Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Sunday’s editorial pages

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St. Petersburg TimesGOP politics trumps policy – The Republican legislative caucus that approved an insurance plan in 2008 that has failed to cover a single Floridian now has another health care plan that is more politics than policy. Sen. Carey Baker of Eustis and Rep. Scott Plakon of Longwood are pushing a state constitutional amendment aimed at exempting Floridians and their employers from any potential federal mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance.

Daytona Beach News JournalA lack of oversight – The Florida Public Service Commission has all but made itself into an oxymoron. Regulators — particularly the commission staff — are far too cozy with the utilities they regulate. One official attended a party celebrating the Kentucky Derby at the home of an electric-company executive. Others shared backdoor communications channels with industry insiders. Many staff members are former utility-company employees — and vice versa.

Orlando SentinelBagging a bad habit – It also won’t end if state officials take some dramatic but sensible steps to get Floridians to use far fewer paper and plastic bags than they habitually rely on now. Things actually could get a lot better — for businesses, consumers and the environment.

Miami HeraldDoing away with the widow’s penalty – Called the “widow’s penalty,” the policy allows immigration officials to annul spouses’ applications for permanent residency when their American husbands or wives die before the marriage is two years old. The U.S. government has long maintained that the marriage must last that long before the foreign spouse is eligible for a residency application, and that has put hundreds of widows and widowers whose mates died before that time period in line for deportation.

Tallahassee DemocratLet’s tone down this craving for celebrity – Self-promotion, you may have noticed, has reached epidemic proportions in our easily bored, short-attention-span culture of celebrity and entitlement.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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