Columns

Charlie Crist's Debate Refusal No Way to Hug Democrats

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: April 17, 2014 3:55 AM
I Beg to Differ

I'm not sure what is more ridiculous, the quid-pro-quoingest former governor of our time portraying our current governor as "evil," or the same former governor blustering dismissively past the lieutenant governor with a glib "give me Scott" remark -- as if he's spoiling for a debate.

I think I'll go with Charlie Crist's encounter with Carlos Lopez-Cantera.

The "evil" crack aimed at Gov. Rick Scott, made Monday during Crist's speech in Palm Beach County -- ``There's an old quote, `All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing,''' -- mark my words -- will come back to haunt Crist, swirling as he is in corruption allegations.

But Crist's encounter with the lieutenant governor should be addressed now.

Once again, he stepped right over his Democratic primary opponent, Nan Rich. As if she doesn't count. As if the primary is child's play and he's got the race won. 

He told Lopez-Cantera he's ready to debate Scott. Not Rich -- never a mention of Rich.

Yet, more and more thinking Democrats are offended by Crist's dismissal of the invitations to debate the other candidate for the Democratic nomination. They don't care that she's behind in the polls, she's a viable candidate with a point of view they can relate to, and they want to size up Crist and Rich in a discussion of the issues.

"Nan was fighting for Democratic principles back when Charlie was keeping black prisoners slaving in chain gangs," said Miami-Dade County Democrat Alan Niedemeyer. "When she was fighting for a woman's right to choose and equal rights for gays and lesbians, Charlie was on the other side of the issue scoffing at everything she said. Now he's on her side, supposedly, and by ignoring her, he's still scoffing."

Niedemeyer's point of view is simple. "Many of us are taking this personally. When you skip over Nan, you're slapping Democrats in the face. I don't have to be a Rich supporter to realize she's a symbol of the best of our party. So, if Charlie can't go toe to toe with a party-line liberal in a primary debate, how am I going to know what he stands for?"

Oh, yes, and when Crist told the lieutenant governor to "give me Scott," Rich noticed. Her campaign immediately dispatched a responding email.  "If I had a record as conservative as Crist, I wouldn't want a primary debate either," it read. "But this isn't about what Crist wants, or even what I want. Elections are about you, and who best represents your values and principles."

Two weeks ago the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee passed a resolution calling for a primary debate, and I'm also hearing the Broward County DEC is going to pass one at its next meeting. As time goes on, expect DECs in other counties to do the same.

I know Crist thought he pulled a pretty slick, thunder-stealing stunt at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches Monday. And it almost was. But when he improvised with the debate line, all he did was call attention to the fact he knows he can't climb on a stage with principled Democrat Nan Rich -- liberal all her life -- and win. His flip-flops, flaws and failures would be on devastating display.

Crist would have to commit himself on the record to who-knows-how-many things, with millions of Floridians watching -- a situation he worked hard to avoid even as a Republican. He knows he's much better working small groups where he can promise one thing to one and something else to another.

All Crist did on Monday is remind the lieutenant governor, former state Sen. Nan Rich and millions of Floridians that Rick Scott found the nerve to debate Bill McCollum in his 2010 primary, but he can't.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423.  


Comments (8)

Lgbpop
9:52PM APR 24TH 2014
If Scott got more deserving positive press than he gets for his excellent performance record (still not sure about is approval of the Medicare expansion, though, he committed our state to a staggering budget increase in another couple of years) he could just sit back with a bucket of popcorn - so could Nan Rich - and watch the best debate of 2014: Crist vs. Crist.
J.P. Sasser
10:51AM APR 22ND 2014
It will be very interesting to see when Christ actually starts to address the issues that concern the citizens of the State of Florida instead of simply attacking Scott. I would hope that the voters of this state will hold every candidate accountable. Right now Nan Rich is the only one with a pair.
Teacher Resigns over Uncommon Common Core
1:51PM APR 17TH 2014
Teacher Pauline Hawkins is resigning from Liberty High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Here’s her resignation letter:
Dear Administrators, Superintendent, et al.:
This is my official resignation letter from my English teaching position.
I’m sad to be leaving a place that has meant so much to me. This was my first teaching job. For eleven years I taught in these classrooms, I walked these halls, and I befriended colleagues, students, and parents alike. This school became part of my family, and I will be forever connected to this community for that reason.
I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve my community as a teacher. I met the most incredible people here. I am forever changed by my brilliant and compassionate colleagues and the incredible students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching.
I know I have made a difference in the lives of my students, just as they have irrevocably changed mine. Teaching is the most rewarding job I have ever had. That is why I am sad to leave the profession I love.
Even though I am primarily leaving to be closer to my family, if my family were in Colorado, I would not be able to continue teaching here. As a newly single mom, I cannot live in this community on the salary I make as a teacher. With the effects of the pay freeze still lingering and Colorado having one of the lowest yearly teaching salaries in the nation, it has become financially impossible for me to teach in this state.
Along with the salary issue, ethically, I can no longer work in an educational system that is spiraling downwards while it purports to improve the education of our children.
I began my career just as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was gaining momentum. The difference between my students then and now is unmistakable. Regardless of grades or test scores, my students from five to eleven years ago still had a sense of pride in whom they were and a self-confidence in whom they would become someday. Sadly, that type of student is rare now. Every year I have seen a decline in student morale; every year I have more and more wounded students sitting in my classroom, more and more students participating in self-harm and bullying. These children are lost and in pain.
It is no coincidence that the students I have now coincide with the NCLB movement twelve years ago–and it’s only getting worse with the new legislation around Race to the Top.
I have sweet, incredible, intelligent children sitting in my classroom who are giving up on their lives already. They feel that they only have failure in their futures because they’ve been told they aren’t good enough by a standardized test; they’ve been told that they can’t be successful because they aren’t jumping through the right hoops on their educational paths. I have spent so much time trying to reverse those thoughts, trying to help them see that education is not punitive; education is the only way they can improve their lives. But the truth is, the current educational system is punishing them for their inadequacies, rather than helping them discover their unique talents; our educational system is failing our children because it is not meeting their needs.
I can no longer be a part of a system that continues to do the exact opposite of what I am supposed to do as a teacher–I am supposed to help them think for themselves, help them find solutions to problems, help them become productive members of society. Instead, the emphasis on Common Core Standards and high-stakes testing is creating a teach-to-the-test mentality for our teachers and stress and anxiety for our students. Students have increasingly become hesitant to think for themselves because they have been programmed to believe that there is one right answer that they may or may not have been given yet. That is what school has become: A place where teachers must give students “right” answers, so students can prove (on tests riddled with problems, by the way) that teachers have taught students what the standards have deemed to be a proper education.
As unique as my personal situation might be, I know I am not the only teacher feeling this way. Instead of weeding out the “bad” teachers, this evaluation system will continue to frustrate the teachers who are doing everything they can to ensure their students are graduating with the skills necessary to become civic minded individuals. We feel defeated and helpless: If we speak out, we are reprimanded for not being team players; if we do as we are told, we are supporting a broken system.
Since I’ve worked here, we have always asked the question of every situation: “Is this good for kids?” My answer to this new legislation is, “No. This is absolutely not good for kids.” I cannot stand by and watch this happen to our precious children–our future. The irony is I cannot fight for their rights while I am working in the system. Therefore, I will not apply for another teaching job anywhere in this country while our government continues to ruin public education. Instead, I will do my best to be an advocate for change. I will continue to fight for our children’s rights for a free and proper education because their very lives depend upon it.
My final plea as a district employee is that the principals and superintendent ask themselves the same questions I have asked myself: “Is this good for kids? Is the state money being spent wisely to keep and attract good teachers? Can the district do a better job of advocating for our children and become leaders in this educational system rather than followers?” With my resignation, I hope to inspire change in the district I have come to love. As Benjamin Franklin once said: “All mankind is divided into three classes: Those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.” I want to be someone who moves and makes things happen. Which one do you want to be?
Hmmmm...
11:04AM APR 17TH 2014
"I value my right to vote, however I could never vote for Charlie Crist. He hasn’t changed at all. The only thing that has changed is the group of people he now wants to vote for him. I won’t do it."

mywomenonthemove. com /will-nan-rich-supporters-turn-their-backs-on-charlie-crist-some-say-yes/
C Breeze
8:31AM APR 17TH 2014
To "Charlie the Tuna": "Not this time Charlie" (or ANY time !) Better keep your small desk in the dark corner of "Morgan & Morgan" Charlie.... "politics" is for adults with honor, integrity and honesty...Sooo, "Not This Time Charlie the Tuna boy !"
what difference does it make?
8:20AM APR 17TH 2014
"The "evil" crack aimed at Gov. Rick Scott, made Monday during Crist's speech in Palm Beach County -- ``There's an old quote, `All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing,''' -- mark my words -- will come back to haunt Crist, swirling as he is in corruption allegations."

"There's another old quote" as well.................

Crist calling Rick Scott evil....... "is like the pot calling the kettle black!"

And just like the upcoming face off of Jeb Bush against the wife of what Jeb's mother (pearls) calls George's (41) adopted son (Bill Clinton) the 2016 Bush - Clinton Presidential race of Jeb vs his adopted brother's wife Hillary Clinton - what difference does it make?

The establishment always owns more than one hose in every race.

Only when the so called "parties" start allowing anyone who wants to run and supporting anyone who wants to run up to the primaries will the people be choosing the candidates instead of "the parties."

Remember in 2010 RPOF Chairmen Jim Greer refused to allow a possibly honest man Fl AG Commissioner Charles Bronson to run for governor.

Then the Bush machine slipped in their old Texas lawyer and Tesas Rangers and hospital schemes partner Rick Scott and with $70 plus million of stolen taxpayers money and a little help from those little Clint Curtis vote fixing optical scanner chips - Rick Scott was in like flynn!

The only reason they are playing the CharLIE Crist card is so they can milk the John Morgan medical marijuana schemes dry on millions of advertising blitzes.

Oh and for all those who are suggesting CharLIE Crist is RICH check out his financials when he run for governor the first time. He was worth less than $100,000. and had no real estate - So if he's got RICH it's been since he left that big fat paying governor's job and lawyering for Morgan and Morgan "for the Morgan's."

Remember all these so called "public servant's" have the same "evil" funding their ambitions - charLIE Crist was taking money from mel Sembler before Rick Scott was - Jeb Bush hooked Scott up with their main money man!
RepublicanConscience
8:07AM APR 17TH 2014
Never expect rational from a man dying of thirst for power. He had it, loved it, reveled in it and blew it. Charlie Crist is circling the drain and the Democrat Party will be sucked down with him.
Frank
2:06PM APR 17TH 2014
Spoken like the true REAL MAN you are, who labels Republicans as "cowards" who "stain their shorts every time the wind blows against them" . . . . . and states that all government is "evil" . . . . . . yes, so it's quite appropriate that you use "RepublicanConscience" as you continue to demonstrate that you remain . . .

Pathetic . . . .

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