Amendment 1 was a slap in the face of GOP legislators who keep destroying our land. It requires that a percentage of real estate taxes go to buying land to protect our water and environment, instead of the GOP's slush funds.
Despite the loss of Amendment 2, which would have allowed doctors to prescribe medical cannabis, (although they can still prescribe OPIUM--which makes no damn sense), it received 58% of the vote! A few years ago that would have been a victory, but the GOP pushed for an amendment a few years ago to require 60% passage. (Ironically, that was the only amendment that year not to make the 60% threshold). Even in a red anger election, Amendment 2 was only two points shy of passage! They will hopefully try again in 2016 with the blue wave. Don't worry--it's coming.
Amendment 3, which was a power grab by Rick Scott, lost handily.
Meanwhile, across the nation minimum wage laws won everywhere, including the four red states of Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Paid sick leave was granted (everywhere but in Orange County). Voters in Colorado and North Dakota rejected the "personhood" amendment, which has now lost in every single state they tried. The biggest loser of the night? THE NRA! Gun control measures won everywhere, including Washington State where people are now required to undergo criminal background checks before buying guns online. (How radical.) And Oregon and DC legalized marijuana. (We just said at least for people suffering and dying). Which reminds me....
2. Florida Democrats can push much of their agenda through FL Constitutional amendments
The majority of the state wants a clean environment, teacher protection, sensible gun laws, worker's rights, and a higher minimum wage. All of these CAN be on the ballot in 2016.
Maybe, JUST MAYBE, the Florida Dems will finally figure out that they can get a lot of what they want through these amendments since most Floridians support them. We have a real shot at this, compared to zero chance of trying to reason with the GOP gerrymandered nutcases in the legislature. Yes, there are some GOP PACs and interest groups that might fight, but they typically bankroll candidates and don't spend money on amendments. Case in point, in 2010 Floridians received a lot of protection from extreme gerrymandering in 2010 because of two amendments that passed. The GOP claimed they only passed because everyone was pouring money into the state races. Also, Amendment 1 passed this year because no one wanted to spend big bucks this year saying they hated the environment.
3. Rick Scott and arrogant GOP will overreach, insult, and destroy. That will build the anger in 2016 as it did in 2012.
This happens every damn year after the midterms. These awful teabag guvs do their worst work during that time period. As usual, people who stayed home in the midterms will then come out in droves to support the Dems. In 2011, that is when Scott was at his peak of horror: voter suppression, HS rail kill, the emergency cuts for the disabled kids, cuts for rape centers and Veterans, massive education cuts, the scheme to turn all of our parks into golf courses, his veto of driver's licenses for immigrants along with his hateful harassment measures, etc. etc.
He is now no longer restrained by anything because this was his last election. He has no more reason to pander to the Latino and other minority groups after his extreme makeover this year. He can be his true bigoted self. Speaking of which...
4. This will tick your GOP buddies off: Rick Scott only won by backpedaling hard this year pretending to be more liberal
After cutting education by 1.3 billion in 2011, he gave a lot of it back after suddenly realizing that wasn't a great move for an upcoming election. He suddenly reversed position on every anti-Latino measure he favored: he undid his vetoes of 2011 along with dropping any support of any AZ-type bill. He let a young girl suffering from a horrible seizures get some relief from cannabis oil. He rolled back some of the more extreme voter suppression efforts after the 2012 disaster here. Also, for the first time in 15 years, this year went by with no new gun bill.
Those of us who paid attention knew exactly what Scott was up to. But it says something that both he and Charlie both thought the key to winning was moving to the Left.
Florida will no doubt be a battleground in 2016, and the GOP will PUSH HARD for him to keep this up, or at least remain less teabag crazy. Scott, however, has absolutely no incentive to do so. He made a lot of promises that will contrast to how he will inevitably act by 2016, thus helping ensure a blue state for Hillary.
5. I will have plenty to write about
Seriously, I wondered how I would do it with a sensible governor.
6. Rick Scott legally can't be our governor after 2018
No matter what, in 2018 Rick Scott will disappear. Believe it or not, the state and national GOP will actually be relieved. Despite years they put in cultivating a political process in this state that leans heavily towards the GOP candidate, and despite the 75% turnout of angry non-minorities in midterms, they had to spend MILLIONS and MILLIONS and MILLIONS to prop up Scott because he was that bad. The GOP, along with the Kochs and special interests, would much rather have spent that money elsewhere. However, turning a dog from a 10+ deficit is no cheap task. If they put up somebody who was even remotely sensible, they could have spent a lot less.
The bad news is that Pam Bondi might be our governor after Rick Scott leaves. If the FL Dems wiseup as I mentioned above, and we start early, and maybe for ONCE not put a GOP-lite candidate as our only selection--we might pull this off next time.
7. Good night for Congressional Dems: Balance kept with one surprising pickup
Well done, Gwen. Gwen Graham ran in the conservative panhandle and STILL beat incumbent Steve Southerland. She made up for the one loss in a conservative district in South Florida. Also, Patrick Murphy, who defeated Allen West just two years ago, kicked butt again. And then there's Alan Grayson, who really should be our nominee in 2018. Speaking of which...
8. Alan Grayson showed how it's done.
He didn't back off and decide the key to winning was run scared and bash Obama. No, he touted the Obama successes--cheap gas, low unemployment, record dow, and the fact that Floridians have healthcare despite GOP obstruction.
Alan Grayson really should be our nominee in 2018. He fires up the base, says what everyone is thinking, hits hard, and uses GOP tactics against them. Also, he damn sure can't be labeled an "extremist" --since that is who is running Florida right now.
FL Dems... maybe put up somebody who isn't GOP lite? Alex and Charlie didn't cut it. Alan would eviscerate Bondi in both ads and debates. I really think he would pull it off but even if he didn't, everyone if Florida would know her shenanigans.
9. Florida activists might finally channel their anger where it belongs
Gerrymandering and dark money helped the GOP, but the neither can be blamed on the state elections. Yes, voting was made harder, but people had ample opportunity to vote.
Although the GOP has an overwhelming money and power structure advantage, one of the biggest reasons we failed was our apathetic and pathetic state party. I go into more detail about this in my last post. Most candidates can't count on any kind of support from their own party. Myself and other activists had to put together our OWN event to raise funds for local Congressional candidates: they wouldn't even loan us freaking chairs! I called a dozen local chapters and none of them ever got back with me on coordinating something. My own local party had NO GOTV effort. People here complained they couldn't even get stupid signs for their lawn. What the hell is the point?
The fringe activists took over many of the local GOP parties in 2010, and others just set up their own tea party organizations. Dem activists who are both hungry and NOT stupid need to start taking control. Waiting for the FL Dems to clean up their act is a guaranteed strategy for losing every time.
10, The city of Tallahassee, where the corrupt legislators "work", just passed the first anti-corruption bill in the United States
Tallahassee residents showed the FL GOP what's what with this groundbreaking stuff that even the Koch machine was unable to defeat. The momentum for this great success should be carried on in a Constitutional Amendment for the entire state in 2016. I would LOVE the presidential candidate (likely Scott Walker) to explain why he opposes this. The momentum for intelligent but obvious no-brainers like this law is on our side, and we should take advantage now.
OH, and one more thing....If all else fails, maybe South Florida will finally be serious about succession. No less extreme than having Rick Scott for another four years.