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Hometown Democracy amendment in trouble

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Most Floridians support the “Hometown Democracy” constitutional amendment but not in high enough numbers to pass the measure this fall, according to the fourth annual Sunshine State survey.

The survey, released Wednesday, found that 51 percent of residents were in favor of the amendment, which would require local voter approval on all land-use development plans. The proposal needs 60 percent approval statewide for it to pass.

The Leadership Florida 2010 Sunshine State survey was conducted Feb. 5-17 by The Nielson Company using a random sample of households with telephones. A total of 1,282 residents were interviewed.

Bob McCann, executive vice president of The Nielson Company, said the finding on Amendment 4 means that “absent some significant shift in opinion, it’s not going to pass.”

Meanwhile, a majority of residents — 60 percent — say they support drilling in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast as part of oil- and natural-gas exploration and development. Only 18 percent said they approved of drilling three to 10 miles off the coast in state waters, and 41 percent said they favored drilling 10 miles and beyond off the coast in federal waters. Thirty-six percent don’t favor any drilling.

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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