JIM DAVIS FOR GOVERNOR TOWN HALL IN TAMPA-Andrew Stelzer04/17/06
Tampa area Congressman Jim Davis kicked off a series of 10 town hall meetings in his campaign for governor today. The first meeting was held at the Lions eye institute, in an old cigar factory in Ybor city. WMNFs Andrew Stelzer was there and filed this report.
ACT â€œfor the first time in 12 years, were not going to have any bushes on the ballot..cheers..â€?
The latest Zogby polls have Jim Davis within 2 Points of Republican Charlie Crist, and have Davis leading both Democrat Rod Smith, and Republican Tom Gallagher in the race for Governor of Florida. Davis served in the Florida house of representatives from 1988 to 96, and has been a member of the US house of representatives ever since.
ACT â€œin 1995 was really the first time that I had any power. I wanted to do something for the community, parent told me twin girls. Lets do something for my girls, and I was in the position to debate 100 million dollar program to reduce class size, my friends if Iâ€™m honored I will finish the job Iâ€™ve started that Meek has kept aliveâ€¦â€™
Almost all of the 100 or so people who came to hear Davis speak had buttons on in support of his candidacy, and many of the questions centered on education.
ACT â€œI'm Joyce Harron, I have a concern about NCLB, we are part of reading first, we had people come through with clipboards, they didnâ€™t talk to us, itâ€™s a very intimidating process, we have to have books organized, we donâ€™t have a say, were doing the best we can, but its best if we work together..WHO WERE THESE FOLKS?..reading first program, out of WASHINGTON..this is a good example, this is the most top down administration weâ€™ve even seen in our schools, half our teachers are leaving after 5 years..â€?
Davis said he will be announcing the details of his education plan soon. He was critical of the FCAT being used as a measurement tool, without a way to learn from eth results of the test, he also said he is against school vouchers, and proposed the creation of a 1 billion dollar trust fund to find a way to permanently raise teachersâ€™ salaries to the national average. Davis also said heâ€™s doesnâ€™t believe that a national healthcare program will work because he doesnâ€™t trust the federal government to run it, and heâ€™s afraid that they will do a bad job like they have with the Medicare prescription drug plan.
ACT â€œI propose we give small businesses a chance to group together to get health insurance, lets give them a chance, co-ops,..and keeping our promise to Floridaâ€™s seniors, as governor I will take Florida pool prices, and find a legal way to buy from Canada.â€?
During his tour of the state, Davis theme will be Keeping Floridaâ€™s Promise.
ACT â€œWe do not have state leaders keeping their promises. We have more children dreaming to be the first in their family. There is more expected in our state. We can do a lot better than that. We are not keeping our promise to seniors; we are turning care of vulnerable Floridians. We thought we were low wage, low price, Floridians canâ€™t make ends meet, we are not keeping promise to families, and we are not keeping promise for future generations..â€?
During the question and Answer session, Davis said heâ€™s in favor of allowing felons who have served their time to get their voting and civil rights automatically restored, he also said he is in favor of a amendment to the state constitution that would take drawing legislative boundaries out of the hands of politicians, and into the hands of judges or citizens, and would like to place it on the ballot in 2008. Davis also said the last time that Florida was serious about doing something about transportation was 1991.
ACT â€œDonâ€™t give up on transportation. We had a state of the state that doesnâ€™t talk about transportation, in Orlando keeps growing, it will be like LA, I refuse to give up..â€?
After the town hall, WMNF asked Jim Davis exactly what he planned to do about getting a better transportation system in Florida.
For more information about Jim Davis campaign for governor, log onto www.jimdavis2006.com
For WMNF news, Iâ€™m Andrew Stelzer