Friday, April 20, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Council of 100 should not have snubbed Charlie Crist

The Florida Council of 100 claims to be nonpartisan and devoted to public policy. It failed to meet those standards by welcoming Gov. Rick Scott to speak and rescinding its invitation to former Gov. Charlie Crist. The influential business leaders acted more like a political committee than a broad-based organization with the state's best interest at heart.

The incumbent Republican governor spoke to the Council of 100 Thursday at an Orlando hotel, promoting job creation and tax breaks. Crist, the Republican-turned-Democrat expected to face Scott in November, also was invited to speak. He was told earlier this week the invitation was rescinded. The decision involved Council of 100 chair Steven Halverson of Jacksonville, who just happens to have contributed $25,000 to Scott's political committee.

Crist was the only Democratic candidate on a two-day program that in addition to Scott includes Republicans such as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the lieutenant governor and the incoming state Senate president. That is a lot of preaching to the choir for a group whose board of directors includes several prominent Republican fundraisers and advisers. (Tampa Bay Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash is a member of the Council of 100. He said he was not consulted about the decision to disinvite Crist and takes "strong exception" to it.)

The business executives missed a substantive speech by Crist, who left their meeting shortly after Scott's speech. Crist's prepared remarks include his plans to improve public education, offer incentives for graduate school students in key areas, expand foreign trade and embrace mass transit. He appears more open-minded for being willing to speak than the business leaders who refused to listen.

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Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castro’s handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

The Hillsborough school district planted a fruitful seed with the opening of Nature’s Classroom five decades ago on the cypress-lined banks of the Hillsborough River northeast of Tampa. • The lessons taught there to some 17,000 sixth graders each yea...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: Equality pays off on Southwest Flight 1380

The passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 can be thankful that, 33 years ago, the U.S. Navy took the lead on equal opportunity.Capt. Tammie Jo Shults was piloting the flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday when an engine exploded, blowing out a wind...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Anyone looking to make Hillsborough County government bigger, costlier, more dysfunctional and less of a regional force should love the idea that Commissioner Sandy Murman rolled out this week. She proposes enlarging the seven-member board to nine, e...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

A new foster care provider in Hillsborough County is poised to take over operations in May, only months after its predecessor was fired for what was alleged to be a pattern of failing to supervise at-risk children in its care. Many of the case manage...
Published: 04/18/18

Another voice: Back to postal reform

President Donald Trump is angry at Amazon for, in his tweeted words, "costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy." Yet in more recent days, Trump has at least channeled his feelings in what could prove...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

A bipartisan Senate bill clarifying that only the attorney general or a high-ranking designee could remove a special prosecutor would send an important message amid President Donald Trump’s attacks on the investigation into Russia’s inter...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18
Editorial: Don’t fall for Constitution Revision Commission’s tricks

Editorial: Don’t fall for Constitution Revision Commission’s tricks

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission has wasted months as a politically motivated scam masquerading as a high-minded effort to ask voters to improve the state’s fundamental document. The commission on Monday added amendments to the Nove...
Published: 04/16/18
Editorial: Redner’s court win on medical marijuana sends message

Editorial: Redner’s court win on medical marijuana sends message

Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there is a price for that obstruction, finding t...
Published: 04/15/18
Updated: 04/16/18