Today on Context Florida: Pre-election round up

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Today on Context Florida:

The Miami Herald recently published an op-ed claiming that when it comes to Florida’s environment, Charlie Crist was — and would be — a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad governor. The author of the op-ed in question was Jeb Bush, notes Diane Roberts. Maybe Jeb’s suffering from some rare brain-diminishing disorder, some kind of early-onset dementia-cum-whiplash brought on by moving too right too fast. Otherwise, he’s being seriously economical with the truth. Indeed, one might say he’s making crap up — which often happens when a person starts running for president.

Daniel Tilson says Florida isn’t considered by political and Election 2014 analysts as a Republican “red state” or a Democratic “blue state,” but rather a politically divided “purple” state…when it comes to the electorate, that is. Remarkably but understandably enough though, that balance doesn’t reflect itself in the composition of our government, or in the public policies and laws that govern most of our lives.

Down deep on Tuesday’s ballots — the last item on most — is an issue not to be overlooked, warns Martin Dyckman. Amendment 3 allows a lame-duck governor to replace Supreme Court Justices and judges of the district court of appeal who will be leaving office when he does. It is the most cynical bamboozlements the Florida Legislature has ever tried to slip past voters and it needs to be defeated.

Steve Vancore remembered a time when political polls were exclusively analytic tools that taught us something useful for campaigns. They were the closely guarded domain of geeks and political insiders seeking a strategic roadmap for a candidate or referendum. That was then, and this is now.

Over the years, Ralph Nader observed that Floridians want their politicians to be driven by Florida values. This election season, voters must be wondering: how has Gov. Rick Scott lived up to key Sunshine State commitments?

Social media posts are aflame with comments about this election season, writes Ed Moore. Not with thoughtful analysis about key positions taken by those seeking office and not with commentary on the implications of those positions on our state either. What Moore would like to see is more vision and less derision; candidates standing for something rather than just against the opponent; and mailers that speak to plans and what the future might hold. Proving negative campaigns work is easy when everyone is using them.

Much as his kids hated him doing it, Gary Stein decided to talk to his daughters’ friends about their views on Amendment 2. So many folks think that the youth just don’t get it. After actually talking with some of them, Stein knows they do. Let’s just hope that the kids who get it, vote. And bring their friends to the polls, too.

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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.