The Dean’s List: A Look at Who Made the Honor Roll in Florida Politics–and Who Didn’t

Those Who Made The Grade

State Senator Travis Hutson. This Palm Coast Republican championed a proposal that would make it harder to amend the Florida Constitution which could end wasting time through the court system. Some groups which can’t get enough signatures to get a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution can sometimes get a hearing in front of the Florida Supreme Court. Hutson’s bill would also stop petitioners who get signatures for an initiative for that election year to use them again for a future election.

State Senator Kelli Stargel. Expanding school choice is almost always a good move–but not when the government wants to come into private schools and demand students’ private information. Stargel, a Polk County Republican, helped defeat a proposal that would have allowed the Florida Department of Education have private schools report information on how many students are enrolled and how many of them participate through vouchers. The defeated proposal would also have required private schools to list which students came from public schools and list the reasons why the changes were made.

Elevate Life Church. While many school districts will be shut down due to the threat of the coronavirus, this Northeast Florida church has collected more than 15,000 pounds of canned and non-perishable food to help out students who won’t be getting school lunches due to the threat of the coronavirus. Lead Pastor Tim Staier said his congregation wanted to help out less fortunate children who normally get food while they’re in school. Getting churches and more of the private sector involved should always be the first response, even in a crisis like the current one.


Those Who Didn’t Make The Grade

Congressman Charlie Crist. Because of the possible economic threat of the coronavirus, this Pinellas County Democrat said he wants certain workers to get a bailout.  If they can’t work because of the coronavirus, Crist said he wants to see service industry “tipped” employees’ compensation at a minimum rate of $15 per hour. “This will reduce confusion and keep service industry employees from having to make the impossible dilemma of going to work sick to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads,” said Crist. The congressman did not explain why he came to $15 an hour. Why not more? Would Crist also support giving a small bailout to tipped employees for cold weather that shuts down outside industries for a day or so?

Clay County Commissioner Gavin Rollins. In the Republican primary to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., Rollins, part of the large GOP primary field, took to Twitter. “Due to the threat of coronavirus, I’m calling on all of my congressional opponents to drop out of the race and declare me the winner. This will prevent the need for public campaign events,” Rollins wrote.  Rollins didn’t follow through with an emoji or anything else to indicate whether he was joking or being serious. At the very least, he could have posted “LOL” at the end to let people he was joking, instead of deleting it like it never happened. Not a good look as Rollins faces a very crowded primary field.

Rewire.News. This liberal news site ran an article on parental consent in Florida entitled  “Why Florida’s Forced Parental Consent Law Will Hit Immigrant Families Hardest.” The piece insisted that Florida’s new parental consent law “would do the most damage to those who are the most disadvantaged,” namely undocumented families, even claiming that the new law would cause illegal minors to be deported. Why? Because the new law would ensure parents would be required to have a government-issued ID. The article also claimed that, under the new law, young women in the Latino community would not seek abortions since they would have to ask an undocumented parent to sign the paperwork. That’s alarmist–and ignores the overwhelming majority of Florida families who legislators are responsible to.


Reach Ed Dean at



Send via Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Text