1 STATE OF FLORIDA
CONSTITUTION REVISION COMMISSION
DATE: December 10, 1998
TIME: Commenced at 9:00 a.m.
11 Concluded at 11:00 a.m.
12 PLACE: The Senate Chamber
13 Tallahassee, Florida
14 REPORTED BY: MONA L. WHIDDON
15 Division of Administrative Hearings
The DeSoto Building
16 1230 Apalachee Parkway
2 W. DEXTER DOUGLASS, CHAIRMAN
3 CARLOS ALFONSO
CLARENCE E. ANTHONY (ABSENT)
4 ANTONIO L. ARGIZ (ABSENT)
JUDGE THOMAS H. BARKDULL, JR.
5 MARTHA WALTERS BARNETT
PAT BARTON (ABSENT)
6 ROBERT M. BROCHIN (ABSENT)
THE HONORABLE ROBERT A. BUTTERWORTH
7 KEN CONNOR
8 SENATOR ANDER CRENSHAW
VALERIE EVANS (ABSENT)
9 MARILYN EVANS-JONES
BARBARA WILLIAMS FORD-COATES
10 ELLEN CATSMAN FREIDIN
PAUL HAWKES (ABSENT)
11 WILLIAM CLAY HENDERSON
THE HONORABLE TONI JENNINGS (ABSENT)
12 THE HONORABLE GERALD KOGAN
DICK LANGLEY (ABSENT)
13 JOHN F. LOWNDES
14 JACINTA MATHIS
JON LESTER MILLS
15 FRANK MORSANI (ABSENT)
ROBERT LOWRY NABORS
16 CARLOS PLANAS (ABSENT)
JUDITH BYRNE RILEY
17 KATHERINE FERNANDEZ RUNDLE
SENATOR JIM SCOTT (ABSENT)
18 H.T. SMITH
ALAN C. SUNDBERG
19 JAMES HAROLD THOMPSON
PAUL WEST (ABSENT)
20 JUDGE GERALD T. WETHERINGTON
STEPHEN NEAL ZACK
IRA H. LEESFIELD
22 LYRA BLIZZARD LOGAN
2 (Roll taken and recorded electronically.)
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I think the Governor and some
4 Cabinet people, other than our own Commissioner
5 Butterworth that is with us this morning, will be here
6 later. And that is true, Commissioner Butterworth was
7 settling the tobacco matter and he was still able to
8 attend all of the meetings and do all of his duties as
9 Attorney General. He was certainly present for all of
10 the important votes.
11 If the members and guests would please rise, we
12 will have the opening prayer given this morning by
13 Reverend Brant Copeland of the First Presbyterian
14 Church in Tallahassee. Reverend Copeland.
15 REVEREND COPELAND: Oh mighty God, you have
16 blessed this state with the gifts of your creation and
17 with people willing to serve the common good. We
18 thank you of the work of this Constitution Revision
19 Commission, for its members and for its staff. As
20 these your servants complete their assigned tasks, we
21 know they have resolved to serve you through their
22 neighbors, seeking to do what is fair and just in your
23 eyes and working for the good of all, we ask this for
24 the sake of your justice and your love. Amen.
25 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Please remain standing for
1 the pledge of allegiance led this morning by pages of
2 the Seaside Neighborhood School, they are Cyrus Brough
3 and Mack McCarthy (phonetic), if you gentlemen would
4 come forward. Incidentally, Seaside is one of
5 Florida's first charter schools and it's located in
6 Walton County and it is the product of our executive
7 director's ingenuity and hard work.
8 (Pledge of allegiance said.)
9 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioners, I'm pleased,
10 as I'm sure all of you are, that we have this last
11 opportunity to meet.
12 And I would like to thank Commissioners Zack,
13 Thompson, Lowndes and Connor and Nabors for cohosting
14 the reception that we had last evening in the
15 Governor's mansion. It was certainly decorated
16 beautifully, and it seemed fitting that we concluded
17 the Commission with a reception at the same place that
18 we started it 18 months ago.
19 It doesn't seem that quite long ago, but that's
20 how long it's been. It was quite a lot of fun to get
21 together and certainly we appreciate the Governor and
22 Mrs. Chiles for having us there, and Jerome did a
23 great job with the particulars of the party.
24 With regard to the revisions, I am sure, also
25 like me, most of you were pleasantly surprised by the
1 election results last month. I'm not sure that any
2 one of us can point to the one event or one action by
3 the Commission that resulted in our overwhelming
4 success. Nonetheless, it seemed important for me and
5 others that the Commission meet for one last time to
6 examine its work and offer the next Commission 20
7 years from now any recommendations regarding our
8 process of revision.
9 And, yes, for those of you who are wondering,
10 Commissioner Barkdull is staking out his seat in the
11 chamber for the next Commission, who will only be 93,
12 and he's set to lead the rules committee again, and
13 he's going to wear his collar, you know, his spiked
14 collar then to keep himself safe.
15 And I want to recognize Commissioner Barkdull,
16 chairman of rules to start it off, like we always did,
17 with Commissioner Barkdull. Commissioner Barkdull.
18 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman
19 and members, on your desk you have got a proposed
20 agenda that was mailed to you. It'll be the same one
21 that we will use this morning. Primarily we wanted to
22 give each Commissioner an opportunity to express their
23 views about what ought to be considered as proposed
24 recommendations to leave for prosperity in the next
1 I would like to lead it off a little bit with
2 some reflections. Both the '68 Constitution Revision
3 Commission and the '78 started out --
4 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Barkdull, would
5 you use your microphone please?
6 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Yes, sir. Normally I
7 don't need one.
8 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Well, some of us are hard of
10 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Give me your right ear.
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Got it.
13 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Yes, sir. As I was
14 saying, we hope to digest the comments made by the
15 Commissioners here today and some recommendations left
16 for the consideration of the appointing authorities
17 and those that may be appointed to the Commission 20
18 years from now. And we are going to give every member
19 of the Commission an opportunity to express their
20 thoughts and give you some time to think about what
21 you would want to say. I'll go ahead and express some
22 of mine and maybe that will give you some ideas of
23 where to go or what not to do.
24 But I want to point out that one of the
25 substantial differences in the beginnings of this
1 Commission, as contrasted to the '68 or '78, at
2 neither of those Commissions was there any planning
3 done in advance. The people were appointed and then
4 they organized and began their work, and we were more
5 fortunate in this Commission.
6 Governor Chiles, by executive order, created a
7 Steering Committee for the consideration of how a
8 Commission would be proposed and spent approximately a
9 year in advance of when appointments were made to this
10 Commission and delivered to us a package which had
11 recommendations as to the public hearings, had
12 recommendations for the rules, and gave a -- and also,
13 most importantly, proposed several statutes that were
14 passed by the '97 Legislature that related to the
15 Commission, the most important of which was money.
16 And I would certainly hope that some of our
17 recommendations would be that such a Steering
18 Committee be established in advance of the Commission
19 20 years from now, either by statute or by executive
20 order by the Governor, so that that Commission will
21 have the benefit of somebody having had an opportunity
22 to study the situation in advance. I realize that
23 because of one of the proposals that we put on the
24 ballot, that membership in the Commission will be
25 appointed at a lot earlier date than we were.
1 But I still think that it would benefit the
2 Commission at that time if they have the work of a
3 Steering Committee or a product of a Steering
4 Committee and its recommendations because it gives
5 them an opportunity to have a structure that is
6 proposed to them. If they do not like it, they can
7 obviously alter it as we altered in here some of the
8 rules that were proposed by the Steering Committee.
9 But at least we had a place to start.
10 And I think that it did help us somewhat hit the
11 ground running with our public hearings as early as we
12 did, considering our appointments were not concluded
13 until about the 10th of June.
14 So, I would like to start off with the thought
15 that one of our recommendations would be that there
16 will be a Steering Committee to give some thought to
17 the processes and the procedures to be used by the
18 Commission that will be -- come into being assuming
19 that some of the efforts that I've heard are not
20 successful in abolishing the right to have a
21 Commission. And I would welcome other comments in
22 this regard.
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. I think before --
24 I think I've already said that the Governor, and
25 Comptroller Milligan and Treasurer Nelson will be
1 joining us later to speak, so I need you to be aware
2 of that. I would like to ask Commissioner Mills at
3 this point to introduce Ron Sacks who is here in
4 the -- up there -- way up there, and tell you what a
5 great function he played in our ability to get our
6 message out as to what our revisions were.
7 Commissioner Mills who was chairman of the Information
9 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
10 Ron Sacks was charged, along with our other Ron, of
11 explaining those things that we did. And I guess, I
12 first want to note, Commissioner Barkdull's public
13 comments have been very enlightening. His private
14 comment was even better, which was, those of you that
15 heard it, You know, if I had known all of those things
16 were going to pass, I would have paid more attention.
18 COMMISSIONER MILLS: But based on having to pass
19 all of those things, the Public Education Committee,
20 which as you were charged, Mr. Chairman, tried to
21 explain this to the public through Ron's efforts and
22 others, we had a number of public service spots which
23 were created, which I think many of you may have seen.
24 We organized efforts to go to every editorial board,
25 which I think added up to over 20 when we finally
1 examined how many papers there were in this state.
2 And to the extent that the people paid attention to
3 the editorial awards, we had enormous endorsement. I
4 think over 70 percent with the proposals and
5 opportunities to endorse by our papers ended up with
7 The other commitment was to go out and to speak
8 to groups. I think Commissioner Ford-Coates has the
9 world record for the number of Kiwanis, Rotary, et
10 cetera, groups. I think that she did 60 in 30 days.
11 And I think the person with the longest road record
12 was Commissioner Henderson who had sort of gone into
13 dilusions about mid-August and was writing e-mails
14 from the middle of I-4 about his various experiences
15 on AM radio.
16 So, our Commissioners, I think one of the things
17 that in retrospect that we can be proud of is, because
18 these issues were relatively complicated and because
19 these issues were presented to the public without
20 millions of dollars to explain them, part of the
21 reason that I think that they were successful is the
22 impression that the public had from the Commissioners
23 they saw. And I think our Commissioners made an
24 enormous effort to speak to lots of groups and to make
25 an impression. And even if they only saw one
1 Commissioner, I think that they had faith in the
3 So, one of the things that we said toward the
4 end, when we were concerned and not so optimistic,
5 since everyone was telling us, Well, it's about time
6 for them to all fail again, was what a successful
7 process this would have been even if everything would
8 have failed because of the level of debate, because of
9 the public education. And I was prepared for that
10 this speech, and I wasn't at all prepared for the
11 speech that said, Gee, they all passed.
12 So, Mr. Chairman, with Ron's efforts and others
13 and your support, and really the individual efforts, I
14 would say that strongly the effort of public education
15 should be reviewed specifically and I think it made a
16 difference. It made a difference because individual
17 Commissioners took a role. We had, as a Commission,
18 at least some resources to try to explain this to the
19 public. We had the cooperation of the legal women
20 voters, the Collins Center and other groups who
21 actually organized and put on forums.
22 We had not only those commitments, but we had the
23 commitments from a lot of individual groups who simply
24 wanted more information. I think it's important that
25 we pass on the need to have the education process,
1 that it be funded. We did take a poll, and I think
2 that would parenthetically say that was a good idea.
3 It was a good idea because it identified what public
4 confusion there might be about various other
5 proposals. And in that regard, Mr. Chairman, since
6 this was an impromptu discussion of public education,
7 I do think that we have to pass on it, or I think that
8 we should have other Commissioners comment on the
9 public education process and what we should ask the
10 Commission to do in 20 years.
11 Because, while I don't think -- I think the
12 drafting was important, and I think the ballot
13 language was important, none of this was foreordained
14 by the time we put this on the ballot. And there was
15 still concern, confusion, et cetera. And I think that
16 a combination of hard work and a structured approach
17 would be continually helpful. And I would solicit
18 other comments on public education.
19 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Okay. Any questions or
20 comments on public education in response to
21 Commissioner Mills' comments? Thank you, Commissioner
23 The Chairman asked me to ask the Secretary to
24 call the roll. He forgot to do that. And if you
25 will, just answer present, we need to go through the
1 roll very quickly and we can't do it on the board the
2 way it's set up. Please proceed.
3 (Roll verbally taken.)
4 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: We want to proceed now
5 into the members' comments on planning and any kinds
6 of comments that we might have that might help others
7 in the future. And I think that will be very helpful
8 to us. We have heard a little bit from Commissioner
9 Barkdull and we have heard some comments from
10 Commissioner Mills on how the campaign sort of
11 unfolded. But I would like to open the floor now on
12 behalf of our chairman for those of you who would like
13 to comment on the process and planning for future
14 Commissioners such as Commissioner Barkdull and others
15 that will be in these chairs 20 years from now.
16 So, who would like to be recognized?
17 Commissioner Zack, you are recognized.
18 COMMISSIONER ZACK: Well, whatever we did, it
19 worked, so I would suggest that we continue to
20 recommend what we did as a blueprint for future
21 commissions. Everyone has comments, but there are two
22 specific suggestions that I think set the tone for
23 everything that we accomplished.
24 And the first was the super majority vote
25 requirement. And to the extent that that could be
1 institutionalized, I think that made the difference.
2 We knew that if we had that many people in favor of a
3 proposal, that we had reached a consensus about
4 something that was important to the state and that it
5 wasn't just important to a few people sitting in the
7 And the second point was the nonpartisan aspect
8 of this Commission. It was emphasized from the first
9 meeting, it was achieved throughout the process, and
10 it's important that whatever can be done to continue
11 to represent a nonpartisan approach to whatever we do
12 in the future, where the next Commission can say, as
13 we did, that we did what was right for the people of
14 the State of Florida and not for any particular party,
15 that we'll continue to make sure that that is part of
16 this process.
17 On a personal note, I just want to take this last
18 opportunity to thank everyone in this chamber for
19 making this experience very, very meaningful to me,
20 one that I'll remember all of my life. And the
21 friendships that were made, as Judge Barkdull said in
22 our first meeting, are lifelong friendships and I hope
23 we'll have an opportunity to meet again in the future.
24 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Commissioner Barnett
25 recognized for comments.
1 COMMISSIONER BARNETT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
2 I've always viewed the Constitution Revision
3 Commission as really the people's Commission, a unique
4 body in this state and maybe in the country, in that
5 each of us, while we are appointed by an individual,
6 we really are representative of the people of the
7 state, evidenced by our ability to take our proposal
8 straight to the ballot. The thing that impressed me
9 the most and that I felt guided my actions as a member
10 of the Commission were the input from the public. The
11 public hearings, I think, are a critical component of
12 why the work products of this Commission were so
14 First, in seeking input from the public and even
15 establishing the agenda for the Commission, I think,
16 laid a foundation and framework that was very useful
17 ultimately when we took a proposal back to the people
18 and asked them to vote on it. I don't know if the
19 staff has done any calculations, but I suspect that
20 many of the proposals that actually became
21 recommendations of this Commission had their genesis
22 in public testimony and that they were recommended by
23 a citizen of the state.
24 Some were issues that we may have come up with
25 anyway because of their importance to the state, but I
1 believe that a vast majority of the issues that we
2 discussed and debated and ultimately proposed, as I
3 said, had their genesis in the public.
4 Once we came up with our preliminary
5 recommendations, I think it was also wise, even though
6 it was difficult logistically to do, to take those
7 proposals back to the people, to see if in fact we
8 were dealing with issues that the people thought were
9 important. And I think we learned a lot from those
10 subsequent public hearings. So, if there's one thing
11 that I would recommend that future commissions do, it
12 is to listen to the people of the state because
13 ultimately, as the people's Commission, we are asking
14 them to endorse the amendments and changes to their
15 basic framework of government.
16 I would like Commissioner Zack, just a moment, to
17 thank each of you. It's been a privilege to get to
18 know some old friends better and to meet some new
19 friends. I have tremendous respect for each of you
20 individually and for many of those who are not here.
21 And I want to thank you, and wherever Mr. Chairman is,
22 to thank him particularly for his leadership during
23 this process.
24 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Thank you, Commissioner
25 Barnett. The Chairman had to go see the Governor for
1 a few minutes and he had to accommodate the Governor's
2 schedule on that. Further comments? Commissioner
3 Kogan, you are recognized, sir.
4 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5 Just a few comments. First of all, I think it becomes
6 incumbent upon whoever the appointing authorities are
7 20 years from today, that those persons that are going
8 to be appointed, be advised as to the amount of time
9 that this particular adventure is going to take. I
10 think that's very, very critical. I don't know how
11 many of you anticipated that you would be required to
12 spend this much time. I didn't find out until I
13 appointed my people and I'm sure that a lot of you
14 probably were never informed as to the amount of time
15 it would take. So, from a technical aspect, I think
16 that's necessary.
17 I think also we need to, as has been said before,
18 make sure that we have persons on here who have open
19 minds, while you may have a different particular --
20 oh, Governor, how are you this morning?
21 GOVERNOR CHILES: Good.
22 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: Mr. Comptroller, how are you
23 doing today?
24 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: Doing fine, sir, thank
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Will the Commissioner yield?
2 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: I'll yield, I'll yield.
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: We interrupt this program to
4 have the great pleasure of introducing you to two of
5 the people who are quite instrumental in our work.
6 Certainly first, the Governor, Lawton Chiles, who
7 appointed 15 of us and who selected me as chairman.
8 And I think I've said this before, that I've known a
9 lot of people in my short life and had a lot of
10 friends, but Governor Chiles is one of those rare
11 individuals who, no matter how high he rises in the
12 estimation of the public and others, he has remained
13 the same from the day that I met him at the University
14 of Florida when we were both brilliant underachievers
15 in the classroom.
16 And he still is an overachiever in serving the
17 public, but he's above all else, someone who carries
18 the old values that Commissioner Barkdull and I
19 remember well, of never, ever isolating a friend or
20 forgetting a friendship and never, ever burning all of
21 your bridges with those that happen to disagree with
22 you today, that tomorrow it may be advantageous for
23 the state or for what other country that you align
24 yourself with, those people that you have disagreed
25 with and go forward.
1 And Governor Chiles' service, which is now coming
2 to an end, and I trust will not end in the public
3 sense, but in the elective sense, it is coming to an
4 end. And he and Mrs. Chiles, as you-all know, have
5 been a great asset to our state, and whoever follows
6 him from now on will have a benchmark of service to
7 follow in their career.
8 I would like to present to you at this time, the
9 Governor of the State of Florida, Governor Lawton
11 (Standing ovation.)
12 GOVERNOR CHILES: Thank you very much,
13 Mr. Chairman. I thank you, you are very kind, thank
14 you. I want to take this opportunity to thank each of
15 you, and you, Mr. Chairman, for the outstanding job
16 that you have done. I think the results speak for
17 themselves of what a wonderful sort of slam dunk to
18 see that the people went along with the
19 recommendations that y'all made in the overwhelming
20 way that they did.
21 You have served the state very well in this
22 capacity, your judgments were very sound in the
23 provisions that you presented to the people, and I
24 think the people will be served, I know they will, for
25 a number of years, for many, many years with the
1 changes that you have made.
2 Your deliberations were very sound. I know that
3 nothing like that is easy, I know that there were some
4 tough issues, I know that everybody didn't get
5 everything that they wanted, but you worked through it
6 in that you were able to come together and put
7 together a package that was very sound and received
8 tremendous support from the people. Thank you very
9 much on behalf of the people of the State of Florida
10 for the tremendous job that you did.
11 Mr. Chairman, you did a great job as chairman,
12 you have served me very, very well, and I thank you
13 for that role in what you did as well. Thank you.
14 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: We also have with us today
15 Comptroller Milligan, who I think I've said this
16 before, is probably one of the most dedicated people
17 that we have had come into the Cabinet, certainly the
18 most, in my career, dedicated to doing what he
19 believes is correct without reference to political
20 repercussions, which is a very difficult job in the
21 Cabinet as you all know. And he is the gentleman,
22 along with Commissioner Nelson who came to the party
23 last night but came at 6:30 and left before we got
24 there, and this morning he didn't get here yet, so we
25 were going to ask him to say a few words. But in his
1 absence, we'll ask Comptroller Milligan, and he and
2 Commissioner Nelson, as you know, proposed the Cabinet
3 restructure which passed and is going into effect.
4 Commissioner Milligan, great public server and a
5 great comptroller, Commissioner Milligan.
6 (Standing ovation.)
7 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: Please sit down. I think
8 it's fine to stand up for the Governor, but since I
9 retired as a general officer I don't expect people to
10 stand up for me anymore.
12 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: I want to take advantage
13 of this opportunity to make perhaps a slightly
14 different comment. This morning the Governor and
15 myself with the rest of the Cabinet members are
16 sitting as the clemency board. And we talked a little
17 bit earlier, the Chairman did, about the Governor and
18 his good leadership.
19 And I want to use this opportunity to make a
20 comment about the Governor's leadership, and it's
21 really exemplified in this clemency board. And I have
22 told him a number of times that it's probably the most
23 difficult job that I think that anybody could probably
24 be asked to do, to serve as the head of this board
25 that is dealing with the lives of men and women, the
1 victims, the criminals and their families, and how he
2 does it in such a concerned way about people, which I
3 believe is the single mark of a great leader to be
4 genuinely concerned about people.
5 So, I want to tell you, Governor, I put you at
6 the very top of people that are genuinely concerned
7 about people, and I thank you for the example that you
8 have set for me and the leadership that you have given
9 to me and to this state.
10 That same leadership and concern for people I
11 think was reflected in the effort of this Commission.
12 And the effort that you put into really being
13 concerned about the future of this state and the
14 people that live in it, and a reflection in your
15 efforts that in every, every case reflected the idea
16 of being genuinely concerned about people. And I
17 think that then was reflected in the results on 3
19 And so I thank you for your leadership and the
20 type of leadership that I think we miss sometimes in
21 the execution of our duties in really being genuinely
22 concerned about people. Unfortunately, you have put
23 me out of a job, but I thank you for supporting what I
24 think was Amendment 8 which was a great step forward
25 in the way that this state does business and does
1 business in the Sunshine but does it in a more
2 effective and more efficient manner. So, God bless
3 you all and thank you very much for what you have
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. We will go
6 forward. Now, Commissioner Kogan, you had the floor
7 and yielded. Commissioner Butterworth, do you want to
8 make any remarks before you leave to go to clemency?
9 COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH: Will my former boss
10 yield for a second?
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: He yields.
12 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: For those of you that don't
13 know, the General's first legal job was working in the
14 Dade County State Attorney's Office where I employed
15 him for the magnificent sum of -- was it $2.00 per
17 COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH: One dollar, I asked
18 for 2.
19 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: One dollar an hour, but I
20 have to tell him, you know, 20 years later, or
21 whatever it is, 30 years actually, I have to tell
22 him --
23 COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH: More than 30 years
24 just this month.
25 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: Yes. And a dollar went a
1 long way in those days.
2 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Not as far as you thought,
4 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: Well, I'm glad to see that
5 you made a success out of yourself despite your low
6 payment back in those days.
7 COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH: I still have that
8 first dollar, Justice. I thought at some point in
9 time I would want to give it back to you.
10 I would like to thank all of you for the
11 opportunity to serve with you on this Commission.
12 I've had an opportunity to serve in government for a
13 number of years and I really believe that when you
14 throw 35 people at an issue, you kind of wonder what's
15 going to happen, and what happened 20 years before we
16 came here, we really -- I think probably because of
17 what happened 20 years ago, we were probably more
18 wanting to do what was right. Whatever happened,
19 obviously, the public didn't buy into it.
20 I want to compliment Judge Barkdull for the
21 leadership role that he played even before we were all
22 appointed. And Judge Barkdull, who had served on all
23 but the first Constitution Revision Commission, and I
24 think he did serve on the first but he just won't
25 admit it, is that -- it was in the 1880s or 1840s, so
1 we had to come in organized that -- we only had a few
2 months, and the best thing was to have the Governor
3 and the Legislature give us some authority beforehand.
4 If it hadn't been for Judge Barkdull's pushing on
5 this issue, I do not believe that it would have
6 happened. Judge, I thank you for that and I think
7 that the people of the State of Florida should also.
8 And because we did come in organized and we didn't
9 miss those first two or three months of having to get
10 ourselves organized, we already had, if we wanted to
11 accept it as we did, the rules, the public hearings,
12 the organization. We learned from the past.
13 But I think one of the big things was the
14 openness. And as Commissioner Barnett stated, we
15 heard from the people in the beginning, we took the
16 product back to the people, we heard from them again.
17 We were up on the Web and if anybody wanted any
18 information about the Commission, they could get it.
19 And as to the news media, I believe, gave us very fair
20 flak, and I think the public had a good feeling about
21 this Commission and I think that they knew that it was
22 the people's Commission.
23 And that I believe was -- and the product that we
24 gave them. Because, as Commissioner Zack stated, by
25 having the super majority vote, we, in essence, were
1 not sending anything to the people that was a fringe
2 issue, it was a centralist, more of a centralist
3 issue, and I think that's what really played very
4 well, that no one in this state, and having had the
5 opportunity to be campaigning, not only for this, but
6 for another issue at the time, I was not hearing
7 anything negative about the Commission or negative
8 about any of the issues. There was some, certainly,
9 but nothing truly negative.
10 One suggestion that I would like to make and know
11 that now judge and former Attorney General Bob Sheven
12 would agree with me on, and that is that it's very,
13 very difficult for a sitting attorney general in
14 election years, and it always happens in election
15 years, even when we meet 20 years from now, to be able
16 to serve on this commission and give it the full time
17 that we would like to when we also have to run a major
18 office in government.
19 And as I stated before, I never said Legislative
20 branch, but in my 25 years of government beforehand, I
21 was able to avoid each and every one of those trivial
22 issues, which loses you 5 percent of the vote. And
23 literally in 30 minutes I voted on 20 issues that cost
24 me 100 percent of the vote, actually the State of
1 But all of that aside, I do want to thank you for
2 your dedication, for your friendship, and I really
3 truly have enjoyed being part of the process. My only
4 regret being, because of the challenge of the office
5 that I'm in now and also that small tobacco case that
6 we had ongoing, that I could not spend my full time
7 and commitment the way that I really wanted to when I
8 first realized that I was to be appointed. And I
9 said, Why, and they said, Because the Constitution
10 says so. So, thank you very much.
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Thank you. We are going to
12 try to the wind up our entire program by 10:30, so
13 remarks are appreciated and asked. Commissioner
15 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: Thanks. I'll try.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: That wasn't an attempt to
17 limit you, sir.
18 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: In any event, I found that
19 because we had a great diversity as to the membership
20 of this particular Commission, we accomplished the
21 many things that we did. I wasn't really that
22 surprised that we did that well, because I think as a
23 group here we represented a cross section of the
24 people of the State of Florida and that is the reason
25 why we did as well as we did.
1 I want to thank all of you for giving me the
2 privilege and opportunity to work for all of you. For
3 those of you who may not know it, within a couple of
4 weeks now, as a matter of fact two weeks from today,
5 I'll be stepping down from the Supreme Court to return
6 to private life, which is nice because now it gives me
7 the opportunity to say all of those outrageous things
8 that I wanted to say during the last 18 and a half
9 years and never really had the opportunity to do it.
10 But, Tom, I want to say one thing, I'm glad that
11 you have learned a lesson, that you will pay more
12 attention, and that's important because in the year
13 2017, as Governor, I will appoint you to the next
14 Constitution Revision Commission. Thank you,
15 everybody. And I am going to have to leave maybe a
16 little bit early today. All right. Commissioner
17 Kogan has just filed his papers with the Secretary of
18 State having announced his candidacy for Governor.
19 Also, we thought you made those outrageous remarks
20 before you retired.
21 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: They were opinions.
22 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Opinions.
23 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: Yes, but you have got to
24 remember that most of them are joined in by six
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: That's true. And now I would
2 recognize anyone else that -- Commissioner
4 COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES: Thank you,
5 Mr. Chairman. I want to also say how much I've
6 enjoyed serving with each and every one of you. And I
7 think one of the fun things that I thoroughly enjoyed
8 was in my 10 years in the Legislature, we never
9 listened to one another, very seldom did we change
10 votes; everybody knew what they were going to do
11 before all of the discussions happened. But I think
12 here we truly listened with an open mind and we
13 changed our opinions many times because of what was
14 said. And I think that's really exciting.
15 I also did enjoy the nonpartisan group here, I
16 think it was as good that we had as many Democrats and
17 Republicans, because I do think it reflected the
18 thinking of Florida. I think the super majority was
19 essential. I think that's one thing that we really,
20 really need to pass on to the next Commission. I
21 think the public hearings, Commissioner Barnett, we
22 really did listen. And I think that's why the votes
23 were there because we did reflect those views.
24 And I also want to thank our chairman because I
25 thought he was a very fair and good chairman, and I
1 think that we needed that sort of leadership to feel
2 that we were being treated fairly. And I also think
3 that without the Secretary and without the staff that
4 we had, we would have never accomplished what we would
5 have accomplished.
7 COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES: And I don't know when
8 I've seen as few people do as much as they did. And I
9 just think that we are all greatly in their debt.
10 Again, I want to thank you and tell you how much fun
11 it was. And I was astounded, I have to admit, that we
12 really did quite as well as we did, so I think that
13 was exciting. And I did find, when talking to the
14 people, that a lot of the groups that I spoke to had
15 been told, Vote no on everything. And I think people
16 found that to be a little bit insulting to their
17 intelligence. And when they heard the issues, they
18 certainly had the ability to make a determination as
19 to what they wanted to do. And I think that was
21 So, now, Mr. Chairman, I am going to go home and
22 I have got a party called Thanksmaschrisgiving that I
23 have every year, and I am going to have it on
24 December the 19th, and I will be having my 18
25 grandchildren, so I want all of you to realize that I
1 have to go home and wrap presents for everybody. And
2 it was great to be here.
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: With 18 grandchildren, we
4 will also remember you in our prayers. Thank you very
5 much, Commissioner Evans-Jones. Commissioner
6 Ford-Coates. Now, this is not one of those '60s
7 speeches now.
8 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: Gee, I thought I might
9 give you one of my endings to those speeches because I
10 wanted to formally express to everyone my husband's
11 greetings to you all. He is at work today, I am happy
12 to say, which is good after being off for two months,
13 but he does miss being here. This is the only meeting
14 he hasn't attended, but I do want to tell you that
15 while I was out giving those 60 speeches, at the end
16 of every speech when I got to Revision 11 and wanted
17 to talk about gender equity in the Constitution, I did
18 mention one of my husband's birthday presents, and
19 see, Judy, I do have one picture of her that is bigger
20 than wallet size. We became grandparents on August
21 23rd. This is Madelyn Rose May Bricker, so I am happy
22 to go home to just one grandchild and wrap lots of
24 Mr. Chairman, I want to add to Commissioner
25 Barkdull's comments on the Steering Committee because
1 I think that perhaps is easily the one piece that can
2 best prepare the Commission of 2018. And I would like
3 to suggest that perhaps one of the things that the
4 Steering Committee take up next time is the design of
5 an orientation process that perhaps could happen
6 during the session in one day. Not our official
7 opening meeting that we had where everyone came and
8 addressed us and we spent two days for kind of getting
9 a feel for what we were doing.
10 I think many of us could have used some
11 orientation on the history of the Constitution, on
12 parliamentary procedure, on a lot of discussion of the
13 rules and how they would work, and perhaps a video at
14 that time of the process. There was a lot of
15 confusion that many of us had as we went through
16 trying to understand the terms with which we were not
17 familiar on how the proposals would move through the
18 process, et cetera. I think that we could perhaps be
19 of service to the Commission in 2018 if we design an
20 orientation process at that time.
21 And set the calendar, obviously, earlier so that
22 that commission can start immediately at the close of
23 the legislative session, have the calendar set long
24 before the legislative session finishes. And that
25 Commission could meet to do that ahead of time.
1 The other thing I believe the Steering Committee
2 would play a major part in is dealing with whatever
3 electronic changes we will be facing, which I believe
4 in the area of voting will be significant in the next
5 20 years. I know you-all got the same kind of
6 questions I did, why did we bundle the proposals.
7 Perhaps in the year 2018 it'll be electronic voting
8 and 33 proposals won't be that confusing, who knows.
9 But I think there will be a lot of issues that
10 that Steering Committee will need to look at, perhaps
11 even more so than this one did, and I think that the
12 Steering Committee did a magnificent job of setting
13 the agenda, of doing the proposed rules, et cetera,
14 and I thank them extremely for that. I know I
15 attended several of the Steering Committee meetings.
16 And I would like to obviously add my thanks to
17 each one of you whom I consider a dear friend and will
18 always. And I hope that we all stay in touch. If you
19 don't have an E-mail address, you should get one
20 because that probably is the best way that any of us
21 have been able to communicate. Thank you.
22 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Thank you. All right.
23 Commissioner Freiden. Women and men alike. Men and
24 women alike?
1 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: Female and male alike,
2 isn't that what it was, Commissioner Connor? You
3 know, I think that as -- the older I get, what I find
4 is that it is very rare to find anyone who is always
5 committed to doing what's right, always committed to
6 helping people, and always committed to leaving this
7 world a place that is better than when they got here.
8 And I think that what made this process successful is
9 also the thing that made it so incredibly wonderful
10 for me personally, which was the fact that there were
11 37 people who were committed to all of those things,
12 that all sat in this room, day after day, week after
13 week, talked from our hearts and from our minds, but
14 talked only in terms of what we really felt was right.
15 And I think if there is any message to the
16 appointing authorities 20 years from now, it is to
17 please find people who will do what this group of
18 people did, which was to remain committed to their own
19 personal principles and not be swayed by political
20 concerns and not be swayed by things that really
21 didn't belong in the process, but just always do what
22 they think is right.
23 And it has been for me just the most special
24 privilege, certainly the greatest professional
25 experience of my life, to serve with all of you. And
1 I want to thank you all for allowing me the privilege
2 of doing that.
3 With regard to suggestions for the future, I
4 really think that something needs to be said, and this
5 is my suggestion for the future, by way of recognizing
6 an effort that I think was really extraordinary on our
7 Commission. My suggestion for the future is that John
8 Mills be appointed to head Style and Drafting again,
9 to head Public Information again. What else did he
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Well, he is getting an award.
12 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: Am I stealing your
13 thunder, Mr. Chairman?
14 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Not mine, his.
15 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: Well, he wants me to warm
16 it up.
17 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Yes.
19 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: But I, you know, having
20 watched John and the other members of the Style and
21 Drafting Committee and the amount of incredible hard
22 work but good work that they did, I must say that I
23 think that a large portion of our success was based on
24 the way the ballot package was put together. And for
25 that, I think that he deserves a round of applause and
1 a vote of thanks.
3 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: And his tireless
4 leadership of the public information campaign goes
5 without saying. The only other suggestion, Barbara, I
6 was going to say the same thing that you did about
7 orientation. I think that many of us, and we have had
8 discussions as we have gone along, that we kind of
9 felt in the dark as we started out and we didn't
10 really know where things were going and we understood
11 that there were proposals but we didn't know how they
12 were going to get from point A to point B, and I think
13 it would be wonderful to have a written description of
14 how we did it for the next Commission. And I hope
15 that that would be done.
16 The other thing that I would really love to see
17 done is some refining of the committee process. I
18 think that -- I actually think that it is a good idea
19 not to let committees kill proposals, although I think
20 that there are some proposals that maybe should be
21 able to be killed by an overwhelming vote, not just a
22 little super majority, but maybe something like a
23 75 percent vote or an 80 percent vote of a committee,
24 maybe. But I think that's something that ought to be
25 looked at, but otherwise I think it's good to let
1 things come to the floor.
2 But the thing that I would most suggest with
3 regard to the committee process is that there be more
4 available to the committee members in terms of expert
5 testimony and backup data. In some instances, with
6 some proposals, there was lots, and in other instances
7 there wasn't enough. It would be nice to have a
8 constitutional law expert or some other kind of expert
9 who would have practical experience to provide to the
10 committee members.
11 Other than that, Mr. Chairman, I don't think that
12 I have any other specific suggestions other than to
13 also thank you very much for your great leadership.
14 Last night at the DoubleTree, as we were having our
15 final meeting there of the Double Tree gang, we
16 started making a list of all of the snafus that may
17 have occurred from the podium during the time of your
18 leadership, but in the end after we discussed all of
19 those snafus, it was unanimous, and I think it is
20 today that you have provided us with great leadership
21 and we are more than thrilled to have served with you
22 and we thank you very much.
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Thank you. All right. Does
24 anyone else have any remarks? I knew Commissioner
1 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: And Commissioner
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Okay. You can get the last
4 word, how is that? Commissioner Sundberg.
5 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6 Just a couple of remarks. Commenting on the committee
7 system, I believe that the way that the committee
8 system operated for this Commission is the appropriate
9 role for committees. I don't think that the
10 committees ought to have the ability by any type of
11 vote to eliminate a proposal from coming forward to
12 the full Commission. Having said that, however, I
13 think that the process could be refined if we could,
14 or if the Commission, future Commission, could
15 institute a multiple reading process such as they have
16 in the Legislature.
17 I think in many instances we were faced with
18 proposals or propositions, we discussed them, votes
19 were taken, that I think people felt the need to
20 reconsider at a subsequent time. I think if there was
21 a process of multiple readings, so that there would be
22 a second reading on these proposals, they could be
23 flushed out better.
24 With respect to staff support and committee
25 process, again accolades to John Mills. John headed
1 up the Select Committee dealing with the Article V
2 issues, the funding issues, which were, as you all
3 know, very complex issues. And that committee met
4 interminably, but it had great staff support from the
5 Legislature, John Dew of the Legislative committee
6 brought the information forward. I was impatient to
7 move something, and John, and I think quite properly,
8 acted as a governor on that enthusiasm of mine and I
9 think we got a much better product as a result of
10 that. So, from that standpoint, I thought that that
11 was committee work that was well worthwhile.
12 With respect to the public hearings, I agree with
13 everything that's been said with virtue and with
14 respect to the public hearings. I would make one
15 other point, and I think that it was important to the
16 process, and that is, I think the public hearings in
17 view of the public with the view that, in fact, this
18 was going to be an open process, and that what they
19 had to say was important to this group, consequently I
20 think our product had a legitimacy with the public
21 that it might not otherwise have had.
22 I close by wishing to publicly thank and be
23 grateful to Justice Kogan for having appointed me to
24 this Commission and to each of you for the opportunity
25 to have served with you. Thank you very much.
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Henderson to
3 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: Some of us regret having
4 to following Sundberg who is always so damned
5 eloquent, you know. I got home to find that my kids
6 have all grown about an inch and a half while I was
7 out on the trail. I had a couple of days off, but the
8 euphoria of the occasion I think is still with me and
9 with some others.
10 I think that it is important to reflect at a time
11 like this that what was accomplished by the people of
12 this state on election day as a result of our work,
13 and indeed the Legislature's was a most significant
14 constitutional change that's ever occurred on any one
15 day in the history of this state. That sounds like a
16 lot of hyperbole, but when you look back at the
17 Constitutions which have proceeded us and those votes,
18 even at some very historic times, no changes changed
19 all of the branches of government as we did and
20 affected the fundamental Constitutional change that we
22 Everyone has explained some of the reasons for
23 that. I think ultimately it is the fact that we came
24 together in a collegial way, a diverse group, and
25 reached a consensus. And out there on the hustings,
1 it is very interesting to see, you know, toward the
2 end of this process, you know, anyone that's run for
3 public office, you know you get that feel, you know
4 that feel when the people come to you, when the people
5 embrace what you are doing, the people begin to
6 collectively breathe that sigh of relief, they have
7 come to a judgment, and we saw that out there. I saw
8 it in every part of the state, except for the
9 Panhandle, Judith, it didn't happen in the Panhandle,
10 I saw it in every part of the state, and it was this
11 collective judgment.
12 You know, you get to see it sometimes in a jury
13 trial, you have probably seen it a few times. So
14 there was just this overwhelming thing to be able to
15 see that kind of consensus reflected back with the
16 people. And I'll carry that with me for the rest of
17 my life.
18 The friendships that we have pulled together in
19 the course of the 18 months, I already miss you-all,
20 it's been great to see everybody on the last day. We
21 need to find opportunities to stay in touch by
22 something a little more personal than e-mail, although
23 I think our e-mail has probably became very personal.
24 I think that's kind of the ultimate record. I was
25 thinking we could put together the archives, you know,
1 if there was a way to scroll together all of those
2 e-mails from all of us late in the day, I don't think
3 that -- or actually, let's not do that.
4 I don't think that any of us, and if somebody
5 will predict, I don't think that any of us though
6 predicted that eight of nine of these would pass. Did
7 anyone here actually predict that eight of our nine
8 would pass? I don't think that any of us did, but I
9 think most of us thought that most of these were going
10 to pass.
11 Just a couple of things, just little snippets
12 that I remember from the process. I don't know if any
13 of y'all got to sit through the focus groups, they
14 were interesting, educational, I'll carry to my grave
15 this wonderful focus group of -- we pulled together
16 Joe Six-pack in Jacksonville. This was, you know, the
17 half of a dozen blue-collar folks, all of them came in
18 black pickup trucks and baseball caps and we pulled
19 them around the room and handed them the
20 Constitutional amendments and this one fellow -- of
21 course, you know, we are on the other side of two-way
22 glass, they can't see that we are here. This one guy
23 said, What damn fool lawyer wrote this? And I
24 resembled that remark.
25 And another thing that I remember, you know, we
1 talked about the debate, Marilyn Evans-Jones talked
2 about the debate, about how many times in the course
3 of a debate in here did we change our minds in the
4 middle of an action. And, H.T., you haven't said
5 anything yet, because we always waited for you to get
6 up and say something and we changed our minds
7 depending upon what H.T. said.
8 And I remember the first time that I stood here,
9 I was amazed because I noticed that people were
10 listening, that never happens, I am not used to that.
11 I am not used to that, people listening. Another
12 thing I remember, late in Style and Drafting we got
13 caught up in another generation or detail or something
14 on the Fish Commission and John sent us outside and
15 set up a table outside of one of the House chambers or
16 House meeting rooms over here, and for three hours we
17 stood there with general counsel from one agency and
18 general counsel for another agency, four other very
19 brilliant lawyers, and for three hours we debated the
20 meaning of the word T-H-E, okay?
21 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: What does it mean?
22 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: I think, Mr. Chairman,
23 it depends upon what the definition of the the is is,
24 but I don't know. But what we learned is what
25 justices deal with all of the time, that words matter
1 and how important that is. Anyway, I appreciate this
2 time, it was very exciting to be part of this process.
3 I said it over and over again in the course of my
4 travels out there, the most important thing is to be
5 on the right side of history, and I don't think that
6 any of us in this room doubt that everything that we
7 did in the course of this action was good and the
8 right thing to do and on the right side of history,
9 thanks to all of you. Mr. Chairman, from the bowels
10 of the doghouse back here, I appreciate everything
11 that you have done for the benefit of the people of
12 the State of Florida and this Commission.
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Thank you, sir. Commissioner
14 Alfonso. Now, some of these people are going to get
15 to speak again when they get awards, Commissioner
17 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: I just wanted to remind
18 Commissioner Henderson, this is a very quick comment.
19 But I got an e-mail, I just threw out a little
20 question on the e-mail, what about Revision 8, nobody
21 ever talks about revision eight, so I got a response
22 from Commissioner Henderson that said, revision eight
23 is a dog, it always was a dog, and it is going
24 nowhere. That was my response. So, yes, it was a
25 dog, but it did hunt.
2 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. I would like
3 to -- we'll give you a chance, but I would like to go
4 ahead and make my remarks and make the awards that we
5 are going to make. I don't want to cut anybody off,
6 but Justice Kogan just left, so you know we have got
7 to be careful. Let me say, as Chairman, this was a
8 humbling experience for me. I started in this process
9 by drawing the executive order setting up the Study
10 Commission and chaired the Study Commission for Judge
11 Barkdull and Commissioner Butterworth and two Speakers
12 of the House, and from the Senate, Commissioner Scott.
13 And we met several times, most of you know, and a lot
14 of work went into that. And I think, in recommending
15 something to the future, that that be, as everybody
16 says, refined and perhaps done better.
17 I also would like to acknowledge, that nobody has
18 really touched on, that one of the real architects of
19 this was Billy Buzzett. Billy had served as executive
20 director of the Article V Commission task force,
21 whatever we called it, and I had seen him in action
22 there. And he gets more for the money than any other
23 administrator I have ever seen, but he also gets his
24 work done and he did it with very minimal staff. Over
25 there he did it with no staff.
1 Billy participated very strongly in getting this
2 Study Commission done, and he also served as the
3 executive director of that. So he has been with us
4 from day one, and I recommend to the future that the
5 person that is going to be the executive director
6 become involved in the planning process at the time
7 that it begins and get that done.
8 We also had money to carry over which he took
9 care of in the Legislature. We had money for the
10 Commission that was saved by him from his other job,
11 and we were able to function because we did have funds
12 available to go forward. That's extremely important
13 in the future, keep your eye on this, because if the
14 Legislature is mad with you for some reason, probably
15 20 years from now they still won't be mad about
16 anything, they will be worried and concerned with
17 other issues, they could make it a very difficult
18 process for the Commission to function.
19 And with that, I want to recognize the Senate. I
20 don't think that any of you know how important it
21 really was that the Senate President allowed us to use
22 this chamber at great, great I'm sure logistical
23 problems for them. It is a perfect place for this
24 group, the size is right, everything is correct.
25 But more than that, the most valuable thing that
1 we received without expending any funds that were
2 appropriated for this Commission was the work of the
3 Senate staff, and particularly the Secretary. And
4 they deserve a rising round of applause.
5 (Standing ovation.)
6 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: And I want you to know that
7 they are not all in here because there's another 25 or
8 30 including all of the bill drafting people. Can you
9 imagine how we could have functioned without those
10 people? Well, I couldn't have functioned without
11 Madam Secretary. Now, she was wrong a lot. She kept
12 calling me down when I was right; and furthermore, she
13 was usually right. But I think at one time she said,
14 But you can't do that, and I said, I just did, You
15 shouldn't have. I said, I'm like a child, I just did.
16 She said, You are like a child, and went back to her
17 place. So, we did have a lot of fun. But she was
18 just invaluable, but all of the other people were as
19 well that served here with us. And I think that we
20 all owe the entire Senate the thanks for having such a
21 successful Commission.
22 There's some other things that I would mention,
23 except to say that I predicted that they would all
24 pass, but I was wrong, I missed on one. I really
25 thought that they would all pass in the end, and I was
1 afraid to tell anybody. But some newspaper columnist
2 did predict exactly what happened. I think it was
3 Troxler with the St. Pete Times that predicted that
4 one would lose and the rest would pass. And he had a
5 professor from the University of South Florida who
6 said they would all flunk and he had another professor
7 from somewhere that said we would pass two or three.
8 And I think it was Trossler that said they would all
9 pass but No. 10. And I must tell you, I don't know
10 where he was, but he sure had the pulse of the people
11 on that.
12 And No. 10, as you know, lost by less than a half
13 of a point, 12,000 votes out of several million. The
14 whole thing was overwhelming. All I can tell you is
15 that the experts, and they were all experts, said
16 that, you know, these didn't have a chance, they were
17 too complicated, people didn't understand them. But
18 they didn't reckon with the fact that Ron Morris and
19 Ron Sach, particularly Ron's group and Mark Vankowski
20 would come up with a proposition that what we needed
21 to do was to tell the people, with whatever
22 advertising we had, both sides of the issue and say,
23 You decide. Now, that was unique in the election
24 process. And the very little bit of television
25 coverage we got, which wasn't a little bit, it was all
1 over cable. They are still running some of them, I
2 think, I saw one the other night, a public service
3 announcement running on cable. But the truth of the
4 matter is that that message where they were being
5 bombarded by $30 million worth of negative ads about
6 the other side, Don't vote for him, this and that and
7 the other, really struck a chord with the public and
8 the public did discern between these.
9 And if you read the results and the amounts of
10 votes, which I don't know, Commissioner Barkdull, if
11 he hasn't already given them, is going to. But you
12 will see that they voted not in a block. Some people
13 probably voted no on all and some people voted yes on
14 all, but it was a close process.
15 Many people, according to the exit polls, went
16 into the polls with marked sample ballots and didn't
17 take long to vote. We got more votes for most of our
18 proposals than any judge got for retention. The
19 highest judicial statewide judge was Hardy who got
20 70 percent, and we had three, I believe, that were
21 over 70 percent affirmative votes.
22 So, the experts weren't experts, and I don't
23 purport to be either, but I got the same feel that
24 Commissioner Henderson got, that the people were going
25 to vote for it. And I wasn't concerned too much about
1 where they came from, I felt that overall, just the
2 feeling of having been throughout this state, which we
3 all got, that it was going that way. And I attribute
4 a great deal of it to the tone of the presentation
5 made and the production of the pros and cons and "you
6 decide" attitude with the public.
7 I think some great political people who get paid
8 hundreds of thousands of dollars to run campaigns and
9 lose would do well to study this as an emerging
10 proposition in the United States, and particularly in
11 the urban states like Florida, or the large populated
12 states like Florida.
13 There are a couple of other things. First of
14 all, I want to tell you something rather personal.
15 When we were beginning this process, I think
16 Chesterfield Smith and Judge Barkdull and several of
17 us old people were together discussing this, and I
18 think it was Judge Barkdull who said, Well, this will
19 be the Douglass Commission. We had the Allenburg
20 Commission and we had the Smith Commission. And I
21 said, Well, I don't intend for this to be the Douglass
22 Commission, and he'll remember this, I want it to be
23 the Commission of 1998, and that's what it is, and
24 that's what it will remain. Because I don't intend to
25 apply to be dean of the law school or president of the
1 university or president of the American Bar, I'm going
2 to leave that to Commissioner Barnett.
3 So, there is an advantage of getting an old man
4 to be Chairman of this who has no ability at all. And
5 not only no ability, but he doesn't have the
6 stay-with-it to go into some greater thing. This sort
7 of caps whatever mediocre career I have had here in
8 the twilight, and I have certainly enjoyed it.
9 And the biggest thing about this is you. We
10 served the people but we left each other knowing that
11 we were friends and that we trusted each other. And
12 even though some of us were hard on others, some of us
13 don't get along necessarily well, we argue from time
14 to time even out on the street or wherever else;
15 however, we all shared the will to do the right thing,
16 and we all ultimately recognized that in each other.
17 And I think that whatever we think of this whole
18 thing -- I hate the word process, you know, it reminds
19 me of the guy that serves you with the divorce papers,
20 process is just not a good word for what we had. If
21 anything it was service, not only of the papers, but
22 of service to the public and to ourselves and to each
24 We just cannot emphasize too much how much we got
25 out of our staff. Debbie Kearney who served me and
1 Jay Peterson, she ran the Governor's legal office,
2 they really went to hell when she left. They didn't
3 have anybody over there to tell them what the law was
4 all of the time like I did and Jay did, but she came
5 to us and she was very valuable. They didn't really
6 go to hell, but they sure missed Debbie, and we
7 didn't, we got a plus out of that.
8 And Sue Ellen who has been with me throughout my
9 limited public service and who has been very
10 invaluable to us all, and all of our other staff, Ron
11 Morris worked very hard and very quietly got a lot of
12 things done and -- got things done. And all of you
13 join me, I'm sure, in thanking them for that.
15 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Now, I would like to
16 recognize, this is always dangerous, but I think that
17 you will agree with me when you listen to these awards
18 that we have come up with here as Chairman's awards
19 that they are all well-deserved. I would like to make
20 these Chairman's awards. First of all, I have an
21 award which we have entitled the Draftsmanship Award.
22 And I don't think that anybody in this room could
23 argue with the proposition that John Lowndes should
24 get that award, and John Lowndes gets the
25 draftsmanship award. John.
2 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: And, John, you don't say
3 much, but you are going to have to say something after
4 you get this award. Come on up, John.
5 COMMISSIONER LOWNDES: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6 I am overwhelmed. I really thought John Mills did all
7 of the drafting. I want to thank the Chairman very
8 much for this. I listened to what everybody said
9 earlier today, and I think that we all felt the way
10 that so many of us expressed so well, that this is a
11 wonderful experience and the great part of the
12 experience was serving with so many bright and able
13 and dedicated public servants. And I want to thank
14 you all for the opportunity to serve with you and
15 thank you for this award. Thank you.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Our next award is called the
17 conscience award. Now, we all have consciences but we
18 had a conscience person that every time this person
19 came up, we all knew that we should listen because
20 this was coming from the conscience. The conscience
21 award goes to Marilyn Evans-Jones. Marilyn, your
22 plaque didn't come, but I'm going to present you
23 anyway in this photograph, the conscience, we couldn't
24 find one.
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: The next award was a tie.
2 The most effective in debate. Now, everybody knows
3 that H.T. Smith won that. H.T. Smith knows that H.T.
4 Smith won that. And he was just a joy to watch from
5 here. There's one thing that needs to be said about
6 H.T. before I call him and his cowinner up, if anybody
7 has courage in this group, it was H.T. Smith.
8 He did a couple of things that I'm not sure that
9 anybody here, except very few of you, can appreciate
10 the real tough decisions he had to make to go with
11 what he thought was right when he had great pressures
12 upon him to do otherwise. One of them, and I'll refer
13 to it specifically, and I think you will all agree, he
14 did one thing that resulted in our getting these
15 passed. He had something that he believed in strongly
16 and a lot of us believed in very strongly that was
17 going to be referred to as the affirmative action
18 revision, which would focus the entire process of our
19 election on that issue and detracted terribly from the
20 other issues.
21 If you will recall, recognizing that, he got up
22 and withdrew that from consideration and saved a lot
23 of people the trouble of having to vote on it. H.T.,
24 your courage in that regard and there are a couple of
25 others that I won't mention, but it is really an
1 inspiration to know that Americans' citizenship is
2 founded on people like you. And I thank God that we
3 have people like H.T. Smith. H.T. Smith is number one
4 of two that gets the best in debate award, and as you
5 might expect, Ken Conner is number two.
6 And I would like to say, come on up, Ken, that
7 here is another fellow that did a lot of courageous
8 things as well. He has a very, very deep-seated
9 belief in what he says and that's why he's so good in
10 debate. And he made a few courageous moves himself by
11 going against the tide and the pressure. And I would
12 like to take these two gentlemen and give them the
13 award for most effective in debate.
14 COMMISSIONER SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I
15 accept this award not for myself but as a
16 representation of the high quality of debate
17 throughout this chamber, throughout this journey that
18 we made. Let me just also say, with regard to the
19 staff, not only was this the best staff that I've ever
20 seen, but the spirit of the staff was the best that I
21 have ever seen. I don't know how many times I would
22 ask the staff for something, and I would say, I need
23 it tomorrow, and within 15 minutes it was on my desk
24 and with a smile. I think that was very important.
25 Let me thank the Governor for finding me on the
1 golf course on Friday on the last day of appointments
2 at the Dural Country Club and insisted that I
3 participate in this process. He didn't tell me how
4 much work would be involved, but I'm glad that I took
5 this journey with you. And I would like to thank
6 whoever got the seating arrangements for me to be
7 behind Ellen Frieden, next to Mills, next to my
8 spiritual guru, Allen Sundberg, Captain Sundberg, and
9 with Bobby Brochin behind me trying to figure out what
10 the vote would be, and with my mentor, Joey
11 Wetherington, who would take walks with me before
12 every Commission meeting to help me keep my head on
14 This has been a great journey, I have really
15 enjoyed it, and I think we have served the people of
16 the state of Florida well.
17 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: Ladies and gentlemen,
18 Commissioners, I'm honored to have served with you.
19 This has been, without a doubt, the most stimulating
20 and thought provoking time that I have ever spent.
21 There are people in the media age who say that because
22 of television and other media that we have, that we
23 have lost our ability to think. I didn't see any
24 evidence of that in this chamber. I saw and found
25 some of the most rigorous, insightful and exciting
1 thinkers in our state.
2 I consider it a privilege to have served with
3 you. It is a singular honor for me to have had the
4 opportunity to get to know each of you and to work
5 with you, and I look forward to the great things that
6 you will continue to bring to our state in the way of
7 service. Thank you.
8 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Our next award is the
9 three-times-the-charm award. And you all know who
10 that is, that is Judge Barkdull. Judge Barkdull,
11 Commissioner Barkdull, permanent Commissioner
12 Barkdull, after three times, receives this award. His
13 third service resulted in just about everything
14 passing. And he thought that they were going to all
15 lose. That's when I predicted that they would all
16 pass. I have known Tom a long time. Commissioner
17 Barkdull, your award, sir.
18 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
19 I realize there is a little tongue-in-cheek in this
20 award, but I, as I've indicated to you all before, as
21 you go forward from this day, you will realize with
22 each passing time that the friendships you have forged
23 in this group will be unique among the friendships
24 that you have and they will be with you the rest of
25 your life. And you will always look back on this 18
1 months as some of the finest service and opportunity
2 to be with some of the best people in the state of
4 And yes, Mr. Chairman, I did refer, right after
5 you were appointed as Chairman, to the three chairmen
6 of the Constitution Revision Commissions, the Smith
7 Commission, Chesterfield Smith, the D'Alemberte
8 Commission, Sandi D'Alemberte, and I'm very proud to
9 refer to this Commission as the Douglass Commission,
10 notwithstanding your remarks.
12 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I just was handed a note here
13 by -- and I'm corrected again. I think I'm going to
14 call for a vote on this, a voice vote. There's been a
15 motion made that Commissioner Barkdull be granted a
16 lifetime membership on the Constitution Revision
17 Commission. All in favor say aye.
18 (Verbal vote taken.)
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Opposed? It carries. The
20 public education award was not too difficult. We all
21 know John Mills sort of got on the phone some, did a
22 little bit, but there are two people that really
23 deserve this as well. One was Clay Henderson, who you
24 heard traveled the state, went everywhere in the
25 world, just did a wonderful job of speaking, of going
1 to the grass roots. And you also heard about Barbara
2 Ford-Coates who made over 60 speeches. Now, that is
3 really a task. She could run for something else other
4 than tax collector just by the number of people that
5 she saw. Now, I would like to ask Clay Henderson and
6 Barbara Ford-Coates to come up for the public
7 education award.
8 Yes, Clay Henderson is the only fellow that can
9 send e-mail from his car with both feet on the
10 steering wheel.
11 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: I just want to stand
12 here once, I always wanted to stand here. Come on up
13 here, Barbara.
14 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: When you have been
15 sitting at the back row, it's kind of nice to know
16 what it looks like up here. But I would like to thank
17 the seating chart folks for putting me beside John
18 Lowndes, it was a wonderful experience. Thank you,
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: See, that John is sneaky, he
21 doesn't talk to us, but he keeps it going with the
22 people around there.
23 Now, we had a most valuable member, and I think
24 it would be a unanimous vote. The most valuable
25 member is, of course, John Mills. I mean, if you
1 think about it, he served as chairman of Style and
2 Drafting, and that was a blue-ribbon committee. I
3 mean, it was a group of people that were just
4 dedicated and bright, Martha, and Barbara, Carlos
5 Alfonso, Jim Scott, and of course John as chairman,
6 and John Lowndes was on the committee. And who did I
7 leave out? That was it, wasn't it?
8 And they met for hours, and hours, and hours and
9 hours, unbelievable, they really worked on this. And
10 that was, of course, the main reason that I think that
11 our revisions were probably understood by the public
12 and they were able to vote on them. And they
13 redrafted our proposals to mean what we wanted them to
14 mean. And in some instances that was difficult to do.
15 But he also served, as you know, as it's been
16 pointed out, as chairman of the Select Committee on
17 the Article V. And Commissioner Wetherington who was,
18 of course, head of the Judiciary Committee and worked
19 very hard on all of our Article V matters can tell you
20 that he was a masterful chairman of that, as
21 Commissioner Sundberg, who was a very great proponent
22 of what we finally did.
23 All of us should know that that committee
24 probably saved us from a lot of disasters by coming up
25 with a proposal which met the needs and didn't do
1 violence to any particular group, a very, very
2 difficult job. But then he took on the Public
3 Information Committee and handled that so expertly
4 along with those who helped him that we were able to
5 get our message across. So, there has to be a most
6 valuable member and it has to be John Mills.
7 (Standing ovation.)
8 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Thank you. What a privilege
9 this has been. And by the way, Commissioner
10 Henderson, if you can see yourself from up here, you
11 would understand the whole thing. It has been an
12 experience working with Chairman Douglass and with
13 each of you that will never be replicated. And I
14 think that we have all said that.
15 I think we learned that that old saying that one
16 person of principle and belief is more powerful than
17 100 people with small interests certainly played out
18 with 37 people of principle and belief. And it's been
19 a privilege that I can never repeat.
20 And of course, there's one thing, since I didn't
21 announce this to everybody individually, one of the
22 other great consequences of my service on the
23 Constitution Revision Commission is that my wife and I
24 are about to be parents again. This is not a direct
25 consequence, this is just to, for those who want to
1 serve in 2017, there is some time.
2 But thank you again, Mr. Chairman, and friends
3 for life. It'll be a pleasure to see you all over and
4 over again and have a chance to relive this incredible
5 shining moment in history that I think the state of
6 Florida should be very grateful to the chairman and to
7 each of you, and it has just been a pleasure to
8 participate. Thank you.
9 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: There are many others here
10 that deserve awards, everybody was unique in their
11 service and I could go down each here and make
12 comments, and I can't resist making one or two, but
13 very quietly sitting on the back row is Commissioner
14 Mathis and I think all of us indicate what a value she
15 was. Commissioner Mathis.
16 I'm not leaving anybody out deliberately, but I
17 couldn't pass this opportunity up for recognizing
18 Carlos Alfonso, he was great in the committee and
19 worked out the process that made that a significant
20 change in the government. I think Carlos needs to be
21 recognized by all of us for that. And the other thing
22 that I think that needs to be said is that if we did
23 one thing here, we proved that bipartisan workers with
24 the same goal of doing the right thing can accomplish
25 a lot. We can leave aside many of our strong ties and
1 influences and pressures and do what each of us thinks
2 is correct. If there's any recommendation that I
3 leave and you leave to the future, not only to the
4 Commissions, to the Legislature, to other people who
5 go into public service, county commission, school
6 boards, whatever; that once you get elected, you
7 approach problems with what you believe is the correct
8 result for the most people and keep your eyes focused
9 on the purpose of government, which is to protect
10 people from things, to protect the poor or the weak
11 from the strong, but don't ignore the rights and the
12 abilities of the strong and the need for the weak to
13 rise generation after generation.
14 Many people in this room have had the opportunity
15 to rise from very humble beginnings, many have had the
16 opportunity to have a lot of things in their youth
17 that prepared them for this, but they all had one
18 thing, it is a belief that this is the people's
19 government, it doesn't belong to anybody but the
20 entire collective people. That includes the blacks,
21 the poor, the Hispanics, the Nordics, the Asians, the
22 Crackers, whatever we call ourselves on ethnic things,
23 and the sooner that we can abandon these terms and
24 refer to ourselves when we are asked what we are,
25 which is Americans, Floridians, and free people, the
1 better off our entire society will be. And we will
2 endure with this type of government well into the
3 future to survive probably many years longer than even
4 the eastern part of the Roman Empire. I do hope that
5 each of you carries with you this same pride, this
6 same humble pride. That is a hard thing to do, but
7 you get humiliated by the public, and you can get very
8 proud of what you accomplished, but what you did today
9 will pass and people will ask, as we all do, What have
10 you done for me lately. We hope that we have looked
11 20 years at least into the future and have tried to
12 set out visions and blueprints which will guide this
13 state to greater accomplishments.
14 For those of you that can remember when we didn't
15 have air conditioning and only about 3 million people,
16 you know, braving this place, I guess anybody that
17 lived here or their parents that lived here prior to
18 1955 would be considered Crackers, or in some
19 instances, H.T., I never was sure what we referred to
20 blacks as in those days, but they were part of my
21 growing up and my family and they taught us love and
22 humility all through my life. And I guess they were
23 Crackers, too. Anybody whose great grandparents are
24 buried in Florida and so on are Crackers; therefore,
25 we are all crackers now and we are all Floridians now.
1 And I would love the day when we can refer to
2 ourselves without reference to color or to national
3 origin, and that will come. Therefore, I think that,
4 and I recognize John Mills.
5 COMMISSIONER MILLS: I request permission to
6 approach the podium with a committee consisting of
7 Commissioners Smith, Alfonso, Evans-Jones, and
9 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: You have permission.
10 COMMISSIONER MILLS: You don't know about this,
11 do you?
12 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: No. I was wondering who has
13 the gun. The Secretary said that she collected the
14 guns at the door.
16 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Mr. Chairman, on behalf of
17 your humble servants, and I would say that it is
18 remarkable we have talked about diversity both in
19 terms of politics, backgrounds, et cetera, that
20 whatever they say about this Commission, it somehow
21 came together. And it may have been because you
22 corrected Faye on the rules, it may have been because
23 you held 1,000 people to under three minutes, it may
24 have been because you brought Frieden and Connor
25 together, or it may have been because you had kept
1 Henderson from making over 100 minutes, but in any
2 case, for some remarkable leadership, everybody wants
3 to thank you and wish you best luck as chairman of the
4 next Douglass Commission.
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: This is a great gift, and I
6 can certainly use it for many things. I shall always
7 remember this group every time I look at this, and
8 it'll be in a prominent place in my life. Thank you
9 very much.
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Billy reminds me that we had
12 protection throughout this, and I certainly didn't
13 mean to, but I overlooked Donald Severent (phonetic)
14 and I don't want to do that. Donald, where are you?
15 In the back, let's give him a hand.
16 (Standing ovation.)
17 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: And at this time, I would be
18 delighted to recognize Commissioner Barkdull for a
20 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Mr. Chairman, a point of
21 order, if I may.
22 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Sundberg, you
23 are recognized.
24 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: When might we expect the
25 accounting from our executive director, Mr. Buzzett,
1 from the cash contributions he secured from each of us
2 for his slush fund, and moreover, I would like to have
3 the name of his bonding company.
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: We shared that and it didn't
6 go very far. I think that's -- you know, you are
7 right, I did sort of not really give him his due, did
8 I? Billy worked harder for anybody that didn't come
9 to the office I've ever worked with. I could always
10 get him on the beach in Seaside on the phone. I would
11 get Kelly and she would run get him and he would come
12 check in and say, I'm on my way. But he always said,
13 Everything is fine, it's going great.
14 And truly, he just did a great job and without
15 Billy and his staff, I don't think that we would all
16 be here. Billy, thank you.
17 (Standing ovation.)
18 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Our next job is to replace
19 Steve Uhfelder with Billy as chairman on the Board of
20 Regents. It might take him a while, but he'll get
21 somewhere like that in the future, I'm sure. Now,
22 Commissioner Barkdull, please, I'll recognize you.
23 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
24 Before we close, I would like to read into the record
25 the vote by which percentage-wise our proposals were
1 addressed by the public. Our proposal number one,
2 which related to the environment and the merger of the
3 two commissions received a favorable vote of
4 72.3 percent of the public.
5 Our proposal that related to education received a
6 vote of 71 percent of the public. The change in the
7 funding of the judicial article and the other things
8 included therein received a vote of 56.9 approval of
9 the public.
10 The Cabinet received a vote of 55.5. Basic
11 rights received 67.4 percent of the public. The only
12 one that was not successful was barely not successful.
13 The proponents were 49.8 percent. As the Chairman has
14 already indicated, 12,000 votes was the difference.
15 In the elections, 64.7 percent of the public
16 approved our proposal. In the guns, regulation,
17 72 percent approved that proposal. And in the
18 miscellaneous, 55 percent approved. That is quite an
19 accomplishment, and as Commissioner Henderson has
20 already pointed out, there are more changes in
21 Florida's basic charter as a result of that vote in
22 November on the proposals that this Commission
23 submitted than any other change in the charter in
24 Florida's history. You are all to be congratulated.
25 I now move you, sir, that we adjourn.
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Everyone say aye.
2 (Verbal vote taken.)
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: We are adjourned.
4 (Proceedings adjourned at 11:00 a.m.)
STATE OF FLORIDA:
COUNTY OF LEON:
I, MONA L. WHIDDON, Court Reporter, certify that I
5 was authorized to and did stenographically report the
foregoing proceedings and that the transcript is a true and
6 complete record of my stenographic notes.
7 DATED this ______ day of ____________, 1998.
10 MONA L. WHIDDON
11 Division of Administrative Hearings
1230 Apalachee Parkway
12 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3060
(850) 488-9675 Suncom 278-9675
13 Fax Filing (850) 921-6847