The Tampa Bay Times has recommended against Florida residents voting in favor of Amendment 1, an opportunity voters will have to assure funding is available for environmental protection for the next 20 years.
What are they thinking!!
They said the constitution is no place to house funding options that are more appropriately that of the legislature and governor.
TBT apparently has not been listening to itself over the last three-plus years as Craig Pittman and others have described time and again how T-Town’s tea-bagging conservatives gutted and dismantled over 40 years of carefully developed environmental protections which, by the paper’s own claims, are crucial to the state’s economic future.
The editorial published in Sunday’s edition correctly identifies the public’s frustration with Tallahassee’s pathetic attempts to declare its concerns for all things environmental while systematically destroying the state’s ability to protect its crucial natural systems. It is no less than stunning that the paper has somehow forgotten that this legislature and governor halted environmental land acquisition, decimated the environmental protective capacities of Florida’s primary agencies responsible for protecting the environment – the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the five water management districts - and blatantly caters to the moneyed demands of special interests.
TBT has gotten so wrapped up in some archaic narrow-principled idea of proper government it has forgotten why the constitutional amendment process exists in the first place. For one thing, instead of frustrated people taking up sticks and stones against bad government, Florida allows its citizens to use the power of their right to vote to amend the constitution by referendum, and send a very clear and strong personal message to the People’s representatives that Tallahassee’s insulated governor and legislators are not properly representing the People’s interests. This amendment is a way of sending them to the corner for a 20-year “time-out,” at least as it relates to taking care of Florida’s unique natural environment. Amendment 1 is appropriate and badly needed, and it involves no sticks or stones.
TBT also points out, incredibly, that the Amendment is somehow flawed because it could lead to further legislative game-playing and funding skullduggery. This is exactly why the People are forcing the issue and telling Tallahassee they’ve had enough such political nonsense. How can it be worse than what this governor and legislature have already done?
Amendment 1 is a message that, if ignored, Tallahassee does so at its own political risk. The People should not listen to the Tampa Bay Times. They should vote for Amendment 1.