2006 Fall Journal

By: The James Madison Institute / 2006



Message from the Publisher – J. Stanley Marshall

For readers seeking guidance on the proposal listed as Amendment Three on the Nov. 7 ballot, we’re presenting information about the pros and cons – but no recommendation.

From The Editor’s Desk

Some policy issues sneak up on us – i.e. the property insurance problems after the recent spate of severe storms. Other issues, however, can and should be anticipated. So let’s get out our crystal balls and try to envision the key issues likely to emerge soon in Florida.
Articles: Executive Leadership
For My Successor: Five Lessons I Learned as Governor – Jeb Bush

We asked Governor Bush what advice he would give his successor, whose identity won’t be known until after the Nov. 7 election. His response focused on five areas.

Two Former Governors Offer Their Advice – Edited by Robert F. Sanchez

Democratic former Governors Reubin Askew and Kenneth “Buddy” Mackay add their perspectives regarding the qualities needed in Florida’s governorship.
Articles: State Constitutional Amendments
Education Matters! Informing Floridians About Proposed Constitutional Amendments – Susan A. MacManus (Assisted by Kristine Zooberg and Andrew F. Quecan)

The noted political scientist explains the importance of informing Floridians about proposed constitutional amendments – and the difficulty of actually doing it.

Amendment One: Protecting Florida’s Fiscal Fitness – Robert B. Bradley

The process that produces Florida’s state budget is basically sound, but it could nonetheless benefit from some procedural changes, which this amendment proposes.

Amendment Three: Two Good Teams, Family Ties – Robert F. Sanchez

This proposal to raise the threshold for future amendments to 60 percent of those voting has prompted vigorous debate among folks whose opinions we respect.

Amendment Four: Special Intrests Blowing Smoke – Adam Goldman

Nobody advocates that children ought to smoke, but this ill-advised amendment is little more than a money grab by the groups that promoted it via a petition drive.

Amendments Six and Seven: Selective Tax Relief – Mark S. Pritchett

At a time when property owners are complaining about rising taxes, these amendments would reduce the taxes of disabled veterans and low-income senior citizens.

Amendment Eight: Slamming the Door on Kelo – J.B. Ruhl

The 2006 Legislature passed a statute to block the kinds of eminent domain abuse that the U.S. Supreme Court authorized in a controversial ruling. This amendment would place those protections in the state constitution, making them harder to undo.
Articles: Three Hot Button Issues
The Case for an Independent Jusiciary – Jim Hampton

The writer argues that those who “rail against activist judges” are the ones who misunderstand the proper role of the judicial branch of government.

Tom Jefferson Wrote the Book on Impeachment – Thomas V. DiBacco

Two U.S. Presidents – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton – were impeached (but acquitted) via the usual process. Few Americans realize that there’s another method.

The Debate Over School Standards: Feds vs. States – Liam Julian

Some Floridians were perplexed when the Federal Government’s No Child Left Behind Act “flunked” schools that the state had graded A or B. What gives? The writer explains.
Book Review
The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land – Reviewed by Tanja Clendinen

Judge Andrew Napolitano argues that the federal government has usurped powers that the Constitution reserves for the states and the people.