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Florida Nurses Association Endorses Gelber for Attorney General
Sep 25, 2010
Republican Senator Villalobos Endorses Gelber for Attorney General
Sep 24, 2010
Florida Professional Firefighters Endorse Gelber for Attorney General
Sep 21, 2010
Florida Alliance for Retired Americans Endorses Gelber for Attorney General
Sep 20, 2010
Florida PBA Endorses Gelber for Attorney General
Sep 10, 2010
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Thanks Doesn't Seem Sufficient
Nov 4, 2010
ICYMI: Karl Rove's RSLC Attempts to Hijack Elections from Voters
Oct 26, 2010
Release: New Ad Highlights Consensus from Florida Newspapers: Gelber is Clearly Better Qualified
Oct 25, 2010
Release: Bondi Turns to National Special Interests to Fuel Her Campaign
Oct 25, 2010
Statement: Gelber Comments on Sentencing of Sarasota Ponzi Schemer Arthur Nadel
Oct 22, 2010
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Legislature's redistricting handiwork destined for courts
Jan 16, 2012
Bill Nelson's Survival Strategy
Jan 11, 2012
Dan Gelber on exceptionalism and the old Marco Rubio
Sep 6, 2011
Who will take on Rick Scott? Charlie Crist? Alex Sink? Jeremy Ring? Rod Smith? Dan Gelber?
Jun 14, 2011
Gelber pining for Jeb Bush
May 31, 2011
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Our Opinion: More sunshine
Sep 14, 2009
Trust in government appears to be at an all-time low, and as one reader asked in the morning e-mail, why shouldn't ordinary citizens "react like cornered animals" at public forums and town hall meetings?
From Washington, where the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission incompetently overlooked the Madoff Ponzi scheme, to here in Florida where the speaker of the House steps down amid a scandal of misconduct, perjury and self-interested spending of the public's money and Public Service Commission staffers appear to be "in the BlackBerry bed" with utilities, there's cause for despair.
Though 44 ballot initiatives are circling the state just now, trying to amend the state constitution in 2010, some are actually worth serious consideration.
We like the concept of one requiring higher standards for Florida's noble Sunshine Laws in regard to openness in public meetings, public records and budget writing.
It's worth a try to impose a stronger force of law if simple shame and conscience aren't enough to keep public officials on the straight and narrow.
Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami, and Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, D-Sarasota, are proposing a constitutional amendment that would:
- Require public notice for open meetings of two or more members of joint legislative conference committees — which is where important pending legislation is hammered into final form.
- Require a three-fourths vote, instead of simple majority, to approve any nontechnical — that is, important and possibly sneaky — amendments in the final five days of a session.
- Set a "reasonableness" standard for circuit judges to use in ruling whether a legislatively produced document is a public record — rather that perpetuating the Legislature's authority to shield many of its documents from public view.
- Require the budget to be written in plain language showing the source and purposes of all funds instead of publishing a bare-bones document that rank-and-file members — especially new ones — can't translate.
There isn't a thing wrong with any of these upgrades, and we urge an intelligent three-fifths of lawmakers to support putting this on the ballot in 2010. Then an intelligent 60 percent of voters should wisely vote "yes!"