Florida House Democrats, Fearing Backlash, Put Off Vote on Purging Moderates

By: Eric Giunta | Posted: June 14, 2013 5:40 PM
Joe Gibbons and Jim Waldman

Reps. Joe Gibbons and Jim Waldman | Credit: Florida House

Sources tell Sunshine State News that, as of Friday evening, the state's Democratic representatives had still not received the final draft proposal of rule changes. Earlier this week, Reps. Joe Gibbons, D-Hallandale Beach, and Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, told SSN that House members should expect to receive the rules no later than Friday, the day before the start of the annual Jefferson-Jackson Gala, which begins Saturday.

According to the same sources, what was expected to be a vote Saturday on any final new rules package will instead be a discussion of several proposals, which no vote expected to be taken.

SSN reported Monday that Waldman, who is leading a committee of five House Democrats looking to rewrite caucus rules, has proposed a measure that would require Democratic members to vote in accordance with official caucus positions, and impose penalties if they vote against those stances without receiving the necessary dispensations from House Democratic leadership. Those penalties could include expulsion from the caucus.

While no legislator would come right out and criticize the proposal, several of the Florida House's most notable moderate Democrats -- all of them freshmen -- have wondered aloud whether such a rule is even necessary.

And the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) wasted little time denouncing House Democrats for their newfound aversion to diversity.

"First, Florida Democrats are suppressing their only announced gubernatorial candidate, Nan Rich, from speaking at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner over the objections from their liberal activist base. Now, Florida Democrats are trying to suppress Democratic legislators from voting with Republicans on common-sense legislation," RPOF chairman Lenny Curry said in a press release Wednesday. "Would Waldman 'punish' the 47 Democrats who voted for Governor Scott's budget? Would Charlie Crist be expelled from Jim Waldman's Democratic caucus? And why are liberals comfortable with snubbing legislators who vote their conscience when they are uncomfortable with Allison Tant snubbing Nan Rich?"

Reach Eric Giunta at egiunta@sunshinestatenews.com or at 954-235-9116. 

Comments (6)

9:39AM JUN 15TH 2013
Yeah, you must be right . . . Republicans NEVER engage in this behavior . . . so let's just take a interview comment from one of Nancy Smith's admired legislators - Paula Dockery:

[TO PAULA] "We really hate to see you leave the Legislature! What would you say was your proudest accomplishment over the course of your distinguished 16-year career?

[PAULA] Voting my conscience, even when it meant being politically punished by “leadership”. "

Yeah . . . GOP = hypocrites . . . . .

Pathetic . . .
The UnFrank
2:32PM JUN 15TH 2013
Now you're reeeeeally reaching, Frankie. Your desperation is so transparent.
4:42PM JUN 15TH 2013
Ah, yes . . . the SSN fan club is back . . . . glad I can bother you so much that you feel compelled to personally troll me . . . just remember how well this type of attack worked out for the Supreme Court Justices SSN went after . . . perhaps you'd like to talk to Paula Dockery and see exactly how the GOP leadership works, unless you're going to attempt to demonize her now . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
The UnFrank
10:46PM JUN 15TH 2013
Supreme Court thing worked out pretty good all in all, Frank. Got a lot of frightened Dems & their slick lawyers to donate hundreds of thousands for nothing! So desperate.
5:15AM JUN 18TH 2013
Yes, when you get defeated two-to-one while engaging in demonizing politics of the "Big Lie", I would guess that's what partisan right wingers try to spin as "desperate" by the other side . . . just like this nonsense attempt . . .

Pathetic . . .
6:05AM JUN 15TH 2013
I think it is time for the people to purge the legislature of liberals especially those who suggested the caucus vote in the first place.

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