In a repeat of last year's down-the-middle reasoning from the Florida Senate, today the smarter side of the legislative coin decided to knock Jeb Bush's corporate education volley out of consideration just before this year's session closes on Friday. You may recall that the shoot-em-up state House hadn't been nearly as thoughtful earlier this month when it overwhelmingly approved the parents-petitioning-for-corporate-overlords-who-want-to-fleece-communities education measure, leading many to believe that all of the synapses currently populating Tallahassee were being tied together by Republican bullion rope. After all, nobody who actually votes currently supports the measure, a fact made abundantly clear by the recent revelation that "petitions" brought forward in favor the "trigger" were fraudulent at best.
And, at least according to former state Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, even the support from legislators was entirely questionable. (Dockery's been victory lapping on her Facebook page for the past couple of hours, and good for her!)
"They're not in love with it. Half of them don't even know what it will do," Dockery told the St. Petersburg Times. "What they're in love with is following Republican leadership. And they're in love with anything that has Jeb Bush's name on it. And they're in love with anything that goes against the teachers union."
The 20-20 kill shot means that some Republicans had to shake out their leadership lapdogging, and in doing so, Sens. Nancy Detert, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, Rene Garcia, Jack Latvala, Greg Evers and Charlie Dean may have accidentally renewed our faith in the political process. This was, after all, a no-brainer with no real parental support. What parents were they trying to "empower"? Anyway, the Democrats are happy that they have at least one banner victory to hold onto after this horrific session; a session that's forcing a stalemate over the seemingly obvious acceptance of $51 billion to insure more than one million people.
"Today, in a bipartisan effort the Florida Senate stood up for families, teachers, and students across the state by striking down the corporate trigger bill for the second year in a row," Florida Democratic Party chairwoman Allison Tant said in a statement. "This harmful legislation would have allowed for-profit corporations to seize control of tax-payer funded schools, and put the education of our children in jeopardy. We commend Florida Senators for again defeating this harmful legislation.”
Now if only they could carry some of that logical and compassionate consideration over to the rest of the docket.