State of Florida Archives: on Government Reform


Nikki Fried: Been transparent on finances including past filing mistakes

Republicans delivered a political one-two punch to Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, now a candidate for governor, after she amended her financial disclosures to account for hundreds of thousands of dollars in past income. The head of Florida's Republican Party asked that they "use all available resources and powers to immediately review and audit Igniting Florida"--Fried's former solo-practice lobbying firm--"to substantiate the compensation" she reported in her public disclosures.

In a statement, Fried called the complaint a "witch hunt" and said "Republican leaders are terrified of me because they know I will beat Ron DeSantis."

"I've disclosed and have been transparent about all of my finances, including past mistakes when filing forms before announcing for office," she added. "Humility and transparency just aren't in (Republicans') vocabulary."

Source: Tallahassee Democrat on 2022 Florida Gubernatorial race Jun 6, 2021

Nikki Fried: Would reverse restrictions on voting rights

Nikki Fried, Florida's Jewish agricultural commissioner who has said part of her mission is to keep Democrats pro-Israel, announced a run for governor. She said in a video posted on Twitter that she would reverse DeSantis' restrictions on voting rights, environmental protections, farmer protections and the minimum wage, adding that she would seek to expand the amount of Floridians with access to healthcare.
Source: The Jewish Exponent on 2022 Florida Gubernatorial race Jun 2, 2021

Charlie Crist: Extend voting hours across the state for all

He led efforts to protect civil rights, taking action to automatically restore voting rights of non-violent ex-felons and to extend voting hours across the state for all Floridians.
Source: 2021 Florida Gubernatorial campaign website CharlieCrist.com May 5, 2021

Charlie Crist: Criticized restrictive elections bill & anti-riot bill

He criticized actions from the most recent legislative session in Florida, referencing the controversial elections bill passed restricting access to voting and an anti-riot bill critics say will have a chilling effect on peaceful protests. Crist said he would "make it easier to vote" in Florida, expand Medicaid, raise the minimum wage to $15 a hour and "treat climate change as the existential threat that it is."
Source: CNN Politics on 2022 Florida Gubernatorial race May 4, 2021

Ron DeSantis: No to ballot harvesting and private groups spending money

We cannot allow Big Tech to interfere in our elections by putting a thumb on the scale for political candidates favored by Silicon Valley. We need to make sure our elections are transparent and run efficiently. There should be no ballot harvesting in the state of Florida. One person, one vote. We also cannot allow private groups to pour millions of dollars into the administration of our elections. That is a public function and should be done free from this type of private interference.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Florida legislature Mar 2, 2021

Val Demings: Members of extremist groups shouldn't be in police, military

Let's start with the [January 6th] attack on the Capitol, because of the disbelief that there was a break-in into the U.S. Capitol. We need to make sure that we know everybody that was involved, whether that is inciting the riot, participating in it, or funding it. Everybody who had some role in it on that day needs to be held accountable. We are determined to get to the bottom of it, so what happened, which was unbelievable that it happened, will never happen again.

I remember at the police department we had a policy that said you could not be a member of nor associate with extremist groups. If you were found out it was grounds for immediate termination. I think it is very important for those who protect us, whether that's the military, whether that's law enforcement, whether that's elected officials, I think that there should be major steps taken to hold them accountable and get them removed from the powerful, influential position that they may hold.

Source: Washington Post on 2022 Florida Senate race Feb 2, 2021

Andrew Gillum: Bring it Home Florida: voter registration drive for 2020

Andrew Gillum has launched a Florida voter registration group dedicated to defeating President Donald Trump's re-election chances in the nation's largest swing state. One of the groups working with Gillum--Bring it Home Florida, named after his signature campaign phrase--was registered last week by his supporters with the state election division overseeing third-party voter registration organizations.

Meanwhile, the Florida Democratic Party says it will spend $2 million in the next year to register 200,000 voters ahead of next year's presidential primary. There are currently 4.96 million registered Democrats in the state compared to 4.7 million Republicans and nearly 3.6 million voters with no party affiliation.

Trump's campaign is heavily focused on Florida, the biggest swing state in the nation, with 29 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to win. Without the Sunshine State, Trump's path to victory narrows significantly.

Source: Politico.com on 2020 Florida gubernatorial race Mar 20, 2019

Democratic Party: $2M to register 200,000 Florida non-voters

The Florida Democratic Party says it will spend $2 million in the next year to register 200,000 voters ahead of next year's presidential primary. There are currently 4.96 million registered Democrats in the state compared to 4.7 million Republicans and nearly 3.6 million voters with no party affiliation.

Trump's campaign is heavily focused on Florida, the biggest swing state in the nation, with 29 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to win. Without the Sunshine State, Trump's path to victory narrows significantly. If a Democrat can carry Florida in 2020, he or she could win the White House by capturing just one other swing state--WI, MI, OH, or PA--if the remaining states voted the way they did in 2016.

Democrats say they have identified as many as four million Floridians eligible to vote who are not registered. Florida party officials say they plan to partner with data science firms and hire dozens of full-time organizers as part of the new $2 million effort.

Source: Politico.com, "Florida," on 2020 Democratic primary Mar 20, 2019

Mike Bloomberg: Fund voter registration in FL, WI, OH, MI, and PA

Former New York Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg announced last month that rather than seek the presidency as a Democrat, he would fund a voter registration, persuasion and turnout effort in Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

"Whoever the nominee is likely won't be decided until late into 2020, and whoever that nominee is will face a very large and well-funded campaign in waiting," a Bloomberg adviser, who led Obama's battleground effort in 2012, told POLITICO last month.

"As we looked at the gaps in the current ecosystem, we said, 'Could we set something up right now that could provide the infrastructure, provide the data and technology to whomever the eventually nominee is so they're not at such a disadvantage once the primary is over?'" the adviser said. "We can."

Source: Politico.com, "Florida," on 2020 Democratic primary Mar 20, 2019

Bill Nelson: Require ads to disclose funders

Campaign Finance: Require political ads to disclose their largest funders?

Nelson: Yes. Backed 2017 DISCLOSE ACT requiring ads to disclose funders & major funders to reveal donations.

Scott: No position found.

Support Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political donations from corporations & unions?

Nelson: No. The decision "opened the floodgates to dark money in campaigns."

Scott: Probable yes. Considers political donations part of exercising the right to free speech.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Florida Senate race Nov 1, 2018

Rick Scott: Political donations exercise the right to free speech

Campaign Finance: Require political ads to disclose their largest funders?

Nelson: Yes. Backed 2017 DISCLOSE ACT requiring ads to disclose funders & major funders to reveal donations.

Scott: No position found.

Support Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political donations from corporations & unions?

Nelson: No. The decision "opened the floodgates to dark money in campaigns."

Scott: Probable yes. Considers political donations part of exercising the right to free speech.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Florida Senate race Nov 1, 2018

Andrew Gillum: Campaign funded by many small donors plus two billionaires

Q: You were supported by two billionaires who came in and helped your campaign. Your campaign, early on, was largely funded by them: George Soros and Tom Steyer. How do you square a populist, progressive campaign that wants to get big money out of politics, get dark money out of politics, and yet, it's billionaires that have to prop up your campaign?

ANDREW GILLUM: Well, I'll tell you, I'm obviously deeply appreciative of Mr. Soros & Mr. Steyer, both men whom I've known for some time. But the truth is, our campaign was really propped up by a lot of small contributions, including my mother, who was on auto-deduct of $20 a month into our campaign. In the first two days of this general election, our campaign has been buoyed this first week, raising over $2 million--not by big contributions--but by everyday folks sowing a seed into our race. And I honestly think that that is what is going to help us win on November 6th is these everyday folks deciding to sow a seed into this race.

Source: Meet the Press interviews for 2018 Florida Governor race Sep 2, 2018

Bill Nelson: Russians penetrating our elections, but details classified

Sen. Bill Nelson's claim that Russians have "penetrated" some Florida election systems drew increasing backlash. Nelson stood by his earlier claim: "For months, [Sen. Marco Rubio] and I have been warning Florida's elections officials about the threat they face. I hope the appropriate federal officials find a way to immediately provide them all the information they can to protect our elections."

Nelson's comments drew national attention. He said Russians had "penetrated certain counties in the state," emphasized he was talking about the current election cycle. He will not say how many counties, citing classified information.

"We were requested by the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee to let the supervisors of election in Florida know that the Russians are in their records," Nelson said, referring to a July letter he and fellow Florida Sen. Marco Rubio sent to Florida's 67 county election supervisors. The letter is strongly worded but does not describe known hacking.

Source: Miami Herald on 2018 Florida Senate race Aug 9, 2018

Andrew Gillum: Make voter registration easier

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Make voter registration easier"?

A: Support--Andrew believes that we need to tear down the barriers that prevent citizens from exercising their right to vote.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Florida Governor candidate Jun 15, 2018

Edward Janowski: Voter ID system to end election fraud

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Make voter registration easier"?

A: Voter registration isn't all that difficult as it is. However, I think we should have a voter ID system to try and bring an end to the voter/election fraud problems that have been happening more and more frequently. We also need to end the gerrymandering that's become a regular practice.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Florida Senate candidate Mar 30, 2018

Andrew Gillum: Limit corporate money in campaigns

Floridians want to have a real voice in their campaigns, and we have too much corporate money and too little transparency right now. But of course, Speaker Corcoran has been doing the bidding of corporate special interest for years and his political committee is directly benefiting from their donations, all the while presiding over the least transparent legislative session in our lifetime.
Source: 2018 Florida Gubernatorial website AndrewGillum.com Aug 24, 2017

Brian Mast: Regulate "dark money" indirect campaign contributions

Q: Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?

A: Yes

Source: Vote-Smart 2016 Florida Political Courage Test Nov 8, 2016

Francis Rooney: Pledges to serve no more than eight years in Congress

Source: 2016 Florida House campaign website FrancisRooney.com Nov 8, 2016

David Jolly: OpEd AdWatch: Worked for lobbyists associated with Pakistan

Jolly's years as a lobbyist fed attacks during the 2014 special election. In a campaign ad, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee accused his former firm, Van Scoyoc Associates Inc., of lobbying `for hundreds of millions (of dollars) for a dictator in Pakistan.`

The dictator in the ad was former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, and experts we talked to agreed with describing him as a dictator. The ad used guilt by association, but was careful not to claim Jolly himself lobbied for the country, which he never did.

The commercial veered close to the line, implying that Jolly's firm did something unethical when, so far as we know, it acted lawfully and as other lobbying firms regularly do. We rated the claim Half True.

Source: PolitiFact AdWatch on 2016 Florida Senate race Jul 20, 2015

Ted Yoho: Regulate campaign contributions

Q: Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?

A: Yes.

Source: Florida Congressional Election 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

George LeMieux: Opposed thousands of earmarks during time in Senate

LeMieux built quite a conservative resume for himself in his short stint in the U.S. Senate. He voted against ObamaCare and against raising the debt ceiling on more than one occasion, and opposed thousands of earmarks. He touts the fact that during his short time of service he proposed more spending cuts than all but one of the members of the Senate. He notes that he voted to cut federal spending by $900 billion and voted to terminate TARP and use any remaining finds t
Source: SouthernPoliticalReport.com on 2012 Florida Senate debate May 17, 2012

Mike Haridopolos: Reduce early voting; stricter third party registration

HB 1355: Expands list of responsibilities of Secretary of State when acting in his or her capacity as chief election officer; requires that third-party voter registration organizations register with Division of Elections and provide division with certain information.

Analysis by Greenberg Traurig LLP: Proponents say the measure generally is meant to crack down on voter fraud. Opponents say it simply makes it harder to vote. HB 1355:

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-0 on Apr/21/11; Passed Senate 25-13-2 on May/5/11; State Senator Mike Haridopolos voted YES; Signed by Governor Rick Scott on May/19/11

Source: Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1355 May 19, 2011

Rick Scott: Reduce early voting; stricter third party registration

HB 1355: Expands list of responsibilities of Secretary of State when acting in his or her capacity as chief election officer; requires that third-party voter registration organizations register with Division of Elections and provide division with certain information.

Analysis by Greenberg Traurig LLP: Proponents say the measure generally is meant to crack down on voter fraud. Opponents say it simply makes it harder to vote. HB 1355:

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-0 on Apr/21/11; Passed Senate 25-13-2 on May/5/11; Signed by Governor Rick Scott on May/19/11

Source: Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1355 May 19, 2011

Darren Soto: Keep early voting and easy third party registration

HB 1355: Expands list of responsibilities of Secretary of State when acting in his or her capacity as chief election officer; requires that third-party voter registration organizations register with Division of Elections and provide division with certain information.

Analysis by Greenberg Traurig LLP: Proponents say the measure generally is meant to crack down on voter fraud. Opponents say it simply makes it harder to vote. HB 1355:

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-0 on Apr/21/11; Passed Senate 25-13-2 on May/5/11; State Senator Darren Soto voted NO; Signed by Governor Rick Scott on May/19/11

Source: Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1355 May 5, 2011

Carlos Lopez-Cantera: Reduce early voting; stricter third party registration

HB 1355: Expands list of responsibilities of Secretary of State when acting in his or her capacity as chief election officer; requires that third-party voter registration organizations register with Division of Elections and provide division with certain information.

Analysis by Greenberg Traurig LLP: Proponents say the measure generally is meant to crack down on voter fraud. Opponents say it simply makes it harder to vote. HB 1355:

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-0 on Apr/21/11; State Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera voted YES; Passed Senate 25-13-2 on May/5/11; Signed by Governor Rick Scott on May/19/11

Source: Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1355 Apr 21, 2011

Greg Steube: Reduce early voting; stricter third party registration

HB 1355: Expands list of responsibilities of Secretary of State when acting in his or her capacity as chief election officer; requires that third-party voter registration organizations register with Division of Elections and provide division with certain information.

Analysis by Greenberg Traurig LLP: Proponents say the measure generally is meant to crack down on voter fraud. Opponents say it simply makes it harder to vote. HB 1355:

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-0 on Apr/21/11; State Rep. Greg Steube voted YES; Passed Senate 25-13-2 on May/5/11; Signed by Governor Rick Scott on May/19/11

Source: Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1355 Apr 21, 2011

Matt Gaetz: Reduce early voting; stricter third party registration

HB 1355: Expands list of responsibilities of Secretary of State when acting in his or her capacity as chief election officer; requires that third-party voter registration organizations register with Division of Elections and provide division with certain information.

Analysis by Greenberg Traurig LLP: Proponents say the measure generally is meant to crack down on voter fraud. Opponents say it simply makes it harder to vote. HB 1355:

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-0 on Apr/21/11; State Rep. Matt Gaetz voted YES; Passed Senate 25-13-2 on May/5/11; Signed by Governor Rick Scott on May/19/11

Source: Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1355 Apr 21, 2011

Rick Scott: Free speech includes financially supporting candidates

Source: Florida Gubernatorial 2010 PVS Political Courage Test Nov 3, 2010

Rick Scott: Reducing Tallahassee's unnecessary costs

Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website, rickscottforflorida.com Aug 19, 2010

Kendrick Meek: Sought earmarks for blighted area which benefited a donor

Greene highlighted Meek's connection to a Miami developer facing criminal charges who had paid Meek's mother, former US Rep. Carrie Meek, $90,000 as a consultant & gave her a Cadillac Escalade. Meek sought federal earmarks for the developer's inner-city project, and said his efforts were about reviving a blighted neighborhood and had nothing to do with his mother.

"Do you intend, if you're a US Senator, to continue to have your family members get cars, money, other kinds of benefits and then go ask for earmarks for the people providing these benefits?" Greene asked Meek. Meek unsuccessfully sought $4 million in federal money for the project and said he didn't know the developer had hired his mother.

Greene called on Meek to follow the lead of embattled NY Rep. Charlie Rangel: "If nothing's wrong, why wouldn't you ask for a House Ethics Commission to clear your name," Greene asked. Responded Meek: "If they felt anything was wrong I would have been before the ethics committee long ago."

Source: 2010 Florida Dem. Primary Debate, Miami Herald & P.B.Post Aug 10, 2010

Kendrick Meek: Drafted 70 bills in Congress; some got merged into law

Greene taunted Meek for drafting 70 bills in his eight years in Congress with none of them passing, concluding that Meek had a scant record as a congressman.

Meek offered a detailed parliamentary response about how bills merge in the committee process, saying many of his legislative ideas were incorporated into committee bills that didn't bear his name.

Source: 2010 Florida Dem. Primary Debate, Miami Herald & S.S.News Aug 10, 2010

Carlos Lopez-Cantera: More disclosure of campaign contributions & fundraising

HB 1207 Election Law Amendments
Bill Passed House (73 - 42); Rep. Lopez-Cantera voted Yea
Source: VoteSmart synopsis of 2009-2010 Florida voting records Mar 18, 2010

Jeb Bush: Legislative term limits strengthened Bush's executive power

Term limits were enacted in Florida in 1992 and, by a stroke of good fortune for the governor, became effective just as Bush took office, forcing out of the 2000 legislature more than half of the experienced members. This change had an effect similar to that in other states, emptying the legislature of experience and forcing green legislators to struggle with issues so complex that by the time they began to understand them, it was time for them to leave.

Throughout history, the state legislature has been viewed as the dominant political institution in Florida and in the 1980s was described as one of the strongest legislatures in the nation. Within a few years of Bush taking office, this dominance was reversed. The transformation was aided by term limits. Lobbyists and the executive office were the real winners in this environment and term limits gave Bush additional influence over the legislature.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by R. Crew, p.19 & 64-65 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: OpEd: Foundation for Florida's Future hides campaign donors

The Foundation for Florida's Future did keep Bush in the public eye, but at some cost. It generated controversy for Bush on two issues. First, the foundation was attacked for failure to identify those who had made financial contributions, suggesting that they were simply disguised campaign contributions. Secondly, it was criticized for the proportion of its funds it devoted to programmatic concerns.

The FFF raised more than $1.7 million in 1995 & 1996, primarily in $5,000 amounts. While the foundation released the names of its donors, it did so only in general categories related to the size of their donation. Thus in 1995 FFF released the names of 131 donors of $5,000 or more, but would not connect name to specific amounts. [That left] reporters to ask, "Who gave $50,000, a sum 100 times greater than the $500 limit for the Bush re-election campaign?"

Jeb's foundation was also criticized for devoting far less of its resources to programmatic concerns than to administration.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 10 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Refused to fund state agency requests for specific services

An overarching principle for governmental conservatives and for Jeb Bush was restraint in state spending. For Governor Bush this principle was defined as holding spending growth below the growth of personal income in the state. As the governor said, "the system is geared toward spending money. That's what this whole process is about. I just don't think government, as a matter of course, should grow faster than people's ability to pay for it." Bush pursued this goal relentlessly, using a wide variety of strategies: pressure on agency heads to limit annual budgetary requests, arbitrarily capping the monies that could be raised from service fees that were to be used for dedicated purposes such as affordable housing; and simply refusing to fund requests from agency heads for particular services, for example, beds for county jail inmates who had severe mental illnesses.
Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 26 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Mature society can empty government buildings of workers

Like other governmental conservatives, Governor Bush disliked and distrusted government and promoted the idea that smaller government--combined with more privatizing of governmental services--was more efficient government. He argued that "the most efficient, effective and dynamic government is one composed primarily of policymakers, procurement experts and contract managers." He expressed his general philosophy about government in his 2003 Inaugural Address when he stated that "There would be no greater tribute to our maturity as a society than if we make these [governmental] buildings around us empty of workers, monuments to a time when government played a larger role than it deserve or could adequately fill."

With this philosophy guiding his actions, Bush worked to diminish the credibility of government in Florida, to reduce its size and scope, and to make it more accountable to political overseers.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 30 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Judges should respect primacy of Legislature & Executive

The governor's effort to improve his influence over the appointment of Florida judges was driven by a desire to change what Bush believed was an improper, liberal judicial philosophy. But there was also ongoing hostility among Florida Republicans about the role they played by the judiciary in the American system of checks and balances. Bush and other Republicans regularly lamented the fact that public policy was made not only in the executive and legislative branches, but also in the judicial branch of government.

Bush personally distanced himself from the position held by generations of constitutional authorities that the three branches of government were co-equals. Bush pushed his position so intensely that the president of the Florida Bar questioned whether he believed in the separation of powers doctrine. Pursuing his own version of this doctrine, Bush promised to appoint judges who would respect "the primacy of the legislative and the executive as policymakers."

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 61 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Asked judicial candidates: Are you a God-fearing churchgoer?

When filling judicial position, Governor Bush and his appointees were criticized for using criteria unrelated to fitness to serve on the bench as standards for appointment.

Several judicial candidates complained to a Miami newspaper that they had been subjected to a series of inappropriate questions by one of these commissions, including whether they were active in their church, whether they thought they were "God-fearing people," how they felt about the US Supreme Court `s 2003 ruling to strike down a Texas law criminalizing homosexual activity, and how they would feel about having the Ten Commandments posted in their courtrooms. One candidate, an assistant county attorney, was also asked whether she "would be able to balance her duties as a single mother of twins with her duties as a judge."

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 62 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: 2004: Purged felons list from eligible voters

Governor Bush and his allies also continued throughout 2004 their efforts to purge the "felons list" of ineligible voters. The governor dismissed complaints from the media and the public about the felons list and refused to open it to public scrutiny, in what many perceived as another effort to depress minority voting. Ultimately, a lawsuit was filed by Florida newspapers and a Florida judge forced the state to reveal the voters list.

In reviewing the list, news organizations discovered that only 61 Hispanic voters were listed, but over 20,000 African American names were present. Hispanics in Florida, particularly Cubans, are more likely to vote Republican than Democratic and Africa Americas are heavily Democratic. Critics argued that this was proof that the governor & his allies had intentionally used the list for partisan purposes. The governor and his secretary of state claimed that the small number of Hispanic voters on the list was a function of a computer problem that they had been unaware of.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 96-97 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: 2005: Achieved goal of restraining growth in spending

As a proponent of small government, Governor Bush advocated slow growth in spending and smaller state budgets and his tax policy was designed to produce low levels of revenue per capita. An analysis of state spending over the time period 1999 through 2005 shows that the governor achieved his goal of restraining growth in that spending.

Over the 8 years of the Bush administration, state expenditures for all government activities increased by an average of 3.8% per year in 2000 dollars. Further, there was virtually no change in the level of state spending as a percentage of Florida's gross state product, or GSP, between 1998 and 2006. In addition, the governor was able (barely) to redeem his pledge to keep spending growth below growth in the personal income of the state's residents. In June 2006, the state had 43.6% more spending than when Bush took office and 46.5% more personal income. In absolute terms, then, the governor's spending growth goals were realized.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.106 Dec 11, 2009

John McCain: More sunshine on the Working Group on Financial Markets

Q: If you kept the Working Group on Financial Markets, would you make sure we would see some sunlight and know what they’re doing and how they’re being involved in our markets?

A: Obviously we’d like to see more sunshine. But I as president, rely primarily on my secretary of the Treasury, on my Council of Economic Advisers, on the head of that. I would rely on the circle that I have developed over many years. I have a process of leadership that is sort of an inclusive one that I have developed.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

John McCain: FactCheck: $35B in pork meant $484 per child, not $1000

McCain chose his comparisons unwisely when discussing government pork, saying, “The president signed into law, two years in a row, pork barrel-laden bills, $35 billion worth of pork. We could have given a $1,000 tax credit for every child in America for that $35 billion. Instead we chose a bridge to nowhere.”

It’s not clear where McCain is getting the $35 billion figure. But that’s more pork than the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste has diagnosed in the budget for any one year of the Bush presidency: The highest amount the group has calculated is $29 billion in 2006. Perhaps McCain meant $35 billion in two years: the smallest two-year sum was $38.6 billion in 2001 and 2002.

Even if we assume $35 billion in pork, however, McCain mus be defining “child” rather narrowly. According to the 2000 Census, there are about 72 million people under the age of 18, which would come to about $484 each. To apportion $35 billion in $1000 chunks, you’d have to leave out some elementary-schoolers.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mitt Romney: Use my own money in a campaign to try and change the US

I’ve been successful in life, enough to be able to save enough money. I’m using that money in a campaign for a presidency to try and change this country. I’m concerned about the US my kids will inherit and their kids will inherit and the kids of the entire nation will inherit, and I want to make sure that we have a strong and vibrant nation. I happen to think that at a time like this, we need someone whose life has been in the private sector, who knows how the US works; not just how Washington works
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mitt Romney: Not concerned about voters on his campaign self-contribution

Q: Why not tell the voters how much of your own wealth you’re spending so they can factor that into their own decision?

A: I’m not concerned about the voters. I’m much more concerned about the other guys on this stage. It’s competitive information we make sure that we use for our own benefit. I made a substantial contribution. I can’t imagine having gone to my friends and asked them to do what they’ve done, going out and raising money in my behalf, without saying I’m going to put some of my contributions behind this effort as well, because frankly, it’s important. Given the contributions I made in this race, I know I owe no one anything. I don’t have some group there that I have a special obligation to that raised money for me. I’m by far the biggest contributor to my own campaign. People can count on the fact that there’s no nobody that can call me and say, “Hey, look, you owe me,” because they don’t.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Fred Thompson: Tort reform ok for liability lawsuits; leave rest to states

GIULIANI: Fred was the single biggest obstacle to tort reform in the US Senate. He stood with Democrats over and over again. He voted against $250,000 caps on damages, which they have in Texas. He voted against almost anything that would make our legal system fairer: loser pays rules, things that would prevent lawsuits like that $54 million lawsuit by that guy who lost his pants--you know? That cost that family $100,000 in legal fees. I think the man should have to pay the family for the $100,000. Fred Thompson, along with very few Republicans, blocked tort reform over and over and over again.

THOMPSON: I supported tort reform with regard to securities legislation. I supported tort reform with regard to product liability legislation, things that have to do with interstate commerce. I think it appropriately passed. I supported and worked for those things. Local issues belong at the state level. Most states have passed tort reform. That’s our system. It’s not all federalized.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Supports tort reform like “loser pays” rule

GIULIANI: Fred was the single biggest obstacle to tort reform in the US Senate. He stood with Democrats over and over again. He voted against $250,000 caps on damages, which they have in Texas. He voted against almost anything that would make our legal system fairer: loser pays rules, things that would prevent lawsuits like that $54 million lawsuit by that guy who lost his pants--you know? That cost that family $100,000 in legal fees. I think the man should have to pay the family for the $100,000. Fred Thompson, along with very few Republicans, blocked tort reform over and over and over again.

THOMPSON: I supported tort reform with regard to securities legislation. I supported tort reform with regard to product liability legislation, things that have to do with interstate commerce. I think it appropriately passed. I supported and worked for those things. Local issues belong at the state level. Most states have passed tort reform. That’s our system. It’s not all federalized.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Tim Mahoney: Clean up corruption: No gifts. No meals. No trips.

Source: 2006 House campaign website, timmahoneyforflorida.com Nov 7, 2006

Marco Rubio: Reduce paid petition business in citizen initiative process

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future by Marco Rubio Nov 1, 2006

Marco Rubio: Allow transferring surplus campaign funds to other campaigns

Rubio voted YES on HB 1037, Campaign Financing (Passed House, 81 - 36).

State government synopsis: Allows unopposed legislative candidates to transfer surplus campaign funds to or retain such funds in a campaign account for reelection to the same office; establishes limits on the transferable amount of such funds; provides a prohibition from fundraising under certain conditions; deletes certain filing requirements for candidates for other than statewide office.

Source: Florida state legislative voting records May 2, 2006

Doris Haddock: We need fair voting, good candidates, and good citizens

The parchment document of the Constitution is not enough-we also require supportive institutions and sacred processes; we need these five things:
  1. We need fair and accurate voting systems that we can trust beyond a shadow of doubt
  2. We need worthy candidates who represent our interests and values and who are free from entangling financial obligations to special interests
  3. We need a free press that takes as a sacred trust its duty to inform the citizenry on the great and small issues of the day, regardless of the popular appeal of those stories and regardless of the profitability of providing that coverage
  4. We must be an unhurried society, with each of us given the time and resources to be active citizens, not mere mice on corporate treadmills
  5. We must be an educated people, forever students of the vital issues before us, so that, as a self-governing people, we might govern ourselves well. Our schools must produce citizens.
In many of these five areas, we are now in trouble.
Source: Speech on voter rights in Tallahassee, Florida Jun 17, 2001

Jeb Bush: Keep legislation small and focused: no mammoth “train” bills

House Bill 1053 was originally created to address issues that would improve overall administration of various transportation programs in our state. As the bill moved through the legislative process, a multitude of different proposals were added onto the original language. By the time House Bill 1053 was approved on the last day of session it had become a mammoth piece of legislation, most commonly referred to as a “train.” In its final form, House Bill 1053 exceeds 300 pages and makes almost two hundred different changes to current Florida law.

As would be expected, a bill of this size and complexity brings forth concerns. For one, the sheer range of issues addressed in House Bill 1053 provides a textbook example of logrolling, the kind that makes it difficult to provide Floridians with good, sound public policy.

In closing, I would encourage the sponsors of this bill to repackage the good ideas and create new legislation for next year.

Source: Veto notification on Florida Voting Record H.B.1053 Jun 14, 2001

Andy Martin: State campaign funding for complying with spending limits

Source: 2000 Florida Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

Jeb Bush: Privatize & outsource govt; fee holidays for contractors

Senate Bill 1016 is a broad piece of legislation dealing with the regulation of professions. It also implements a number of the Administration’s priorities reflecting a smaller, more efficient government.

Among these priorities, Senate Bill 1016 provides a “fee holiday” for 14 professions, ranging from electrical contractors to veterinarians to surveyors. Over the course of the next two years, the fee holidays will provide over $18 million in savings to these professions.

Senate Bill 1016 also encourages the privatization and outsourcing of certain governmental activities. It calls for the privatization of elevator inspections and contains provisions known collectively as the Management Privatization Act. These provisions will allow for the outsourcing of licensing and investigative functions of regulated professions. All told, these changes should lead to less government and more efficiency.

Source: Approval notification on Florida Voting Record SB 1016 Jun 23, 2000

Jeb Bush: No campaign spending limits; no public financing

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?

A: No.

Q: Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?

A: No.

Source: 1998 Florida Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

Lois Frankel: Limit campaign contributions and campaign spending

Q: Do you support limiting individual contributions to state legislative candidates?

A: Yes.

Q: Limiting PAC contributions?

A: No.

Q: Corporate?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?

A: Yes.

Source: Florida 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Florida Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Government Reform.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Government Reform:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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