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, May 04, 2012

"A feckless and unenforceable political bone"

    Daniel Ruth: Florida Gov. Rick Scott' over the course of a few short days may have successfully managed to offend more people than crazy-as-a-loon Gainesville pastor Terry Jones contemplating a match and a Koran."

    First Gov. Clouseau jetted off to Miami for a publicity stunt to sign a loopy bill that would prohibit state and local governments from hiring companies for contracts worth at least $1 million if they also do business with either Cuba and Syria. ...

    This was always little more than a feckless and unenforceable political bone tossed to the Miami Cuban community. All the governor had to do was fly in, sign this cooked-up legislation, say bad things about Fidel Castro, have a cup of cafe con leche and get out of town.

    But nooooooooo! Scott had to commit the worst possible boo-boo in politics. He admitted it was all just theater. No good would come from this.

    After putting his Gov. Le Petomane signature on the "Cuba — Bad!" bill, Scott then said, in effect, he was just kidding; that the legislation was really a federal issue. The Cuban exiles went ballistic and accused the governor of stabbing them in the back, which, of course, he had.
    "Fresh from alienating South Florida, Gov. Leghorn then turned his energies to irritating half the population by announcing he wants to redirect $31 million in funding for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence."
    With all the twisted reasoning of a viral email attacking Barack Obama's birth certificate, Scott argued it was inappropriate to target a specific private entity to receive state funds, a rationale one never hears from the governor when it comes to shoveling public voucher money into private schools. ...

    But Scott's lollapalooza of pandering policy was only hitting its stride, thanks to the tinhorns of Florida Legislature.

    They prohibited cities from enacting gun-control laws, so Tampa faces the prospect of banning stuff like water pistols, urine-filled baggies, sticks and other toys of mischief in the downtown area during this summer's Republican National Convention. But not guns, which has pretty much made Tampa a national laughingstock.

    Since Floridians seem to enjoy shooting each other whenever their feelings are hurt, Mayor Bob Buckhorn sensibly concluded banning water balloons, while still being able to walk around locked and loaded, made little sense and asked Scott to issue an executive order to also ban firearms during the four-day convention.

    Scott, no surprise here, said no. Then he went off on a rant about protecting the Second Amendment for paranoid, law-abiding, itchy trigger-finger citizens. The governor also got it wrong when he wrote back to Buckhorn that the mayor was trying to ban firearms from all of downtown. He wasn't. Only the "Event Zone" set aside for protesters, parades and rallies would have been affected.

    At least if things go badly because some goober gets riled up, Tampa will know who to blame. Brilliant. Who was the PR genius for this rootin'-tootin' decision? The NRA's Tugboat Annie of Ammo? Marion Hammer? You may all nod, now.

    Finally, in his never-ending quest to find government programs that actually work so he can kill them off, once again Scott vetoed funding for the state's 11 regional planning councils, which help local governments develop all manner of programs from hurricane evacuation routes, luring business investment and affordable housing programs.

    Why? Scott based his decision on the ramblings of the Cato Institute and one of its deep thinkers, Randal O'Toole, who sees a United Nations conspiracy to take over the world in Arbor Day proclamations. Scott complained the effectiveness of the planning councils can't be measured. But that's only because the governor abolished the agency that evaluates them. Insert "duh" here.
    Read the column here: "Governor steps in it — all week".

    Rubio-the-legal-scholar smacks Scott

    "Sen. Marco Rubio joined the chorus of Republican lawmakers who disagree with Gov. Rick Scott for calling a Cuba-crackdown bill unenforceable and unconstitutional." "Sen. Marco Rubio: Gov. Rick Scott wrong on Cuba crackdown law".

    The rules are different here

    "Tourism czar resigns after buying $700,000 yacht with tax money".

    Politifact rates Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll’s claim "False"

    "Was Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll accurate that no one recruited people to join the task force reviewing the controversial stand your ground law? ... We rate Carroll’s claim False." "Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll claims "we didn’t go out asking people" to join the "stand your ground" task force".

    PIP legislation on Scott's desk

    "Scott pushed hard for HB 119, which maintains the mandatory $10,000 PIP coverage but limits non-emergency care after an auto accident to $2,500 and eliminates fee multipliers for attorneys in PIP cases." "PIP fraud.

    Raw sewage

    "Almost two decades after the EPA imposed the biggest fine at the time on the county for ignoring the Clean Water Act, the feds are back and talking to Miami-Dade leaders, this time about repairing miles of faulty pipes that carry raw sewage." "Feds file complaint, demand Miami-Dade County fix faulty sewer lines".

    "Inevitable there will be conflict"

    "The Center for Biological, based in Tucson, Ariz., was founded in 1989 and has been more active in issues affecting Florida in recent years. 'It is inevitable there will be conflict' with industry groups, staff attorney Jaclyn Lopez said." "Litigious group focused on biodiversity, endangered species opens Florida office".

    Ricky-PC raises more than $1 million in April

    "With Gov. Rick Scott making plans to run for re-election in 2014, a closely linked political committee raised more than $1 million in April -- and has already collected nearly $2 million this year, according to the committee's website."

    The Let's Get To Work Committee received $1.06 million last month, after collecting $918,703 earlier in the year, a list of contributors on the website shows. As a point of comparison, the Florida Democratic Party raised about $1.2 million between Jan. 1 and March 31.

    Scott, whose upstart 2010 campaign enjoyed heavy backing from the committee, made clear recently that he will seek a second term. ...

    Committees such as Let's Get To Work are not bound by the campaign-finance limits placed on candidates, who cannot accept individual contributions of more than $500. Let's Get To Work reported on the website that it received three contributions of $100,000 each in April.

    Those contributions came from The Geo Group, Progress Energy and a political committee linked to the Florida Optometric Association -- all of which have major legislative or regulatory issues in state government.

    Geo, which operates private prisons, has been involved during the past year in a legislative controversy about privatizing correctional facilities across the southern part of the state. Progress, meanwhile, has interests in numerous energy-related issues in the Legislature and at the Public Service Commission, while optometrists have long lobbied for expanded drug-prescribing powers.

    Other major donors in April included New York developer Donald Trump and Jacksonville developer David Hutson, who each gave $50,000, according to the committee website. ...

    Longtime lobbyist John French, who is listed on the website as the committee's coordinator, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
    "Let's Get to Work Committee Raises $1 Million in April".

    He ought to

    "Rick Scott Prays for Jobs, Military During National Day of Prayer".

    Them silly federal lawrs

    "A new state law allowing the governor to remove chief executives and members of the state's 24 regional work-force boards may violate federal legislation giving that power to local elected officials." "Scott's new power over jobs agencies might violate federal law".

    The publicity stunts keep 'comin

    "Hoping to reverse the perception that he wanted to skirt the state’s open records law, Gov. Rick Scott announced a web site to open his emails — and those of his top staff." "Gov. Rick Scott lets public open his email box with new website". See also "Governor pledges to let sun shine on staff emails, giving public online access".

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