Five for Florida
On Monday evening, Slade O’Brien, Florida Director for American’s for Prosperity, rolled out the AFP initiative for state government called “Five for Florida” at the Renassance Hotel in Boca Raton.
One of the most ambitious initiatives that I have seen to influence the state Legislature to uphold conservative principles, the program lays out 5 key issues that candidates and incumbents alike can embrace and promote.
Potential legislators are asked to “endorse” the plan, as are local grassroots activists, who are also asked to bring pressure on the candidates to endorse and follow through.
As Slade pointed out, we have a Republican Governor, House and Senate, and will likely have the same after the November election. Why can’t they govern more conservatively? AFP was very critical at the passage of HB7117, which they described as “crony capitalism” as it gave away tax credits to “green energy” companies and lets the state pick the winners and losers. Governor Scott let this become law by default, passing on the opportunity to veto the bill. One of the “Five for Florida” initiatives addresses just this problem by eliminating targeted tax credits altogether. It should be said that every one of the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation voted for this bill, with the brave exception of Senator Joe Negron (old S28).
In a year without a Presidential election, this would be a plan worthy of grassroots effort, and it will take a significant amount of groundwork to influence the candidates to get involved, given the establishment pressures from recipients of corporate welfare to ignore it. My fear is that with so many other issues and candidates to support through the August primaries and November election, it will be hard to find the time and resources it would require. You be the judge.
The plan can be viewed in its entirety at fiveforflorida.com, but the 5 key issues are listed here:
- Reform Taxes and end Corporate Welfare
Eliminate the corporate income tax and all targeted tax credits and exemptions. Get Government out of the business of picking winners and losers in the marketplace.
- Don’t Make Financial Promises Taxpayers can’t Keep
Stop supporting financially unsustainable programs like the FRS pension program – require all new government employees to be placed in 401K style retirement programs instead.
- Be Stewards of Good, Transparent Government
Let sun shine on state spending – make all state contracts public, allowing for transparency and accountability for billions of taxpayer dollars.
- Empower Kids with the Best Education
Expand school choice options by enacting “parent trigger” legislation, creating a statewide Virtual School Charter, requiring funding parity for Charter Schools and expanding successful programs like Step-Up for Students.
- Free Entrepreneurs to Pursue the American Dream
Eliminate unnecessary regulations and licensing & make permitting transparent and streamlined.
If a few local candidates for state office come forward to endorse Five for Florida, we will start displaying the program logo:
on the voters guide pages.
Let us know what you think.