Tallahassee needs a clean sweep of the legislative lapdogs for special interests.

 

For decades these state legislators failed in structuring laws that “promote the general welfare” as charged by the Founding Fathers.       

 

       In putting special interests before the people’s Interests, they scarred our state with bottom-of-the-barrel national rankings on health care, elder care, crime, education, and mental health. They serve gun interests at the expense of the very lives of schoolchildren and the thousands of others dealing with an epidemic of gun violence and murder that plagues our state. The state government is out of balance.

My newfound courage to run for Florida State Senate Dist. 4, despite my public speaking phobia,  is rooted in the deep disgust I share with millions in our state about the pitiful response of the lapdogs legislators to the Parkland high school gun massacre. Those lawmakers include my opponent who has been in Tallahassee nearly two decades and is among the recipients of National Rifle Association money.

 

            The government needs people like me who are known for getting things done, who work hard and dig deep to get the facts. My reputation for doggedness was established with my exclusive interview with the Beatles as a cub reporter.     

          

 

   

 As a journalist, over the years my work:

-Exposed conflicts of interest on the Duval County School Board and on a Jacksonville study panel skewed toward privatizing public education.

-Exposed the network of Tallahassee lawmakers who do the bidding of special interests in a Folio Weekly cover story: Aaron Bean & the ALEC Money Machine. 

-Exposed the hacking vulnerability of electronic voting machines, which the elections office later abandoned.

     As a former small business owner and business reporter, I am well aware of the negatives of over-regulation. My insights from years of writing on education and health care issues make me well equipped to help shape laws to assure they “promote the general welfare.”

      As your State Senator, I will work for accountability and transparency in government at all levels. I will be the Watchdog Tallahassee needs. With your vote and your help, we can return balance to state government.

 


Florida's shameful rankings

           

- 49th in mental health funding [i]

- 46th in income inequality among households.[ii]

- 43rd in per pupil spending on education[iii]

- 42nd in child well-being[iv]

- 38th in a measure of household income.[v]

- 37th for the Best States to Work.[vi]

- 36th for opportunity.[vii]

- 36th among the Best and Worst States to be middle class[viii]

- 35th in economic and social well-being for women and 31st in women's health and safety in a ranking of best states for women[ix]

- 34th in health care.[x]

- 34th in food security and low poverty rate.[xi]

- 33rd for quality of life based on a state's natural and social environment. [xii]

- 32nd in evaluation of crime and corrections.[xiii]

- 29th in education quality[xiv]

- Among worst in the nation for quality of drinking water[xv]

- "F" ranking on gun safety law[xvi]

- D+ rating for school facilities[xvii]

[i] http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2014-04-19/news/os-florida-mental-health-scott-maxwell-20140419_1_central-florida-mental-health-funding-baker-act  ALSO SEE:  http://www.fpi.institute/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/BM-Mental-Health-Spending-SL22.pdf

[ii] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/opportunity/economic-opportunity

[iii] http://www.governing.com/gov-data/education-data/state-education-spending-per-pupil-data.html

[iv] http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-florida-kids-rank-34-nation-annual-kids-count-20180627-story.html

[v] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/opportunity/economic-opportunity

[vi] https://policy-practice.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/Best_States_to_Work_Index.pdf

[vii] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings

[viii] https://www.gobankingrates.com/making-money/economy/best-states-for-poor-americans/

[ix] https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-for-women/10728/#blue-red

[x] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings

[xi] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/opportunity/economic-opportunity

[xii] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/quality-of-life

[xiii] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings

[xiv] http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-florida-education-quality-annual-report-20170104-story.html

[xv] https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article148112799.html AND https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/threats-on-tap-water-infrastructure-protections-report.pdf

[xvi] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/02/28/florida-among-25-states-to-receive-an-f-in-gun-control-groups-annual-scorecard/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e4874e0f1066

[xvii] https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/state-item/florida/

 


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