Information on the judges that are on my Nov 2018 ballot

I decided NO to retain Judge Alan Lawson based on quote from this 2009 ARTICLE :

“The Governor is considering four nominees. Though we have more to learn about these nominees, we do know that Florida Right to Life, Florida Family Action, the National Rifle Association and the ultra right-wing American Family Association have begun to rally around the anti-choice Judge Alan Lawson.

I decided NO to retain Judge Allen Winsor based on quote from this ARTICLE:

“Mr. Winsor is a young, conservative ideologue who has attempted to restrict voting rights, LGBT equality, reproductive freedom, environmental protection, criminal defendants’ rights and gun safety,” the letter said. “He does not possess the neutrality and fair-mindedness necessary to serve in a lifetime position as a federal judge.”

We also should vote NO on Judge Allen Winsor to send a message to Bill Nelson that we support his decision to vote NO on Trump’s nomination of Winsor to a Federal District Court.  Details found HERE.  

I decided to vote NO to retain  Kemmerly Thomas based on this quote from this ARTICLE

A statewide gun control advocacy group is criticizing a decision by two judges to buy tickets to a fundraiser for a group affiliated with the National Rifle Association.  The Times/Herald reported that judges Clay Roberts and Kemmerly Thomas of the First District Court of Appeal confirmed they bought tables at the Sept. 15 event, a dinner and auction organized by “Friends of the NRA” that benefited the NRA Foundation, a public charity.

If you find it bizarre that the NRA Foundation is called a charity (as I did), here is a quote from this  ARTICLE :  NRA Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization “designed to promote firearms ….”

Part of me wants to vote NO on any judge associated with the Federalist Society since the news has been very enlightening about Garsuch and Kavanaugh’s association with the Federalist Society and what that will mean to the country.  This is a quote from this ARTICLE

Judge Harvey Jay and Judge Stephanie W. Ray were both appointed to the First District Court of Appeal  by Governor Rick Scott.   Six of the judges Scott has named to appellate courts since taking office either list themselves as members of the Federalist Society or have been on the agenda to appear before one of the first two annual conferences of the Florida chapters of the society. Dorothy Easley, a past chair of the Appellate Practice Section of The Florida Bar, said most judges at the appellate courts appear to be making decisions based on the law, not the governor who appoints them.

We need legislators that will promote public education consistent with Florida’s Constitution

Paraphrased from an ARTICLE  about the race between Kimberly Daniels and Paula Wright:  Daniels said that people voted for her because they want prayers said out loud at the podium at public school events, and they want teachers to be able to proselytize their own religion at the public school, and they want taxpayers to fund unregulated charter schools and give taxpayer funds to private schools.

I read that Kimberly Daniels was heavily funded by Republican PACS. Was it some of the advertising from those PACS that swayed voters? My guess is that it was something in those flyers and NOT that voters supported bills like SB 436.  Don’t most people want their religion taught at home and at their religious institutions and NOT at the public school?  The public schools include people from a variety of religions as well as the non-religious.  This is the essence of SB 436 that Daniels and Bean and Fischer voted YES on:

Public schools (but not charter schools) must allow prayers said out loud at the podium at school events, and teachers must be allowed to proselytize their own religion at the school

Quote from this ARTICLE:

SB 436 will create a legal quagmire, as well as divisive consequences for Florida’s public schools. Our public schools are in no way devoid of religion. The First Amendment and federal law already provide students with the right to privately pray alone or in groups during non-curricular time, as well as pray to themselves at any time

School choice (at this time) means giving taxpayer funds to under-regulated charter schools and to private schools via vouchers.  “Charter schools are freed from many of the regulations that govern traditional public schools ” is a quote from the Duval County Public School WEBSITE .  That wording troubles me. I would prefer that they say:

Our legislators do not require charter schools to follow the regulations that they have imposed on our neighborhood schools. Why? If the regulations are valuable, why aren’t the charter schools required to follow them? If the regulations are not valuable, then why are they being imposed on our neighborhood schools?

The League of Women Voters have SUGGESTIONS for regulations for charter schools that will help prevent some of the abuses. Integrity Florida also has   SUGGESTIONS

We need legislators that are willing to incorporate those ideas into the laws that allow funding of charter schools. Even one of the promoters of charter schools is now calling for more regulation. You can read about that at this LINK

Jason Fischer and Aaron Bean are the reps for my district. They (like Kimberly Daniels) voted YES on SB 436 and HB 989. Fischer and Bean voted YES on HB 7069 while Daniels didn’t vote on that one. Is not voting as bad as voting YES if the end result is to let the bill pass?

And since they (Kimberly Daniels and Jason Fischer and Aaron Bean) allowed HB 7069 to pass, we could also add that they want the State to decide which charter schools are in our communities rather than letting the local elected school board make that decision.  How can HB 7069 be constitutional based on Section 4 (b) of Article IX of Florida’s Constitution? Here is what 4 (b) says:

 The school board shall operate, control and supervise all free public schools within the school district and determine the rate of school district taxes within the limits prescribed herein.

Florida’s Constitution Article IX Section 4 (b) seems a great idea to me. The school board can best determine what charter schools are needed in their district. And the voters can vote school board members in or out IF we don’t feel they are making good decisions for our city.

What’s the deal with the State Legislators promoting charters? Is the end goal to privatize education? Let’s posit that there is a place in our education system for charter schools. Shouldn’t the local school board decide which funds should be spent in the neighborhoods? The school board is made up of elected officials for our community. They know the community. We shouldn’t be paying a lease to a for-profit entity that a state legislator is personally profiting from while a school building is standing in need of repair. The charter school could be part of the public school building. The local school board is better equipped to make decisions (like that) than the state. HB 7069 is most likely against Florida’s Constitution Article IX Section 4 (b)

My guess is that most citizens would NOT want  HB 7069 and SB 436 if they understood them. Am I wrong?

Kimberly Daniels, Jason Fischer, and Aaron Bean also voted yes on HB 989. If HB 989 is a good idea, then why doesn’t it apply to any school that receives taxpayer funds? HB 989 doesn’t apply to charter schools or private schools that receive taxpayer money. Why not? HB 989 is about allowing the community to debate what books are used to teach the curriculum in the school.

public education

Vote for HB 989:
Vote for SB 436:
Vote for HB 7069: