Florida politics is different than any other state. It has its own unusual twists. It does not matter what the party affiliation is. Traditionally, Florida has had some very conservative Democrats.
Unfortunately, almost all the Republican governors have been fraught with controversy and scandal. The only Republican governor who did not, died in office shortly after being elected.
So that is one reason I supported Alex Sink for governor. She is actually very conservative.
Some may think that I have a narrow view, or that I am geared towards certain issues. Big deal. I support those governors who will most likely keep our parks and historic sites open. If you forget your history, you are doomed to repeat the mistakes made in the past. And our parks and historic sites are our heritage. Once they are gone, there is no getting them back.
My opinion of the newly elected governor, is that he is the type who will want to close down our parks and museums. I expect him to be disastrous towards our state government.
Here are the republican governors, and why there turned out so bad:
Below: Governor Reed.
Harrison Reed, 1868-1873. Failed at every business he tried until he was appointed by President Lincoln to be tax collector in Union occupied Florida on seized Confederate property. That should tell you enough to know that he was a slimy beauracrat. Two attempts to impeach him as governor failed, which he avoided by appointing a new state attorney general.
Below: Governor Hart.
Ossian Hart, 1873-1874. Seminole War veteran. He died of pneumonia after only 14 months in office. He appointed Jonathan Gibbs, the state’s first black Superintendent of Public Institution. Other than that, we don’t have much on him as governor due to his short tenure. The only Republican governor who did not have a controversial administration.
Below: Governor Stearns.
Marcellus L. Stearns, 1874-1877. After him, it would be another 90 years before there was another Republican as governor. Apparently Florida had enough. Lost his arm while a soldier in the Union Army. Tried unsuccessfully to removed the very popular Jonathan Gibbs from office, whom his predecessor had appointed. A true carpet bagger who left the state after his term thankfully ended.
Below: Governor Claude Kirk Jr. (seated.)
Claude Kirk Jr., 1967-1971. Very controversial governor who was always at odds with other legislators in Tallahassee. Campaigned on the platform to execute those on death row if he was elected governor, but never signed the death warrant for any of them once he was in office. Opposed segregation. Saw a photo of a Florida woman morning over a body at the Kent State shootings, and caller here a communist.
Below: Governor Bob Martinez
Bob Martinez, 1987-1991. Known for his rudeness and general meanness, nastiness. Good on his environmental record and the development of a commercial space program, but bad in other ways. One of the most unpopular governors. Was forced to repeal a service tax he tried to impose. Arrested rap stars and record store owners on obscenity laws.
Below: Governor Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush, 1999-2007. Was big on out-sourcing in the state government, which cost the state millions of dollars. So what the state once did in-house for thousands of dollars, was outsourced to companies that ended up costing millions. Forced state agencies to purchase products and services from approved vendors at a higher cost. Some who were owned by personal friends of the governor. Forced public schools to implement the FCAT test, which has since proven to have more negative effects than positive. Attempted to close down the century old state archives and state library, and place the collection under a private university which would not have easy access for the public. His term had no shortage of controversy.
Below: Governor Crist
Charlie Crist, 2007-2011. Known for switching parties and allegiences to get what he wanted. When Senator Mel Martinez resigned, Christ appointed an unknown who never held public office to seemingly help him get a boost for that seat from himself in the next election. This back fired when he did not get the Republican nomination, so he ran as an indenedent. Fortunately, Floridians had enough of his flip-flops by that time.
So what will the next governor bring us? (Photo of him below.)
On November 12th, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Interesting reading. However, you could just as easily make a list of Florida's Democrat governors and all that was bad about them. What about the Democrat Sidney Catts who won his seat by race-baiting and railing against Catholicism? Then again, I am sure he did some good things. I am also sure that all of the men you list above did some good things. Bottom line is a politician is a politician, in my opinion. Furthermore, the Republican and Democratic parties of today are significantly different from yesterday's parties.
Also, you imply (maybe unintentionally) that Bob Martinez would not support the preservation of history, but you should know that he was a key supporter of the establishment of the new Tampa Bay History Center (granted, after he was Governor).
Sidney J. Catts was a former democrat, but as governor he was with the Prohibition party. He was an odd character.
Martinez was from Tampa, so no surprise there, but I remember when he was governor and the state parks did not fare well during his tenure.
So I still stand on my argument that Republican governors have been bad for the state parks, bad for museums, bad for history, and don't like to spend money when it comes to our cultural resources. Except where it advances their own status and agenda.
For those of you who are new to all of this, let me clarify since some of you don't get it. I envision this new governor as closing down our parks and museums. I hope I am wrong, but show me why it would be otherwise. This is not a guy who has shown any inclination that he would support our cultural resources.
With respect, you didn't present any evidence that supported your argument that Republicans are bad for state parks and museums, except for maybe your mention of Bush wanting to close the state library and archives. They didn't even have state parks when some of these guys were governor.
I think you could be correct that Rick Scott might be bad for state parks and museums, but your argument didn't convince me is all I am saying.