Are Florida Tea Party Voters Turning Away From Rick Scott and Jeb Bush?

The mostly conservative Florida opponents of Common Core didn’t like the brush-off they received from Board of Education commissioner Gary Chartrand at last week’s public hearing. Chris Quakenbush, a Florida Patriot member and co-founder of Stop Common Core FL writes:

 About 1 hour 10 minutes in, Mr. Chartrand begins the public comment and alerts us that instead of 3 minutes, he will only allow 2 minutes each and that no clapping would be allowed.

After people began respectful clapping for a speaker at 1 hour 16 minutes, it was my turn to speak. Chartrand interrupts me and again stops the proceedings to admonish the audience. I began by saying, “I object to the reduction of time and the lack of respect for the speakers who have traveled long distances for an opportunity to express their views.” It is then he starts an argument with me, interrupting me again in an intimidating manner. The audience responds as well. He interrupted other speakers as they had difficulty chopping their well-crafted 3 minute speeches to just 2 minutes.

It is a continuation of the arrogance shown by the Florida Department of Education, State Board of Education, the Governor and some members of the state legislature. Those who are against adoption of Common Core have been polite but are being ignored. Many of the groups attending brought the experts to them, yet the FL SBOE said our facts were wrong. We said parents should be in control. They stated the federal government knows best what to do with our kids.

Scathing Purple Musings has documented Chartrand’s conflicts of interests. Looks like arrogance and heavy-handedness can be added as troubling attributes as well.  A political appointee with definitive term, Chartrand answers to no one. But has Chartrand and his board colleagues crossed the Rubicon?

The State Board of Education in a unanimous vote, adopted the Common Core Standards with the minor changes they added many termed this putting “lipstick on a pig.”

Far from being discouraged, the group gathered to talk about their next moves, and resolved never to allow Corporate Cronies who have greased the skids to sell our kids for their quest for money and power. They may have the money, but we have the truth and we will never sell our children out to the progressives who want a compliant citizenry called “Human Capital.”

“Corporate Cronies?”

“…quest for money and power?”

Quakenbush points out that Chartrand, along with Governor Rick Scott and former governor Jeb Bush are becoming isolated:

Twenty-seven County Republican Executive Committees have resolved against Common Core, not to mention the Republican National Committee, and both the Florida and National Federation of Republican Women. It is curious why Rick Scott has chosen not to listen to the conservatives who recognize Common Core is unconstitutional as it is a federal takeover of education supported by President Obama, Secretary Arne Duncan, the Center for American Progress (established and funded by George Soros)and establishment Republicans, like former Governors Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush.

Stop Common Core FL lists the following groups – all historically aligned with republican candidates – as opponents of Common Core:

Pioneer Inst.* Freedom Works * Campaign for Liberty *Advance America * Americans for Prosperity *Indiana Family Institute * Indiana Republican Assembly * Empower Indiana * American Association of Christian Schools * American Principles Project * Cato Institute * Eagle Forum * Heartland Institute * Heritage Foundation * Home School Legal Defense Association * Former Atty. Gen. Ed Meese * Grover Norquist * Pacific Research Institute *Public Policy Institute * Gov. Sarah Palin * Gov.Rick Perry * Phyllis Schlafly * Washington Policy Center * John Locke Foundation * American Values * We The People * The National Federation of Republican Women *Public Interest Institute * Concerned Women for America * Sutherland Institute

Scott still trails Charlie Crist by a Real Clear Politics average of 5.6. The adoption of Common Core by the state BOE, the majority of which Scott handpicked, won’t do anything to improve those numbers. With red states – save Florida – now moving away from Core, Bush isn’t endearing himself with the sort of Tea Party voters he’ll need to win primaries.

At some point, the education agendas of Bush and Scott were going to affect their general election prospects. That time has arrived.


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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2 Responses to Are Florida Tea Party Voters Turning Away From Rick Scott and Jeb Bush?

  1. The thing is we don’t have a competent person running the board and I think I can make a case by looking at some of things he has said and done. He said we needed to stay away from controversial subjects that don’t reflect Florida’s values like homosexuality. He said we need a citrus grower on the state board of education and now we have one Andy Tuck, who has also disavowed evolution and promoted creationism. Under his watch we have had multiple commissioners of education, 4 if we count Stewart twice and the accountability system has been changed so much that nobody believes it has credibility any more. He has said the class size amendment was a waste of money and he initiated Florida’s race based goals and here is a spoiler alert for you, we don’t have very high expectations for our African American students. Then just recently he arbitrarily cut public comments back at a BOE meeting from three minutes to two. Chartrand is a grocer who used his money to get on the board and it is showing

  2. Sometime in the foreseeable future the GOP Establishment is going to find out they have to chose between the Chamber of Commerce and having a base. I suspect it’s going to be a painful lesson..

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