Score one for moderate sanity and the power of sisterhood.
Facing mounting frustration in the boys club of the state Senate, the 13 women of the Florida Senate forged a coalition from both sides of the aisle against divisive Republican bills that were being rammed down their throats while their own bills were being thwarted and ignored.
The Miami Herald reported:
The coalition wasn’t premeditated or organized. And it often included men like Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, and Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole.
“It was spontaneous combustion,” Detert said. “We all hated the same bills.”
The rebellion grew out of frustration in both parties that Republican leaders were using their super majority to force divisive bills, ignoring the more moderate voices, Dockery said.
“They didn’t really care where we stood on issues,” Dockery said. “When you combine the 12 Democrats with us unhappy Republicans it became a matter of getting just one or two more votes.”
The Senate 13 successfully banded together, joined by some men, to fight back against the established power. Together, they were often enough to impact close votes.
Republicans were pushing to turn public schools into charter schools, a massive expansive of private prisons, anti-abortion bills, and a bill to give unregulated, out of state insurance companies the business of state sponsored insurance companies.
The latter bill was sponsored by the insurance industry and came laden with the same issues that privatization often bring, “Surplus lines companies can increase customer premiums without state oversight and their policies are not covered by the fund that pays claims if a company fails.” Six hurricane states have state sponsored insurance because private insurance companies have refused to underwrite homes in those areas.
The Senate 13 worked together to defeat all of the aforementioned radical bills.
These women not only demonstrated the power of sisterhood when faced with an entrenched system designed to keep independent thinkers out, but have been successful in making their voices and agendas heard. Even though the women have very different ideologies, they found common ground and worked together to trounce what they agreed were harmful, radical bills. This is how government is supposed to work; it is not supposed to be derailed and hijacked by corporate agendas passing themselves off as radical conservatives.
The incoming Republican Senate President Don Gaetz praised the female Senators as having the courage of their convictions, “I think about what people’s interests are and about which senator has the courage to carry an issue through a firestorm of opposition,” he said. “The women in this Senate are as capable, if not more capable, than the men in that area.”
Well, sir, you said it, not me. But if this is what women can do when they come together, we need more women in elected positions. Imagine if Congress had coalitions of willing-to-compromise moderates who would act on what was truly in the best interest of the citizens rather than their ideology or worse yet, going along with leadership in order to further their careers at the expense of the people and their conscience.