Listening to PEOPLE, Not Party Politics?

7 03 2007

Republican Charlie Crist replaced Gov. Jeb Bush and gave his first annual State of the State address to open the Florida Legislature yesterday. He supports embryonic stem cell research and defined civil rights not in religious terms, but simply as “doing what is right.”

(More soon about his proposed “Children’s Cabinet” – but this cooperative common good speech deserves meta-thought apart from the specifics. Is it a sign of things to come and if so, could they really be good things for us all? 🙂

By STEVE BOUSQUET
St. Pete Times
Published March 7, 2007

TALLAHASSEE – Seeking to capitalize on a can-do spirit, Gov. Charlie Crist used his first State of the State speech Tuesday to frame a centrist agenda and told legislators not to squander “this gift of public service.” . . .

“Isn’t it wonderful to have a governor saying Democratic things?” said Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, a Democrat. . .

Crist campaigned as a nonideological candidate who emphasized helping people. On Tuesday, the 50-year-old Republican governor gave a speech that could have been made by a Democrat.

Crist endorsed bonus pay for outstanding teachers, smaller class sizes, a reduction in greenhouse gases and paper trails in elections. He defined civil rights as “doing what is right,” and he closed by paraphrasing a liberal icon, the late Robert F. Kennedy.

“You could almost see Al Gore give that speech, but Al Gore would not be that passionate,” said Bob Butterworth, Crist’s child welfare secretary and a Democrat.

With little to criticize, Democratic lawmakers found themselves in the unaccustomed role of praising a Republican governor – something they never did when Jeb Bush was in office.

“There’s not much to argue with,” said Rep. Dan Gelber, of Miami Beach, the House minority leader.

Republican Sen. Jim King of Jacksonville said some in his party would dislike the tone of Crist’s speech, but added: “Not every good idea that’s come down the pike has come from a Republican. What he said today is pretty much where Floridians are.”

    Optimism reigns

The unusually upbeat opening-day mood was a reflection of the optimistic tone the new governor and legislative leaders have set since Crist took office Jan. 2.

    State of the state address excerpts

“In public service, it is always important to remember that we serve the people – our boss.”

* * *

“The state of our state is strong, and it is promising. But you know our work is not done.”

* * *

“Civil rights is simply a matter of doing what is right. And we will always pursue that.”

* * *

“Our children need a voice. They need to be at the table because soon it will be their table. That is why I support the creation of a ‘Children’s Cabinet’ to coordinate state services and oversee child welfare issues.”

* * *

“I am persuaded that global climate change is one of the most important issues that we will face this century.”

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5 responses

7 03 2007
Nance Confer

Crist has been one surprise after another.

So far, though, I am waiting to see what any of it means.

Homeowners insurance reductions — well, turns out they don’t apply to a lot of us until after this year’s hurricane season and even then. . .

FCAT — not going away and now we have the wretched STAR program. One teacher’s take: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/letters/sfl-brmail821xmar07,0,2250458.story?coll=sfla-news-letters

OTOH, there has been one scandal after another in the child services program, with extremely overburdened social workers being the norm. . .

OTOH, the proposals to do away with property taxes sounds pretty Republican. Starve government services and give the rich a break while raising the sales tax, a highly regressive move. . .

We’ll see. . .

Nance

7 03 2007
misedjj

Either way, it looks like we’ll have to credit (or blame) all the politicians generally because they are — yes, surprisingly! — putting themselves in the same boat and gambling on that as their best chance to survive public impatience with their lack of success trying everything else. 🙂

5 09 2007
Kristin Herbst

I don’t buy it. I just found the following on the HSLDA website. Yes, it purports to have co-written a proclamation to which Charlie Crist signed his name. It is interesting to note that the HSLDA is an admittedly Christian organization that openly suggests how its members should vote on legislature (including not supporting an upcoming California action which would prohibit corporal punishment in schools) and whose website is full of more right-winged conservative rhetoric than a Bush family get-together.

Governor Issues Homeschool Proclamation

Governor Charlie Crist has issued a proclamation to celebrate the contribution of homeschooling in Florida. To our knowledge, there has never been a proclamation by a governor in Florida celebrating homeschooling.

Regina Hicks of FPEA worked with Home School Legal Defense Association to draft the proclamation for the governor. Regina then contacted the governor’s office to secure this proclamation.

HSLDA urges all homeschoolers in Florida to widely distribute this proclamation and celebrate homeschooling during the designated week, April 1-7, 2007.

5 09 2007
JJ

Hi Kristen (from Florida, yes?) – you don’t buy what? That FL never had one of these resolutions before, or that FL politicians aren’t willing to get it together for the sake of the state, or — ?

5 09 2007
JJ

The resolution itself is here.

If it helps make anything clearer or more believable, he also proclaimed May as “School Tennis Month” whoopee! I love tennis and homeschooling but I don’t get all organizational about either one . . OTOH, I hear sometime in April is Parental Alienation Awareness Day in Iowa, now that I might could get really interested in . . .

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