Florida, It Figures

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Sara Posner raises a wrinkle or two in the Florida electoral calculus:

Two measures on the ballot in Florida could affect turnout among conservative Christian voters. The first is the proposed gay marriage ban, which may see a bump in interest given the California Supreme Court decision last week. The second, a set of two linked initiatives, would eliminate a ban on state funding of religious education that dates back to the 19th century and permit funding of vouchers for religious schools. The measure is on the ballot owing to a devious, behind the scenes power-grab by former Governor Jeb Bush, who stacked a state tax commission with loyalists dedicated to reinstituting his voucher program after it was declared unconstitutional by a Florida appellate court in 2006. (Those pesky activist judges, except when they make your brother president!)

Portrayed as a “religious freedom” initiative, the measure has the support of some of the same interest groups backing the gay marriage ban, including the Focus on the Family-affiliated Florida Family Policy Counsel. Church-state separation activists, teachers unions, and others will be advocating against it. But expect to hear a lot more diatribes from the religious right in Florida about how “activist judges” have been clouding up the Sunshine State.

So maybe a disastrous war, a tanking economy, and the reduction of the world’s lone superpower into a second-rate banana republic, in prestige and practice, will become non-issues after all. Get ready for Gawdngays Round II (or is it III)?


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