Today on Context Florida: Trafficking, Jonathan Gruber, GOP damage and an old haunting

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Today on Context Florida:

Judith Kelley and Mark P. Lagon say the United States lost its chief advocate last week in the fight against the prostitution of minors, the confinement of domestic workers by employers and the recruitment of child soldiers as Luis CdeBaca, the Ambassador-At-Large to Combat Trafficking in Persons, stepped down.  His departure leaves a dangerous void that jeopardizes continued U.S. leadership. It is crucial that President Obama replace him right away with a respected individual, someone able to speak truth to power.

In January 2013, Dr. Jonathan Gruber of MIT, one of the authors of both “RomneyCare” and “Obamacare,” admitted to the Florida Senate that neither program was designed to save money or change the cost curve. Tea Party activist Henry Kelley says liberals were lied to about Obamacare, yet they vehemently defend the lie.

As the new edition of the Florida Legislature goes into prep mode with a series of organizational meetings and procedural moves, Daniel Tilson warns average Floridians to expect more damage from the GOP-led 2015 legislative session.

Nearly 70 years ago, when the Florida Democratic Party was a monopoly, Martin Dyckman writes about political scientist V. O. Key Jr., who saw a problem that haunts the FDP to the present day. In Florida, Key wrote, it was “every man for himself.” Individual candidates built their own organizations, which dissolved when they left office or gave up running. With no credible Republican threats to their primary winners, the Democrats didn’t need to adopt platforms, practice teamwork, or build a bench for future campaigns.

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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.