FlaglerLive.com came across a startling radio interview this morning by Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, and thank goodness. It deserves attention.
1. Renner isn’t just some powerless state representative who has to obey leadership. He is leadership, or at least, he’s set to be in 2022 when he’s slated to become House Speaker, and that kind of makes him leadership now.
2. He said some pretty radical stuff that sounds brazenly anti-Democratic.
3. If you live in a city, and chances are, you do, Renner thinks you shouldn’t be governed by the mayors and city councils you vote for. Not if, that is, they are Democrats.
4. Really? In his own words: “What you’re seeing, and this is part of a larger conversation we could have, is the concentration of support for a more center-left or left-wing viewpoint, and this is again not Flagler County, but our major cities, San Francisco, New York. The Democrat(ic) Party has really become a party of dense urban areas and the rest of the country tends to be more conservative, more Republican. So part of the fight, part of the sub-context of this whole discussion, is that the reason we think (cities) are going rogue is because it’s Bernie Sanders in charge of your local city government or county government in some cases, and doing things that really are sharp departures from the way the country has become so prosperous, so strong and so free.”
5. Got that? So if a city, like say Tampa or St. Petersburg, might have a Democratic mayor or council, by Renner’s estimation, they may very well have gone “rogue” and departed from the way the rest of the country is governed.
6. Renner’s solution? In his own words: “So states are stepping in to say, ‘Look, we’re not going to let you destroy all the good work that we’re doing and all the economic growth we’re creating here in the state for people by trying to ban or shut down particular industries that you don’t like.’”
7. One way Renner said the state can step in: Take away funding from sanctuary cities.
8. At one point, Renner was essentially asked, if people don’t like laws on the local level, shouldn’t we trust the process and let them elect people at the local level to change them?
9. Here’s Renner’s response...see if you can make sense of it.
10. “That’s the same argument you could make for not having term limits. And I happen to favor term limits simply because people are busy and as much as I’m fully invested in learning about all the things that state government does, I haven’t begun to become an expert in every aspect of what the state does and what they fund, much less having any idea what the federal government or what the local governments are up to while I’m busy trying to do my job at the state level. And so there is that limitation of time which is why we have found it best to have term limits because some of the problems that arose and why I think in this case it is perhaps more than people have time to deal with, to look at an issue like that and say, ‘I’m going to vote out this city councilman or county commissioner. You’re right, in theory, if you don’t like the tax increases you’re having at the local level, you can vote out your county commissioner or your city councilman.”
12. Renner isn’t a backbencher. He is in line to become one of the most powerful people in Florida.