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 Sunday, January 04, 2015

Scott's most damaging legacy

    Martin Dyckman reminds us that DemGov Reubin O'D. Askew issued
    an executive order establishing nine-member [judicial] nominating councils — later renamed commissions — to determine who would be considered for appointments. They were put into the Constitution in 1972.

    Askew meant them to be beyond anyone's control, including his own.

    To each panel, he appointed only three members. The Bar chose another three. Those six then selected three non-lawyer public members.

    The purpose, Askew said, was to appoint "only the most qualified, conscientious and dedicated persons" to the bench.

    He meant it. For 30 years, under four governors, and with only a handful of questionable exceptions, the nominating commissions lived up to what Askew and the public expected of them.

    "That changed in 2001 when the Legislature gave Gov. Jeb Bush the power to appoint all nine members of each commission."
    The current governor, Rick Scott, has rejected nineteen of the Bar's [nomination] lists. Scott makes no secret of wanting commissioners — and judges — who share his conservative, pro-business and pro-development policies. He wants no dissents on the commissions. He doesn't care much about diversity on the bench either, and minority appointments have dwindled sharply.
    This this will allow Scott to leave perhaps his most damaging legacy:
    Although voters defeated an amendment that would have let Scott pack the court with replacements for three justices who must retire at the same time his term ends, he already owns the nominating commission that will recommend their successors. So whoever is the next governor will be bound by Scott's whims on the matter.
    "Florida lawyers must purge politics from state's judiciary."

    Even the wingnuts . . .

    Even the Tampa Tribune editorial board . . . "Several months after Gov. Rick Scott called for a comprehensive review of standardized testing in public schools, the state’s education commissioner is finally getting the effort underway." "Editorial: Standardized school testing review long overdue."

    "Curry Dodges a Bullet"

    "Lenny Curry can breathe a little easier as he ramps up his bid to challenge Alvin Brown in the Jacksonville mayoral race." "Lenny Curry Dodges a Bullet: Mike Hogan's Out of Jacksonville Mayoral Race."

    "Florida’s public records laws' interpretation under assault

    "Public records advocates say that while Florida’s public records laws remain strong, enforcement and interpretation are under assault." "Florida keeping records under wraps."

    "And fall it shall"

    Joe Henderson: "Florida is about to join what Hillsborough County Circuit Court Clerk Pat Frank called “the ranks of rationality.” That is a great way to phrase it, because starting Tuesday the state’s legal barrier against same-sex marriage is scheduled to fall. And fall it shall." "Florida to take a step toward fairness and equality."

    Meanwhile, "Rural county at center of gay marriage fight."


    The privatization freaks think it is great to divert what otherwise would be tax dollars to religious schools; they buy into the sophistry that

    parents, not the state, decide whether their child is best served by a religious or secular private school. There is no promotion of religion.
    "Encouraging voucher victory."

    "A modest set of priorities"

    "Scott will take the oath of office as Florida’s 46th governor, then set out a modest set of priorities for his term." "More seasoned Rick Scott plans low-key ceremony to start second term as Florida governor."

    Our Wal-Mart Gub'ner

    "A business lobbying organization, health-care companies, casino operators and Wal-Mart are among the latest contributors helping to cover the cost of Gov. Rick Scott’s inauguration activities Tuesday." "Wal-Mart, casino, AIF among latest inaugural donors."

    "Bondi is sustaining furious criticism"

    Bill Cotterell: "Bondi is sustaining furious criticism by advocates who insist she puts her own feelings ahead of the law, justice and fairness. It's become personal, with gay activists bringing up Bondi's own marital history — as if being twice divorced disqualifies her from defending parts of the Florida Constitution she is sworn to uphold." "Playing your cards right means knowing when to fold 'em."

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