The League of Women Voters of Florida – and I – recommend a NO vote on all eleven constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the Florida Legislature. You can read the League’s rationale at www.thefloridavoter.org, where you can also download the League’s 2012 Voter Guide for nonpartisan information on statewide candidates and Supreme Court Justices.
To hear both sides of each issue from an extremely qualified group of speakers, attend the Amendments Forum on Oct. 16 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the NABOR Community Center, 1455 Pine Ridge Road (just east of Goodlette-Frank Road). Some “heavy hitters” are lined up as panelists (see the guest commentary by Lydia Galton and Dave Trecker, founding members and officers of the Collier Community Alliance):
- Former state representative Dudley Goodlette will describe how the amendments come about.
- Florida ACLU head Howard Simon and Ave Maria president Jim Towey will debate the merits of Amendment 8, which would make public money available for religious institutions, including schools.
- Carolyn Johnson, statewide manager of Vote Yes for No. 4, and Andrew Dickman, a Naples land-use attorney, will present the pros and cons of Amendment 4, which would cut property taxes, helping homeowners and realtors but stripping tax revenues from local government.
- Char Wendel, head of Planned Parenthood, will debate Dr. Jaine Carter, a behavioral expert and author, on Amendment 6, which would prohibit state funding of abortions.
- Ken Ginsberg of Hodges University and Chuck Mohlke, Democratic Party majordomo, will discuss the pros and cons of Amendment 3, which would set a limit on state revenues.
- Jeff Fridkin, a prominent litigation attorney, will discuss Amendment 5, which would allow the Legislature to overturn Florida Supreme Court rulings by a simple majority vote of both houses.
- Patrick Neale, a Naples land-use attorney, will discuss Amendments 2, 9, 10 and 11, all involving property tax changes.
- Jeff Lytle, Daily News editorial page editor, will serve as moderator.
It promises to be an informative evening of political theater!