Rep. Dwayne Taylor who is challenging House Democratic Leader-Designate Mark Pafford for the leadership of the Democratic Caucus the next two years has asked for a secret ballot in next week’s vote. Rep. Taylor filed an amendment yesterday to the caucus rules to dispense with the voice vote for leader and allow a secret ballot.
This maneuver clearly favors Taylor and his allies led by Reps. Darryl Rouson and Kevin Rader. The challenge to Pafford which has been justified by Democrats six-seat loss on November 4th is actually much longer in the making as we discussed earlier today.
The Taylor group has received encouragement from Tallahassee insiders, political consultants who dabble with candidates of both parties, and Republican legislators. The ultimate goal of this challenge could very well be to neuter the minority party thus depriving Floridians a real debate on critical issues. Having been emboldened by electoral success, Rick Scott’s allies in the corporate lobbying community, insurance industry and school “choice” community have pushed hard to get Democratic House members to vote for Taylor.
As I wrote last week, those backing Taylor have created a movement based upon narrow self interest and nothing more. This is not a true move to reform the Florida Democratic Party or to make Democrats more competitive in House elections as then proponents might claim. In fact, the most vocal proponents themselves did little if anything to help Democrats in November elections, instead preferring to play in primaries in order to try and stack the caucus with potential allies. The more seats the Democrats lost on November 4th, the better it made this small “out” faction backing Rep. Taylor look, so a decision was apparently made to sit out the cycle.
Lobbyists and special interest groups are hoping for a Taylor victory. In fact, some Republican legislators have already been enlisted in the effort to help Taylor, making calls to Democratic colleagues advocating how much more effective Taylor would be in deal-making with Republicans.
So the goal is obvious. Protect members by casting a secret ballot (which helps the dissidents who as we talked about last week have shown in the past they are inept at vote counting) and get Tallahassee insiders, corporate lobbyists, the insurance industry and Republican lawmakers to push members to vote for Taylor.
The galling thing is that so few progressives perhaps suffering from post-election fatigue have engaged in this battle. But right in front of the eyes of the state, a coup is being orchestrated which will turn Democrats away from the values of those who vote for and work hard to get these members elected and towards that of the Rick Scott Republicans whom our members have been sent to Tallahassee to oppose. It is time progressives throughout Florida get engaged in this fight.
Add to that the compromising of democracy via the sell-out of progressive principles in order to rubber-stamp the Scott agenda and you have Florida’s citizens as the real victims of the Taylor coup attempt.
Crocodile tears are so unbecoming.
I expect our FL Democrats to get busy and act like the opposition party they are supposed to be to the arrogant, bought and paid for Republican majority! I expect them to get the job done opposing the unconstitutional diversion of our public school funds to private corporations. We all know that the Republicans’ goal is to suck the life out of our public school system and transform it to a highly-profitable corporate, tuition based sham which violates our state Constitution’s prohibition of financial support to religious and private schools! How ironic that the Republicans are quick to invoke the “rule of law” except when it doesn’t serve their devious, evangelical, rightwing agenda? I am tired of their hypocrisy and their crazy attempts at imposing their religious beliefs and intolerance of non-Christians upon the citizens of this state! No, prayer in our schools is NOT allowed by our Constitution, nor is dictating the Legislature’s personal moral and religious beliefs via statute allowed. Likewise, their nonstop wasting of the session with various efforts and lawsuits and hot-air speeches in an effort to flaunt settled federal laws and discredit our President because he is a Democrat IS AN OUTRAGE. Millions of dollars of state funds have been wasted by Rick Scott, Pam Bondi and other state officials in a Quixotic and expensive campaign to ram down the throats of Floridians a racist, elitist, un-American Rightwing Republican agenda that Republican governors across the country, with a healthy hand from A.L.E.C., the NRA and the Koch Brothers, have conspired to put into law. All of these efforts are a blatant violation of their sworn oaths of office. These highly partisan activities by Bondi, Scott and others on the state’s payroll are a violation of the concept of state regulations that forbid them from engaging in partisan political activities during their workday and using state resources! Pam Bondi has been operating as the legal counsel for the Republican Party of Florida, not as the top law enforcement officer whose ONLY duty is to protect all of Florida’s citizens from harm; she is under investigation for this transgression, and should be forced to resign for this egregious transgression! Now get up to Tally, Democrats and do the duties of the opposition party for those who elected you and STOP the Republicans’ rampant abuse of power!
Who’s zooming who? Does our representatives represent the people or the insurance industry? We need Mark Pafford to watch out for the people.
[…] Beach) who just left office last year has been charged with nine counts of wire fraud. Taylor who made a bid for the post of Democratic Leader after the 2014 election after being pushed by business interests, political consultants, lobbyists and other establishment […]