politics
Featured image for “Opinion: For candidates, public scrutiny is part of the process”
August 3, 2022

Opinion: For candidates, public scrutiny is part of the process

The primary season in Florida politics is always brutal. Because primaries involve battles between members of the same political party, or a nonpartisan race, there usually aren’t many policy differences among the choices. Therefore, candidates seek to differentiate themselves in other ways, often pointing to the alleged personal failings of their opponent. It can get ugly. Add in the fact

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Featured image for “Opinion: August is the cruelest month”
July 31, 2022

Opinion: August is the cruelest month

T.S. Eliot famously posited that “April is the cruelest month.” This tells us that he didn’t follow primary politics in Florida, because if he did, he would know the real brutality comes in August. Local general elections often aren’t in doubt, as was underscored recently when election expert Larry Sabato went ahead and declared the 4th Congressional District “safe Republican”

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Featured image for “Opinion: Think you can’t fight City Hall? Remember the Red Shirts”
July 20, 2022

Opinion: Think you can’t fight City Hall? Remember the Red Shirts

There is a lot of frustration with government these days. Inflation and the lingering effects of the pandemic have many folks in a sour mood and feeling powerless. “You can’t fight City Hall” is a mantra I occasionally hear. It’s the idea that one person or a small group can’t make a difference. Well, don’t tell that to the “Save

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Featured image for “Opinion: Have Democrats lost the Jax mayoral race already?”
July 10, 2022

Opinion: Have Democrats lost the Jax mayoral race already?

For the first time in many years, two serious Democratic candidates are running for Jacksonville mayor. And for backers of one of those candidates, two Democrats in the field was one too many even before a third Democrat, Theresa Ann Richardson, filed for the race last week. Supporters of former newscaster Donna Deegan continue to suggest that Sen. Audrey Gibson launched

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Featured image for “Opinion: ‘Fair Districts’ vote wasn’t the last word”
July 6, 2022

Opinion: ‘Fair Districts’ vote wasn’t the last word

After losing the governor’s mansion in 1998 and losing both chambers of the state Legislature a few years prior, Florida Democrats were frustrated. They saw 2012 as an opportunity to reset the playing field. That was the year the state Senate and House would participate in the once-in-a-decade process of redrawing the congressional and legislative maps. The Democrats, understandably, didn’t

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Featured image for “Opinion: ‘Discipline and Punish,’ the Duval way”
June 26, 2022

Opinion: ‘Discipline and Punish,’ the Duval way

To the best of my knowledge, French philosopher Michel Foucault never made it to Duval County. And he likely never opined on whether the Westside truly is the best side or other historic questions of bygone times. But despite never having done Duval, Foucault seemed to understand what made the place tick. His book Discipline and Punish: The Birth of

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Featured image for “From Green Cove Springs to D.C.: Congressional Black Caucus executive director has local roots ”
June 20, 2022

From Green Cove Springs to D.C.: Congressional Black Caucus executive director has local roots 

A Jax Today Q&A with Vince Evans Vince Evans stood against a wall, listening and nodding as Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee told a group of men, who’d traveled from all corners of the country to the Capitol, about the importance of legislation that would make a national apology for slavery and propose remedies for the centuries of racial and economic

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Featured image for “Opinion: Bet on Black women”
June 13, 2022

Opinion: Bet on Black women

My heart was glad when I saw the announcement that term-limited Democratic state Sen. Audrey Gibson was entering the Jacksonville mayoral race. It seemed like a full-circle moment. Eleven years ago, when I first considered moving to Jacksonville, I had come to the River City for a job interview. It was election day. Alvin Brown was the Democratic candidate for

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Featured image for “Opinion: Will DeSantis get his Duval revenge?”
June 12, 2022

Opinion: Will DeSantis get his Duval revenge?

In the final analysis, Gov. Ron DeSantis may be the big winner of the Jacksonville sheriff’s race in 2023. Consider how he handled the opening last week for the position. His friend Mike Williams was forced into resignation after it became clear he would not be able to ignore the charter provision compelling sheriffs of Duval County to live in

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Featured image for “Opinion: DeSantis’ vetoes gut Legislature’s priorities”
June 8, 2022

Opinion: DeSantis’ vetoes gut Legislature’s priorities

Two months ago in this column, I predicted that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ veto list for this year’s state budget would be a “Red Wedding” — a reference to the Game of Thrones scene where several key characters in the same family were killed.  Apparently, I underestimated the extent of the pending damage. DeSantis wrecked the work of the Legislature, vetoing

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