Videos: Voucher groups admitting to squeezing Democrats and using low-income children as the “face” of program for political purposes

HB 7099, the largest potential expansion to date of school vouchers in Florida will pass the House Choice and Innovation Committee today (aka the voucher committee).

The Florida Squeeze obtained two videos where Florida pro-voucher leader Doug Tuthill, himself a one-time liberal Democrat talking about how political contributions and playing in Democratic primaries has moved support for vouchers from a lone Democrat in 2001 to half the caucus by 2011.

Watch the first video in his own words on using political contributions to move Democrats on the issue.

AMCSC Clip5 from Nozo Media on Vimeo.

This clip helps explain the drift of Democrats towards the public school privatization ideas of conservative think tanks that we have discussed in the past. 

In the following clip Tuthill  in a Q and A talks about using lower income children and families as the face of the program thus building corporate support and boxing in some Democrats politically .

AMCSC Clip 8 from Nozo Media on Vimeo.

Here Tuthill shows the strategy to build corporate support and put “liberal” Democrats in an uncomfortable political situation.

We are working on obtaining more pro-voucher material to get a sense on how these groups operate and play politically and will release those when we obtain them.


  1. Floridian · ·

    Tuthill keeps saying that it is the right of every parent to educate their child how they wish. My response is parents do not have the right to deny proper science education to their children by sending them to schools where they teach creationism. If Dems support voucher they will lose my support!


    1. K in St. Petersburg · ·


      Please excuse my critique but your comment presents an elementary analysis of this complex problem. I assume your capacity for intellectual debate exceeds that which you have exhibited here.

      Are you willing to discredit the incredible legacy of the Catholic church in providing education to poor and orphaned students, particularly in northern cities where they helped impoverished immigrants transition into American society?

      Are you willing to discredit the saintly and compassionate work of individuals like Buffalo, New York’s, Monsignor Nelson “Father” Baker who, starting in 1876 and in the name of the Catholic church, established an orphanage and boy’s protectory, home for unwed mothers and their infants and a hospital?

      Instead of mocking creationists, perhaps you should open your mind to their history of compassion and charity towards society’s most desperate members.


      1. floridian · ·

        The Catholic Church is free to do charitable activities like that on their own dime – not on the public’s. There are over 160 private schools in FL alone teaching creationism. That is educational malpractice. I would think the Republicans want better for poor children, wouldn’t you?


      2. K in St. Petersburg · ·


        First, when did science become the antithesis of religion? Christians believe that science can help reveal the complexity and miracle of God’s creation. By your suggestion, are we to believe that these institutions of Christian learning are not teaching chemistry, biology and the earth sciences? Here in Pinellas County, St. Jude’s and St. Paul’s Catholic Elementary School, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Lutheran Church of the Cross, and the Grace Lutheran School all have a science curriculum.

        Second, as a parent of two (2) young children, I care about RESULTS. This means I prioritize reading, writing and math comprehension, high school graduation rates, college preparedness and placement. I also look for a general culture of learning, a passionate faculty and high level of parent engagement, provided in a disciplined environment that is free from the violence and failure plaguing a number of my neighborhood-zoned schools.

        You can use your online anonymity to call it “malpractice” but I doubt your moral certitude on this subject would last if you had to inform the parents of more than 1,000 children in Pinellas County that they did not get a seat in their preferred magnet and fundamental program. Further, I wonder whether you would have the courage to inform those same parents that because of your objection to a lesson on the Book of Genesis, their child must attend a failing public school.

        For e.g., my children’s neighborhood middle school has a 2013 math proficiency of only seven (7) percent scoring satisfactory or above. That’s seven percent, not seventeen or seventy! With that kind of performance, I would beg you to teach my child how many apples are in Adam and Eve’s basket if it means better results!

        My support for the numerous voucher proposals is not absolute, and I agree that there are real constitutional questions regarding its consistency with the law, but your self-righteousness on institutions of Christian learning cannot go unanswered.


  2. […] Both Representatives showed great courage in opposing the voucher bill along with the two other committee Democrats. This vote further indicates that the Democratic caucus is returning to its previously strong anti-voucher stands despite the attempts of pro-voucher groups to infiltrate the party’s political processes. […]


  3. jim jackson · ·

    What has happened to this one time liberal democrat and respected educator that started the IB St Pete High Program? I have read his rationale for his actions in the video but sorry sorry he utilized minority children to be the face of Stand Up For Students while trying to encourage African American ministers around the state of Florida to flip Democrats to support the Tax Credit Scholarship program. If you were able to watch the testimony of so many citizens who made the trip to Tallahassee to speak against House Bill 7099. Most of these citizens turned out to be African American ministers and parents that I am sure Tuthill thought he had in his pocket.


  4. floridian · ·

    The Florida Citizens for Science, which is neutral on vouchers per se, is critical of the use of public money to educate children at schools where creationism is taught.


  5. […] House as well as the usual array of other voucher related measures being filed, we will continue to expose the attitude and agenda of voucher advocates here at […]


  6. […] have exposed this week with a series of videos, school “choice” advocates have bought access into the Democratic Party while admitting they face constitutional questions over the agenda they […]


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