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 Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Scott remains one of the least popular governors in the nation"

    "A year after winning re-election Gov. Rick Scott remains one of the least popular governors in the nation. According to a Morning Consult poll released Friday, 44 percent of respondents approve of Scott’s performance and 47 percent disapprove. The survey comes a little over a month before the start of the 2016 Legislative Session."
    Scott leads a Republican Party firmly in control of state government but sharp divisions have emerged between the House and Senate on issues like health care and taxation while the two chambers have also waged a three-year battle over redistricting. Three legislative sessions descended into chaos during 2015, delaying passage of a state budget and resolution of two lawsuits over the redistricting maps lawmakers approved three years ago.
    "Political observers say Scott’s low public standing does not help the situation."

    Scott is the eighth least popular governor in the nation. The list is led by Kansas’s Sam Brownback whose performance is met with approval by 26 percent of Kansan voters. Also less popular than Scott is Connecticut’s Dan Malloy at 36 percent, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Maine’s Paul LePage, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Bruce Rauner of Illinois, who has approval of 40 percent of Illini voters. . . .

    The surveyed included 5,886 Floridians and has a margin of error of 1.3 percent.

    "Rick Scott, America's eighth least popular Governor."

    Contractors quick to object to corruption bill

    Matt Reed: "Quick to object were the road contractors. Tougher still were some misinformed representatives." "Corruption bill meets capitol critics."

    Map quest

    "Just when we thought the state redistricting process couldn’t get any more fouled up, the judge trying to sort out the mess last week received yet another version of the map that draws election districts for the Florida Senate." "Map quest demands unbiased panel."

    "Its bark is its bite"

    Bill Cotterell: "Suppose you were looking for a watch dog."

    The one thing that you’re sure not going to do is, you’re not going to want any dog that might bite you. That is, you’d want something like the Florida Commission on Ethics.

    The Ethics Commission is neither lap dog nor pit bull. Its bark, however, is not worse that its bite; its bark is its bite.

    And state legislators like it that way.

    "Let the reliable ethics watchdog choose whom to investigate."

    About Jeb

    Here’s how the GOP race stands nationally:

    Trump remains in the top spot with a record 28 percent support from Republican primary voters. He was at 26 percent in the last Fox poll, which was completed before the last debate and the Paris attacks (November 1-3, 2015).

    Carson drops from 23 percent to 18 percent in the new poll. Cruz and Rubio are both up three points and garner 14 percent each.

    All others are in the low single digits: Jeb Bush gets 5 percent, while Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, and Mike Huckabee each get 3 percent. John Kasich and Rand Paul receive 2 percent a piece.

    "FOX News Poll."

    A Suffolk University/Boston Globe Poll released Sunday: "In the wake of the Paris attacks, terrorism has become the top issue among Republican voters in New Hampshire, and Donald Trump has maintained a 2 to 1 lead over a crowded field of competitors. . . . Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who led the Suffolk New Hampshire poll taken in June, is now sixth, at 8%." "N.H. GOP poll: Terrorism the top issue, Trump the leader."

    Uninformed slackers "a sleeping giant"

    In The Tampa Bay Times today, a slacker valiantly asserts the right to remain uninformed:

    "I reserve my right to register to vote. But I won't be forced to make an uninformed decision."
    Really? This person reserves the right to remain "uninformed," and let others - uninformed or otherwise - make decisions for her? Steve Bousquet explains: "The letters are NPA. It's short for no party affiliation, for voters who refuse to label themselves Republicans or Democrats because they do not identify with either party."
    They are deserting the two major parties in droves, mostly in South Florida and in greater Orlando, and many are young and Hispanic.

    Far outpacing both parties, they are the fastest-growing segment of Florida's electorate, but they are a sleeping giant.

    Many of them don't vote, and some are so turned off by the negative tone and extreme partisanship of politics that they have no interest in voting.

    "More than one of every five no-party voters in Florida is listed as Hispanic. The actual figure is probably much higher because voters do not have to list race or ethnicity on a registration form, and many don't."
    The 3.2 million people who avoid both major parties now are 27 percent of all Florida voters as Republicans and Democrats continue to lose political ground in America's biggest battleground state.

    Two decades ago, 47 percent of Florida voters were Democrats and 41 percent were Republicans.

    When NPAs are combined with a much smaller pool of minor-party voters, they outnumber Republicans in the three most populous counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, along with Orange and Osceola on the I-4 corridor in Central Florida. They eclipse Democrats in seven counties: Clay, Collier, Lee, Martin, Okaloosa, St. Johns and Santa Rosa.

    "As they track the explosive growth in NPA voters, political experts in both parties are troubled by the implications."
    One reason is that Florida is a "closed primary" state where only Republicans and Democrats can vote in most party primary contests, including a presidential preference primary next March 15. As a result, NPA voters find themselves walled off from the political system, effectively disenfranchised in primary elections.

    "A group that is already passive has even less incentive to vote," said Matthew Isbell, a Democratic political consultant. . . .

    In Florida, all voters can vote in a primary if only one party has candidates, but a persistent loophole allows a write-in candidate on the ballot to "close" a primary, again shutting out NPA voters.

    Much more here: "Dramatic rise of renegade 'no party' voters is reshaping state politics."

    Latvala says "no"

    "Latvala: No need for independent redistricting commission."

    "The last thing Florida needs"

    The Tampa Trib editorial board: "Opening the door to more abuses of the state’s 'stand your ground' law is the last thing Florida needs."

    Yet that didn’t stop a number of state lawmakers and the National Rifle Association from backing bills that would make it easier for defendants to invoke the law when trying to avoid prosecution for deadly shootings.
    "Thankfully, the measure failed to pass in a 6-6 vote during a House committee meeting last week. But it passed 5-1 in a subsequent Senate committee meeting, keeping its chances alive for the session that starts in January."
    NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer reacted to the House committee’s vote with typical outrage.

    She suggested a Republican lawmaker who voted against the bill, Carlos Trujillo, a former prosecutor from Miami and chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee, shouldn’t be in the Legislature because his experiences color his judgment on “stand your ground.”

    Actually, Hammer has it backward.

    "Fix, don’t expand, ‘stand your ground’."

    Weekly Roundup

    "Weekly Roundup: High Noon at the Capitol Corral."

The Blog for Saturday, November 21, 2015

FlaNRA in full-on whine about "betrayal"

    "A House committee killed off a bill to shift the burden of proof in Stand Your Ground cases earlier this week and the National Rifle Association isn’t too pleased with the committee, calling the 6-6 tie vote a “betrayal” to law-abiding gun owners. "
    The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, would shift the “burden of proof” for Stand Your Ground cases, and give defendants more protection from prosecution by requiring prosecutors to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” whether a defendant is entitled to immunity at a pretrial hearing in order to disprove a claim of self-defense immunity.

    The bill’s swift death in the House committee drew fire from the NRA, which slammed several Republican state representatives for voting against the bill.

    In an email sent to members, longtime lobbyist and former NRA president Marion Hammer singled out House Criminal Justice Committee chair Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, for orchestrating a betrayal to gun owners, Rep. Baxley, and the legislative process itself. - See more at: http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/nra-republican-reps-killing-bill-betrayal-florida-gun-owners#sthash.8t5ekmBO.dpuf

    "NRA: Republican Reps Killing Stand Your Ground Bill 'Betrayal' to Florida Gun Owners."

    "Gun-rights advocates are targeting the chairman of a House committee and some of its Republican members after a bill intended to broaden the state’s controversial 'stand your ground' law was scuttled."

    The National Rifle Association and Unified Sportsmen of Florida sent an email to their members on Thursday calling the actions by House Criminal Justice Chairman Carlos Trujillo an “orchestrated” betrayal of “law-abiding gun owners,” as the measure (HB 169) failed to pass in a 6-6 vote two days earlier.
    "Gun groups target GOP ‘betrayers’ of ‘stand your ground’ bill."

    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

    Marc Caputo: "Jeb hits Marco, Ted for Syria inaction – Grover bashes Rubio’s sweet tooth – Trump coming to FL – Rick Scott ‘transparency’ – Cop fired for death metal singalong, monkey hit, cobra owner fined." "Florida Playbook."

    Trump crushing his Florida competition

    "Florida Atlantic University's poll of Florida voters shows Donald Trump crushing the competition, with 36 percent favoring the loquacious businessman and 18 percent for Marco Rubio. That's also a significant change for Rubio, who has bypassed Ben Carson for the number two spot in this and many other polls in the last two days. The Sun Sentinel's man in Washington, William E. Gibson, has analysis of the poll, which also looked at the Democratic presidential race in Florida and the matchups of Democratic and Republican candidates for the state's U.S. Senate race." "Trump triumphant in latest poll."

    "Bush calls out Rubio"

    "Jeb Bush, continuing to press his case as a strong commander in chief in the wake of last week’s ISIL attack in Paris, singled out Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz for opposing the authorization of force against Syria in 2013." "Bush calls out Rubio, Cruz for opposing authorizing force in Syria."

    More: "We Asked Marco Rubio to Lay Out His ISIL Strategy. Here It Is."

    Some FlaGOPers say say Scott not telling taxpayers the whole truth

    "When Gov. Rick Scott rolls out his budget proposal Monday, he’ll talk about spending more money on schools, but some fellow Republicans say he’s not telling taxpayers the whole truth." "Lawmakers want to advertise ‘truth’ about rising property taxes paying for higher education spending."

    Scott strides world stage

    "Scott, GOP governors ask Obama to ‘suspend’ Syrian refugee plans." See also "Rick Scott, GOP govs ask for no more Syrian refugees in letter to Obama."

    Meanwhile, a "Cuban migrant surge"

    "Miami congressman presses Obama on Cuban migrant surge."

    "You may wonder: Who is this stooge?"

    Carl Hiaasen writes that "Gov. Rick Scott is one boot-step closer to denaturizing Florida’s state parks."

    A Senate committee last week voted 7-1 to confirm Jon Steverson as Scott’s hand-picked choice to lead the shriveled and demoralized Department of Environmental Protection.

    One of Steverson’s missions is to fulfill the governor’s dream of opening state parks to hunting, cattle grazing and commercial timber harvesting. The second part of Steverson’s job is to take the heat for this obscene idea, and he’s getting plenty.

    Environmental leaders and citizen groups have blasted the scheme, ostensibly designed to make parks pay for themselves. The full Senate refused to confirm Steverson’s nomination last spring, so he remains “interim” head of DEP for now.

    "You may wonder: Who is this stooge? At least on paper, Steverson looked more qualified for the top environmental job than his predecessor, shipping executive Herschel Vinyard Jr., who quit a year ago. A lawyer and lobbyist from North Florida, Steverson was executive director of the Northwest Florida Water Management District."
    The move was vintage Scott, who’s been trying to weaken the water agencies and seize more control. He prefers to wage his war on the environment from behind the curtain, letting others get the blame for his extreme agenda. He won’t admit it’s his idea to rape the parks, just as he never admits his role in other blunders, like Attorney General Pam Bondi’s embarrassing intervention on behalf of polluters to block the faraway cleanup of Chesapeake Bay.

    Despite opposition from even some Republican legislators, Steverson hasn’t backed away from the governor’s plan to open our parks to activities that have been banned since 1935. . . .

    Maybe he’s not a terrible person, but he’s got a terrible boss. Send them both a message.

    "Scott’s plan would ruin our state parks."

    Prosecutors yet to decide whether to charge Rubio's pal

    "Federal prosecutors in Miami have yet to decide whether to charge ex-U.S. Rep. David Rivera in a criminal campaign-finance scheme." "David Rivera investigation remains stalled."

    FlaDems hope to "retake a toehold" in Tally

    "A coalition of voting-rights groups has unveiled six possible maps for the Florida Senate’s 40 districts, setting up a court battle that could boost Democrats’ hopes of retaking a toehold in state government now dominated by Republicans." "Voting-rights groups file maps friendly to Democrats."

The Blog for Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Stand 'yer Ground takes hit

    "A House committee killed off a bill which would make it easier for Floridians to claim self defense in Stand Your Ground cases on Tuesday, leaving the bill’s future up in the air. - See more at: http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/house-committee-kills-stand-your-ground-bill#sthash.6CYXSr1f.dpuf" "House Committee Kills 'Stand Your Ground' Bill."

    See also: "Changes to ‘Stand Your Ground’ halted in Florida House."

    "It all going wrong for Jeb"

    "Why is it all going wrong for Jeb Bush?"

    Wingers say "no" to refugees

    "Dennis Ross Brings Out Bill Stopping Federal Funds to Bring in Syrian Refugees." See also "Florida Liberal Compares Rick Scott's Opposition to Syrian Immigrants to Turning Back on Jews Fleeing Nazi Germany."

    The Tampa Trib editors: "Be cautious but help refugees."

    The best they can do?

    "State Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights, endorsed Tallahassee attorney Mary Thomas on Tuesday as she looks to unseat U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Fla., in 2016. " "Charles Van Zant Backs Mary Thomas to Challenge Gwen Graham."

    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

    "NRA’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ stopped (for now) – Rubio v. Cruz continues – FLORIDA MAN: John Boehner – Rep. Moskowitz for FL Senate or US House? – Florida Man bites shark." "Florida Playbook."

    Who’s who on Hill's list

    Marc Caputo: "One number shows why Florida is Hillary Clinton country in the Democratic race for president: 152."

    That’s how many top Florida Democrats — from current and former members of Congress to mayors to state and local party leaders and fundraisers — were announced Tuesday as members of Clinton’s Florida Leadership Council. The list is so big it took her campaign weeks to assemble it.
    "Who’s who on Hillary Clinton’s massive Florida campaign."

The Blog for Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Team Hillary Announced

    "Hillary Clinton has lined up more than 150 elected officials and community leaders in Florida to promote her 2016 presidential candidacy."
    Her campaign said late Monday it has launched a “Florida Leadership Council” to organize events and volunteers ahead of the March 15 state primary. The group includes U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, the only Democrat elected statewide, and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, a longtime Clinton friend.
    "Clinton’s state support includes Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant as well as every Florida Democratic member of Congress except Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, and Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee. Her father, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, is on Clinton’s list."
    So are eight state senators and 28 state representatives, and the mayors of Tampa and Orlando and, in South Florida, of North Miami, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Hallandale Beach, Weston and Wilton Manors. Clinton’s team also includes county commissioners, school board members, city council members, former elected officials, activists and fundraisers.
    "Hillary Clinton rolls out Florida support."

    Crime dropping in Florida

    "Mid-year stats show crime continuing to drop in Florida."

    FlaGOP Stand Against Obama

    "After Paris Terrorist Attacks, Florida GOP Leaders Stand Against Obama Letting Syrian Refugees In."

    Scott finds an ally

    "Facing criticism from some fellow Republicans over his plan to spend $250 million to attract more companies to the state, Gov. Rick Scott found a new ally Monday in Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn[, a Democrat]." "Buckhorn backs Scott plan for millions more to lure businesses."

    He never served

    "On Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press,” Jeb Bush said that it was time for the United States to go to war with ISIS, and to put together an international coalition to rout the jihadis from their strongholds in Syria and Iraq." "Jeb Bush’s Call for War." See also "Jeb Bush Says U.S. ‘Should Declare War’ in Fight Against Islamic State."

The Blog for Sunday, November 15, 2015

Making "Florida the king of corporate welfare"

    The Tampa Bay Times editorial board: "Gov. Rick Scott is campaigning to make Florida the king of corporate welfare. He toured the state last week to promote his $1 billion tax cut that would primarily benefit big business."

    The editors contine, writing that, now "the governor wants to set aside $250 million in corporate giveaways in case his out-of-state photo opportunities produce the jobs he brags about. This is trickle-down economics at its worst, and Florida cannot afford to keep giving away tax dollars when it desperately needs to invest in itself after years of neglect."

    By all appearances, Florida is broken. It cannot afford to build new highway lanes unless it slaps tolls on them. It is looking to allow hunting in state parks, which have been told they have to pay for themselves. Public schools struggle to pay for basic maintenance, and the University of Florida president's highest hope is for a new boiler.

    The Justice Department is investigating the dangerous state prison system, and it also should investigate the shameful abuse and neglect exposed by the Tampa Bay Times and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in state mental hospitals.

    The overburdened courts scrimp by on less than 1 percent of the state budget, and children continue to die from neglect and abuse even after they are on the state's radar. Look in any direction, and the state's basic infrastructure is crumbling as Scott travels in his private jet to Kentucky and New York to bribe companies with taxpayer handouts to bring jobs here.

    "Need more evidence about the governor's misplaced priorities?"
    Environmentalists are suing the state because it has failed to invest in preserving land as voters demanded by approving Amendment 1.

    Forestry firefighters travel to western states to fight blazes because they cannot make ends meet on their state salaries. The state crime lab is backed up for weeks because it can't pay its analysts enough to keep them. Aging computers are issuing thousands of drivers licenses with the wrong addresses.

    And Florida spent more than $400 million this year to help hospitals cover the cost of treating the uninsured because Scott and Republican lawmakers refused to accept federal Medicaid expansion dollars that would have covered many of the same people. This failure to invest has real consequences for millions of Floridians, from public school students to crime victims to the uninsured.

    Yet Scott pretends the state has so few needs and so much cash it should give money away. His $1 billion tax cut primarily would benefit corporations, with more than 75 percent of it tied to eliminating the corporate income tax. . . .

    Florida cannot afford this corporate giveaway. Government on the cheap is one thing. Government that starves itself to the point of systemic dysfunction and criminal neglect is another.

    "Florida cannot afford Scott's corporate welfare."


    "Several Republican candidates for president today accused President Barack Obama and his former secretary of state, Democratic Party front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, of failing in the fight against Islamic State militants as the terrorist attacks in Paris became a focal point of the nomination race."

    Carly Fiorina, the former tech CEO, criticized the Obama administration for the “murder, the mayhem, the danger, the tragedy that we see unfolding in Paris, in the Middle East, around the world and too often in our own homeland.”

    “[Fiorina is] angry that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton declared victory in Iraq in 2011, abandoned all of our hard-won gains for political expediency and contrary to the advice of every general that spoke with them, thus leaving vast swaths of territory and too much weaponry to be gobbled up by ISIS,” Fiorina told those at the Sunshine Summit, a political gathering of Florida Republicans.

    "GOP candidates use Paris attacks to take aim at Obama, Clinton at Florida GOP summit." See also "At Florida’s GOP Summit, 2nd-String Candidates Focus on Paris Attacks and Blame Obama."

    Rubio the "Rehab Addict"

    "U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio railed against taxes during his career in Florida politics, but his presidential campaign has been facing accusations that he has a long history of being a spendthrift with other people's money."

    The Florida Democratic Party posted a message Nov. 5 on Facebook about Rubio's financial habits as incoming speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

    "Remember that time Marco Rubio spent $400K of your tax dollars remodeling offices, and building a members-only lounge? We do," the post read. It included a link to a 2010 Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald story about Rubio's use of a Republican Party of Florida credit card.

    It's common for incoming speakers to spruce up the chambers as they see fit, so we wondered if Rubio really spent $400,000 for renovations and a new lounge. . . .

    We rate the statement True.

    "PolitiFact Florida: Florida Democrats attack Marco Rubio over spending, get it right."

    "Bondi made the right call"

    The Tampa Bay Times editors: "Attorney General Pam Bondi made the right call by deciding not to fight a revised constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana."

    The Florida Supreme Court is reviewing the new and improved wording of the amendment, and there is no reason the justices should prevent it from appearing on the 2016 ballot. Bondi, who has a bad habit of misusing the courts to score political points, set her personal opinion aside this time and took the more pragmatic approach.
    "Bondi makes right call on marijuana amendment."

The Blog for Saturday, November 14, 2015

Rubio, "This man is a wingnut"

    "Rubio’s supposedly “moderate” tone, his purple state background and his rags to complicated riches personal narrative may prove too compelling for the Democrats to effectively overcome in November, the general thinking goes."
    But as Rubio’s star rises and rabid right-wing Republicans begin to finally let go of their rage over his traitorous immigration expedition, he is now making moves to firmly placate the base by shaking off the image of a moderate he so carefully crafted years ago.
    "'Marco Rubio is the conservative’s conservative,' his campaign manager said the day after the debate, fending off attacks from Ted Cruz."
    His latest effort has even gone so far to assuage the concerns of conservatives that Erick Erickson applauded it as a “home run.” What did Rubio do? He named his campaign’s director of faith outreach, Eric Teetsel, a prominent evangelical who warns that LGBT Americans will “suffer” if they don’t find “a better way.”

    As the Huffington Post notes, Teetsel’s hiring “signals a heightened appeal to evangelical voters” — an especially impactful voting bloc in Iowa. But based on his existing record, Rubio should have no worries appealing to the most right-wing voters in his party as he holds some of the most extreme positions on issues like abortion, marriage equality and climate change: . . .

    Rubio has long denied that human activity contributes to climate change. . . .

    He has been referred to as the “real marriage champion” by the National Organization for Marriage and has opposed gay adoption to protect children from what he described as a "social experiment."

    "This man is a wingnut: Why Marco Rubio is as extreme as the rest of the lot." See also "Rubio reaffirms opposition to rape and incest exceptions: He backs abortion ban “irrespective of the circumstances" and "Marco Rubio says he opposes abortions in all instances."

    "Florida has one of the worst-paying economies in America"

    Scott Maxwell writes that Rick Scott, when he shows up for the grand opening of a convenience store, claims "that even low-paying jobs are good jobs."

    This is why Florida has one of the worst-paying economies in America ... because we set the bar so low.
    "Subsidizing below-average-wage jobs is nuts."

    "Rubio's sweet tooth"

    The Orlando Sentinel's editors: "Florida Sen. Marco Rubio so far has proved himself skilled at ducking punches concerning his missed Senate votes and his use years ago of a Republican Party credit card. But last Tuesday's debate among GOP presidential candidates featured a new line of attack — Rubio's sweet tooth."

    We're not talking about leftover Halloween candy. We're talking about Rubio's eagerness to gobble up contributions from the sugar industry while supporting a federal program to protect the U.S. sugar industry from foreign competition. It's a program that many Republicans — including one of Rubio's key rivals for conservative voters — have called "corporate welfare."
    "Support for sugar policy hurts Rubio."

    And the Orlando Sentinel's twin editorial board, the Sun Sentinel editors, share the same words:"Ted Cruz exploits sweet opening against Marco Rubio."

    Judge says "no" to FlaGOPers

    "A Leon County judge on Friday quickly rejected a Florida Senate request to bring in an outside expert to redraw the Senate’s 40 districts." "Judge rejects Senate request for outside map expert."

    Rubio slams gays and choice, brings FlaGOPers to their feet

    "Florida's U.S. Sen Marco Rubio began the day with a smaller crowd, and he didn't bring his audience to much enthusiasm until he moved from his dire warnings for dramatic changes in foreign affairs, military spending and the size of government and switched to social issues: gay marriage, abortion and religious freedom." "Trump, Carson draw big crowds at GOP summit."

    Laff riot: "Macho Jeb emerges"

    "The Dick Cheney Empire Strikes Back in FL -- Marco on ‘amnesty’ defense –Macho Jeb emerges – Wilcox gets Swiftboat help – House: we’re done on redistricting." "Florida Playbook."

    "Other candidates chose more discreet paths"

    "Trump, who has been the target of Bush criticism in recent days, took the stage after making a grand entrance through one of the busiest hallways of the summit, where he shook hands and signed autographs on just about anything his fans could find. It was a unique entrance after other candidates chose more discreet paths." "GOP contenders make their case at Florida forum."

    Cheney "wows" FlaGOP

    "To Darth Vader’s theme music, Dick Cheney wows GOP crowd." More: "Dick Cheney headlines Florida GOP dinner, attacks Barack Obama."

    Lopez-Cantera takes off gloves

    "In a change of tone, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is set to give a speech Friday at the Republican Party of Florida’s Sunshine Summit that's laced with shots at his GOP U.S. Senate opponents, according to an advanced copy of his prepared remarks provided to POLITICO Florida."

    [Lopez-Cantera] will go after U.S. Reps. David Jolly and Ron Desantis, his two highest profile opponents.
    "In change of tone, Lopez-Cantera set to take off the gloves."

    Scott follies

    "Scott sets aside poor relationship with state GOP to open presidential summit." Meanwhile, "Scott’s office mixes up Miami, Hialeah mayors in economic incentive release."

    Dismissive, condescending, mean, cringe inducing, foolish and grotesque

    Joe Henderson reminds us that the Jeb! we used to know was "abrupt, dismissive and condescending to those on the other side of an argument." "Whatever happened to the Jeb! Bush we used to know?"

    Other terms to describe Jeb were, "King Jeb," "mean," "cringe" inducing, "stupid," "devious" (his word), as well as "foolish and grotesque."

    Yee haw!

    "59 percent of the bears killed statewide were females, while 21 percent were lactating females, meaning they were caring for cubs." "State calls bear hunt a success; opponents call it a slaughter."

The Blog for Thursday, November 12, 2015

Interrupting Jeb!

    The New Yorker: "How to Interrupt Jeb Bush."

    Perhaps its an entitlement thing: "Why Jeb Bush just isn’t a good debater." Meanwhile, "a bunch of terrible new polls for Jeb Bush?"

    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

    Marc Caputo: "Rubio v. Cruz – Cheney headlines RPOF bash – Hillary prepares another FL swing – Miccosukee tribal trouble – Scott’s hospital commission looks stuck." "Florida Playbook."

    Florida's renters paying biggest part of property taxes

    "[R]enters are picking up the biggest tab for property taxes in the state and get fewer tax exemptions than owner-occupied property." "Property-tax burden shifts to renters, second-home owners."

    Gub'ner Putnam 2018?

    "A political committee tied to state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam raised $693,980 during October and neared $3.1 million for the year, according to a newly filed finance report. The committee, known as 'Florida Grown,' spent $77,698 during the month and had about $2.46 million in available cash as of Oct. 31. Putnam is widely believed to be looking at running for governor in 2018. His contributions in October included $450,000 from committees linked to the business group Associated Industries of Florida." "State Capital Briefs."

    DWS stays strong

    Nancy Smith: "Mea culpa. I'm now fairly sure I was wrong about Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I said in past columns she was losing her power. Nope."

    Her mysteriously lengthy tenure as Democratic National Committee chair goes on.

    DWS still has enough power to rig the Democratic primary for Hillary Clinton. The president, her boss, has to see it, and he's not trying to stop her.

    No wonder Independent Bernie Sanders isn't winning endorsements. He may caucus with the Democrats, but he remains defiantly free of the hierarchy and drama within the party. That, plus the influence of Democratic National Committee Chair Wasserman Schultz's dictator-like leadership, make for few endorsements going his way.

    "DWS Driving Democratic Debates -- Maybe Democrats Themselves -- into the Shadows."

    "Scott losing some of his tactical advantage"

    "Gov. Rick Scott has engaged for the past several months in a running public relations battle with the state’s hospitals, after a health care funding fight nearly derailed the 2015 session of the Florida Legislature. And thanks to the power of his highly public position, he's been winning. "

    But the onetime hospital executive, who was forced out of his own company in the wake of a federal investigation, could soon lose some of his tactical advantage.
    "With budget fight looming, Scott health commission shows little progress."

    That "secret contract"

    "Pitbull's secret Florida contract a slap to the public."

    Fortunate sons write a report

    "With Veterans Day on Wednesday, a new report from Florida TaxWatch looked at services the Sunshine State offers the 1.6 million veterans who call Florida home." "Florida TaxWatch Looks at Veterans Services in Florida."