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Informed Personalities from Across the State, Across the Spectrum
Paula Dockery's picture
"Much has changed in Tallahassee since I was first elected to the Legislature 15 years ago, so when asked to chronicle my final year in the Florida Senate, I jumped at the chance, believing that Floridians should learn how government really works."
Thursday, May 02, 2013 — Paula Dockery

Surely with a Republican governor, Senate and House, the legislative session will run smoothly, and agreement, cooperation and mutual goals will highlight a timely and successful conclusion.

To the average observer, it’s hard to fathom why this is not necessarily the case. Perhaps it’s ego or ambition or even human nature.  But after 16 years in the Florida Legislature, I have learned that, despite the...

Thursday, April 25, 2013 — Paula Dockery

When Rick Scott first broke onto the scene in 2010, he hit the airwaves with brilliant campaign ads that sent the simple but effective message to a weary electorate.  Over and over, he stuck to the message of “Let’s Get to Work.”

During a national recession, with Florida’s unemployment rate above the national average, the message of “Let’s Get to Work” appealed to many frustrated Floridians....

Thursday, April 18, 2013 — Paula Dockery

It’s always been a lonely fight as a Republican in the Florida Legislature when it comes to environmental policy. Only a few Republicans see the value in preserving our natural resources and ensuring a clean and adequate water supply.

It’s hard to fathom, as our economy is dependent on these resources for our top three economic drivers: tourism, agriculture and development.

...

Thursday, April 11, 2013 — Paula Dockery

Legislators are wisely prohibited from raising campaign funds during the 60-day legislative session.  During that time lawmakers are contemplating policy and funding decisions that will affect many industries and special interests. The fundraising ban was put in place to avoid, at a minimum, the appearance of impropriety, undue influence or favoritism.

If that’s the case, shouldn’t the fundraising ban...

Thursday, April 04, 2013 — Paula Dockery

After 16 years in the Florida Legislature, I was looking forward to spending my first spring in as many years blissfully ignorant of the manic activity in our state’s capital. That was not to be.

In addition to media and speaking requests, I have been overwhelmed with pleas from former constituents and social media followers for information, advice and a sympathetic ear.

...

Thursday, March 28, 2013 — Paula Dockery

As lawmakers begin in earnest to craft the state’s budget, they are considering how much to put in the spending plan for economic development incentives. The governor, who has based his job creation efforts on offering businesses a variety of cash incentives and tax breaks, has asked for $278 million, a steep increase over this year’s pot of $111 million.  

In crafting our $70 billion-plus budget,...

Thursday, March 21, 2013 — Paula Dockery

First it was called the parent trigger bill but when that became a negative connotation, it was rebranded the “parent empowerment act”. Whew, that’s much better. 

Unfortunately, it’s a misnomer: This bill does not empower parents it empowers out of state corporate interests and their lobbyists...

Thursday, March 14, 2013 — Paula Dockery

It’s never good news for a governor and his party when a lieutenant governor resigns under fallout from a federal probe on racketeering. It’s even more damaging when it involves gambling, the Republican Party and previous headlines from the lieutenant governor’s office.

Personally, I’m sad to see Jennifer Carroll resign from office. After a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy, she served in the Florida...

Thursday, March 07, 2013 — Paula Dockery

Love it or hate it, social media provides an outlet for political opinions -- some incendiary, some provocative and some sensible, sound and rational. The beauty of soliciting comments on Facebook is that the replies are quick, heartfelt and varied. Some folks who might not feel comfortable offering political opinions in a social gathering seem at ease discussing politics openly in a Facebook chat.

My...

Thursday, February 28, 2013 — Paula Dockery

-- Ci-vil-ity (noun):  politeness, courtesy.
-- Civ-i-lize (verb):  to raise from a primitive state to an advanced and ordered state of cultural development.
-- Civil War (noun):  a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country.

Once upon a time those who were afforded the opportunity to govern treated each other with...