Sunday, October 29, 2006


First, my sincere apologies for this being so late in the day. Apparantly there have been some problems with Blogspot which prevented me from posting this earlier.

We're heading into the last week of Early Voting, and most of the major newspapers across Florida have already made their recommendations on statewide races. To check those out --- listed by candidate --- please click here.

But there are still a few papers apparantly waiting to reach the most readers with their picks for the upcoming elections. Let's look at who's picking today...

"Rarely has the right choice in a U.S. Senate race in Florida been as clear as this year." That's how the Orlando Sentinel begins it's editorial this morning endorsing incumbant Democrat Bill Nelson for reelection. It also says that "While he has taken a moderate position on key national issues, Mr. Nelson also has been a good steward of Florida's interests."

The Florida Times Union in Jacksonville also endorses Senator Nelson this morning, noting that "Nelson's familiarity with Northeast Florida - his wife was raised in Jacksonville - and his willingness to fight for his constituents, is a strong reason to support him for a second term in the U.S. Senate". It also recommends Republican Charlie Crist in the Florida governor's race, calling him "a man of depth, vision and principle" and "the right choice to continue the legacy of Jeb Bush."

Also falling on the side of Attorney General Crist is the South Florida Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. Although the editorial states unhappiness with both Crist and Davis on several key issues, it states that "He also has a track record of working with others in Tallahassee and throughout the state to get things done".

Mr. Crist also gets the endorsement of the Lakeland Ledger this morning "because of his unconventional approach to the office and his proven record of accomplishment. He's in position to bring the Florida Republican Party, and Florida itself, back into the political mainstream".

And the Tallahassee Democrat is also endorsing Crist today, noting that his "clear advantages in leadership style, his willingness to listen to experts, hire strong independent thinkers, and patiently pull together natural opponents until he can discern 'the right thing to do,' are compelling reasons to support him as Florida's next governor".

On the other side is the Gainesville Sun, who endorses Democrat Jim Davis today. It's editorial states that "...we think Florida needs a break from Jebocracy...We also worry that one reason Crist is so intent on associating himself with Gov. Bush is that he has so few original ideas of his own with which to lead Florida into the future". It also notes that Crist's plan for cutting taxes further would "put cities and counties --- especially small towns and rural counties --- into virtual bankruptcy, and Crist has no plan for replacing those local revenues".

And the St. Petersburg Times endorsed Davis today. The editorial said that "Looking ahead, Florida faces serious challenges even if it manages to avoid a major hurricane in the next year or two. On the most pressing issues, Davis has the more thoughtful approach...The Democrat has a reasoned plan to restructure the way Florida measures the performance of its schools. The obsession with standardized testing and grading schools has frustrated many teachers and parents. Davis would transform the FCAT into a diagnostic tool instead of a punishing club by abolishing the letter grades that simplistically label schools...Similarly, Davis has the most thorough response to concerns about high taxes driven by soaring real estate prices and the inherent inequities created by Save Our Homes. Davis would reduce state-required school property taxes by $1-billion next year and stop the state from continuing to shift its financial obligations onto the backs of local property owners. He would cap assessment increases at 10 percent for owners of businesses and investment properties, the taxpayers who are suffering the most. That offers reasonable relief until there is a broader overhaul of the tax system."

The Sarasota Herald Tribune uses it's opinion space today to simply remind readers of it's recommendations in the various races which will be on the ballot.

Some newspapers which have already made their recommendations (or not) are focusing on other issues. The Fort Myers News Press, for instance, is ending a four part series on insurance rates, stating that state government has not used it's potential power to regulate the insurance industry on behalf of the consumer. It's editorial page calls on readers to contact their state executive and legislative representatives to demand action now and includes their e-mail and telephone contact numbers.

In the Panhandle, the Pensacola News Journal opinion page also deals with the insurance issue. It says that "the Legislature should stop being so scared of the insurance industry and remember where its allegiance lies -- with Florida residents. We don't need insurance lobbyists writing anymore legislation for rubber-stamp approval by the Legislature". It calls on a special session of the Legislature to look at several ways it feels residents could be helped.

The Miami Herald says this morning that the people of Miami-Dade County should rethink the structure of it's local government in the wake of a year of waste and mismanagement, saying that the 13 commissioners "all are responsible for protecting the public interest -- but they consistently drop the ball on oversight".

Affordable housing and the need for more in Southwest Florida is the subject of today's editorial in the Naples Daily News, which notes that it is an issue that touches everyone in the area because "without places for necessary workers to live, necessary jobs are going to go unfilled and the qualify of work has only one way to go --- downhill."

The Ocala Star Banner turns it's editorial space over to Bill Sommers, whose son died in a house fire on Halloween night last year.

Today's Palm Beach Post notes that while some question the timing of former Congressman Mark Foley's decision to seek treatment --- noting that as a member of Congress "Foley had premium health-care insurance through his office and access to counseling services most Americans wish they had" --- is not the underlying issue, but that "Foley's disclosures aren't excuses, but they are symptoms of problems that could have been treated, or prevented, decades ago. Why they weren't is a question not only for the former congressman but also the church, the legal system and society as a whole."

Thanks for visiting, and make it a great day!


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