Today on Context Florida: Amendment 1, teacher tenure, Eric Cantor and voting rights

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Today on Context Florida:

Allison DeFoor is not a liberal, just a Florida Cracker, which is why he is voting for Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment. Amendment 1 is about a practical reality that unless we take steps toward conservation ourselves, we cannot count on others — including lawmakers — to do it for us.

California Superior Judge Rolf Treu agreed with attorneys representing nine student plaintiffs who contend that it’s teacher tenure law — not student poverty, not state underfunding, not bureaucratic largesse, not any other factor — that disproportionately harms student performance in the classroom. Julie Delegal asks how can a judge leap over the process of firing teachers and decry the constitutionally enacted, collectively bargained rules that govern that process. She doesn’t think he can.

According to Steve Kurlander, Tuesday’s defeat of GOP Majority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia was touted as proof of a resurgence of the Tea Party movement and evidence of unhappiness with GOP moderates who are inclined to compromise on immigration reform. The truth is that Cantor lost because he failed to get his supporters to the polls and did not cultivate support in his district.

This month, Gov. Rick Scott cancelled a $10,000 per person fundraiser because the co-host was James Batmasian, a wealthy real estate developer and convicted tax-evader who could not legally vote for him. Martin Dyckman notes a serendipity in that, as one of Scott’s first acts in office three years ago was to make it much more difficult for nonviolent offenders like Batmasian to regain their civil rights.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.