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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

A lot of big-name Florida Democrats tied to school adequacy lawsuit



The plaintiffs and lawyers in the high-quality-schools lawsuit say their effort is non-partisan, but there are a lot of big-name Democrats with close ties to it.

Co-counsel Jon Mills is a former Democratic House speaker, and some of the other lawyers on board work for Southern Legal Counsel, a public interest law firm in Gainesville. Its current board of directors includes former Florida Gov. Buddy McKay. Its past directors include former Gov. Leroy Collins and former state Rep. (and former FSU president) Sandy D'Alemberte.

Another group that has jumped into the fray in a supporting role is CIVIC Concern, a non-partisan outfit whose board of advisors includes Mills; Tampa businessman Frank Sanchez, who is awaiting appointment to a Department of Commerce position in the Obama administration; and Wayne Hogan, the Jacksonville lawyer who Politics magazine says is one of the 10 most influential Democrats in Florida.

There are plenty of other names on the boards of these organizations, so if anybody sees any Republicans among them, by all means let us know.

That's not to say that there aren't some non-Dems involved. As the St. Petersburg Times has noted, the plaintiffs' lawyers include E. Thom Rumberger - a moderate, independent-minded Republican who has a reputation as an environmentalist. The three co-founders of Fund Education Now, the Orlando-based group that is one of the plaintiffs, say there is one Democrat, one Republican and one independent between them.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:43am]


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