They tried this last year, too. But this time, Jeb Bush’s top
lobbyist lieutenant Patricia Levesque will be bringing in an equally loathsome group for a sham press conference. From Florida Watchdog reporter William Patrick in Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future website:
Florida Watchdog contacted Nikki Lowery of Students First Florida for comment but received a form letter from Rhee. Lowery will attend an event in Tallahassee on Tuesday to call attention to the Parent Trigger legislation, along with Levesque and Patrick DeTemple of Parent Revolution.
Patrick is either a hack or just single sourced his article. In only recognizing the FEA as the predictable boogeyman opposing Parent Trigger, Patrick fails miserably in telling the whole story. It was a group of real Florida moms who did the heavy lifting on defeating the bill last year.
Along with those same parent groups – the Florida PTA, Fund Education Now, Parents Across America of Florida and 50th No More to name just a few – two civil rights groups in the LULAC Florida and the Florida Conference of the NAACP issued a joint statement of opposition in a letter to Governor Rick Scott earlier this month.
Parent Revolution will naturally spin their version of events in Adelanto, California where they successfully turned a public school into a charter school. I wonder if they will be asked about all the parents they scammed and wanted their signatures removed when it became clear PR wanted a charter school. All that was conveniently addressed in this year’s bill as parent’s can’t remove their name from the petition, the district can verify the signatures and parents can sign more than one petition.
And I wonder if Students First’s Lowery, a one-time staffer for the-Governor Bush, will just resubmit the 1000 signatures her predecessor Catherine Robinson said she had last year. House sponsor Carlos Trujillo said last week he has 800 signatures of support for Parent Trigger. Maybe they are coming from Students First. Robinson was outed for attempting an astroturf campaign for Parent Trigger last year. And, boy, was she some kind of mad.
Even Levesque has her own signature snafu after she signed her own foundation’s petition twice. After Scathing Purple Musings pointed this out, one of Levesque’s signatures disappeared. That petition is up to a whopping 92 which includes Robinson, several Bush foundation staffers and a boat load of folks named Anonymous.
The votes are there to pass Parent Trigger in the House. There should be in the Senate, too, but the hesitancy to start it through committees may be signaling something else. Rick Scott wanted it last year, but his silent ambivalence signals something else. It’s hard not to speculate that Scott would prefer not seeing Parent Trigger on his desk this year.
So is this repeat of last year’s dog and pony show a sign of desperation? Or is it just a lame PR stunt to give political cover to legislators who’ve been getting their brains beat out during committee debate? At some point, you can no longer rely on a bunch of paid lobbyists, hacks and operatives to sign in to testify and then waive in support.
(Tuesday, 10 a.m., Florida Press Center, 336 E. College Ave.,Tallahassee.)