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Seems that the Florida GOP legislators are going to go a different route....the proverbial "death by a thousand cuts" when it comes to taking down the unions.  While reading my local paper here in Jacksonville, The Florida Times Union, I ran across a letter to the editor from a local union member railing against a recent bill filed in the Florida legislature.....more below the fold.

Republican State Senator John Thrasher, who by the way has been around in state politics for decades, was a House member, was term limited, became a lobbyist, and then got himself elected to the Florida Senate, has introduced a nifty little bill to strip unions of some of their political strength.  See, what he's proposing, under the guise of "a freedom issue for people who are now conscripted to having their money taken out of their paychecks," is that union dues be barred from being a payroll deduction. Even if that's what the employee wants.  It would make it illegal, and there would have to be written consent by the union member for any union money to be used for political purposes.

Opponents see this as payback for the teacher's push back to Thrasher's ill conceived bill that he tried to push through last year basing teacher salary increases on student test data.  Thrasher is part of former Jeb Bush's inner circle.  Jeb Bush's education "reforms" pushed school vouchers, high stakes testing, charter schools....he was beaten back by the State Supreme Court that ruled his voucher scheme unconstitutional.  

It's obvious that here in Florida, the Republicans want to privatize, as much as possible, the education of Florida's kids.  They want to transfer tax money to private enterprises.  They don't even try to hide that fact. And when questioned about why charter schools and private schools do not have to pass the state mandated FCAT standardized tests and are not evaluated for student outcomes, they don't even try to answer.  That's how arrogant they are.

So, here in Florida we have the same crowd that WI is now getting a taste of.  We have documented fraudster Rick Scott, Tea Party favorite, as the new Governor, who is acting like he's the king, making unilateral decisions, like rejecting high speed rail funds from the feds that were already voted on in the last legislature. Poof.  He thinks he can veto legislation from a previous legislature! And GOP shills like Thrasher trying to make it so difficult for unions to function that they eventually are crippled and impotent.

So, I predict that soon, if they all wake up, Floridians will have had enough and take to the streets.  Let's hope so anyway.  

Originally posted to lutznancy on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 04:37 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and DKos Florida.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I hope (7+ / 0-)

    Floridians wake up and see what a nightmare they voted into office.  With Republicans like David Simmons and John Mica lining up against his light-rail decision by fiat, we may have a chance to turn things around.

    Whether Floridians will take to the streets in favor of union rights--lots of retirees--I can hope, though.

    And forgive me if I keep assuming you live near Tampa, not in Jax--usernames stick with me.

    There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

    by puzzled on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 04:55:51 AM PST

    •  I moved in 2009 (4+ / 0-)

      But I kept my username....just easier that way.

      Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

      by lutznancy on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 05:02:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hope (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boofdah

      Speaking of the nightmare they voted into office a recent Facebook page emerged for a RECALL RICK SCOTT effort.  Unfortunately Florida is one of only 20 states that have recall mechanisms in place for local elected officials only.  Legislation would have to be passed giving Sunshine state voters the right to initiate a recall.  With such lopsided GOP majorities in both state houses (with the House being the largest at 32%) its highly doubtful legislation could be enacted.

      As a teacher I would directly be affected by Thrasher's bill and other efforts by Steve Wise.  I'll do what I can to fight it but let's face it the deck is stacked against us with these supermajorities and teacher's unions will be rendered pretty much impotent before its over.

      Truman's Conscience Northeast Florida's Premier Liberal/Progressive Blog

      by DuvalDem on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:16:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the head's-up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuvalDem, ThirstyGator, acliff

    It's been difficult for me to get informed about what's going on in FL politics: there don't seem to be any good sources.  I'm hoping that the new DKOS4 groups will help me change that: seems to be working so far.  We really need to stop this union destruction!

  •  With Murdoch cliaming there's half a trillion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThirstyGator, mochajava13

    dollars waiting to be made by the private sector in education it's no wonder they want to take it over.  A recent diary pointed out that Immigration and growth of minority populations was going to be the demise of the republican party, and it was correct.  The problem is that even before that demise, Democrats have been absorbing more and more of the Republican corporatist agenda, and so it won't matter that the Republicans disappear, because the Dems will be every bit as bad on a whole host of issues, unless the centrists  (ex-Republicans and Republican wannabes) and corporatists are fought back, and their ideas firmly rejected.

    The Party needs to stand firmly by the Party Platform.

  •  Can I republish this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThirstyGator

    Under the Labor and Unions group stream?

  •  Less than 45,000 votes... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuvalDem, ThirstyGator, peacestpete

    ...that is what Fraudster Scott won the Governor's Race by.  I have nightmares now thinking of all the Dems who stayed home on election day 2010.

    We're paying for it now.

    •  Yup and he thinks he has a mandate! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ThirstyGator

      Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

      by lutznancy on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:12:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He doesn't care about a mandate. (0+ / 0-)

        He doesn't need one.  He's the Governor.  He can get plenty done - or not done - by fiat, and what are we gonna do? Sue him? HA!  By the time any suit gets heard he will have done whatever he intended to do.

        Please remember, this guy is not dumb just because we don't agree with him.

        And furthermore, the legislature, which, unfortunately by most definitions, DOES have a mandate, is only a little less wingnutty than the governor.  

        Which side are you on?

        by ThirstyGator on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:39:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's not the governor! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ThirstyGator

          He's the dictator of Florida.

          At least that is how he is governing.

          His idea of consensus building is a meeting with 30 Tea Party members.

          "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -- George Bernard Shaw

          by Inspector Javert on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:34:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  If Sink had won (0+ / 0-)

        she would have won by a similar margin, and we would have said she had a mandate.

        I hate to give a false equivalence here, bu everyone claims they have a mandate if they win. It's just what winners do.

        People panic too much on this site.

        by thematt523 on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:10:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree with you there... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boofdah

          Look what she would have been faced with regarding the supermajorities in both houses:  11 Democratic senate seats out of 40 - 28% & 39 Democratic house seats out of 120 - 33%.  There would be no illusions about a "mandate" there.  Scott OTOH can act like he has a mandate, no matter if he won by a 1/2 million votes or one vote with those majorities.  We've got a long way to go and a fight on our hands down here.  With the current characters in charge there will be a lot of blood lost in the coming battles in way of baragaining rights and others to numerous to mention here.

          Truman's Conscience Northeast Florida's Premier Liberal/Progressive Blog

          by DuvalDem on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:35:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Most people cannot afford education (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThirstyGator

    I am deeply skeptical of the voucher movement - it's simply transferring money from public schools to private ones, and it would only be a matter of time before the system is de-funded, forcing people to pay out of pocket for education.  That is unaffordable for the vast majority of Americans.

  •  Floridians aren't gonna ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tygerwilde

    take to the streets.

    Just not something we do, to our great shame and general detriment.

    Which side are you on?

    by ThirstyGator on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:35:10 AM PST

  •  A large chunk of the electorate is (0+ / 0-)

    65+ and white, and they probably turnout disproportionately.The public employees are more likely to be minorities, and children in Florida even more so.

    I am sure Gov Voldemort knows these stats as well, and he is playing to the teabagger base and destroying the human capital of the state for generations to come.

    "Only vigilance and resistance to this baby dictator, Barack Hussein Obama, can prevent the Khmer Rouge from appearing in this country." Michael Savage

    by bay of arizona on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:50:12 AM PST

  •  Actually... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuvalDem, boofdah
    It's obvious that here in Florida, the Republicans want to privatize, as much as possible, the education of Florida's kids.  They want to transfer tax money to private enterprises.

    I think folks are missing the story here on this.

    It's not that Republican's want to privatize education and send the money to for-profit companies.  That's not really their goal.

    The largest section of private schools is not for-profit companies running elementary education centers.

    It's churches.

    And THAT is the entire purpose behind the public school bashing and voucher push.  Getting your tax dollars into their churches coffers.

    The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

    by Rick Aucoin on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:09:52 PM PST

    •  Amen to that brother [Pun intended] (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boofdah, Rick Aucoin

      What was the old Clinton election team line?  "Its the economy, stupid."  Here the GOP team line is a little different:  "Its the Christians, stupid."  Here in Jacksonville I would bet my mortgage we have more churches per square mile than any city in the union except maybe Salt Lake City.  The entire movement is dedicated to putting God, make that a Baptist God, in the classroom in front of as many kids as they can.

      You nailed it my friend.  Its the same with abortion which is nothing more than a smoke screen.  What conservatives really want is to go after Griswold v. Connecticut and get into your bedroom.  Roe v. Wade stands in the way of that as it is based on the right of privacy in that SCOTUS decision.

      Don't ya just love these guys?

      Truman's Conscience Northeast Florida's Premier Liberal/Progressive Blog

      by DuvalDem on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:45:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is neverending. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DuvalDem, boofdah

        The fight for the Enlightenment never ends, comrade.  The forces of darkness and ignorance are everpresent, tireless, and fighting against us in every way they can.

        At times I grow a bit discouraged by that.  But then I look back at the long arc of history and see a steady unstoppable march forward.  A movement of progress that barely blips here and there in it's steady curve upwards.

        So... in the big scheme of things I have faith we'll keep going forward to bigger and better things.  But on the ground level it sure is hard to keep optimistic.  

        The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

        by Rick Aucoin on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:06:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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