

    Are your ears burning, Rick Scott?

    The hostility toward Gov. Scott and the legislative leadership in Florida never reached the recall stage. Certainly the attempt to do the governor in was there. But the "Pink Slip Rick Scott" movement failed to collect more than 6,189 online recall petition signatures, never attracted the throngs of protesters in Tallahassee that descended on the Wisconsin Capitol and was unable to get HB 787, a Democrat recall-enabling bill, anywhere near the House floor in 2011.
    "Florida may not have had unions with the Badger State's muscle flex. But last year at this time the Sunshine State certainly did have a spoiled, left-leaning press corps in the middle of a temper tantrum, a press corps that didn't want Scott elected in the first place and found few of his new policies praiseworthy."
    "Mainstreamers Behaving Badly: Could Wisconsin Happen in Florida?".

    Red tape

    "Dole's recall of bagged salads includes Florida".

    Birthers go after Rubio

    "Although the name of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is mentioned more than any other as a potential GOP vice presidential candidate, a document found in the National Archives raises questions about whether the popular U.S. senator is actually qualified constitutionally to serve as president or vice president." "GOP 'superstar' for VP faces eligibility questions".

    Scott not crazy enough for FlaBaggers

    "Scott's keynote speech to the 'Tax Day' rally in Orlando came just two days after he rejected one of the tea party movement's top demands in Florida, that he veto an alternative-energy bill."

    Yet the tea party crowd gathered at [Orlando's] Lake Eola Park on Sunday afternoon applauded enthusiastically for many of the governor's broader goals, such as reducing taxes and government and working to defeat the re-elections of Democrats President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, many in the crowd of 2,500 or so noticeably dropped their hands in their laps in their laps whenever Scott talked about himself.
    "Gov. Rick Scott tries to woo back tea party in 'Tax Day' rally in Orlando". Background: "Tea party group barrages Scott's office with robo-calls urging veto of energy bill".

    It ain't beanbag

    "Circuit Judge Krista Marx chose not to run for state attorney after she learned supporters of the lone candidate in the race, Dave Aronberg, planned to attack her reputation and challenge her husband's judicial seat, The Palm Beach Post has found." "Warnings lead Circuit Judge Krista Marx to abandon campaign for state attorney".

    New Redistricting Map

    "The second draft of the Legislature's redistricting plan for the state Senate answered all of the objections of the Florida Supreme Court to the first proposal and should get justices' approval, according to a Senate brief in the case." "Senate Argues for Its New Redistricting Map".

    Attack on public employees continues

    "Three days after a trial judge ruled the Legislature’s 2011 effort to make public employees pay part of their pension costs was unconstitutional, lawmakers passed another pension bill reducing government contributions to more than 100,000 public employees."

    On the last day of the 2012 Legislature, the House and Senate endorsed House Bill 5005, which cut government pension contribution rates for state workers, law enforcement officers, county workers, school employees and university workers who are part of a 401(k)-type retirement plan.

    The bill is awaiting the approval of Gov. Rick Scott, who has made cutting state pension costs one of his top priorities. Scott, who has until Saturday to act on the bill, has not taken a position on the latest measure.

    The cuts are dramatic in some cases. ...

    The bill, if approved by Scott, would save the state and other government agencies more than $172 million. Local school boards would see a $53 million savings, state universities $42 million and counties $49.5 million.

    But opponents of the bill see it as another move undermining retirement plans for public workers. The employer contribution cut would come on top of the 3 percent mandatory contribution of last year — which most workers view as a 3 percent pay cut. It would also mean the workers in the 401(k)-type plans would have less money to invest and less money to retire on in the future.
    "Scott may slash state's payment to workers' retirement plan".

    This of course makes no sense - the defined contribution option was created by Jebco to undermine the longstanding defined benefit plan (the latter being the subject of the 3% litigation). Now, the clowns in Tally are shooting themselves in the foot by creating a disincentive for employees opting into the defined contribution plan.

    FCAT follies

    "FCAT testing begins in Florida schools today".

    No green card ... no FlaBar card?

    "Can an immigrant without a green card get a Florida Bar card? Aspiring lawyer Jose Godinez-Samperio, 25, a Tampa-area resident, is hoping the answer is yes. A native of Mexico who entered the United States legally with his parents 16 years ago on a tourist visa, Godinez-Samperio is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Law, the valedictorian of the Armwood High School class of 2004, an Eagle Scout — and an undocumented immigrant." "Undocumented immigrant seeks Florida Bar admission".


    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "In calling for the Palm Beach County Commission to do more to combat wage theft, advocates insist that the problem is more pervasive than most non-victims realize and more difficult to resolve than most victims can manage. There is hyperbole to both claims, but their central point is valid: Wage theft is real, it often harms those least able to protest, and commissioners should see whether there's a role for government."

    On Tuesday, commissioners will consider whether to draw up a wage-theft ordinance that would allow the county to investigate allegations that employers stiffed workers. Under the proposal, modeled after a Miami-Dade County program, the county would negotiate with businesses on workers' behalf and could adjudicate cases in administrative hearings.

    Advocates say such a system would make it easier for low-wage workers to take on employers who refuse to pay them or pay less than promised. Employees already enjoy protections against wage theft under state and federal law, but advocates say taking an employer to court can be prohibitively complex, costly and slow for many workers and unnerving for illegal immigrants. They say the county could resolve claims more easily and inexpensively.

    Business groups have tried unsuccessfully to persuade state legislators to prohibit such ordinances. The Florida Retail Federation sued Miami-Dade County, alleging that its wage-theft program was unconstitutional. Last month, a judge threw out the lawsuit, calling the program "a responsible and reasonable exercise of government authority."
    "If there's stealing, stop it".

    "There remains much work to be done"

    The Tampa Bay Times editors: "The second anniversary of America's worst environmental disaster on Friday should serve as a reminder to the nation that there remains much work to be done." "Oil spill dangers persist".

    "Just another calculating politician"?

    The Tampa Bay Times editorial board: "17 months after his improbable victory, Gov. Rick Scott has an opportunity to show he is a different breed and not just another calculating politician." "Governor, veto Florida Polytechnic".

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