Last week: We’re outraged and we’re not going to take it. So said Sen. Eleanor Sobel, at her tri-county delegation town hall meeting commenting on the deaths of 20 children in four months under the un-watchful eye of the Department of Children and Families. One can only imagine how many are being seriously injured on a daily basis because of DCF’s flawed policies that leave victims of child abuse at risk in their homes. We’ve had report after report after death after death of innocent children. So who is accountable? Why only one resignation?
Next week: Given the testimony at Sen. Eleanor Sobel’s town meeting, let’s hope the next Secretary of the Department of Children and Families will clean house -- with a big broom! It is grossly unfair that those at the bottom of the DCF investigation and case-load ladder have to bear the brunt of punishments for systemic flaws, omissions and commissions while DCF’s elite policy wonks in Tallahassee, who develop policies that put children at risk, are not held accountable. Hopefully, a new secretary will start asking many of them to join their former boss.
Looking ahead: Including the recently departed Tony Bennett, five people have served as Commissioner of Education either on a permanent or interim basis since Rick Scott became Governor. Look for growing chatter to return to a state-wide elected Commissioner of Education who would serve in the Cabinet—the last one was Charlie Crist. The idea was proposed last session by Sens. Joe Negron, R-Palm City, and Greg Evers, R-Baker, but went nowhere. Things could change.
Last week: Last week's key news was Speaker Will Weatherford’s willingness to consider changes to the "stand your ground law." Weatherford's comments should have been welcomed by the protesters. But, their cause has been hijacked and exploited by "race industry" professionals such as Jessie Jackson who compared Rick Scott to segregationist Governor George Wallace; referred to Florida as the "Selma of our time" and an "Apartheid State." Do Florida Democratic politicians agree? Will they and protestors disavow such rhetoric? Will they and protestors support Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith's effort to make meaningful changes in the law? We shall see!!
Looking ahead: Looking ahead, the question is whether black and white Democrats in the Legislature, the state Democratic Party and Democrats in the Congressional Delegation, including Democratic Chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, will call out Jesse Jackson for calling Florida an "Apartheid State," and the "Selma of our time." Will they agree with Jackson or Rep. Mike Hill, the only black Republican in the Legislature, who blasted Jackson's comments saying he is "either hopelessly out of touch or purposefully dishonest…" Or, will they agree with Al Sharpton, Harry Belafonte and Stevie Wonder who have called for boycotts of the state?Copyright © 2015, CT Now