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Joe Negron, Fred Costello Get Holiday Cheers; Corrine Brown, Frederica Wilson Hang with the Grinch

December 15, 2015 - 11:45am

Welcome to The Dean’s List — an Ed Dean-style look at who Florida’s political achievers were (and weren’t) in the last seven days. What you see here is strictly my opinion, not necessarily the editor’s or the rest of the staff at Sunshine State News.

THOSE WHO MADE THE LIST

Incoming Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart. Negron insists he remains steadfast against implementing Common Core through the Florida Standard Assessment testing. Negron says one of the reasons why he has opposed Common Core is because education rules  should be set by local school boards and not dictated from Tallahassee or Washington, D.C. Now the question is how much will he chip away at Common Core when he takes over the Senate at the end of next year? 

David Cruz. As the assistant general counsel for the Florida League of Cities, Cruz is fighting against a proposal that would take away local control on municipal and county election dates and make them all coincide with the general election in November. Some state legislators insist if all the local elections were held on the same day in Florida, there would be higher voter turnout. But Cruz and the League of Cities note these decisions should be left at the local level. 

Florida Rep. Fred Costello, R-Ormond Beach. This House Republican wants the governor’s office to come clean when it comes to taxes geared toward education. Costello has a  proposal mandating if the governor’s office is going to propose more spending for education through a tax increase, it should be released to the public through newspaper ads.  Arguing this kind of transparency is needed because most of the new revenue comes through local property taxes, Costello’s call for more public notification about tax hikes is a step in the right direction. 
 
THOSE WHO DIDN'T MAKE THE LIST

U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., and Frederica Wilson, D-Fla. Some elected officials aren’t happy with the latest round of congressional redistricting because the Florida Supreme Court simply accepted a map from the League of Women Voters (LWV). There have been complaints of reverse gerrymandering and judicial activism even as the state Legislature gave the Supreme Court the keys to the car here by refusing to vote on a final map. The blame game reaches a new low, though, when race is dragged into the mix. Brown has compared the newly redrawn districts to “slavery” and Wilson referenced “apartheid” over the new map. That’s out of bounds and frankly reeks of demagoguery. Democrats have fought hard for redistricting and should call out the two congresswomen for their comments. 

Florida Immigrant Coalition. Just after some Republicans in both chambers of the state Legislature endorsed legislation to enforce federal immigration laws, it didn’t take long for groups to start accusing them of being racists.  Maria Rodriguez, the executive director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition, called the proposal “radical.” She also said bills being proposed by Republicans in the Legislature were fueling hate and racism that will divide Florida communities.

Ed Dean, a senior editor with Sunshine State News whose talk show can be heard on radio stations in Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Daytona Beach, Orlando, the Space Coast, the Treasure Coast and South Florida from West Palm Beach to Miami. It can also be heard in parts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. You can reach at ed@sunshinestatenews.com. Follow him on Twitter: @eddeanradio.

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