It seems assumed that in a political campaign candidates will want to talk about the issues, their policy principles and where they stand on the most basic questions like government spending, taxation and regulation. Sadly that is not the case in modern political campaigns where candidates seem to work very hard to avoid actually talking about their own political positions. Such is the case with Dwight Dudley who is running for State House in Southern Pinellas County (District 68). His campaign is focused on tearing down opponents, as is the campaign of his opponent Frank Farkas. Mr. Dudley seems to prefer to disqualify his opponent rather than talk about what he would do in the state Legislature. Voters are left to discern which way to go. You will not find much on Mr. Dudley’s campaign website that spells out his positions on the common things voters want to know: taxing, spending, regulation. He doesn’t even have an “issues” section to look at! However based on Mr. Dudley’s public statements, endorsements and political party (Democrat), it seems pretty clear that Dwight Dudley is a fairly classic tax-and-spend, big government liberal. He appears to be the perfect politician in the making: talk a big game about protecting the people, while actually avoiding telling the people what he would do.
What makes Dudley appear to be a tax and spend liberal? Well, first he opposes School vouchers. Voucher programs have done much to help provide higher quality education for the poor, especially in black communities He is a strong opponent, citing the classic liberal lines of how the programs would “drain money” from public schools. He doesn’t seem to acknowledge that public school budgets are bloated, always seem to grow, but the African-American achievement gap continues to be a huge problem. Secondly, he is favored by the teachers unions, which have a record of supporting bloated government and continued high spending. The Union leaders have long advocated for the benefit of the massive government-education complex, but don’t seem to ensure that high quality education or support of the rank and file teachers comes first. Thirdly, Mr. Dudley is supported by well-known big government liberal Rick Kriseman who never met a tax hike he didn’t like. Finally, the ever-liberal Tampa bay Times has endoresed him which should give the biggest clue about Mr. Dudley’s proclivities on government policy. A reading of the “news” section of Mr. Dudley’s website will reveal these facts.
Mr. Dudley has no record to run on, while he takes advantage of complaining about the voting record of Dr. Farkas. It is true that Dr. Farkas could have a stronger record on defending citizens against rate hikes from Progress Energy and their nuclear plant. Yet Mr. Dudley offers no alternative view as to how to solve the problem. Where is his call to deregulate the utility companies and end the government-controlled monopoly so competition can start to provide lower cost energy? Dr. Farkas can be relied on to vote against tax hikes in the state legislature, but it is clear that Mr. Dudley will support every tax hike he can, following along the footsteps of his progressive mentor Mr. Kriseman. This election cycle, it seems that Dr. Farkas is the safe choice to fight tax hikes and out of control government, while Mr. Dudley is a guaranteed vote for higher taxes and bigger government. The Sun Beam Times endorse Dr. Frank Farkas for Florida House District 68. Then we urge all citizens to hold Dr. Farkas accountable to a limited government, low tax agenda.