Each year, members of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida gather to engage their legislators on key issues that members can influence from the grassroots level. According to RLCFL Secretary Philip Blumel,
“RLC’ers converged on Tallahassee March 17-18 for the annual grass roots lobbying event organized by RLCer and Florida Taxpayers Union president (and RLC member) John Hallman. They started off with lunch Tuesday at the Governor’s Club with former House Majority Leader Dick Armey of FreedomWorks, attended private meetings with legislators all afternoon and then participated in a late afternoon ‘tea party’ protest on the Capital steps against federal bailout and stimulus plans. The following morning, RLC’ers were back hitting legislators offices and took a break for a sign-waving protest against the Central Florida commuter rail boondoggle as well as a legislative update by James Madison Institute president Bob McClure. Everywhere they went, the group left copies of the RLC tri-fold brochure.”
Several of the most active RLCFL members — including Sarah Lovett, Eric Wall, Cliff Johnson, Jason Hellenberg, and John Hallman — testified at the hearing for the latest draft of Sen. Mike Haridopolos’s Smart Cap proposal, SB 1906. Smart Cap, a version of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (or Stop OverSpending) for Florida, would cap government spending at the rate of inflation.
As with TABOR, which was passed in Colorado in 1992 thanks to RLC-endorsed former State Rep. Doug Bruce (R-CO), the Smart Cab legislation would not allow the government to spend above the limit (except under defined emergency conditions) and would mandate putting any spending above the limit on the ballot for citizens to vote on. Sen. Mike Haridopolos, a featured speaker at the RLC’s 2006 National Convention, is now in line to be Senate President in 2010 if the Republicans retain control of that body. Rep. Anitere Flores sponsored the bill in the Florida House.
“RLC members met with all the relevant legislators (or their aides) to push the Smart Cap bill, including House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, Speaker Larry Cretul, Senate President Jeff Atwater, and other senators and representatives on the relevant committees.”
“Notably, RLCers met with the governor’s office Tuesday for a long and thoughtful session with Gov. Crist’s policy coordinator for the Office of Policy and Budget, Christian Weiss. Gov. Crist had spoken positively about the idea of a spending limitation bill but had objections to the specific bills under consideration, find them too restrictive. However, at a committee hearing Wednesday afternoon, a representative of the governor appeared at Sen. Haridolopolos’ committee hearing on the bill and announced the governor’s change of mind. “This is what the grass roots want,” he said, in an apparent reference to RLC efforts.”
State Sen. Mike Fasano reads a Republican Liberty Caucus brochure.
RLC members converged on the Capital to make their presence known.