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 Saturday, June 23, 2012

State warned data was inaccurate, purged voters anyway

    "Weeks before the Florida Department of State publicly announced its non-citizen voter purge, proclaiming it was cleaning up the voter rolls, local supervisor of elections were already warning state election officials that the department's data were bad."
    In late March, the state elections office alerted local supervisors that it was sending them a list of 2,600 voters who had been identified as non-citizens based on drivers' license records from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Right away, according to emails obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Orlando Sentinel, there was concern from election supervisors.
    "State was warned voter purge used inaccurate data".

    "The state lags well behind"

    The Tampa Bay Times editorial board: "Florida ranks among the sunniest states, but when it comes to taking advantage of one of its most obvious sources of energy, the state lags well behind far more overcast places." "Let sun shine in — for power".

    Rubio "soars" through NALEO in his empty suit

    Alex Leary at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials meeting: Rubio "had harsh words for Obama, suggesting his move was geared toward the election, a premise many accept but the White House denies. ... Rubio did not mention Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who appeared before the Hispanic group Thursday and offered a softer approach to immigration than he espoused in the primary. Romney did not mention Rubio, either, or his immigration plan."

    Rick Scott was in the house:

    In a brief speech, he talked about his efforts to grow jobs in Florida and encouraged tourists to visit.

    Scott did not address immigration but was asked about it by reporters afterward. Scott said he believes in a federal approach and denied he had backed off his campaign promise to push for a mandatory employment verification program in Florida.

    He dodged a question on whether high-achieving college graduates and members of the military should be granted permanent residence: “We need to have a national policy, we don’t need to pick and choose a policy.”
    "Rubio bashes right and left on immigration". Related: "Obama and Marco Rubio Offer Contrasting Takes on Immigration Reform". More: "Marco Rubio Soars Nationally Even as VP Prospects Dim".

    Pension haters pile on the paper

    "The Florida Legislature and groups representing local governments filed court papers supporting the state's argument that the Florida Supreme Court should overturn a lower court ruling blocking a requirement for government workers to contribute a portion of their salaries to their retirement." "Legislature, local governments weigh in on pension case".

    FlaBaggers to formally endorse candidates

    "The conservative group Americans For Prosperity-Florida wants to replace the state employee pension system, eliminate corporate income taxes and it wants Florida to stop giving tax credits to attract businesses."

    And while saying they are not in the endorsement business, on Friday they sent every legislative candidate a copy of their new five-point “solutions” for the state. The intent is to get candidates to endorse the plan and promote the ones who have gotten behind the effort.

    “I think they’d be eager to endorse this and run on it,” said Slade O’Brien, director of the AFP-FL after unveiling the group’s Five For Florida plan and website -- fiveforflorida.com -- at the Florida Press Center in Tallahassee. ...

    The five-point plan also calls for putting all state contracts before the public, expanding educational competition by having the Legislature once again vote on the parent trigger -- allowing parents to seek wide-ranging changes at low-performing schools, including changing a traditional neighborhood school into a charter school -- and to further eliminate regulations that delay new business owners.

    O’Brien called the plan a means to make Florida more “transparent” and “honest.”

    The plan calls for putting new state employees into a 401(k) retirement plan instead of the Florida Retirement System, eliminating business regulations unless they involve public safety, and while officials have argued that incentives are needed to attract businesses to the state and keep others from fleeing, O’Brien said no incentives -- targeted tax credits account for approximately $3.2 billion in Florida -- should be offered.
    "Americans For Prosperity Seeks Candidates' Backing for Pension, Tax Credit Elimination Plans". See also "Americans for Prosperity to question candidates".

    Campaign Roundup

    "This week in the roundup, former Governors Bob Martinez and Jeb Bush pick their favored Senate candidates, Associated Industries of Florida unveils its endorsements and a Gaetz (not that one) wades into a GOP Senate primary fight." "Campaign Roundup: Business lobby, former governors weigh in on races".

    Rubio and his Teabaggers still in the mix

    "Rubio's ongoing role as a potential candidate for vice president could help Republicans shore up support in Florida this year, especially from his many fans in the tea party movement." "Rubio remains a vice presidential prospect".

    "Governor isn’t doing this in a spirit of collaboration"

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Florida’s county-level emergency managers have been sending out storm warnings. Not for that Gulf of Mexico system that could affect the state. It’s because Gov. Scott has decided to give all 67 of them grades."

    Vigilance is good. Reviewing and updating emergency procedures is good. But the governor isn’t doing this in a spirit of collaboration. This is confrontation. The effect is to disrupt emergency preparations at the worst possible time. Emergency officials need to focus on the most critical test they are likely to face — a major hurricane.
    "Editorial: Another ill wind from Gov. Scott".

    GOPer laff riot in SD 22 race

    Daniel Ruth: "In the newly drawn state Senate District 22 race, state Rep. Jim Frishe has uploaded a campaign video portraying his opponent, fellow House Republican Jeff Brandes, as an irritating child pretending to be a big-shot politician."

    Frishe insists in the spot that he is the real Republican in the race, and just to make sure the point isn't lost on anyone the candidate invokes Ronald Reagan's name four times, in addition to including Reagan twice in a rolling scroll of his political accomplishments and featuring two photographs of Reagan in the background. All of this Reaganmania in just a 30-second spot.

    If only Frishe had had more time, he could have shown up in the Gipper's jodhpurs with a jauntily positioned Stetson.

    In further accusing Brandes as a ne'er-do-well poseur with all the genuine conservative credentials of Stephen Colbert's alter ego, Frishe suggests his babycakes opponent has "no idea what a real Reagan Republican is."

    Frishe might be on to something, but he certainly can't deny that Jeff Brandes has learned a thing or two about hardball politics by pulling a quick switcheroo in dumping his campaign to be re-elected to the House and jumping into the Senate campaign before Frishe could finish watching Bedtime for Bonzo.

    And since there is no Democrat in the District 22 race, whoever wins the Aug. 14 primary takes the Senate seat. Just how deft a politician is Jeff Brandes?

    Why he is running around in a current commercial claiming he's not a politician, even through he ran and won a House seat in 2010? And now he's chasing after a Senate job, which involves hiring a consultant, a treasurer, begging people for money, handing out yard signs, showing up at events to slum for votes and plotting against Frishe.
    "Twice the campaign mud means twice the fun".

    Week in Review

    "Week in Review for June 18 to June 22". See also "Weekly Roundup: Tangling Over Tuition".

    "Replacing experienced professionals with political 'ideologues'"

    "The ousted Department of Health official who left behind a withering indictment of Gov. Rick Scott's management style Thursday accused the administration of replacing experienced professionals with political 'ideologues' and tolerating no questions about conservative operating methods." "Ex-Department of Health official blasts Scott".

    Save us from ourselves

    The Tampa Tribune editors are upset that Obama didn't save us from Rick Scott and the Teabaggers:

    We readily acknowledge that Obama's administration has approved many good projects for Florida and the Tampa area. Some of the stimulus money will pay long-term dividends, especially the federal money going into the new toll road that will link the Tampa port to Interstate 4. We believe conservatives who branded all such expenses as waste were mistaken. Jobs were saved and created.

    Obama was right, in our opinion, to award Florida money for high-speed rail from Tampa to Orlando. It was a project that made far more economic sense than California's plan because Florida already owned most of the right-of-way. At the time Obama was enthusiastic and compared himself to former President Dwight Eisenhower, who started the interstate highway network.

    But when Florida Gov. Rick Scott arbitrarily rejected the rail project, we wished Obama had vigorously made the case for the logical first leg of what was to be a nationwide system. Instead of detailing why the Florida route was justified, he seemed content to send the money somewhere else, treating the rail grant as little more than a gift to give.
    "Why Obama creates broad disenchantment".

    Weldon gets sum

    "Dave Weldon Gets Social Conservative Endorsements as He Tries to Catch Connie Mack".


    The Palm Beach Post editors warn that state money for 'Glades restoration "must come from the South Florida Water Management District, and in 2011 Gov. Scott and the Legislature cut the budgets of the five water districts by $200 million. A bill this year loosened some of those restrictions, but the district can’t complete the projects on time if Tallahassee’s priority is cutting taxes." "This time, keep Everglades promise".

    "Jeb!" toes party line

    Jebbie Bush was less than "charitable about the president’s move last week to halt some deportations."

    “It was a purely political move to pre-empt, and that’s exactly what the motive was,” Bush said. “He’s had supermajorities in the House and Senate to fulfill his promise he made in the last campaign, and what we’ve heard are crickets. I mean, not a single move. And then to do this was a good political move. Bad policy in the sense that it’s a stopgap — it creates continued uncertainty for a whole lot of people who don’t deserve it.”
    "Jeb Bush cheered at Latino conference". Related: "Romney slams Obama at Hispanic conference in Orlando".

    Billionaire Koch brothers hit Nelson

    "The latest conservative organization to launch an advertising campaign against Florida Sen. Bill Nelson is Americans for Prosperity, funded in part by the well-known, billionaire Koch brothers." "Koch-funded group launches anti-Nelson ad".

    Occupy Tampa

    "West Tampa group wants Occupy Tampa out of park".

    Obama in the I-4 Corridor

    "President Barack Obama touts his leadership to Hispanic group in Orlando". See also "President Barack Obama pleads for support from adoring crowd in Tampa".

    "Sorry spectacle"

    The Tampa Bay Times editorials: "The sorry spectacle of Florida's Board of Governors haggling over tuition increases like used car salesmen was sobering. It showed just how much damage Gov. Rick Scott's pinched view of higher education has inflicted in such a short time." "Florida takes low road on higher education".

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