FLORIDA POLITICS
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 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 Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Jeb!" apologists out in force

    Marc Caputo swoons over Jebbie's "must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the mind of one of the GOP’s top idea men. Its roughly 250 pages move at a surprisingly quick pace."

    Caputo relegates what less sycophantic observers have called Jebbie's "spinning excuses — and seeking to undermine other Republicans," like Rubio, to a mere slight disagreement" with Rubio:

    The fact that Rubio and Bush have a slight disagreement on legalization set the Washington chattering class ablaze with speculation of fallout between the two friends. Both deny it. Aides say the two are closer to brothers than friends (their homes are less than 4 miles apart) and that if they disagree, no one would know outside of their tight circle.

    “Jeb was writing a book. He wasn’t writing a bill,” Rubio said, echoing Bush and implicitly pointing out the latter is harder.

    “Marco’s stepped up incredibly well. We’re close friends. This whole People Magazine-whatever-you-call it, it’s really kind of, you know, childish. It’s juvenile, untrue,” Bush said.

    "Jeb Bush on immigration: 'A lot of hair on fire — Mine isn’t'". See also "" and "PolitiFact: Has Jeb Bush flip-flopped on immigration and a pathway to citizenship?" (it it "true" that "Bush has made a 'flip-flop-flip' on immigration")


    From the "values" crowd

    "State may shrink mental health-care spending".


    Well, Will, why?

    Aaron Deslatte: "Why do lawmakers legislate by anecdote?"

    House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, brought up his own childhood memories of having a brother who died of cancer, leaving his family reliant on the government "safety net" to get through. He later clarified that the state's Medically Needy program had helped pay $100,000 in medical bills.

    Nonetheless, he told House members, "I believe [the expansion] crosses the line of the proper role of government."

    Later, he defended his use of the story, saying he was communicating empathy with the public.

    "To personalize a story is to let people know you're not looking at this from the perspective of someone who's lived with a wonderful, Cadillac health-insurance plan their whole life and has never experienced life outside that. I have," Weatherford said.

    "I think personal stories are an important thing for a public official to do. You're explaining your 'why.' Not just what you're doing, but why."

    On Monday, the Senate's committee studying the Affordable Care Act could decide whether or not to follow the lead of the House and oppose expanding Medicaid for the next three years to nearly 900,000 uninsured earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty.

    "Medicaid expansion pits anecdotes against economists' numbers".


    Transportation Dan

    "Webster's 'to-do list' heavy on transportation projects".


    "Hypocritical, hard-hearted" Weatherford

    The Palm Beach Post editors: "Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, wants to deny one million Floridians access to the Medicaid program that bailed out his family. Rep. Weatherford was trying to show empathy last week when he spoke of how the 'safety net' had paid for the care of his cancer-stricken younger brother. Instead, he showed hypocrisy." "Weatherford hypocritical, hard-hearted on Medicaid expansion".


    Raw sewage and "fast rising sea levels"

    The Miami Herald editors: "The battle between Miami-Dade County and federal and state environmental regulators over fixing the county’s decrepit sewage system has gone on so long that concerns about rising sea levels have now entered the fray." "Sewage solution requires public access". See also "In Miami-Dade, fast rising sea levels, deep trouble".


    What about the part where "it costs money to close a plan"

    Aaron Deslatte: "Despite a challenged analysis of the financial risks and rewards, the House is advancing a massive overhaul of the state retirement system that critics said would subject future workers to the whims of Wall Street."

    But critics complained that Florida's pension fund was one of the best-funded in the country and that Republicans were trying to shift risks for public employees' retirement planning for no reason. . . .

    Brad Heinrichs, CEO of Fort Myers-based Foster and Foster, an actuarial firm that advises state and local pension funds around the country, told the panel he didn't agree with the financial losses that Milliman had assumed.

    "I struggle to understand the magnitude of those numbers," he told the panel. "Our studies tend to show that it costs money to close a plan."

    "Committee advances bill to revamp pension system".


    "$11.7 billion-a-year sieve"

    "U.S.-Mexico border: a 2,000-mile-long, $11.7 billion-a-year sieve".


    Enough

    "Palm Beach County government employees, who haven't received across-the-board-pay-raises since 2009 due to the struggling economy, say they have had enough." "Unions pushing Palm Beach County for pay raises".


    Fair weather Chavez foes

    "Venezuelans have had ties to South Florida for decades, but the community’s presence grew during Hugo Chávez’s 14-year presidency." "Venezuelans share a long history in South Florida". The Sun Sentinel editors: "Hugo Chavez's lasting legacy on South Florida".


    Fladems "False"

    Politifact: "With an eye toward his 2014 reelection effort, Gov. Rick Scott has tried to portray himself as a pal of teachers and families who rely on public education. He talks often about how he boosted education spending in 2012 and this year proposed giving teachers a $2,500 pay raise."

    The Florida Democratic Party said in a press release that Scott called education “not a ‘core function’ of the state.”

    The Democrats point to Scott’s 2011 comments about his budget proposal that included massive and wide-ranging cuts — including to education. Scott called for focusing on “core functions” of the state.

    Scott cut the education budget in a year when he talked about funding for “core functions.” But he never specifically said education was not a “core function.” It’s a stretch and a leap of logic for Florida Democrats to claim otherwise.

    We rate this claim False.

    "What Gov. Scott did and didn’t say on education".

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