Bradenton Times Staff Report
December 17, 2017
A trio of open goverment groups condemned the Carlos Beruff-chaired Florida Constitution Revision Commission this week for numerous rule violations, along with violating rules by allowing proposals that would clearly benefit the commission members who put them forward.
Leaders of the League of Women Voters Florida, the ACLU of Florida and the Florida First Amendment Foundation wrote a letter to Beruff this week, noting that “Commissioners seem to be working to advance proposals that impact their own interests or those of paying clients.”
The letter lists multiple examples of such potential conflicts and says that basic meeting rules established by the CRC are being ignored routinely. The groups go on to detail a troubling event in which a proposal to ban local school boards from paying their board members failed a vote, only to have a backroom deal orchestrated to effectively rescind the vote and keep it in committee to be attempted again at a later date, in a clear violation of commission rules.
“The message the CRC is sending to the citizens of Florida is coming through loud and clear,” wrote the group. “If rules and procedures and codes of conduct get in the way of proposals that are part of a pre-ordained outcome of this commission – they will be ignored.”