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Informed Personalities from Across the State, Across the Spectrum
Bill Cotterell's picture
Cotterell is mainly interested in political campaigns, but also focuses on state government operations.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012 — Bill Cotterell

There is really no good reason for denying convicted felons the right to vote once they finish their prison sentences and resolve other obstacles to full citizenship, like completion of probation and restitution to victims.

But the state of Florida is settling for a couple of bad reasons.


Tuesday, October 02, 2012 — Bill Cotterell

The Florida Democratic Party is so anxious to re-elect three House members from Broward, Palm Beach and Duval Counties that it's sending a mass mailing to voters in distant Osceola and Polk Counties, warning about a Republican who has already quit his race.

Two-term Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee, looked like a sure bet to beat Democrat Eileen Game of Frostproof until late last week. That's when...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 — Bill Cotterell

Former U.S. Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings of South Carolina used to say, "There is no education in the second kick of a mule."

If polls continue current trends, Republicans are in for that second kick. That's a big "if," because independent "voter education" and "electioneering communication" committees, with their hundreds of millions in largely untraceable cash, are about to open sludge spigots...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 — Bill Cotterell

With the exception of military test pilots, reporters probably spend more time talking shop than folks in any other line of work. 

That's why Emory University's decision to close its journalism program in two years has caused quite a stir in the trade. Close a j-school? Oh, no, how can this be?


Tuesday, September 11, 2012 — Bill Cotterell

Charlie Crist has been called an idealist, a turncoat, an opportunist and, more importantly, the Democratic Party's best hope of a Florida comeback two years from now.

Mostly, though, he is a walking, talking Rorschach test. What you see is not what's there -- but what you project there. And Crist is a master of making you see what he thinks you'll like.


Tuesday, September 04, 2012 — Bill Cotterell

I told a friend the goofy new Will Ferrell-Zach Galifianakis comedy, "The Campaign," is hilarious -- although it could never happen in real life. 

"And you've been watching Florida politics for how long?" he shot back.

We like farce. Long before the Republican National Convention...

Monday, August 27, 2012 — Bill Cotterell

When Florida first began requiring politicians to disclose their personal finances, the Capitol Press Corps started badgering one wealthy candidate to tell us more than the law required.

"Y'all want to see all my money?" he asked. "Well, I want to see Shirley MacLaine nekkid in some of them movies, but it ain't gonna happen." That might give you an idea of how long ago this conversation took...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 — Bill Cotterell

Journalism students at the Universities of Georgia and Florida are getting a rare, hands-on lesson in what the First Amendment is -- and isn't -- all about.

At Athens, the student editor and top staff of the Red and Black resigned last week to protest a management edict that required news be cleared by non-student supervisors who want more "good news" in the paper. A compromise was worked out,...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 — Bill Cotterell

Random thoughts on Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan for vice president:

  • Have you ever voted for a candidate because of his running mate? Me, neither.

No president has significantly helped himself with a vice presidential pick since 1960, when Lyndon Johnson delivered much...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012 — Bill Cotterell

"If you do conservative things in Florida," Gov. Rick Scott said, "you get sued."

He ought to know. Scott has probably been sued more often than any other Florida governor, and he's not halfway through his term.

That's partly because he and the Republican-controlled Legislature have...

by Dr. Radut.