Monday, January 28, 2008


The political blogosphere is so huge & vibrant that I don't usually care to get much involved, unlike my colleagues over at Incertus. But a brief appeal to "local" – read Florida – readers: get out tomorrow & vote. If you're a Republican, of course you'll be out there. But even registered Democrats & left-leaning Independents ought to be at the polling stations.

It's true that the national Democratic Party is still asserting that Florida delegates won't count at the national convention, since the (Republican-controlled) state legislature moved the state's primary up without party permission. So a vote for Obama or Clinton or Edwards might or might not end up "counting" (whether a vote in Florida ends up counting anyway is an open question, at least since 2000.)

But a proximately more important item on the ballot is Constitutional Amendment 1, a beginning at property tax reform. Now it's true that the revenue situation in Florida is deeply screwed up, & property owners & potential buyers bear a disproportionate tax burden. But this amendment is nothing more than a political band-aid whose immediate effects will be to worsen the never-ending fiscal crisis in the state's public sector – most notably, in public education and in public higher education (chronically underfunded, & spectacularly hamstrung by legislative micromanagement). For a stark, if somewhat overwrought, assessment of the whole business, see this editorial from Erin Belieu, a poet and member of the English faculty at Florida State. (Believe me, things are worse at Our Fair University.)

So get out & vote: whether or not you bother to pick a presidential candidate, vote "no" on Amendment 1.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Thanks for that link -- it's an interesting column.

The comments on it were, um, interesting. People who work outside of the public university system really think that we make a lot more money than we do. (I'm thinking particularly of the comment about the author being in the top ten percent of the US in terms of wages and compensation).