Thursday, July 18, 2013

Florida GOP to blame for popular boycott movement against state economy ... By gimleteye

If the point of an economic boycott of Florida is to waken Florida voters who empowered the radical right, Eye On Miami says, "Boycott On!"

Florida's Stand Your Ground law was passed by the GOP legislature, at the urging of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2005. Stand Your Ground would not have happened without the leadership of the man who would become US Senator, Marco Rubio.

Here is the website TruthOut:

As the Center for Media and Democracy (publishers of uncovered, ALEC adopted Stand Your Ground as a "model" for other states in early 2005, just months after the NRA pushed it through Florida's legislature (with then-state legislator Marco Rubio voting in favor). (Eye On Miami NOTE: Rubio wasn't just a state legislator. He was the majority leader of the Florida legislature, be-knighted by Jeb! Bush to cement the position of the radical right. Neither are moderates. Period. I'll return to this point, shortly.)

The NRA boasted that its lobbyist's presentation at a 2005 ALEC meeting "was well-received," and the corporations and state legislators on the Criminal Justice Task Force voted unanimously to approve the bill as an ALEC model, under the name the "Castle Doctrine Act." At the time, Wal-Mart, the nation's largest seller of rifles, was the corporate co-chair of the Task Force. Since becoming an ALEC model, twenty-six states have passed laws that contain provisions identical or similar to the ALEC legislation. ALEC called the legislation one of its "successes."

With this revelation, the spotlight turned on ALEC as never before, with the public soon becoming aware of ALEC's role in advancing an array of reactionary bills, including legislation that makes it harder to vote, criminalizes immigrants, destroys unions, protects corporations from civil liability, thwarts environmental regulations, and cuts holes in the social safety net -- all while the organization enjoys tax-exempt "charitable" status.

In response to public criticism and a campaign led by Color of Change, along with CMD, Common Cause, Progress Now and People for the American Way, at least 49 corporations, including General Motors, General Electric,, and Coca-Cola, have severed ties with ALEC.

Elections do have consequences, as Florida voters ought to know from the fierce battle by the radical right to counter FairDistricts, passed by more than 60 percent of Florida voters. These hardened battle lines against the will of the people are only half the problem. The other half of the problem is exemplified by the fact that even though ALEC in 2012 withdrew its support for promoting Stand Your Ground in the states, the law still stands. What this shows is that once the damage is done to laws by the radical right -- like the evisceration of environmental protections and land use planning in Florida -- recovering lost ground requires rebuilding political consensus the radical right dismantled.

Today Jeb! Bush and followers are busy re-writing both their actions fomenting the radical right and its harsh consequences. In the New York Times, Thomas P. Edsall writes in "Has the GOP gone of the deep end?",

Jeb Bush warned last year that both Ronald Reagan and his own father would have a “hard time” fitting into the contemporary Republican Party, which he described as dominated by “an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement.”

A few months ago, Bush, who is expected to run for the party’s nomination in 2016, took it up a notch. At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in March, Bush declared:

All too often we’re associated with being anti-everything. Way too many people believe Republicans are anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-worker, and the list goes on and on and on. Many voters are simply unwilling to choose our candidates, even though they share our core beliefs, because those voters feel unloved, unwanted and unwelcome in our party.

Politely put, that's bullshit. The notion that Jeb! can "walk back" his record and rebrand as a "moderate" is countered by the record. He exemplified, as governor, the patriarchal, brook-no-dissent that paved the way for a take-over of the Republican Party by the radical right and Florida's race to the bottom.

Whether voters can put two and two together in Florida is a hard question to answer. Recent history is dismal on this point. Not even the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression stirred Florida voters from their lethargy. In fact, the opposite occurred: with foreclosures and economic hardship rampant, most voters in local elections seemed paralyzed by low expectations. Then, too, there has been little help from the media, especially from the Fox News politburo and its affiliates.

Let's see if a boycott against the Florida economy can move the needle, where nothing else has worked.


Larry Thorson said...

Boycott? Well, OK, but are we also registering voters and stirring up protests?

Anonymous said...

Is the closing of the county libraries orchestrated by by (republican) Mayor Carlos Gimenez part of an ALEC plan? Or are libraries just an easy target? Given the comparatively small budget - it seems like its just a philosophical opposition to public libraries. Is it just another way to punish the poor for wanting to use free public computers, or borrow free books for their children to learn to read? How callous and self-centered. Same goes in Miami Dade with the many public-private partnerships to take our public parks, public schools and even, public roads.

Anonymous said...

Miami-Dade already understands the financial consequences of a boycott. The whole state of Florida, I don't think so. Money, or the lack of money has an interesting way of getting us to consensus on issues rather quickly.

100panthers said...

Florida is 'The Tourist State' (read T.D. Allman's Finding Florida). IF there is hope voters will wake up to any prompt, it is a treat to tourism. If a Boycott gains strength, it will be interesting to watch. Maybe we will discover the leverage to pry radical right out of their hole?

Anonymous said...

People are afraid to come to a state where anyone can target you, determine on their own that you are a suspicious person, follow you even the police told you not to do so, jump to attack you, and during the fight, gun you down and kill you. And it's all legal. It is better to go somewhere else where you can be comfortable and relaxed. Why risk your life and spend your money coming to a place like this?

Anonymous said...

No more urban beach weekend?

So what's the bad news?

Anonymous said...

How can a Floridian participate in this boycott?

Anonymous said...

It sort of reminds me of Gunsmoke an old cowboy series. Zimmerman had his gun, it was loaded and ready to fire, and he was looking for a showdown with someone. Poor Trayvon just happpened to be in the area coming from the store. Even when the police told him to stop following him, he was so anxious for the shoot out, he ignored their orders. He wanted action. He had his gun loaded and ready for the draw and the kill. All Trayvon had for the draw was some candy.

Geniusofdespair said...

How can Florida participate? Shop on line and don't buy sugar.

Anonymous said...

Florida needs better educated children. Florida needs to keep its children off the streets and Carlos Gimenez recommends CLOSING libraries in the inner city.

Anonymous said...

Boycotts work in the United States: It brought South Africa to its knees. When the moron politicians in Dade County refused President Mandela the key to the city. Florida will suffer.. After this latest verdict in Sanford I would be afraid to come to Florida. Go ahead governor lead the state of Florida into further ruins. The one thing everyone will understand is green (money).