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Informed Personalities from Across the State, Across the Spectrum
Dan Gelber's picture
For a decade in the legislature, I found myself as the opposition leader to Bush, Rubio and even Crist (at times). While I believe it important to a democracy that the minority party challenge the majority to reveal their excesses, I believe it equally important that they bring not just criticism, but also better alternatives.
Monday, February 25, 2013 — Dan Gelber

About a decade ago Fox commentator Bill O’Reilly published a book entitled “Who’s looking out for you?”  Initially I thought it was a parody, some kind of humorous commentary on selfishness in civic life.

 I was wrong.  It was serious as a crutch, in some respects a cynical rebuke to Kennedy’s famous entreat to “Ask not what your country can do for you... .”


Monday, January 14, 2013 — Dan Gelber

The periodical Education Week recently published its annual Quality Counts State Report Card. Florida received a B- and ranked 6th nationally, so immediately the usual suspects engaged in the typical self-adulation. The Republican Party of Florida and Governor Scott rushed to tweet out their congratulations to each other for these successes.

I don't relish being the guy constantly throwing cold water on...

Friday, December 21, 2012 — Dan Gelber

Twenty-four years ago Big Brothers & Sisters matched me up with a 6-year-old little gap-toothed boy living in a poor Miami neighborhood I knew only as a place to avoid driving through.

Travis, who had been abandoned, had bounced around relatives, eventually settling in with a great aunt. She became his primary caretaker and called on Big Brothers to give Travis some additional influences.

Our backgrounds couldn’t have been more different, but we found common interests....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 — Dan Gelber

Florida Democrats are feeling pretty good about ourselves. President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson won our state decidedly despite unprecedented Republican efforts at vote suppression; we netted four seats in the Congress; and Republicans in the state legislature lost their super majority.
But this is not the time to uncork champagne. As with the 2010 election, it’s hard to tell if Florida voters liked one side better or simply the other side less.
The Republicans...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 — Dan Gelber

Why were the lines so obscenely long?

Because the state legislature wanted them long, and there was little anyone could do to stop them.

This was not an accident or poor planning. Hoping to dissuade Democratic-leaning voters from being counted, the legislature intentionally reduced early voting periods and placed on the ballot exceedingly long and multi-part amendments. This witches brew of less time to vote...

Thursday, November 08, 2012 — Dan Gelber

Mixing hubris with arrogance can make for a dangerous cocktail. As Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican Legislature wake up from a rough Tuesday night, they should accept that their election-day wounds are at least partly self-inflicted.

First, they misplayed their voter-suppression efforts. In a cunning plan to tilt the election to favor Republicans, they set out to shorten early voting days and...

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Dan Gelber

When you review your ballot either in the mail or at the polls, you might think it unusually long and confusing. Don’t feel bad. The ballot was purposefully crafted to be long and confusing. 

In a year when Republican leaders hope to suppress the vote by reducing early voting days by more than half, they also added nearly a dozen constitutional proposals that more resemble a push-poll than thoughtful policy ideas....

Monday, October 01, 2012 — Dan Gelber

No less an authority than Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak called President Obama’s commitment to Israel security “all-encompassing and unprecedented.” Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon pronounced, “we have no better friend than President Obama.”

How do you reconcile these unequivocal statements of support by those most knowledgeable about Israel’s security with the television...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 — Dan Gelber

I’ve been listening to speakers at the Republican National Convention who seek to reclaim our nation and protect “American Exceptionalism.” I am not sure whom they are reclaiming or protecting America from, but I think they want to reclaim it from me or those like me.

I am the grandson of immigrants who came here to avoid war-torn Europe and seek the promise of freedom and better days for their...

Sunday, August 26, 2012 — Dan Gelber

Republican conventioneers, welcome to Florida. It is only fitting you are convening here, as we truly are the laboratory for your tax policy, your education innovation and your quest for pure markets. Here in Florida, our Republican governors and right-wing legislatures have turned your bumper stickers into state policies. So, please take a stroll out of your hotel to see first-hand how well your approach to governance has fared.