Thursday, September 13, 2007

Charlie Crist, is denying any meeting of any kind with Equality Florida

UPDATE 09-14-07
Nadine Smith of Equality Florida has posted a comment below and said that Erin Isaac was obviously "not informed of our impromptu conversation" held Sept. 11 with Gov. Charlie Crist.
Isaac, a spokeswoman for the governor, has maintained that Crist did not discuss the anti-bullying bill with Equality Florida earlier this week. The group sent out a statement to its members saying that Crist, who has supported the legislation in the past, told them "I'm with you, I'm with you." Smith today maintains the conversation took place, and even adds that Crist was returning from lunch at Andrews and that the governor pumped his fist in the air when he said "I'm with you."
Crist's backing of the legislation has come under fire from the right-wing hate group Florida Family Association.

Erin Isaac, spokeswoman for Gov. Charlie Crist, is denying any meeting of any kind with Equality Florida, the rights group, that also triggered a Hateful backlash from the Florida Family Association.

Isaac commented that there was no meeting between Crist and members of Equality Florida on Sept. 11 and if officials from the group bumped into the governor while they were meeting with Crist's staff, that "no legislation was discussed."

Nadine Smith Of Equality Florida, said that Crist talked to her for about a minute and a half following a meeting they had with Crist's staff. She said that Crist enthusiastically gave his support for the anti-bullying bill and said "I'm with you! I'm with you!" It is Crist's support of the anti-bullying bill, which was drawn up in response of taunting and harassment of kids by their peers in school, that drew the wrath of the Florida Family Association. The association is opposed to the legislation because it might include "gender identity" as the categories that are protected from anti-bullying, a move that FFA contends the Anti-Bully Bill promotes transvestites in schools.

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1 comment:

Nadine Smith said...

We did indeed talk with Governor Crist moments after ending a meeting with his legislative staffer about the anti-bullying bill.
The Governor was returning from lunch at Andrews restaurant and David Barkey from the Anti-Defamation League and I stopped and spoke with him urging him to make next session the year we pass the strongest anti-bullying bill possible.

He pumped his fist in the air enthusiastically as he told us "I'm with you! I'm with you!"

His support on the bullying issue is not new.
This has been an issue that the Governor has publicly and repeatedly demonstrated support for since his days as Commissioner of Education. Last year in response to a question from Capital New Reporter Victoria Langley, he reaffirmed his support for an inclusive bill that refused to leave any group of students outside the protections of an anti-bullying bill. When Sen. Wise bottled the bill in his committee last year, Governor Crist invoked the tragic massacre in Virginia and publicly pressured him to let the bill go to the floor.

We wanted our members to know that he reaffirmed that support enthusiastically when the Anti-Defamation League and Equality Florida representatives met with him briefly outside his office. We let the Governor know we'd met with his staff and with his help we had the opportunity to pass a strong bill that wasn't afraid to address bullying that is happening our schools everyday.

I imagine his spokesperson is conveying that we were not on the Governor's calendar and that she was not informed of our impromptu conversation.

Nadine Smith
Equality Florida