Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12: Can't Anyone Here Run This State? Maybe its students

By Sylvia Gurinsky

A disheartening session of the Florida Legislature - probably the worst in recent memory, and that's saying something - is followed by the unsurprising news of Gov. Charlie Crist running for Mel Martinez' U.S. Senate seat.

If Crist really wasn't inclined to pay attention to overseeing Florida before, now he really won't. Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, whose ethics problems keep mounting, is no alternative.

All this means Florida will essentially continue its leadership vacuum until January, 2011 - if the state is lucky.

Last week, Howard Troxler of the St. Petersburg Times wrote a great column about ways to reform the legislature:


Actually, take any responsibility for redistricting away from lawmakers - the farther away, the better. But the other three recommendations are good ones.

And one more not given by Troxler: A pick-up on former Sen. Bob Graham's campaign to increase the amount of civics taught to students across Florida.

That campaign should actually become a part of the 2010 political campaign. Graham, who served with distinction from 1987-2004 in the Senate seat Crist now seeks, can certainly apply the heat to everyone running for something in Florida next year.

They all have to prove they can run the whole state, their part of it or the policy that guides it. Making sure Florida's leaders of the future know how to do so is a good way to start.

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