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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 4/4/2006 12:21:59 AM EST

Shading business, gun owners
A Times Editorial
Published April 3, 2006


Every year, as dependably as the swallows returning to Capistrano, lawmakers in Tallahassee try to darken Florida's strong sunshine laws. This year is no different with two particularly destructive measures already through committee and awaiting a vote in the House.

One (H.B. 687) would exempt from public records the list of people in the state who have been granted concealed-weapons permits. The other (H.B. 7017) would renew an exemption that shields records related to secret business deals. Both violate the spirit of the state's constitutional guarantee of open government and demonstrate that lawmakers are more interested in serving the interests of the NRA and big business than protecting the people's right to know.

There are 350,000 Floridians who hold a concealed-weapons permit but that pales in comparison to the number of state residents who hold other kinds of licenses and permits. Yet, if the bill passes, concealed-gun owners are going to be the one category of state licensee that doesn't have to declare itself to the public. From a public safety standpoint that makes no sense.

What about employers who might want to check to see if any disgruntled ex-employees have obtained a permit? Or a wife worried about domestic violence who would want to know if her husband was looking to carry a concealed weapon? This bill serves no legitimate public interest beyond appeasing the powerful NRA. It should be rejected.

Even more mischievous is the proposed extension of an exemption on records related to economic development activity. When state and local governments and their associated economic development agencies work with private businesses to entice them to relocate or expand in Florida, they are doing the public's business and we have every right to know. Current law provides businesses with a blanket exemption for all records related to economic development for two years, with the possibility of a third year upon request. Proprietary information is kept secret for 10 years.

This does distinct harm to the public's oversight role. It prevents citizens who are concerned that a large business or retail store is about to move into their community from accessing information about the plan, even when state and local tax incentives are being offered. When politicians work hand-in-glove with favored businesses - companies that are often the least deserving of subsidies - secrecy protects those chummy deals.

To show how extreme the Republicans in the House are on this, two reasonable amendments, offered by Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, were dismissed out of hand under the guise that they were "antibusiness." One would have required disclosure once a deal is finalized. The other would have enlisted the government in determining which records were truly proprietary rather than leaving that judgment to businesses that tend to lump everything under that heading.

The "antibusiness" moniker is more appropriately attached to the proponents of H.B. 7017. They are the ones in favor of disadvantaging the hundreds of thousands of homegrown businesses that don't get the special sweeteners, putting them at a competitive disadvantage.

The fact that these two bills are easily moving through the Legislature illustrates the low regard Florida's lawmakers have for government in the sunshine. Once again this year, they'd rather keep us all in the dark.

Link Posted: 4/4/2006 12:29:11 AM EST
So some disgruntled employee that had intended to do harm to his/her ex-employer.................aggggghhhhhhhh! These people are clueless!
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 12:36:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 1:42:52 AM EST by Airwolf]

What about employers who might want to check to see if any disgruntled ex-employees have obtained a permit? Or a wife worried about domestic violence who would want to know if her husband was looking to carry a concealed weapon?

Yeah, sure... because we all know that everyone that is contemplating a CRIMINAL ACT will run right out and get government permission to carry a device to commit that illegal action with.

What a bunch of fucking tards. I wonder if these Einstein's have someone follow them around to sponge up the drool and wipe their ass?
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:29:26 AM EST
Some people should stop thinking because their illogical ideas are a threat to public safety.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:43:14 AM EST
A CCW (to me) is a seal of approval that the person is not a law breaking shitbag.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:51:33 AM EST
Repeat after me: editorials are NOT meant to be unbiased. That is their PURPOSE, to give OPINION.

I've written pro-gun editorials for my journalism class (never published, probably won't be, because I doubt I'll work for even a student newspaper) and I've seen anti-gun editorials written by students.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:11:12 AM EST
Florida - where blood runs in the streets!
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:13:01 AM EST
Mental disease, pure and simple.

Either that, or they're just fucking stupid.
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