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Perspectives

Chris Jepson

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You sometimes forget that Florida is a Southern state and all that that implies. Our bright blue skies mask a sorry past and a questionable future. Less than 50 years ago, some Central Florida communities buried their public swimming pools rather than integrate them. Democrats became Republican, switching wholesale overnight when civil rights came to mean human rights for black Floridians. When the politics of George Wallace became a Republican Party strategy.

Where are the Bill Grahams or Lawton Chiles of yore, governors of vision who moderated the extremism of the rural yahoos clamoring for a return to “tradition”?

If you were not already a resident of Florida, would you, today, move to the Sunshine State knowing what you know about our state government?

I laugh aloud when I hear Republicans speak of making the state more competitive when recruiting new businesses to the state. Lighten the corporate tax burden? Hard to go from virtually nothing to nil. Growth management? Yes, that is soooo hindering Florida’s ability to attract new business. Gut it.

Want more laughs? Florida ranks dead last, 50th in nation, in education funding. That is soooo appealing to any forward-thinking business leader contemplating opening a new business in Florida. We’re lower than Mississippi. Welcome to the bottom, Bubba!

Republicans during the past state legislative session actually made it more difficult to vote. More difficult to vote?! The reason? To limit what Republicans imagine would be Democratic voters.

Republicans are fighting the voter-approved Amendments 5 and 6, which mandates that election districts be nonpartisan. Nonpartisan districts?! Horrors!

Republicans supported packing the state Supreme Court to make it more favorable to business interests. (See Dean Cannon)

Republicans limited the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability by slashing its budget and changing how its management is hired and fired. This agency is a watchdog agency on how taxpayer money is spent and the effectiveness of government programs. (See Dean Cannon)

Republicans would institute Shariah law on Florida women if only they could. Unfortunately (for Republicans) abortion rights are federally protected. That doesn’t stop them, however, from placing impediments to a woman’s fundamental right to choice. They even want to dictate what private insurance policies cover regarding abortion. (See Dean Cannon)

What is it with Republicans and women’s bodies? Is it that women are just too sexy for their own good, and Republican men know best what is right for Florida’s women? It’s obvious you don’t have much of a brain — you are, after all, merely a woman — and Girl, if a pregnancy occurs, well, if you can’t control your urges, we’ll control the outcome.

Republicans don’t give two cents about life after birth, but by gawd, from conception to birth, they’d own your uterus. (See Dean Cannon)

It was jokingly suggested by Florida House member Scott Randolph that his wife “incorporate her uterus” to get Republican legislators to leave it alone. Our very own speaker of the house, Dean Cannon, got his shorts all in a bundle over that. Does he lie awake at night, sweating, all atwitter over what all those nasty, nasty Florida girls might be doing? Ooooo-h! How about minding your own business, Dean?

Oh, Dean Cannon is. He’s moving the state … back to a more repressive, less democratic time. Oh, and is Florida open for business? Florida is for sale. C’mon down.

It’s the ‘50s all over again, Bubba.