Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Why Florida Matters

Dana Blankenhorn gets it exactly right:

Florida was previously seen as almost a northern state, due to a large number of
retirees in South Florida, but is now more like other Southern states, as sprawl
takes over from Destin (practically a suburb of Atlanta) south, filling in
orange groves and swamps with tract houses. The triangle of Tallahassee-Tampa-Jacksonville is now the center of power in that state. It's all exurb

As you may know, I spend a great deal of time in the "triangle". It's all about growth in Florida. Property taxes, impact fees and homeowner's insurance dominate the thoughts of most central Floridians. They care about things like abortion, gay marriage and the like but when the rubber hits the road, they vote with their wallets.

So where do Democrats go? One word. The environment. The Wakulla Springs area and the pandhandle coast are in danger from development runoff. In the near future, the oyester beds of Appalachicola could experience a dead zone similar to the one near New Orleans. Water issues dominate the whole region.

But Dems have to pirouette on a tightrope. It's an issue where they can win but they absolutely cannot appear to be wacko, tax everything out of existence hippies.

However the next two years unfold, look to Florida to be the next political laboratory.

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