Florida House Democrats Send Obama a Message: Hands Off Our Guns!

The laughable practice of House “Memorials” has been used by Republicans to voice displeasure with the Federal Government and push an ideological agenda since Dan Webster was Speaker and Bill Clinton was President (One of the first “Memorials” the Webster-led House passed was urging President Clinton to push for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution, a favorite Republican talking point of the 1990s). Wednesday, the House considered a memorial sponsored by Rep, Neil Combee (R-Auburndale) urging the feds not to interfere with gun laws. While the temper tantrum by the House sounded somewhat like the nullification and state sovereignty ideas Florida Democrats pushed in the 1950s and 1960s to reject Civil Rights legislation, this in fact has no impact beyond symbolism.

The exercise would have been relegated to the dustbin of comical Florida legislative history had so many Democrats not crossed over and supported this meaningless partisan gesture. This is especially galling considering as we have pointed out time and time again on this site, gun control has actually proven not to be a losing issue for Democrats in Florida.

Some of the votes by Democratic legislators cannot be classified as surprises. Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Plantation) was the only Democrat running for House in 2012 (incumbent or non-incumbent) that scored an “A” rating from the NRA. Rep. Mike Clelland (D-Longwood) represents a Republican oriented district and Carl Zimmerman (D-Dunedin) won a district in November that the Democrats hadn’t held since the early 1980s. Michelle Rewinkel-Vasalinda (D-Tallahassee) was given more of rural northern Leon County in reapportionment and she is the one Democrat in the House that truly does represent some gun crazy areas, so I can excuse her “yea” vote which was recorded after the roll call closed.

But what was disappointing were some of the Democrats who from urban areas voted yes. Dwight Dudley (D-St Petersburg) represents a heavily urban Pinellas County district. Once upon a time Republicans from Dudley’s area were for Gun Control, now even after Newtown a Democrat representing the area is voting wrong on these issues. Mark Danish represents a suburban Tampa area district and he switched his vote  from nay to yea after the roll call closed.  Danish’s district is the type that historically has favored some gun control legislation, especially background checks. Rep. Linda Stewart’s (D-Orlando) vote was also offensive, especially given her general liberal track record as an Orange County Commissioner, and her representation of an urban area.

Many Democrats in Florida have proven time and time again to be spineless when faced with Republican bullying and worse yet completely unaware of public sentiment or developments with the national party. Wednesday’s vote is another example that several Florida Democrats simply don’t understand the need to stand on principle and taking a moral stand as opposed to trading votes to curry favor with a majority party that continues to demonstrate a sense of entitlement in almost every public action they take.


  1. Proud to be a Green!


  2. This is an embarrassment on so many levels.

    Where is the leader Thurston?

    Why is he not keeping everyone in line?

    Don’t excuse Clelland or Z.

    The districts they sit in are urban enough and have gun control advocates.

    Katie Edwards is as you and Trotter warned a closeted Reoublican.

    I wonder how these Ds feel after watching Obama’s speech yesterday and the parents of the Newtown victims.

    Our D reps are low caliber trash for the most part.


  3. Linda Stewart is an idiot! Have you seen her explanation for this vote???


  4. WTF


  5. The Judge · ·

    What about the fact that Katie Edwards does little but tell everyone how tight with the Republicans she is.


  6. Blue Dog Dem · ·

    Typical leftist rhetoric. These Democrats should be applauded for standing up for their constituency and beliefs and rejecting the radical Obama/Biden gun policy.


  7. Broward Dem · ·

    There goes Edwards again. She will have to be removed next time around. She is NOT a D.


  8. She is a joke. Most people know it.


  9. Katie Edwards is the worst. She’d be more tolerated if she wasn’t so condescending publicly, talk down to people and spent less time partying late at nights with Republicans.

    To hell with her!


  10. Nelson B · ·

    Stewart – yet another Doug Head mentored candidate. Way to be progressive Mr. Head. No wonder the party was a failure under you’re leadership. No moral compass.


  11. […] week’s shameful vote by several Democrats on a symbolic measure related to guns was intended by the GOP majority as a slap in the face to not […]


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