Friday, April 11, 2014

From the Low Bar Department: Florida GOP chooses future state Speaker of the House who does not have a college education … by gimleteye

A dust-up between MDC president Eduardo Patron and members of the Miami-Dade Republican delegation to the Florida legislature discloses a new shocker.

Miami's GOP state legislators are upset at Dr. Padron for identifying that one of their own, set to become Speaker of the House four years from now (don't ask…) didn't finish his college degree.

Oliva is Miami Lakes representative Jose Oliva. Padron, the long-time president of MDC, made the comment in a meeting of the Herald editorial board. Who knew? Apparently very few people until now.

This story is turning into the fish that ate the whale.

There no crime in failing to finish college. There are smart, even brilliant people, who lack a formal college education.

On the other hand, if you want to be one of the top constitutional officers in the state -- any state! -- there are certain thresholds that matter, or should, to voters. If you want to run for elected office, you could be poor as a church mouse and still put yourself through college to obtain a degree.

We make it a big deal, when public officials lie on their resumes about falsely claiming to have graduated from a college. To at least a certain spectrum of voters, for a constitutional officer -- a Speaker of the House -- to have never completed college is also a big deal.

Obviously, special interests who run the state are OK with selection of a future Speaker of the House without regard for the standard of a college degree.

This both is and is not about Jose Oliva. It is not about Jose Oliva, because it is about minimum educational thresholds. For me, as a frequent voter, a four-year college education is a minimum threshold for public service. And if you are going to be in charge of making our laws and regulations, you probably ought to be a lawyer (as much as I dislike even forming the words).

So, who bears responsibility for this imbroglio turning into another black eye for the GOP in Florida? It is not Dr. Padron. Responsibility belongs to Miami Republicans who pushed Oliva forward to leadership of the State House.

The Republican delegation to the state legislature from Miami didn't think we would care about the small fact of educational qualifications, but we do.

That the state's Republican leaders who have apparently chosen a non-college educated official to be Speaker of the House -- responsible for the administration of a government made of complex laws -- , should make voters everywhere worry very much about the stewardship of the GOP in Florida.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051723/padron-expresses-regret-for-criticizing.html#storylink=cpy

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most college educated officials are idiots. The ones with law degrees turn out to be the worst.

Anonymous said...

We do have a habit of electing idiots, educated or not.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that intellectually capable people are not running for public office. For example MDC has a bunch of college professors knowledgable in all kinds of fields which would be helpful in governing the state. But would they give up their classrooms for a few months to do so? No! I could say the same thing for teachers in Dade County Public Schools, or the University Of Miami. Everybody wants to lay back in their classroom comfort zones, let others do the heavy-lifting of running the state, and just ride in the cart while others are pulling and pushing it. The whole state could fall apart and they wouldn't care unless it impacted them directly. They see no responsibility for leading.

And so, we get all kinds of rift raft leading us. That is why we are in the condition we are in. Voters try to select the best of what is presented to us, but we need talent, our A-team on the field to lead us to excellence in this century. We need them to step-up and run for these legislative seats. Otherwise, shut up and be happy with nothing.

Ross said...

No citizen, educated or not, is stepping up to challenge Rep. Oliva's reelection this fall. So that's what we get.

Anonymous said...

Sad commentary, Ross.

Anonymous said...

Good point Ross.

I am one who has been struggling to complete my degree after having other priorities in my life during my college years. I recall the "discussions" I had with my father at the time. Me, "I've seen some of these graduates and they aren't that smart." Dad, "But it shows that you have a certain goal and can accomplish that goal."

It's not as if this guy dropped out of HS or college to start his own business and through hard work and wise decisions finally "made it." No, he dropped out to work for his family's cigar business, i.e. lucky sperm club.

I looked at this guys bio on Wikipedia. He looks pretty much like many of the other SsOH we have had in past years. This plays well with the abuelas and other older Republican women. Oh...and he's Hispanic. This makes the Repubs think they will attract all the other Hispanic voters, which they won't. But let's not tell them that.

Anonymous said...

Support Daisy Baez for State Representative in District 114. She's a first time candidate willing to take on Eric Fresen. She has a college degree, a military background and is the type who both listens, analyzes, and is balanced in her decision-making.

http://www.baez2014.com

I can actually feel the fresh air...

Anonymous said...

This blog and some of its followers amaze me at times. There are numeous path to success, and while an education clearly makes the path easier, it is not the only path. History has numerous cases of individuals that have become very successful without the traditional college education.

Oliva is a person who has worked and learned his craft. Business and life lessons have given him the education he needs to succeed. He is against raising taxes plain and simple. Our economy has not recovered to the point that we can continue to burden the residents of Miami Dade.

And while the story goes..... let the voters decide, we have seen in Miami Dade a passion to put issues on the ballot, where the langauge is skewed in a way the virtually assures passage. (Jackson, School Bonds, Pets and Libraries)

So, while the minnons can start their attacks, the reality is that leadership can come in many ways....a four year degree, masters, or JD doesn't make anyone a great leader. Give me someone with vision, the strength to stand by principals and make corrections when needed.

Anonymous said...

We need strong candidates to remove all four of them, particularly Oliva. With the right kind of campaigns they can all be taken out of office. Let the message be loud and clear, anyone who stands in the way of moving us forward as a community will be removed. While many Hispanics hurt themselves, we will not have them hurt this community.

Anonymous said...

How are you going to accomplish this last poster.

Anonymous said...

It is simple, strong candidates need to run against them.

"The only thing necessary for the triump of evil is that good men do nothing". (Burke, Kennedy)

"When bad men combine, good men must organize." (Burke)

Anonymous said...

Two comments on the above:
1. The legislature decided that PSC members needed college degrees, and used their rule to oust Nancy Argenziano. Like they did with the Sunshine law, the legislators did not see fit to impose the same rule on themselves.
2. A number of local university faculty have stepped outside the "comfort" of academia (ha) and run for elected office. Several have been elected and have served with distinction. Our neighbor, Colombia, has done very well by academic politicians.

I see no reason to require a formal education to serve in these positions (school board and BOT excepted), but the voters generally have the sense to respect and favor well educated people, given the choice. So please give us the choice!

FTM said...

Follow the money. The for-profit "higher" educational industry is quite prolific at getting its way in Tallahassee.

Never mind that most of those outfits provide half-ass educations and leave students deep in nondischargeable debt.

Never mind that students can get the same courses at Miami Dade College and graduate with a decent education and/or vocational training at a small fraction of the price.

Thank goodness the federal govt is cracking down on the for-profit diploma-debt mills.

Anonymous said...

The first thing that needs to be done, is we need to take a close look at their voting records and other activities of these four. There is a good chance they have been voting and working against important things for this community for a very long time. With this situation, and these findings, that is plenty to run on. We don't need legislators with no vision who work against us. "If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them". (Dalai Lama)

MDC has an enormous constituency in Miami-Dade County. Over the years a huge number of people and voters have experienced lifetime transformations taking classes there. It is a very personal connection. And if they have not gone there themselves, someone in their family has. Collectively, they can put anyone in office, or take anyone out of office. The need now is for talent to step-up.

Anonymous said...

"Oliva is a person who has worked and learned his craft." What is his craft? His only business experience is helping out in his family biz. He has not shown himself to be anything besides a person who has benefited from his parents' hard work.

Anonymous said...

Padron should not apologize for anything. Stand your ground Dr. Padron. You were correct in what you said and you should own your statements. Don't be a pushover.

Anonymous said...

To the Anon above who thinks, Oliva is so powerful no one would run against him. Thomas Foley was Speaker of the US House of Representives, and the voters in his district in Washington took him out of office. And he was the SITTING Speaker of the House of Representatives. In a democracy, the voters rule, and anyone can be taken out of office.

Anonymous said...

Artiles didn't live in the district that elected him and I don't believe he ever moved into the district he represents.

Anonymous said...

Obama - Columbia College, Harvard Law School

Reagan - Eureka College

Obama's big accomplishment – you’ll get to keep your doctor (we can’t)

Reagan big accomplishment – tear down that wall (they did)

So much for that Harvard education.

Boy do I miss Reagan!

Anonymous said...

Oliva - Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School

Anonymous said...

It's Chinatown, Jake. Let's get out of here.

Anonymous said...

It's Chinatown, Jake. Let's get out of here.

Anonymous said...

Why stop at college degrees? Only people with degrees from a Good College should be able to run. Oh no, wait, only people with a PhD should be able to run. Only people whose parents were politicians should be able to run.

Get out of here. If he is defeated at the polls then great, the people didn't want someone who wasn't educated, but not letting him run is not democracy.

Anonymous said...

Anon above, you are right about the massive level of support for MDC, and I am one of them. I came from a very poor family (but we didn't know we were poor, every one seemed to be in the same condition). I was the first person in my family to go to college and Miami-Dade gave me a chance. It was Miami-Dade Jr. College then. And I have fond memories of classes in Suniland theater. My experience there changed the whole way I looked at the world, how I processed information, how I approached problem-solving, and how I viewed myself. It was a great beginning!

Maria said...

Who is the real idiot?

1. The future speaker who didn't finish his degree

or

2. The so-called educated Padron who is lobbying state lawmakers for more money and insulted them instead?

I can only speculate how many MDC employees will now lose their jobs because of Padron's stupidity.

Jorge said...

While we are on the topic of degrees, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is one of the few school superintendents in the nation without a Ph.D. Certainly the only such hiring by any major school district.

Why haven't you done a blog article about the qualifications of that oddball?

Anonymous said...

If I had one of Padron's worthless 2-year MDC degrees, I would wipe my ass with it.

Anonymous said...

If Eduardo Padrón wants more money for Miami-Dade Community College, he can start by cutting his own bloated salary.

Last year, it was reported that Padrón receives the highest compensation package of all public college employees in Florida: more than $630,000. Shame.

Geniusofdespair said...

Chauncy I just don't like you.

Anonymous said...

Maria, bingo

Sam Spade said...

As far as the "worthless" MDC degree, maybe tell the admissions depts. of every Ivy League school in the land as well as UM, FIU, UF and FSU who gladly accept MDC students who come more prepared to learn than their HS counterparts. Ask the policemen, firemen and nurses in MDC where they received their training: better than 1/2 will credit MDC. Get your facts straight.

Gimleteye said...

I made a distinction in my post between the educational pedigree of a state legislator and a constitutional officer.

The Florida constitution is not clear on the subject, whether a Speaker of the House is a constitutional officer or not, but for the purposes of politics, I think we can all agree that a Speaker of the House is the first among equals in legislative issues and ought to have met at least the minimum threshold of a college education.

Voters can have their own opinion of "where" their elected officials have been educated, and do.

But the fact that Florida Republicans and especially those from Miami-Dade have encouraged and supported and promoted a legislator to House Speaker with no college education speaks a lot about the Republican Party.

Voters can and will decide.

Ross said...

There are about 68 candidates for Florida legislature up for "election" in November who are unopposed. The overwhelming majority are Republican incumbents. (In a state that is majority Democratic.) I don't know how much "deciding" the voters are going to be doing.

Anonymous said...

The tragedy is with the legislature in session, these are the people who are setting educational policy for the state. They are people who have little, if any, appreciation for the value education. I am really concerned how we are going to compete in a world where everybody else all over the world not only appreciates education, but are doing everything possible to enhance and expand its reach.

Anonymous said...

Ross, there are lots of school teachers and some college professors in each of those 68 districts. But none will take the on the burden of leadership. I am not sure where we should look for capable leadership

Grant Stern said...

College today is an industrial wasteland designed to separate children front he Federal Government's money. Mindlessly hyping the college degree's importance only shows the author's institutional bias, and doesn't make any meaningful statement about the person being considered for office. I'm not a Republican either, this isn't something partisan. However, think of just a couple of college dropouts who've gone on to bigger and better things and tell me you wish they weren't running out state legislator; Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn't have college degrees.

Anonymous said...

They were running their businesses, not setting educational policy for the state.

Anonymous said...

The thing that bothers me about the whole situation is that egos may get in the way of our progress. While they are now stewards of our community, Presidents come and go, and legislators come and go. But the institution lives on from generation to generation. Sooner or later they are going to have to pass the baton to someone else. On their watch, what condition will they leave us in?

Anonymous said...

I do not think you need a college degree to assume a political position. What we need is honest people who are willing to serve the taxpayer and take care of the public money like if were theirs.

We have many politicians with college education, and lawyers and these are for the most part corrupt bastards. What we need is individuals with COMMON SENSE and there are not many of these