The ever vigilant Sensuous Curmudgeon spotted a couple of departures from our dysfunctional Florida legislature that have implications for the future of antievolution efforts in Florida. I’ll repeat the announcements here, but there are also a few other changes that escaped his notice that are definitely worth mentioning.
First of all, Sen. Stephen Wise, our if-man-came-from-monkeys-then-why-are-there-still-monkeys creationist who wanted to enshrine in law that evolution needs to be balanced with a “non-evolution” “theory of whatever,” will not be haunting the shadowy halls of the capitol:
Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, couldn’t nab Senate District 4 candidate Aaron Bean’s pledge card for his failed attempt at the Senate presidency during the legislative session, but Thrasher is backing Bean anyway. Bean’s campaign announced the endorsements this week of Thrasher and Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, who is term-limited.
It’s actually old news, but I don’t think I’ve ever noted it here on the blog before. The more recent noteworthy departure is that of one of the looniest in the looney bin, Sen. Ronda Storms, sponsor of the 2008 “academic freedom” bill in the Senate. She was the one who constantly dodged the question about whether her bill would allow intelligent design to be taught. She’s decided to seek a different political seat.
State Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, is dropping her reelection bid and instead will run against embattled Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Rob Turner.
Storms, a former Hillsborough County commissioner, had two years left before she was term-limited out of the Senate. But she said Friday that a porn scandal surrounding Turner prompted her to abandon the legislature and instead try to oust her fellow Republican.
Do these departures mean that creationism is a dead issue in the Florida legislature? Hardly. We still have Sen. Alan Hays who was the sponsor of an “academic freedom” bill when he served in the House in 2008. Will he attempt another creationism push while in the Senate? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, one of the most prominent citizen creationism activists back in 2008, Kim Kendall, is a candidate for the state House. I haven’t seen mention of creationism during her campaign yet. It’s just briefly mentioned in one line on her campaign website. But there are other issues that have come up that are interesting:
I pointed out that The Report Card readers are deeply concerned about failure of textbooks to teach the history of America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and pride in American exceptionalism. Additionally, many textbooks seem to promote a global, socialist agenda, and attack capitalism. I ask how digital learning would solve that significant issue.
Ms. Kendall says: “Because textbooks will be digitized it will be easier to remove or edit questionable material and add missing material. But decisions must be made to deal with textbook content. I really believe that change can come about in a couple of ways: First, legislators must speak out against really egregious issues like Islam-biased textbooks and classroom presentations from terrorist organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood. There is no excuse for those teachings in our schools, so terrorist organizations must be barred from schools period. Second, if Florida wishes to attract business, it is not smart to attack business in schools. We need to develop partnerships with business to teach the greatness of the free markets and to prepare our students for the job market. It is so important that our kids are educated freedom and not indoctrinated in socialism and a world of government solutions.”
What are the odds on her winning a House seat? Early indications predict she is a shoo-in.
Let’s just say Kim Kendall is going to be tough to beat.
In a press release Monday, the Republican Florida House candidate sent a crystal clear message: My campaign is going to be well funded, and have establishment support.
Will creationism once again become an issue in Tallahassee even with Wise and Storms gone? I’d be surprised if it didn’t.
And on a side note, Terry Kemple, who was another vocal creationist in 2008, is taking another stab at a seat on the Hillsborough County School Board. He had tried in 2010 and lost.
If you know of any other races we need to keep an eye on, please let me know.