Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In Florida after Fair District losses, GOP leadership furiously locks down gains ... by gimleteye

To this generation of Republicans, there is no loftier goal than wiping out bipartisanship. Just look what is happening in Florida where the GOP controls the state house, the senate and the executive branch.

In November 2010, Florida voters approved a Fair Districts amendment to the Florida Constitution by 63 percent. That vote triggered a pitched battle in state court by the GOP to thwart the voters' intent. After spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to fend off challenges to GOP maps, Republicans finally surrendered in early 2015.

While the GOP waved its white flag and walked away from state court, it laid political IED's along the path back to the state capitol.

This legislative session -- the last before the 2016 elections -- Republicans are pumping out bills that would never survive bipartisan compromise that appears to special interests as a terrifying ghost ship on the horizon.

Last week, Governor Rick Scott signed a fast-tracked revision of Florida water policy that fundamentally turns control of toxics into a joke, giving polluters not only the right to pollute but taxpayers the burden for cleaning up any toxic mess they create. Oh there is more: no source of fresh water is safe from special interests, thanks to Gov. Scott and GOP leadership.

Other bills percolating through the committee process: a bill to allow open carry of guns in state universities, a bill to reinforce charter schools over public education, a bill to make abortion a crime, a bill to allow fracking in the Everglades, and how about this piece of legislative revenge porn: a bill to punish supreme court justices who ruled in favor of Fair Districts. These are only the bills we know about.

In the November 2016 election cycle every state senate seat will be up for grabs. If the immediate result of Fair Districts is not a revolution (Democratic leadership in Florida is poorly organized), it will give parity and bipartisanship a chance. That chance is so threatening that special interests are engaged in a full-scale looting of public interest this session.

And Governor Scott? This is a governor who hears nothing through his noise-cancellating headphones except the buzzing of his own ambition.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Chomsky said the GOP and its presidential candidates are “literally a serious danger to decent human survival” and cited Republicans' rejection of measures to deal with climate change, which he called a “looming environmental catastrophe.” All of the top Republican presidential candidates are either outright deniers, doubt its seriousness or insist no action should be taken -- “dooming our grandchildren,” Chomsky said.