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Today on Context Florida: Florida’s Democratic bench, Andrew Jackson, felon voting rights and back in the day

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Today on Context Florida:

Ben Pollara breaks down the deep bench of Florida Democrats for 2018, starting with Gwen Graham’s recent semi-surprise, twofer announcement has the Florida chattering classes (temporarily) taking their attention away from 2016 and toward a post-Rick Scott state Capitol.

Diane Roberts says that moving Andrew Jackson to the back of the $20 bill was a “no-brainer.” But Planet Fox (that lightless but loud satellite orbiting the vast Murdoch Spatial Anomaly) is puffing and squawking, Roberts adds. Greta Van Susteren used her April 21 “Off the Record” segment (which, since it’s broadcast to a lot of people, is actually ON the record) to get emphatic, if not coherent, about keeping Old Hickory right where God intended: “We could put a woman on a bill! Tubman — acknowledge her courage, and not stir up the country. But give Tubman her own bill! Like a $25 bill! We could use a $25 bill! Put her picture on that and we could all celebrate!” The Brain Trust that is “Fox and Friends” also came out strong for leaving Andrew Jackson alone. He’s an American hero. Brian Kilmeade called him “one of the best generals we ever had.”

According to Darryl Paulson, few things divide voters more than giving criminals the right to vote, even if they are former criminals. The issue will likely receive additional attention with the decision by Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to use his executive power to extend voting rights to all 206,000 felons in his state. Even murderers, rapists and other violent felons will have their voting rights restored. Critics raise several objections. First, they say the governor, acting alone, does not have the authority to institute such a significant change. Second, even if he does have the authority, he erred in granting voting rights to violent felons.

Rebekah McCloud was talking recently with one of her students who will graduate in May. He talked about his first year in college and began his reminiscence with: “Back in the day…” He’s 25. McCloud thought to herself: Back in what day? Back in the day for him was five years ago.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.


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.

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