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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

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The Blog for Monday, June 18, 2012

"WWRD, an abbreviation for What Would Rubio Do?"

    Marc Caputo: "Mitt Romney has a more nuanced immigration stance these days."
    Call it WWRD, an abbreviation for What Would Rubio Do?

    That was the case this weekend after President Obama made an election-year executive order that allows hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children to remain and work in the United States for two years without the threat of deportation.

    Romney’s initial reaction?

    "Then came Florida’s Marco Rubio, the only Hispanic Republican in the U.S. Senate and a vice-presidential shortlister for Romney."
    “Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short term answer to a long term problem,” Rubio said shortly after Obama’s announcement.

    Rubio also criticized Obama for “ignoring the Constitution and going around Congress” because the executive order essentially amounts to lawmaking by the executive branch of government.

    After that, Romney got the memo.

    As liberals and some conservatives started howling about his deafening silence, Romney stepped off his tour bus in New Hampshire and fretted about how Obama’s plan wasn’t a “long-term” solution.

    “I’d like to see legislation that deals with this issue,” he said. “And I happen to agree with Marco Rubio, as he will consider this issue. He said this is an important matter. We have to find a long-term solution. But the president’s action makes reaching a long-term solution more difficult.”

    That’s true to a degree. But what’s even more true is that the party of Rubio and Romney stands much more in the way of immigration legislation these days.
    "Romney’s what-Rubio-says immigration stance".

    "Registration groups back out"

    "Voter registration groups back out" (Democratic-leaning voters, including blacks and Hispanics, are twice as likely to register through third-party organizations as other voters)

    "The smartest person you never met"

    The task of "business leaders together in a show of solidarity was the work of one of [Scott's] key lieutenants, the 27-year-old Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Chris Finkbeiner."

    MacNamara calls Finkbeiner "the smartest person you never met."
    From MacNamara, we're not so sure that's a compliment."Chris Finkbeiner: 'Smartest Man You Never Met'".

    "Latvala Says He Has Votes for 2016 Presidency"

    "Jack Latvala Says He Has Votes for 2016 Presidency; John Thrasher Out".

    Florida birthers go to court

    "A judge is holding a hearing on a ballot challenge alleging President Barack Obama is not a 'natural born citizen.' The plaintiff represented by conservative legal activist Larry Klayman questions Obama's birth certificate showing he was born in Hawaii. It also argues that even if Obama was born in the United States he still is not a natural citizen because his father was a foreign national. Lawyers for the president and Florida Department of State are asking Circuit Judge Terry Lewis to dismiss the case Monday." "Florida judge hearing Obama ballot challenge".

    "Give Nelson credit for moxy"

    Nancy Smith: "Give Bill Nelson credit for moxy. After five years of lying like a carp in the Washington weeds, he turns up in Florida at election time shaking a tin cup and warning of a right-wing extremist takeover if he's not returned to office." "Sen. Empty Record Says 'Boo!'".

    SOEs "caught in the middle of a political war"

    Jeremy Wallace: "Area election officials are not happy about being caught in the middle of a political war between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the U.S. Justice Department over purging potential noncitizens from Florida’s voter rolls."

    Both Sarasota Elections Supervisor Kathy Dent and Manatee Supervisor Bob Sweat say they want noncitizens taken off their rolls as Scott is pushing for, but that they are finding errors in the lists of ineligible voters that the state has sent them.

    Both have halted all efforts to purge potentially ineligible voters.

    In Sarasota, Dent said of the 14 voters the state identified as potentially ineligible, two have already turned out to be citizens and eligible to vote.

    In Manatee County, Sweat said of the 11 suspect voters on his list, one turned out to be an eligible voter.

    Dent said no supervisor of elections wants to take legal voters off the rolls and is hoping if the purge continues, the lists will be more accurate.

    “We’re not going to take away anyone’s right to vote unless we are 100 percent sure they are not eligible to vote,” Dent said.

    While both supervisors are critical of the flaws in the state’s lists, they are also both critical of the federal government for not sharing immigration data that could improve the lists.

    “We’re just stuck in the middle of it all,” Dent said.
    "Supervisors won’t purge voters without more proof". Background: "Why the Feds Are Suing Florida for Allegedly Purging Voters".

    PSC politics

    "Lisa Edgar, 20 Others Seek PSC Post".

    Adelson bankrolling Scott

    "Gov. Rick Scott recently received a big check for his re-election campaign. The check, dated June 5, was for $250,000 and was given to Scott’s political action committee: Let’s Get to Work. The check was from Sheldon Adelson, the gambling magnate who was bankrolling Newt Gingrich’s ill-fated presidential run at one point." "Gov. Rick Scott Receives $250,000 From Sheldon Adelson".

    Cuba ends some oil exploration

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "South Florida can sigh in relief — to a certain extent anyway. Repsol, the Spanish energy conglomerate, announced last month that it would quit its oil exploration efforts off Cuba's northern coast — just 60 miles or so from Florida's southern coastline. However, a Malaysian company has said it's interested in drilling an exploratory well to the west of where Repsol was looking, so it's not all good news." "Relief over Cuba oil bust".

    TeaBaggers luv Scott's voter purge

    Lloyd Dunkelberger: "Scott’s campaign to purge 'noncitizens' from Florida voting rolls may be hurting his popularity. But among conservative groups, including the Tea Party members who propelled him into office in 2010, it is resonating strongly."

    While his move may be antagonizing Democrats and more moderate voters, Scott is playing to an audience with which he has a natural political rapport: Tea Party activists and other conservative GOP groups.

    Among them is a Houston-based Tea Party group, called “True the Vote,” that sent a mass message to its national supporters, urging them to write Scott and other state officials voicing their support for his effort.

    Scott insists that there is no political motive behind the purge. He said he is just trying to enforce the law and could do a better job with access to a federal database. “This is not a partisan issue,” Scott said in an interview on a conservative Tallahassee radio show last week.

    But the governor has been using the issue in a political context. He attended a Tea Party rally in Tallahassee last Sunday, urging members to help pressure the Obama administration to release the Homeland Security database.
    "Purging ‘noncitizen' voters raises Scott's profile among constituents".

    Mack's strategy to win primary is simple: Ignore it"

    "U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV’s strategy to win the Republican primary for U.S. Senate is simple: Ignore it."

    “We have a 33-point lead,” Mack said last week, explaining his decision to skip three televised GOP primary debates.

    With a comfy lead, a highly recognizable family name and the support of Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, Mack seems the far-and-away favorite to face off against Sen. Bill Nelson come November.

    But some grassroots Republicans say it’s too soon for Mack to declare himself the winner — especially if he won’t make the customary rounds at debates and straw polls.

    “It’s an incredibly bad message to send to the voters in a primary,” said Nancy McGowan, president of the Conservative Republican Forum of Jacksonville. “It just says, 'What you think doesn’t matter.’ ”

    Mack’s primary opponents, former Sen. George LeMieux, former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon and retired Army Col. Mike McCalister, trail Mack by at least 32 points, according to a May Quinnipiac poll (Weldon entered the race that month and was not considered for the poll). The poll showed Mack essentially tied with Nelson in a November match-up.

    So why let a nasty primary hurt the GOP’s chances in November?

    “If my opponents want to debate me, that will only help Sen. Nelson,” Mack said.
    "Mack’s strategy: Ignore GOP primary for Senate".

    Florida College System's dual enrollment program cut back

    "The Florida College System says the dual enrollment program is a priority for the state. Research shows dual-enrollment students earn higher grades and are more likely to continue their schooling than their counterparts. Though young students reap the benefits of a free higher education, however, colleges aren't allowed to charge tuition to help pay for the costs." "Dual-enrollment pressures force community colleges to cut back".

    Florida sheriffs back down from fight with NRA

    Dara Kam: "It isn’t often that Florida sheriffs back down from a fight."

    It isn’t often that Florida sheriffs back down from a fight.

    But the National Rifle Association isn’t any ordinary combatant.

    The NRA’s Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer sent a survey on behalf of the NRA and the United Sportsmen of Florida, whom she also represents, to sheriffs candidates around the state for the first time ever earlier this month. The questions, which critics say are lopsided, involve often controversial issues such as the state’s Stand Your Ground law and the sheriffs’ opposition to an “open carry” bill.

    But the Florida Sheriffs Association is staying out of the fight, at least officially. The group decided last week it would be best to let candidates decide on their own whether they want to complete the questionnaire, FSA Executive Director Steve Casey said.

    That hasn’t stopped Casey from criticizing the survey.

    “This is definitely a political tool,” he said. “This is not your standard survey. This is a tool they plan to use to sway the election towards one candidate over another based on the things they were asking. They’re telling you what their agenda is on the survey and what your answers should be. It potentially could affect the primary and the general election.”

    The survey erroneously creates two kinds of sheriffs, Casey said: “pro-gun” sheriffs and “anti-gun.” But he says they are neither. “They’re pro-public safety,” he said.
    "NRA puts state's sheriff candidates on the spot".

    Phosphate mining impact study "a stunning disappointment"

    "As huge shovels seeking phosphate ore ripped up thousands of acres of wetlands and miles of streams in Central Florida, the nagging question of whether such intensive strip mining does more harm than good lingered."

    Over the last decade, mining critics repeatedly demanded an answer from the federal government. What they finally received — after 15 months of work — only raises more questions.

    The study managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concludes that the environmental damage from strip mining more than 55,000 additional acres, including 12,000 acres of wetlands and 86 miles of streams, will be insignificant.

    Phosphate industry critics, who had hoped for an independent, unbiased analysis of mining's environmental costs and economic benefits, consider the results a stunning disappointment.
    "Study of phosphate mining's impact stirs industry's critics".

    From the "values" crowd

    "Children's anti-abuse agency faces a money gap".

    Miami's "Hispanic Oprah" endorses Obama

    "Television talk show host Cristina Saralegui announced her endorsement of President Barack Obama, saying during the weekend that there’s too much at stake not to speak up when Hispanics could 'very well decide the next election.'"

    It is the first-ever presidential endorsement for the popular Miami media figure, often called the “Hispanic Oprah” for her two-decade run on Univisión. Obama for America released a video in English and Spanish with a message from Saralegui to the Hispanic community.

    “President Obama, I was very fortunate to live the American dream and I know that only you will make it possible for millions more to do the same,” she said in a statement provided by the campaign. “You’ve had our back, and now, with utmost respect and admiration, I have yours.”

    She is “one of the most trusted names in the Hispanic community and we’re honored to have Cristina be a spokesperson for the campaign, speaking directly to Hispanic voters about the President’s accomplishments,” said campaign spokesman Jim Messina.

    Her nod comes at a time when both Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are actively seeking Hispanic voters. Both men will travel to Florida this week to speak in Orlando at the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
    "Cristina Saralegui says she’ll endorse President Barack Obama".

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