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Today on Context Florida: stupid & evil, environmentalists, judicial campaigns and voter choice

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Today on Context Florida:

Diane Roberts asks which is worse: stupid and evil, or smart and evil. It’s a thought experiment: you can apply it to, say, George W. and Jeb Bush, Rick Scott and Adam Putnam, the Florida House, etc. They don’t deserve to be in the same paragraph as the word “thought,” she says.

As Bruce Ritchie was sitting in the press gallery looking down into the darkened Senate chambers on the last day of the 2015 Legislative Session, he was reminded of how the environment usually seems to lose amid debate and controversy. This month, the distraction du jour seemed to be the impasse within the Legislature over whether to pay for Medicaid expansion in the state budget. However, Ritchie believes some environmentalists think lack of legislation could be a good thing.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a decision in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar, a ruling that Mark Ferrulo says will affect future judicial campaigns across the country. The court upheld a Florida rule that helps keep courts fair and impartial by prohibiting judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

Florida Fair and Open Primaries spokesperson Ray Hudkins asks us to imagine if all Florida voters had a choice in elections. Most lawmakers – and by most, Hudkins means nearly every single one of them – simply do not have to answer to the vast majority of voters in their 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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