BrowardBeat.com by Buddy Nevins
NOTE: Evan Jenne and Jared Moskowitz switched their votes to NO after the vote was tallied.
Bobby DuBose, Katie Edwards, Evan Jenne, Shevrin Jones, Jared Moskowitz and Patricia Williams – all from Broward – are state representatives of The People.
Apparently that label has a great big footnote.
They are representatives of The People only if The People don’t get too pushy and want to know what is happening with their government.
These six House members – all Democrats — voted this week to whittle away parts of the Sunshine Law.
They voted for HB 843, which would have allowed two government officials to meet and discuss public business in private.
Such discussions are currently only allowed at public meetings.
Luckily the bill failed, but not before these Broward politicians voted what is apparently their true belief: The public can’t be trusted to know about public business.
Electeds have been trying to gut the Government-in-the-Sunshine Law since it was first enacted in the late 1960s. Dozens of exemptions have passed. Yet few were as bold HB 843, which would have had far reaching negative effects on government transparency.
That six Broward House Democrats supported such an undemocratic bill is shocking.
The Florida Democratic Party website states:
“Democrats believe that changing politics in Tallahassee means ensuring that government is open, transparent, and responsive to the people. Democrats are committed to enacting sweeping ethics reform to limit the influence of special interests and lobbyists and ensure that government is accountable to the people — and only to the people.
“These days, it seems that special interests get all the attention of our state leaders, from favors dispensed in closed-door meetings to million-dollar taxpayer giveaways, while regular Floridians get shut out of the political process. Real accountability means abandoning the poll-tested gimmicks of the past, which have served as a smokescreen for politicians to keep on practicing business as usual.”
How could any righteous Democratic office holder vote for less transparency and more business behind closed doors?
Obviously DuBose, Edwards, Jenne, Jones, Moskowitz and Williams didn’t get the message.
Proving their membership in the Phonies-of-the-Year Club, Jenne and Moskowitz switched their vote after the final tally was counted. By then the measure had already gone down to defeat.
State Rep. Joseph Geller, a Democrat who represents southeast Broward, got it right when he told the Miami Herald about the bill’s defeat,“This is a tremendous victory for the public. Not every day we’re up here is it the public that wins, but on this occasion, the public won.”
Rep. Kristin Jacobs, D-Coconut Creek and a former Broward County commissioner of 16 years, also understands the importance of public participation in government.
“The public’s input matters and has the ability to change or alter the outcome of any item on their agenda,” Jacobs was quoted in the Herald.
DuBose, Edwards, Jenne, Jones, Moskowitz and Williams?
They call themselves state representatives upholding Democratic Party principals, but there is another more appropriate name for them:
Hypocrites. [READ MORE]