Thursday, September 4, 2008

Florida School Voucher Update - Amendment 9 thrown out!

Good news for residents of Florida today! The Florida Supreme Court threw out amendment 9, which combined a private school voucher program with Patrick Byrn's so-called "65% Solution" proposal. The intent of the amendment was to reverse the Florida Supreme Court decision that threw out a private school voucher proposal as unconstitutional.

Even though this amendment has been defeated for now, have no doubt that Patrick Byrne will be pushing his agenda somewhere soon again. Maybe even in Florida since this isn't the first time he has peddled his ideas there. I found a 2006 article from that documents his previous try and gives precious insight into his tactics and flawed point-of-view. The article starts out, "The 43-year-old man behind the education spending plan storming the nation is crashed out on a couch in the Florida Capitol," and continues with the following highlights.

"I don't think [the 65 percent plan] really had any legs to start out with," said Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville, who thinks the plan is dead in the upper chamber.

But with the most important 21/2 weeks remaining in the legislative session, it's too early to predict exactly how it will play out.

Byrne admits little knowledge of Florida politics. His entry into the state's education debate started a year and a half ago in his Salt Lake City apartment.

A mutual friend introduced Byrne to Tim Mooney, an Arizona Republican political consultant. For about a year, Mooney had been laying the groundwork for the 65 percent campaign.

Byrne is surprised at how quickly it's taken off. "I never had any idea politics was so easy," he said.

You'd think he'd be back on that couch, crashed out and full of humble pie, but I'm not done keeping an eye on him, just in case he has a hollow leg. Afterall, let's not forget what Byrne said after the sound defeat of vouchers in Utah. He said he was going to push vouchers "on African-American churches in South Carolina". He WILL take these ideas anywhere and everywhere he thinks he can sell them.