The greatest single threat to Florida Families is the Florida State Legislature

WUFF PAC is a federal political action committee, so we can’t put our money where our mouth is in state elections, but we can point out that many members of the Florida Legislature are making unpleasant noises about a bunch of stuff. Just last week, Wilton Simpson, the President of the Florida Senate, announced that he was appointing “serious” State Rep. Cord Byrd to chair the committee that will be re-drawing the maps for 2022. To recap, Byrd is a self-styled “gun lawyer” and Trump Yacht Flotilla enthusiast, and so far from serious as to be laughable.

Simpson, who is giving up his State Senate seat to run for Agriculture Commissioner, a very powerful role in Florida, followed up with this gem:

There were a lot of subsequent tweets from his colleagues, Democrats all, who quarreled with his use of emojis, and rang the alarm about this issue. The Texas Forced Birth bill is terrible public policy, and ridiculous health policy. The specter of having a public-enforcement mechanism (snitch-tagging on steroids) should scare anyone who cares about representative democracy. To import it here on a whim, just because, as they all said about the voter suppression bill they passed “they can” gives away the game. This is about power, and control over the lives of women–who gets to plan their lives and who is forced to remain in generational poverty. And if you doubt this jokey response, they subsequently doubled down:

What can you do to ensure that this doesn’t happen? A couple of ideas. Follow along and join the Florida Democratic Black Women’s Consortium at http://www.fdbwc.org

They are looking at races up and down the ballot, but focusing on trying to even up or flip the Florida Senate. The current split is 16 Democrats and 24 Republicans, but three of those seats, State Senate Districts 9, 37 and 39 were heavily impacted in 2020 by shenanigans for which former State Legislator Frank Artiles is under indictment. In essence, he is accused of paying folks with similar names to the Democratic candidates to run, and issuing confusing mailers so that voters didn’t know who was the legit candidate. (And if you are wondering why the name Frank Artiles rings a bell, his previous height of dumbassery was flinging the “N word” at State Senator Audrey Gibson in a crowded bar in Tallahassee, prompting his resignation from office). So, assuming two of those seats are a fairly easy pick-up, the chamber, is now a 5 seat flip, much closer and more doable than the Florida House. And as Kathy Lewis of FDBWC says, “if we control a Senate, a lot of nonsense doesn’t happen.”

We are still trying to fund statewide research on the state of reproductive rights in Florida, to be conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. One of the goals of this is to provide candidates with a narrative and talking points about what happens when reproductive freedom is restricted, and how the anti-choice movement coalesced. Spoiler Alert: the Evangelicals didn’t care about abortion until they started losing desegregation cases. They they threw in their lot with Catholics on the issue. If you would like to help with this research, make a general donation to WUFF PAC at http://www.wuffpac.org/donate

Also, we need 40 pro-choice candidates for the State Senate–every seat is up this year because of re-districting. If you’re thinking of running, think seriously. If you know a Black Woman who should run, alert the folks at FDBWC. Once the slates are set, pick a candidate in a potential swing district, and amplify and support them. Also, consider supporting Ruth’s List, the state equivalent of Emily’s List.

Ladies, this is the fight of our life, and now we have to fight it once again. Onward.

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