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News Section: Opinion

Guest Op/Ed: Voters Have Spoken for Bipartisanship and Cooperation

Published Saturday, November 24, 2012 12:04 am

Now that the campaign season has ended, it is with a great sense of hopefulness that I, along with other members of the Florida House Democratic Caucus, prepare for the start of a new legislative session in which a new era of bipartisanship and cooperation will be on display.

I am extremely proud of the work of our political party, our candidates and the many voters who indicated they share our point of view about how to address Florida’s needs and priorities. By the voters’ actions, the Florida House Democratic Caucus grows to 44 members strong. And while our caucus is not large enough to be in the majority or be able to control all that happens in Tallahassee, I trust that we have the influence to have our concerns heard and addressed.

As Democrats, we are the party of diversity and I am pleased that the membership of the Florida House Democratic Caucus truly reflects Florida’s great diversity and strengths. I am also comforted by the fact that our relationships with other members in the Legislature are strong. I enjoy a close friendship with my Democratic counterpart in the Florida Senate, State Senator Chris Smith, and I know that he’ll be a fantastic leader. And like other members of our Democratic Caucus, I have warm regards and much confidence in Representative Will Weatherford, the Republican Caucus speaker-designate. He and I have already had many conversations about the future of Florida, and I enjoy a close working relationship with my Republican counterpart.

The election is over, and we have enormous challenges ahead of us. Now, it is incumbent on each of us who serves in the Legislature to get to work, and not to wait. This, I believe, is a message sent to us by the voters. They have said they are tired of bitterness in politics and they don’t like partisan gridlock.

Important business awaits us. Job creation, education, health care, elections and ethics reform are only a few of the many important subjects that will be addressed in the next legislative session. I believe that we want a positive agenda that takes Florida forward, and I can assure you that Florida House Democratic Caucus members will support legislation that does more than just advocate for conservatives and liberals. Rather, we aim to promote good for all Floridians for a long time to come.

Rep. Perry Thurston
Florida House Democratic Leader-designate

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Rep. Thurston, are you concilliatory or are you complaining? You state that now with 44 members "that we have the influence to have our concerns heard and addressed". By this statement you are accusing your other house members of not having done so in the past. This is what is wrong with government, the jockeying for power and upmanship instead of what will continue to provide the infrastructure for the citizens of Florida to prosper. Your statement that we need ethics reform is another underhanded cut to the majority. Please inform us, the public, what eithical violations have occurred that were not governed under current rules and law of eithics. Communication is an art. Perhaps you misstated your message?
Posted by Linda Neely on November 25, 2012

Hopefully in 2 years the situation will get better when Rick Scott is defeated & both parties will have a more equal say in Tallahassee.One party control never worked & only breeds corruption.I usually vote for the best in both parties but this year the choices of republicans have been dismal.Maybe this year the political climate will be better for compromise & fairness in Florida.
Posted by William E.Moore on November 25, 2012

Thank you, Rep Thurston, for a long-winded message devoid of any meaningful content.
What we, the voters, want is for our elected leaders to support policies that will enhance the ability of each individual to make the important decisions affecting his or her life without negative interference from outside sources. We do not want government making our decisions for us. We do not want government to support other individuals, groups or even government over us as individuals.
Not all of us will wind up on the top of the totem pole. That is reality. Some will even fall through the cracks, giving the rest of us the opportunity to ?help our neighbor as we would want to be helped.? That also is reality.
Don't contrive ways to steal opportunities from us just because you think you have a better idea. With all the ?good ideas? that have emanated from from our ?reps? recently, we can do better on our own, thank you.
Yes, work with your counterparts, but stay out of our way.
Posted by Henry Sheldon on November 24, 2012

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