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Daily Kos weighs in on Dave Aronberg v. Dan Gelber

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Daily Kos weighs in: Dan Gelber is well positioned in his bid to become Florida Attorney General. A Federal Prosecutor who is strong on White Colllar Crime and Public Corruption, Gelber has served as the Minority House Leader and has proven to be one of the most ardent supporters of Education. After announcing his intention to run, Gelber swiftly racked up a number of endorsements from FL-Dems and posted impressive Fundraising. Gelber’s opponent, Dave Aronberg has been bogged down. Starting with vastly less experience, Aronberg annouced his intentions to run at a luncheon in the longtime Republican stronghold of Cape Coral, in SW Florida – a somewhat odd choice for a Democrat from West Palm Beach.

But looking at the issues, a pattern emerges. Gary Fineout posted an outstanding examination of the two candidates’ voting record.

Aronberg supported HB 1171 – an insurance deregulation bill. Rather GOPesque, I would say. Anyone who has Googled “CREDIT DEFAULT SWAP” lately can tell you why more deregulation of industries like insurance is probably a really bad idea. But Aronberg voted for deregulation. Gelber opposed it.

Aronberg supported HB 1495 – allowing Citizens Insurance to raise rates, even though we haven’t been hit with a storm in a few years (just a major recession). Floridians already hit by the one worst real estate downturns will soon see a 10% spike in their Citizens Property Insurance. This is extra painful because most folks on CPI CAN’T get anyone else to cover them. So they’re stuck.

Gelber opposed this one too.

How is Aronberg on The Environment? I quote Mr. Fineout:

SB 360, the controversial growth management bill that was roundly criticized by environmental groups but still signed into law by Crist.

Aronberg: Yes – Gelber: No

SB 1696 raised college tuition rates. Quoth Mr. Fineout:

Aronberg: Yes – Gelber: No

The problem here is that College Tuition and the Economy run on opposite cycles. When the economy is strong and working class people have more money, state school tuition tends to remain affordable. However, as we have seen in the past year, when the bottom drops out and people lose their jobs and their houses, state tuition goes up. Some kids who have the grades and the acceptance letters in their hands can’t afford to go. SB 1696 may very well make this bad situation even worse.

The one that real kills me is HB 453 – THE VOUCHER BILL.

HB 453 gives tax credits to companies who paid for private school vouchers. In Bush v. Holmes the SCOFLA ruled that vouchers were unconstitutional.

In short, FL schools get money from three basic sources 1) Property Tax, 2) The Federal Government, and 3) Corporate Tax. Florida does an excellent job constructing formulas to offset disparity, but the problem is that there just isn’t enough cash to go around. The tax break HB 453 awarded corporations for private school vouchers results in fewer dollars available to FEFP. The real kicker is that this Voucher Bill came on the heels of steep declines in property tax revenue due to an imploding Real Estate market. We can play a shell game, or the name game, but school funding is a zero sum game.

On VOUCHERS:

Aronberg: Yes – Gelber: No

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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