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 Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Unenlightened governor blocks promising reform

    The Tampa Bay Times editorial board: "Florida legislators should not let an unenlightened governor block one of the most promising prison reforms in years. The next time lawmakers come to Tallahassee, they should override Gov. Rick Scott's veto of a plan that finally recognizes that just locking away drug addicts does not make fiscal or law enforcement sense." "Override Scott veto of prison reform".

    More universities to leave the state-run insurance program?

    "The Department of Management Services is expressing concerns that other universities could follow lead of University of Florida in wanting to leave the state-run insurance program." "GatorCare could take a chomp out of fund that pays for state employee health insurance".

    FlaBaggers agree with Mack: Ryan budget a "joke"

    "Rep. Connie Mack drew heat last week for saying the budget plan crafted by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan budget was a 'joke.' But he isn't alone. A number of tea party-backed House members also faulted it and Monday, a tea party organizer from Florida said he supports Mack, who has distanced himself from the critical remark." "Tea party comes to Mack's aid".

    Mario Diaz-Balart whines

    "Republicans at the national and state level slammed President Barack Obama and his trip to Florida on Tuesday."

    In a telephone conference call with reporters, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Miami Republican who represents part of South Broward, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, excoriated the president, his campaigning and his policies.

    The Republicans highlighted the president's long-planned three fundraisers – in Palm Beach Gardens, Hollywood and Golden Beach – and the fact that he added an official stop at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton so the taxpayers would pick up the bulk of the cost of the trip.
    "Republican leaders slam Obama and president's South Florida visit".

    Nevertheless, "Diaz-Balart, a Republican from Miami, acknowledged that other presidents have included fundraising with government-paid trips, notably many visits to Florida by Bush." "Obama, like Bush, visits Florida at taxpayer cost".

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board "On Obama's FAU speech".

    Obama raises $2 million

    "President Obama's first visit to Palm Beach County since he was a 2008 candidate found him in full campaign mode Tuesday, telling $10,000-a-plate donors and enthusiastic Florida Atlantic University students that his policies stand in stark contrast to the "old broken-down theories" of Republicans." "Obama raises $2 million, reconnects with young voters in South Florida visit". Related: "Fundraising, tax talk dominate President Obama's day in South Florida".

    FlaBaggers go after Putnam

    "A coalition of tea party groups is urging Gov. Rick Scott to veto the conservative Legislature's energy proposal, calling its revival of expired renewable energy tax credits 'crony capitalism.'" "Tea party groups oppose Adam Putnam energy measure".

    "Exempting abortions from state's right to privacy"

    "A group of anti-abortion advocates is urging voters to support a constitutional amendment they say will allow lawmakers to revisit a parental consent measure struck down by the courts. But opponents of the proposal, placed on the November ballot by lawmakers last year, say it would have a much more far-reaching effect by specifically exempting abortions from the state's constitutional right to privacy." "Florida anti-abortion campaign aims to restrict privacy rights". See also "'SNL' alumnus Victoria Jackson now opposes energy bill on Scott's desk".

    Scott gives Romney "tepid" endorsement

    "Responding to word that Rick Santorum is dropping out of the Republican presidential primary, Gov. Rick Scott, who has stayed neutral in the primary, issued a somewhat tepid endorsement of Romney. While praising Santorum and saying nothing positive about Romney, Scott said it’s now clear Romney will be the nominee and it’s time for Republicans to coalesce around him." "Scott gets behind Romney - somewhat".

    Population growth slows

    The Daytona Beach News-Journal editors: "The census and population numbers are in for mid-2010 through mid-2011, and the news is decidedly mixed."

    The numbers show a slow pace for both Flagler County and Florida as a whole. But the growth rate for Volusia County was practically nonexistent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Volusia County had a growth rate of 0 percent from April 2010 to July 2011. The county only added 152 new residents in that time period, while Palm Coast alone added 1,300 residents.
    "Slow population growth could be a warning sign".

    GOPers rake in the cash

    "Republican party fundraising down in early 2012", but the: "Fla. GOP continue[s] to outraise state Democrats".

    "Led by a Jefferson County Republican who reeled in more than $108,000, newcomers posted some of the top fundraising totals in legislative races during the first three months of 2012."

    Monticello businessman Halsey Beshears reported raising $108,268, as he tries to win a largely rural House district that includes all or parts of 10 North Florida counties, according to records posted Tuesday on the state Division of Elections website.

    Beshears, the owner of Total Landscape Supply, appeared likely to dwarf the fundraising totals of the other four candidates planning to run for the House District 7 seat. ...

    Another top fundraiser during the quarter was Republican House candidate Travis Hutson, who brought in $70,675. A St. Johns County resident, he is running in District 24, which includes parts of St. Johns, Flagler and Volusia counties.

    Newcomers from nearby Clay County, meanwhile, also had big quarters. Senate District 7 candidate Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, collected $68,401, while House District 18 candidate Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, raised $66,226.

    Among other Republicans, Heather Fitzenhagen of Fort Myers raised $65,377 as she tries to win House District 78 in Southwest Florida.

    Democrats hope that newcomer Joe Saunders will be able to win the Orlando-area House District 49. Saunders raised $55,731 during the quarter.

    Other top fundraisers among Democratic House candidates included Jonah Wolfson, of Miami Beach, who raised $49,625; and David Kerner, of Lake Worth, who raised $46,020.
    "Political Newcomers Reeling In Big Campaign Donations".

    New rules

    "Stung by public reaction to judges who lobbied state lawmakers into a $50 million courthouse many have dubbed a "Taj Mahal,'' the Florida Supreme Court has established new rules that would muzzle individual judges who try to have their way with the Legislature."

    And some judges are not happy. The state's circuit court judges have formally asked the state's highest court to rescind the rules and at least engage in a public discussion of rules that would constrain their right to speak out in public. Judges at the 5th District Court of Appeal also have filed a formal objection to a provision that would establish term limits on chief judges.

    The rules, approved by a sharply divided court in February, would prevent individual judges from taking their budget requests and suggestions for changing the law directly to lawmakers without first getting approval from the Supreme Court and administrative committees that oversee the budget.
    "Court rules stir backlash".

    "Streamline Offerings"

    "Atwater Pushes Universities to Streamline Offerings".

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