Hours away from the start of the annual 60-day legislative session, and the Florida Democratic Party already has a prediction. For them, it is as if the next two months will never happen.
“Empty words for middle class, handouts for special interests,” leads the latest FDP email blast to supporters, blowing the Democratic dog whistle only minutes before Gov. Rick Scott takes the podium for his traditional State of the State address.
As the ceremonial gavel falls, both chambers of the Florida Capitol begin to fill with “hours upon hours” of talk – all empty — of providing opportunity for the middle class.
Nevertheless, the FDP says “facts” do not bear it out.
In 2014, Republicans continued to ignore equal pay or Medicaid expansion, two key Democratic talking points, shutting the “doors of opportunity” for millions of Florida families.
At the same time, the message says, the wealthiest corporations received taxpayer handouts in the millions.
As the 2015 legislative session begins, Democrats are afraid it looks like nothing will change.
Democratic supporters have a long list of grievances with the Legislature: No interest in expanding access to health insurance, substantial investments in public schools, protecting the environment, making it easier to vote. Writing discrimination into law and restricting a woman’s right to choose her own health care. Handouts to the special interests instead of following the will of Florida voters who passed Amendment 1 last year.
Of course, there are few surprises in the email. It is, after all, intended to be red meat to rile up the Democratic base for session, a group that has been on the ropes in Florida for years.
With the new, stronger Republican supermajority seated in Tallahassee this morning, it would be truly shocking if a well-timed email like this did not arrive.