Florida Democrats NOW Pandering to Women at the 11th Hour

Oh, hello Florida Democratic Party. I knew you would step out of 1919 and into 2014 and realize women DO vote and we DO change elections. Nice to meet you. I am especially grateful to make the acquaintance of Dr. Stephen Goldstein who recently published an article at Context Florida entitled: Stephen Goldstein: Blame Nan Rich if Charlie Crist loses.

Well, DR. Goldstein, allow me to take your Ph.D from Columbia University and raise you my Bachelor’s from the University of Florida and educate you on the political system as it relates to women. I’m intrigued by your opinion piece and, so as not to take it out of context, I would love to use your eloquent prose to ensure you’re getting a clear understanding of my sisters and I as it related, and relates, to the Florida Gubernatorial election.

Let’s start with this sentence:

During Nan Rich’s quixotic, primary quest to become Florida’s governor, she claimed to be the only real Democrat in the race, a lifelong Charlie Crist bioliberal, ideologically pure. Instinctively, she always won at “Pin the tail on the donkey.”

I’m a registered Republican, I was born and raised in Florida although I live in Georgia now. I supported Nan Rich as a writer and believer that she deserved a fair shot at the election. So let’s cut the BS. Charlie Crist has never served in his entire career as a Democrat. He was a Republican, then an Independent and make no mistake, he would still be a Republican if he had not been summarily dismissed by his own party in favor of Rubio.

I have no idea what your “Pin the tail on the Donkey” analogy means. I will assume it has something to do with the Democratic Party and it’s some sort of code used by political elitists to explain away women running for election. Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound like a Ph.D scholar from Columbia.

Neither does this:

Relentlessly, she bashed her rival, Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, as an untrustworthy, mercurial opportunist …

Senator Nan Rich never bashed. She would have liked to, but Crist refused to debate her. I will let Crist’s record be the perfect example of a mercurial opportunist.

– Runs for  Florida State Senate in 1992 and wins, serving 1993 until, well this is where it gets murky. Florida State Senators serve four year terms. That puts Crist at 1996 for reelection. He would then have served 1997-2001.

According to the Museum of Florida History, “In 1992, Governor Crist won a seat in the Florida Senate. For six years in the Senate, Governor Crist served as Chairman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee and as Chairman of the Appropriations Criminal Justice Subcommittee. 

Can someone tell the Museum of Florida that U.S. Senators are six years and Florida State Senators are four year terms.

After Governor Crist completed his Senate service, Governor Jeb Bush appointed him as Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. 

The Museum of Florida neglected to add the 1998 U.S. Senate Race that Crist was involved in, losing handily to incumbent Bob Graham. Based on Florida’s “Resign to Run” statute, it would seem that Crist should have resigned OR his district was without representation which he, I assume, swore an oath to or at least promised the voters who elected him that he would represent them and their issues.

– In 1999. Jeb Bush appoints him  as Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which doesn’t actually exist except by whim. Not that the appointment matters because in 1999, Crist was campaigning for Commissioner of Education.

– Crist indeed wins as the Commissioner of Education in Florida and takes office in 2001, a position that by Florida law was to revert to an appointed position in 2003.

– During his tenure as Commissioner of Education, he announces his run for Florida Attorney General and spends all of 2002 campaigning. His predecessor, Tom Gallagher, resigned as Commissioner of Education to run for Senate. I don’t see where Crist resigned. In fact, in July when the Orlando Sentinel wrote this story: Attorney General Hopeful Slings Mud Within Gop, the U.S. Department of Education was awarding Florida billions in grants.  The Honorable Commissioner was sent a letter noting that the U.S. Department of Education had billions set aside for Florida special education. Here’s an excerpt:

crist education letter

What kind of money was that in 2002? According to a 2004 policy brief by Florida State University’s Douglas N. Harris entitled:  Class Size, Pre-kindergarten, and Educational Adequacy: Costs and Funding Options for Florida prepared at the Education Policy Research Unit (EPRU): “Actual spending in Florida, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) was  $15.6 billion in 2001.” 

That is a lot of money. Does anyone reading this have any idea where that money went?

– Crist wins Attorney General 2002. Before his term ends in 2006, he announces his run for Governor (2005). Wins for Governor. Two years later, (2007) he announces his run for U.S. Senator, still never vacating a seat where voters clearly wanted him to govern. He loses to Marco Rubio in the Republican primary, becomes an independent, AND loses again.

the_emperors_new_clothesNow he’s running for Governor as a Democrat. This is one of those perfect stories, an allegory if you will, except of course, it’s true. Charlie Crist has never been loyal to the voters who voted him in. Why would women make the mistake now of doing what voters should have done years ago – cut their losses.

Dr. Goldstein, if you want to win a woman’s vote, don’t dismiss her or her friends. If you’re married, you should know, we never forget. Crist probably thought he was acting in his best interest by not debating Senator Nan Rich. Crist didn’t play by the rules. He cheated the voters of Florida out of a fair and honest election.

Make no mistake Dr. Goldstein, Rich’s supporters were not fooled or as you so clearly state with a hint of inferiority toward women,  “conned gaggles of groupies into believing that she had enough support to win not just the nomination but the governorship. Her coffee klatches were paroxysms of populism, grassroots grandmothers grandstanding for Florida’s first girl governor, the closest thing to electioneering ecstasy.”  

We know the world. We stand by those we believe are better for the future of our children and who add a voice for us. It never mattered to us if she was being betrayed by her own party, including Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Maybe you need a civics lesson. Since it’s clear a woman has little influence with you, here are wise words from Abigail Adams’ son.

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. ~ John Quincy Adams