The Republican Party of Florida has waited years to have an Attorney General like this. Pam Bondi not only was a star on FOX News, but now is an RPOF superstar being exported to the national stage thanks to the ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act.
As the Republicans solidified their hegemony over the state during the late 1990s, they badly wanted a partisan Attorney General who would implement a doctrinaire conservative interpretation of the law. In many cases conservatives misinterpret the law, manipulate its intent while misrepresenting the debate and discussions behind the passages of these laws. This should not come as a shock considering we are discussing a political party that has actively promoted anti-intellectualism as a part of its appeal to voters.
The GOP finally gained the office for the first time post reconstruction in 2002. That year a three way Republican Primary had been won by Charlie Crist, who was anything but a reliable conservative. Many establishment Republicans and Tallahassee insiders backed Locke Burt for the Attorney General’s post feeling that Burt, who was an insurance man, would be sufficiently partisan despite a less than conservative record on some social issues. The other candidate, former Martin County Rep. Tom Warner, served as Bob Butterworth’s Solicitor General and was always considered a moderate. However, Crist was the victor and the next four years activist conservatives became less and less comfortable with their Attorney General. He was, after all, a populist whose conflicts with Governor Bush sometimes spilled into the open. For example, in 2003 Crist publicly called for an investigation into oil companies for price gouging. This was a no-no for any GOP official in the era of a Bush Governorship and Presidency. Crist also made clear his disdain for the handling of the Terry Schiavo affair by both the national and state GOP leadership.
With Crist safely kicked up stairs to the Governorship, Republicans hoped for better luck with Bill McCollum whose partisanship was often on display with the House Judiciary Committee in Washington. McCollum rallied from behind to defeat Democrat Skip Campbell, whose lackluster campaign has made McCollum appear more moderate than he really was. McCollum did push a partisan agenda but sometimes stopped short of open warfare with liberals and assaults on activist judges which have became the staple of the GOP agenda in the last decade.
Enter Pam Bondi, whose prior claim to fame was a conservative hack on FOX News’ Hannity show, one hour of pure right wing drivel. Bondi won a competitive three way Republican Primary in 2010 and then benefited from a conservative tide and political attacks bordering on slander towards Dan Gelber, the single legislator most qualified to be Attorney General in the State of Florida in order to win her office. Bondi and her surrogates waged a campaign of fear and demagoguery about “Obamacare,” feminism and “radical environmentalism.”
In office Bondi has proven to be the partisan Florida Republicans long craved. Her agenda as Attorney General has not been to protect Florida’s consumers or working class but to protect corporations, insurance companies, polluters, high profile law firms, mortgage companies and other entities pushing a conservative viewpoint. Unlike Bob Butterworth, who approached law enforcement in a non-partisan way and even appointed a Republican Solicitor General, most of Bondi’s appointments have been strictly ideological and partisan.
This week, Bondi’s profile has once again been raised as she has been a frequent guest on conservative shows regarding the Affordable Health Care Act ruling. Bondi has consistently manipulated facts about the law passed by Congress in 2009, misinterpreted its intent and application and railed for political reasons against President Obama and Speaker (now Minority Leader) Pelosi. One wonders whether Bondi deliberately misinterprets facts for partisan purposes or simply does so because she doesn’t understand the law.
Once again, Florida Republicans have demonstrated that they cannot govern effectively without forcing ideology down the throats of our citizens. The one relatively non-partisan Republican elected statewide in recent years was Charlie Crist and it is no coincidence he is now registered as an NPA and has personally endorsed several Democrats this election cycle.
Pam Bondi is a disastrous Attorney General for our state. Elections do have consequences and when Democrats are divided thanks to Tallahassee insiders or disorganized on the local level we end up with statewide officials like Bondi.
13 thoughts on “Pam Bondi: Turning Law Enforcement Into Petty Partisanship”
Bondi did hire a “Democrat.”
She hired Dave Aronberg. He of course is the one who started the negative attacks against Gelber and go paid off handsomely.
As the below article mentions many conservative Republicans including the publisher of hard right Newsmax Magazine are supporting Aronberg over the Republican for State Attorney here in Palm Beach.
The Palm Beach Post had editoriazled about Bondi and Aronberg and that relationship:
Bondi is bad news. That is pretty obvious to anybody out there who bothers to look.
Smith will crush her. He is well qualified to be AG.
Run Rod Run!!!!
Aronberg was the most qualified in this race and Bondi was smart to reach out to him.
As for Crist he disappointed most Republicans and Bondi is more in tune with the conservative base. Aronberg gave her credibility as he is the expert on pill mills and consumer fraud.
As for Gelber he is too liberal to be elected statewide and should have deferred to Aronberg in this race.
The Republicans also played big time on her looks to get her elected.
The voters are that stupid. They’ll take a blonde any day over a thoughtful well qualified progressive.
Calling Aronberg a Democrat is stretching the term. But technically a Dem did work for Bondi in what the Palm Beach Post called a “do-nothing” role.
I agree that the voters are dumb, but the FDP needs to find a way to get the message out. Obama did beat McCain and Failin Palin in 08, because he was able to resonate his message to voters. If FDP cant organize, hit their opponents hard enough, and differentiate themselves, we might as well give up.
Bondi is a total joke. Not even a credible attorney let alone AG.
I want to comment on this part of the blog: “when Democrats are divided thanks to Tallahassee insiders or disorganized on the local level we end up with statewide officials like Bondi.” For years good democrats have been elected around the state to local positions. The local level is disorganized – because of the state party. They never ask local elected officials to be part of the decision making at the state level – never ask Democratic elected local officials to help with any initiatives nor do they groom any of these officials for state and national positions. This is the problem – the state party’s lack of awareness of what they have in there locally elected officials. R’s groom the farm team – they support local candidates and those people become our state senators and reps. We need to do the same – we need to stop ignoring local elections.
This article is absolutely accurate. Bondi’s pockets are lined with the NRA and every “for profit at the expense of the average Floridian”. She serves only the wealthy and the NRA. Get her out of office.
Bondi is a blowhard and corrupt to boot. A perfect fit for FOX News and the audience there which just likes blonde haired blow dried bimbo looking women who scream about how horrible liberals are, how Obama isn’t American and how Pelosi is from San Francisco and thus does not think like a real American.
She is the worst. I hate her more than I even hate Rick Scott.
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