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Today on Context Florida: Conservatives, evangelicals, Art Teele and dedicated doctors

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Today on Context Florida:

Elections are complex organisms, with personalities, money, luck, strategy and a hundred other variables in play, says Diane Roberts. Some people who voted for Florida’s worst governor also voted for the best initiative in decades, Amendment 1. Are they “conservatives”? No. Some just don’t get it: never underestimate the power of sheer slack-jawed cluelessness. But just as everybody with a blog can now call herself a journalist, anybody can redefine words like “conservative,” and to hell with Buckley and Goldwater.

Two items in Wednesday morning’s Sunburn really frosted Jac Wilder VerSteeg. Both Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are trolling for evangelical Christian votes by peddling the line that Christians in America are being persecuted. This appeals to the evangelicals’ penchant for seeing themselves as victims – a stance that bolsters their willingness to make victims of others, such as gay people. Of course, the idea that American Christians are being persecuted is bunk.

Alan Farago of the Eye On Miami blog tells the true story about former chair of the Miami-Dade County Commission Art Teele, Big Sugar and the Miami-Dade political influence. Art had a powerful mind directed to politics. During an era when very few African-American Republicans rose to the top – Teele had been an Assistant Secretary of Transportation under President Reagan – he stood out.

The next time you’re in your doctor’s office, Timothy J. Stapleton, executive vice president of the Florida Medical Association, says to ask why he or she went to medical school. Chances are you’ll get this response: “I wanted to help people.” No matter how long physicians have been practicing medicine, they will tell you that caring for patients is their single greatest reward. The FMA believes it is important to show the compassionate, human side of medicine. That’s why they recently launched our FMA Cares initiative, which acknowledges our physician members’ exceptional service to their local communities.

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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