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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

E-Mail Florida Politics

This is our Main Page
Our Sister Site
On FaceBook
Follow us on Twitter
Our Google+ Page
Contact [E-Mail Florida Politics]
Site Feed
...and other resources


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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Friday, May 18, 2012

"Voter fraud less an issue than Florida officials interfering with the right to vote"

    The Tampa Bay Times editorial board writes that "the effort by state elections officials to identify registered voters who are noncitizens and remove them from the rolls is badly flawed and should be halted. Even if the intent of Gov. Rick Scott's administration is pure, the effect of this heavy-handed approach is to discriminate against Hispanics and Democrats and suppress the turnout of eligible voters."
    Florida does not enter this effort to remove noncitizens from the voter rolls with clean hands. In 2000, African-American men were wrongly denied the vote because of an error-ridden felon list. In 2004, another faulty felon list was compiled but was scrapped after a public outcry. In 2011, the Republican-controlled Legislature passed legislation making it harder to conduct voter registration drives and to access the polls, disproportionately impacting minorities and Democratic-leaning groups.

    There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Florida. There is plenty of evidence that Republicans in Tallahassee have made it more difficult for minority residents to register to vote and to remain on the rolls even if they are citizens. Even if the Scott administration's effort is well-intended, this is no fair way to ensure the voter rolls are accurate. Voter fraud is far less an issue in Florida than state elections officials interfering with the right to vote.
    "Voter fraud effort smacks of voter suppression campaign".

    "Florida officials, responding to skeptical comments this week from county election supervisors, said they are now going to double-check whether or not 182,000 registered voters are U.S. citizens."
    State officials announced late Thursday that the Florida agency that handles driver's licenses plans to check a federal database to verify the citizenship status of those initially identified as being in Florida legally but ineligible to vote.
    "The state has sent a list to county election supervisors of more than 2,600 people who have been identified as non-U.S. citizens."
    But state officials have also said there may be as many as 182,000 registered voters who are not eligible to vote. The move to remove the voters from the rolls comes just months before the critical 2012 elections where Florida is expected to be one of the states that could determine the election.

    Local election supervisors this week complained to state officials that the original list was based on old information taken from 2011 and that they had already found inaccuracies in it.

    The names will now be checked with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
    "Fla. to double-check names on voter purge list". See also "Florida non-citizen voter list will be vetted against Homeland Security database".

    ECOs upheld

    "A federal appeals court Thursday quickly rejected a constitutional challenge to a 2010 Florida election law regulating some outside groups that run political ads or send mailers. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta issued a brief ruling that upheld the law, which places requirements on what are known as 'electioneering communications organizations,' or ECOs." "Appeals court upholds Florida's 'electioneering' law".

    LeMieux, Mack exchange attacks

    "The battle between the two leading Republican candidates for U.S. Senate -- George LeMieux and Connie Mack -- intensified Thursday as they exchanged attacks, LeMieux's launched on national television." "Battle Between George LeMieux and Connie Mack Intensifies".

    What's a Klansman to do?

    "Fifty-seven percent of Florida's children younger than 5 were minorities in 2011, according to the new census estimates." "More minority births signal major shifts ahead for Florida".

    Scott stumbles over managerial performance

    The Miami Herald editors: "When Rick Scott ran for governor, he waged a classic outsider’s campaign, vowing to clean up state government as only a no-nonsense businessman could. Voters took him at his word — which makes it all the more surprising that he has now stumbled twice over managerial performance."

    Not even a year-and-a-half in office, Mr. Scott is bringing in a third chief of staff to help him run state government following the resignation of Steve MacNamara, who is leaving under pressure, effective July 1. His departure follows a series of Herald news reports about his role in steering no-bid contracts to friends, as well as heavy-handed interference in staffing decisions across state government.

    Seven of Mr. Scott’s agency heads or top deputies have resigned during his tenure. This kind of turnover and the allegations swirling around Mr. MacNamara are not what voters expected from a Scott administration. “The deal-makers are crying in their cocktails,” Mr. Scott exulted when he won the Republican nomination.
    "Mr. MacNamara reversed the administration’s early policy of keeping lobbyists at bay, allowing them behind the closed doors separating the governor’s offices from the public and ending a Scott rule that did not allow lobbyists to meet with the governor in person to make a pitch."
    Meanwhile, Mr. MacNamara isolated the governor from other members of the administration. Agency heads that used to meet weekly with the governor were now meeting with his chief of staff instead, making Mr. MacNamara the go-to guy for all things.

    He reached into agencies to remove some workers and install others. Worse, he was accused of steering contracts to well-connected friends and engaging in secret deals with special interests.
    "Starting over at the Capitol".

    Puffing Marco

    "A candid interview with Marco and Jeanette Rubio".

    "Why cause such a predictable panic in the first place?"

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "This latest FCAT fiasco falls squarely on Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. He was warned by superintendents there should be more time to take in the new measurements, as Florida moves to the next level. At least he acted quickly to inject some sanity into the process on the writing exam, but why cause such a predictable panic in the first place?" "FCAT writing fiasco".

    Fred Grimm: "Florida, not kids, flunked FCAT testing". See also "Anatomy of FCAT Failure: School Districts Didn't Read or Heed Writing on the Wall".

    "Cuban-Americans in Congress Outraged"

    "The Cuban-American delegation in Congress is strongly criticizing the U.S. government for an 'enormous mistake' in granting a visa to Raul Castro’s daughter, who plans to attend a conference next week in San Francisco. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, posted video on YouTube in both English and Spanish calling the U.S. State Department's decision to issue a visa to Mariela Castro Espin "shameful."" "Cuban-Americans in Congress Outraged Over Visa Approval for Raul Castro's Daughter".

    Political mail

    Scott Maxwell: "Don't spend tax money on political mail".

    Never mind

    "After repudiating a conservative group's plans to attack President Obama's ties to his fiery former pastor, Mitt Romney on Thursday accused the Obama campaign of being "focused on character assassination" for its attacks on Romney's business background." "Rev. Wright not an issue, Romney says; candidate stops in Boca". See also "Tonight: on the campaign trail with Mitt Romney in Boca Raton".

    "Fallout from potentially significant rate increases"

    "Facing fallout from potentially significant rate increases, members of a Citizens Property Insurance Corp.committee said Thursday that they need to do a better job of working with lawmakers, news media and the public as they formulate 2013 premiums for the state-backed insurer." "Citizens panel: Shrinking policyholder base requires higher insurance rates".

<< Home