Sunday, October 15, 2006


This week, we'll start our look around the editorial pages by checking out the endorsements for the November 7 general election.

Just as the Palm Beach Post was the first major Florida newspaper to begin making endorsements for the upcoming election, it is among the first to endorse in the governor's race. It says that on the major issues of property insurance and education, Mr. [Attorney General and GOP candidate Charlie] Crist would continue the wrongheaded, failed policies of his predecessor. Rep. Davis would transform them. For the future of Florida's public schools and property owners, The Post recommends voters elect Jim Davis for governor.

The Naples Daily News offers it's choices today: Charlie Crist for governor, Alex Sink for CFO, Bill McCollum for Attorney General, and Charles Bronson for the Agricultrual and Community Services post. In the governor's race, the newspaper makes it's choice on the basis that Crist has been hands on with Florida's challenges as a legislator, education commissioner, and attorney general. He has championed tougher prision sentences, academic accountability and consumer justice.

As promised, the Orlando Sentinel began it's endorsements today, and does so looking at two Cabinet races. It endorses Republican Bill McCollum for Attorney General, saying that "The job calls for an experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated legal professional" and that McCollum meets that standard in this year's race. The newspaper also endorses Democrat Alex Sink for Chief Financial Officer, noting that The former Florida president of Bank of America presents a slam-dunk case of why she'd be better able to successfully run the vast department, and her standing on issues from lowering homeowners' insurance rates to advocating sound environmental land purchases bodes better...

Meanwhile, the Miami Herald offers it's choices as William G. "Skip" Campbell, Jr. for Attorney General, Alex Sink for Chief Financial Officer, and Charles Bronson for Secretary of Agriculture and Comsuner Services.

The St. Petersburg Times gives it's endorsement to Bill Nelson's reelection bid for the U.S. Senate, stating that As Florida's senior senator, he projects the image voters should want in a time of turmoil: quiet competence.

Across the bay, the Tampa Tribune focuses on the Hillsborough County Commission races, offering it's endorsements to four GOP nominees: Tampa City Councilwoman Rose V. Ferlita in District 1, Ken Anthony in District 3, Jim Norman (Incumbant) in District 5, and Mark Sharpe (Incumbant) in District 7, along with Democrat Lisa Rodriguez in District 5.

Also focusing on local races today is the Melbourne-based Florida Today. It offers endorsements to Republican parks and recreation department head Chuck Nelson and Democratic attorney Kendall Moore in their bids for seats on the Brevard County Commission.

The Fort Myers News Press uses it's editorial space to announce that it's endorsements for the election will begin tomorrow, beginning with local and legislative races. The editorial board is still in the process of interviewing or scheduling interviews with statewide candidates.

There are no endorsements in today's South Florida Sun Sentinel from Fort Lauderdale, but the editorial page takes note of the new Associated Press - Pew Research poll that states that American voter interest is at it's highest level in more than a decade. While negative ads continue to turn off potential voters, the opinion is that if anger or a desire for change gets people concerned enough to head to the polls, it can't be all bad and notes that turnout for this election could be surprisingly high.

The Sarasota Herald Tribune opinion this morning agrees with a advisory opinion that State Representative Ron Reagan (R - Bradenton) taking a part-time PR job with Waste Management, Inc. --- a company which has contracts with a number of local governments around Florida --- would constitute a conflict of interest. The Florida Commission on Ethics is expected to vote on the matter next week.

Across the state, the Daytona Beach News Journal editorial page takes a close look at the politics of food and some of the ways that food issues shape the local area, as well as the nation and world. It is an interesting read.

The Florida Times Union in Jacksonville notes that the Duval County Soil and Water Conservation District has outlived it's usefulness and gives ten reasons why it should be abolished as Jacksonville and Duval County have merged into a major urban area with little agricultrual area left to promote.

Once again, preserving and protecting Wakulla Springs is the focus of the Tallahassee Democrat editorial page. Last week, it lauded Wakulla County commissioners for adopting tougher enviromental standards. Today, it calls on Leon County to do the same, as part of the problem with the deteriotation of Wakulla Springs comes from high levels of nitrogen from Tallahassee's wastewater spray field and septic tanks in the nearby area.

There are some positive editorials around Florida today. One comes from the Pensacola News Journal, which tells readers of the great work being done by the IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area group by providing grants to a variety of organizations which will help the area's citizens.

While the folks in Gainesville are mourning the Gators' loss at Auburn, not far away the Ocala Star Banner suggests that following an grand jury indictment for alleged violations of the state's Sunshine Law on open meetings and public records, the Munroe Regional Medical Center should just take it's lumps and move on. It says that the hospital's board of directors' decision to stand by it's not guilty plea is a missed opportunity to put yet another embarrassing episode behind it and look ahead positively.

The editorial pages of the Gainesville Sun and Lakeland Ledger had not been uplinked as of mid morning, so they are not included here.

If you think it's too cool this morning, which it is here in Lakeland --- 59 at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, 55 degrees in Winter Haven at I type this --- don't fret. It won't last long; it's only a taste of what may come later. We'll be back in the 80s this week with lows in the 60s and 70s. Anyway, thanks for stopping by --- please be sure you check out the posts from earlier in the week --- and make it a great day!


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