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30 April 2015


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Adam, I came to live here last fall (second time around for me) because of cheap real estate, sun and good fishing. The politics I expected are as you described. The political system here is best understood by gazing at the bottom of an horse trailer prior to mucking it out.

Now that I've managed to nauseate myself thinking about Florida politics and politicians, it's time to head back to the beach for the cure. Hours of surf casting for whiting and pompano.


Thanks for your insight into the political gamesmanship going on in Florida. Rather entertaining and appalling at the same time.

KEVIN SPACEY: Bill Clinton says 'House of Cards' is '99%' real http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-clinton-says-house-of-cards-is-99-percent-real-2015-3#ixzz3Yp7Otkug

Barney Frank on why ‘House of Cards’ is bad for Democrats http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/04/30/barney-frank-on-why-house-of-cards-is-bad-for-democrats/
Frank appeared on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" on Wednesday to promote his book "Frank" and told host Andy Cohen that "House of Cards" is "the worst misrepresentation" of politics and reinforces negative opinions about Washington, especially for young people, and suggested it makes them less likely to vote.

Millennials don’t trust anyone. That’s a big deal. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/04/30/millennials-dont-trust-anyone-what-else-is-new/

William R. Cumming

Florida bye bye by 2050 as place to live. Lack of potable water and Climate Change!

Could be wrong of course.



I am shocked, just shocked! to discover that American citizens residing in the Great State of Florida, in fair and open elections, elected people someone on Balloon Juice doesn't agree with. Let me respond in in the balloon juice style: Northern States dump the burden of elder care on Southern States. Outrage in NY! “Who's gonna pay granddad’s medical bills?” asks outrage son. “The safest of safe districts.” Which ones are those, incumbency districts whose senior members of Congress hold multi-million dollar campaign coffers or the minority districts which were still ‘white votes don’t matter’ districts when they were originally redistricted that way?

On the more important note the points about Medicaid dollars drying up is certainly a real concern. As I recall that was also a reason for concern over Obamacare dollars – that they can get cut any time the US Congress decides to cut them. Health care providers? Well Scott ran HCA (In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA pled guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in the largest fraud settlement in U.S. - source Wikipedia). As to gerrymandering, well the CSG article you link to is 1.5 decades old and there were 4,000,000 fewer Floridians; besides, no other party did that? Meanwhile in the Great White North, NYC assembly speaker arrested for corruption:

Apparently Balloon juice passed that one by; maybe it hit to close to home.

The sad and truly outrageous fact is that in a state full of retirees and leaders of all persuasion no one else in either party bothers to get out and try and get elected to the state legislature. Walkin’ Lawton managed get elected Governor once without big dollars; it would be simpler at the local level. So let me ask, how’s that Howard Dean 50 State build the party at the local level strategy working for the Democrats in Florida?

Adam L. Silverman


East or West Coast?

I grew up here and am both constantly and never amazed over events in Florida. I would not be surprised to find out that below the state motto in invisible ink is written a variant of Barnum's famous dictum: "Welcome to Florida. There's a sucker born every minute and one of them relocates here every half hour".

Adam L. Silverman


Your last point is your best. Your remarks about Walkin' Lawton are spot on and you don't have to ask me about Governor Dean's strategy - the Democratic Party abandoned the idea. One of the reasons the GOP does so well is they've - both the official party and conservative individuals and groups who's interests overlap with the party, spent almost two generations building party infrastructure in every state. These include, but are not limited to, county and state party structures, think tanks and research institutes, and a recruitment and development process for future candidates, appointees, etc. They were smart to do it and have done it very, very well. Governor Dean's 50 State Strategy was an initial, limited, and ultimately abandoned attempt to counter this. This is why the Democrats last gubernatorial nominee was the state of Florida's previous Republican governor and why it looks like its challenger for Senator Rubio's seat is going to be a second term Congressman who was a Republican till a few years ago.

The reason I linked to the CSG report is that the table that shows the changes in state representation is for the time period I was referencing in the post. That information, which is pertinent to my point, is on pps 3-6.

As to Balloon Juice. The site owner is a good guy and yes, I do occasionally guest post there. In this case I came across this story while clicking over there. I decided that I'd expand on the story here as I spent several semesters teaching State and Local Politics, with a focus on Florida, while a doctoral student and post-doc at UF. So I reckoned I could flesh it out a bit. What you've got is two different interesting things here. The first is that the Florida legislature may deadlock itself into violating state law by not passing a budget - I have no idea what happens then, but it should be interesting. The second is that even with completely unified government - all branches in the hands of one party (Florida's judiciary is non partisan at the state level) - it doesn't mean anything is going to get done.

Finally, you are correct in recognizing that no current Congress can constrain any future Congress's ability to spend. So what?

Charles I

I wonder what they make of VEEP?

ex-PFC Chuck

"So let me ask, how’s that Howard Dean 50 State build the party at the local level strategy working for the Democrats in Florida?"

One of the first things Obama and his minions did when they got control of the Democratic Party in 2008 was to dismantle the 50 state infrastructure Dean et al had built and replace it with Obama for America (OFA), his own personal machine. Part of his job as an undercover Republican.


Jax. Lived in Oviedo when I worked for Lockheed Martin, aka Lock Mart.

I love Carl Hiasen's books, particularly as he explains how Florida has been destroyed by development. Carl also has a character drawn from Walking Lawton. Love the way he inserts him in a vigilante role.

My own opinion is that there isn't one square inch of Nature that Florida builders don't want to murder. My favorite bumper sticker when I lived here the first time was "Leaving Florida? Why not take a friend?"


Snark Alert: They put on captioning and read slowly.


WRC, ditto Las Vegas, LA LA and a large part of the Colorado River basin. We were already getting salt water intrusion into Oviedo (the northeast side of Orlando) in 1994. And that melting ice will raise sea levels, regardless of the reasons it occurs.

And, hell, I'll be dead by 2050.


I can't divulge how I can be so sure but Chuck is exactly right. Dr. Dean's strategy would have worked and was destroyed by BHO administration. In specific, Chicago Street Boss R. Emanuel was a prime mover in taking it apart, to serve his fearless leader's own goals.


1. We don not want ObamaCare, get over it!

2. Are you saying only Republicans gerrymander? I live in Pennsylvania, which can be described as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Alabama in between...

3. You should know that another sessions means more pay, more lobbyist money, etc. So this activity goes on all the time.

4. Climate change is religion for Liberals (God is not cool)

5. You forgot to add that we have like five million amendments to the State Constitution...LMAO

Adam L Silverman


Pennsylvania? Hmmmm, nope don't know nothing about it...

I am not saying, nor would I, that only Republicans gerrymander. I was explaining how they used redistricting as a tool to take over the majorities and then consolidate their gains in the state legislature. That was it.

Did I say you or anyone else had to have an ACA policy or take ACA money? No, I described what the dispute was about. In this case it just happens to be what the different legislative chambers in Florida are fighting about.

I am well aware that a special session will cost taxpayers more money and make legislators and lobbyists more money, but thanks for checking.

Where did I mention climate change?

Are you saying the Penssylvania constitution has too many amendments or the Florida one? You do know this post was about Florida right? When you bring SST up does the title start with "Pennsylvania Man"? If so, please let us know as COL Lang will need to contact typepad so they can fix it.


As a fellow Floridian your missing the big point. Local elections are held in mid May and no self respecting Republican will cut a deal or vote to accept obama care monies or change Medicaid till after these local elections. They will be back in June with a new spin and new game to get the job done. As long as they do not raise taxes, keep the roads paved, pick up the trash and keep all in order plus provide for the elderly and unfortunate all is well. The Sun shines every day, fishing, golf, beach, nature et al keeps us too busy to worry about the minor things in life. They want to run Tallahassee let them as they are smart enough not to screw it up too badly.
As for Gov Scott the man has done a good job and has his priorities right. Old Lawton would be proud as he always knew it would take a snake to tame them gators.


Having a one party state is increasing corruption to unsustainable levels and that will one day end and not well. I remember what happened in SW Florida about 30 years or so ago, when 3 of 5 county commissioners went to prison after their political machine got outvoted.

Recently we had a port commissioner here effectively elected by 3% of the registered voters by gaming the system. The list of misdeeds grows longer by the day.

When the tipping point is reached, I do not know. I just know it is somewhere in our future.

Adam L. Silverman


There are no state elections scheduled for May. In fact there are no state elections scheduled at all for 2015! There was a special election in Pinellas County last week for a state representative seat that had come open, but that's it. If you're talking about municipal elections in your city or county, I don't know what that has to do with the behavior of state legislators.

Here's all the information on Florida elections from the Florida Department of State:

Adam L. Silverman


Things were corrupt prior to the 1990s when it was one party the other way. Its the way the state works.

nick b


Actually, balloon juice did have something to say about Shelly Silver. I think the analysis was pretty much spot on too. Preet Bharara is on quite a run. The latest occupier of the hot seat is Majority leader Dean Skelos. It will be interesting to see if Mr. Bharara can get any convictions out of all this, and if does if any of them will stick.


nick b


I live in Pennsylvania too. I am a cancer survivor. This year, I needed to buy my own health insurance for me and my family. I didn't qualify for a subsidy, but I did use healthcare.gov to shop for a new policy. I was able to buy a platinum plan, better than my last plan, with no underwriting, AND I pay almost $1000 less a month than I used to. The ACA is just fine by me.



I thought the DLC sidelined him, though I'm sure OFA did displace most of the few (2 per state) employees. That's morphfed into some other get out the vote acronym organization to side line the motivated.



Thanks. I don't recall seeing that (I stopped reading the juice regularly a while back.) I didn't find that link on my last hunt either.



The last is the serious point I wanted to make. The rest just an attempt at satire.

The state legislature in Florida, isn't that also hamstrung both by the 1968 Constitution but also the original one that was its basis? As I recall there is a very long and strong bias against centralized government even within the state. The Democratic Party in the state has really suffered for a long time by being bereft of new ideas and a willingness to do the hard work of local organization and recruiting.

As to Balloon Juice, as I said to Nick above I stopped reading him regularly a while back. I didn't know you posted there. How is the commentary/feedback on what you put up?



"Its the way the state works." That sounds about right.


Oops, Florida Constitution

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