by Mary Lou Ambrose, submitted to the Tampa Bay Times:
I was surprised to see a positive heading for the article written by Richard Corcoran, the Speaker of the Florida House. Generally everything Corcoran says and does is geared to instigating fear of immigrants, insulting teachers, and cutting programs which help our schools, our workers, our teachers, the poor, the disabled and the young. One of the most insidious ways to lie is to bury the lie in a nugget of truth. Here Corcoran takes advantage of that fact and praises the Amendments to be put on the ballot as good for Florida. In fact, some of the Amendments are positive – not as good as he says they are, but positive. However, there are a lot of bad amendments which usurp the powers of local governments, destroy public education, ignore the erosion of our environment, bypass the disintegration of our roads and bridges, and choose benefits for the wealthy over the needs of the poor and the middle class. What Corcoran does not say is that, in order to trick the voters (whom he clearly sees as not very bright and easy to trick,) the Constitution Revision Committee has taken the “good” and buried the “bad” in the same Amendment. Every Amendment is subject to this trickery. If, as you mark your ballot, you like the first part of an Amendment, beware. The second part will take away some good or some benefit for Floridians.
Florida voters must be aware that they are being tricked. We have between now and November to read, study, and understand the Constitutional Revisions that we will vote for or against. Study up on the Amendments and understand the repercussions of what they will accomplish or destroy. Remember that once an Amendment becomes part of the Florida Constitution, it is extremely difficult to remove. Let Corcoran and his cronies know that Florida Voters are not dumb and easily tricked. Say “no” to any Amendment that attempts to mix two or three different ideas, some of which you realize will hurt Florida. Then vote for Senators and Representatives who understand and will work for the people of Florida. Meet the candidates and ask questions. The future of Florida is at stake and only educated voters can make the correct decisions.