Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chutzpah: Florida Governor Charlie Crist Vetoes SB6

Florida Governor Charlie Crist has vetoed SB6, a controversial bill that would have linked teacher salaries and recertification to student performance on standardized tests.  Although both Democrats and Republicans opposed the measure, support for the bill was strongest among Republicans.

Crist, a Republican, faces a tough primary challenge from conservative candidate Marco Rubio in the upcoming senate race.  Rubio has run a campaign that links Crist to President Obama, which harms the governor among the conservative base in the Republican Party.

Although Crist trails Rubio substantially in most polls, a new Quinnipiac poll shows that Crist would narrowly win the general election contest if he ran as an Independent. Crist, who has defied conservatives on issues like the stimulus and healthcare reform, has stronger support among Democrats and Independents than Rubio.

My Take: Congratulations, Florida! Crist acted sensibly, and I hope he runs as an Independent. The veto suggests that Crist has in fact decided to abandon the Republican ticket, because his defiance on this issue will likely further erode his support among conservatives.

See also: Will Florida Governor Charlie Crist Veto Controversial Merit Pay Legislation?


FLRN said...

Just like our previous Governor Jeb Bush, Crist has been fairly popular as strong a leader appealing to some from both sides of the aisle here at home. As for the bill he vetoed? One has to only watch the anxiety on the faces of teachers, parents, (this one included) and students at the time of FCAT to know that SB6 was short on support in the absence of sound industry educational input, and has not been a beloved idea.
My 5th grader this week typed a paper, knows his way around a computer, and can write complete paragraphs, all learned in his public school classroom, so the past 10 years of NCLB may have been of some benefit!
Florida voters have a strong history of electing effective transformational leadership regardless of party. One decade goes to the Democrats and the last decade to the Republicans-(D-Graham, D-Mixson, D-Martinez, D-Chiles, D-McKay, R-Bush x 2) perhaps because the state itself is a melting pot as the retirement Mecca of the nation with a rich multicultural citizenship and a strong mix of both urban and rural communities.

Crist - like Florida, is politically different -a bit conservative, a bit liberal and a bit of an independent thinker my money is on him!

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

FLRN: I completely agree. Crist is smart enough to know that Florida is truly a "purple" state with all political types. I too appreciate the fact that he has been all over the place, carefully picking policy to embrace. I can safely say that, given what I know about the candidates, I would likely vote for Crist if I still lived back in the Sunshine State.

GB said...

I think Crist needs to just finally admit that he is a moderate and run as an independent. I don't think the famous photo was just a publicity stunt...the guy likes Obama. There's nothing wrong with that, unless you're attempting to run for Governor of Florida as a Republican. Crist needs to cut his losses in the Republican race thus far and focus on garnering statewide support as a true independent. I think he can do it.

I may be from NY, but I keep my eye on what's going on around the country. Check out my blog Young Politics for more stuff like this.

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