Bob Lotane: Randy Fine’s ‘Dirty Dozen,’ GOP discomfort and hypocrisy

Fine is pushing budget language to strip $200 million from the “Dirty Dozen” and redistribute the money to districts that complied. Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna responded, calling Fine “a childish, immature bully.”

// February 10, 2022,

6:43 am

Updated:February 12, 2022


Rep. Randy Fine — undoubtedly with a wink and a nod from the Governor’s Office — hammered the 12 school districts that defied Ron DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates.

Fine is pushing budget language to strip $200 million from the “Dirty Dozen” and redistribute the money to districts that complied.

Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna responded, calling Fine “a childish, immature bully.”

Political observers of the representative might be tempted to add another adjective: Hypocrite.

Fine introduced significant legislation in 2020 to require the teaching and other remembrances of the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots and the Holocaust.

It passed in March 2020, and DeSantis happily signed it.

An African American man trying to vote kicked off the Ocoee riots. In the ensuing violence, over two dozen African American properties were burned, up to 60 African Americans were killed, and their remaining population fled the city without their property, never to return.

The Holocaust, which Fine correctly describes as “unique and incomparable,” killed over 6 million European Jews.

Discussing the legislation, Fine said: “In this time of both increased antisemitism and heightened awareness of racial discrimination, it could not be more appropriate for House Bill 1213 to be signed into law.”

Fast-forward one year after the law went into effect, and there was Fine standing at a podium, surrounded by Moms for Liberty, accusing Brevard Public Schools of using critical race theory (CRT) — the Republicans’ newest boogeyman to gin up racial anger with Whites.

This occurred around the time DeSantis was breathlessly passing a rule (now a statute) prohibiting the teaching of CRT. Both the Governor and Fine dutifully repeated the GOP talking points that “no taxpayer dollars should be used to teach our kids to hate our country or to hate each other,” conveniently forgetting their Ocoee/Holocaust meeting of the minds barely a year ago. 

What changed? How did these two go from passing and signing legislation assailing racism and antisemitism to becoming cheerleaders for a movement aimed at sanitizing America’s shameful racial history?

What changed was that George Floyd became the latest Black man to be senselessly murdered in an encounter with law enforcement. What changed was that Black Lives Matter said enough-is-enough, and what changed was people from all races took to the streets to say: “We agree.”

DeSantis still can’t cite an example of CRT being used in Florida and has trouble describing the few instances where it allegedly is being taught thousands of miles away.

Fine, who is Jewish, knows quite well Holocaust education is required in Germany, often to include field trips to the death camps. German officials don’t worry whether this education will make young Germans hate their country or that little German Jews and non-Jews will be discomforted. What they do know is that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

DeSantis has a Yale history degree; he, too, knows better.

Fine was joined at his news conference by Anna Ryan, a former Brevard education coordinator; she said she was required to attend so-called “programming sessions” about racism that made her uncomfortable.

Ryan said the words “critical race theory” were never used; nevertheless, she believes CRT is rooted in — wait for it — Marxism!

What Ryan needs to learn is how uncomfortable captured slaves were, shackled together like cords of wood between sweltering hot decks, heads between each other’s legs and the attendant urine, feces and in the case of dysentery, blood. The 2 million that died during this middle passage often laid amongst the living for days until identified by the ship’s surgeon, unshackled and thrown overboard.

That, ma’am, is uncomfortable.

And what is uncomfortable is watching two duplicitous politicians shilling for votes when they have proven, undoubtedly, that they know what they are doing is wrong.

Bob Lotane is the publisher of Our Tallahassee, and served as press secretary to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and Insurance Commissioner. Originally published in FloridaPolitics.com. Bob lives in Brandt Hills in Tallahassee with his wife and two cats.

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2 Responses

  1. Rocky has shown he is NOT a good steward of OUR money here in the LCSD… He wasted $40,000 on a law firm to fight against the constitutional rights of parents. It was only after he admitted in a sworn affidavit that he was guilty of violating the Florida constitution that he dropped the law suit. I have a copy of that sworn affidavit, and two others, and the prima facie evidence that hold him and the board accountable.

    I also have a copy of the account receivables and payables, so I know where they spent all that covid money. A simple half page request using Article 1 Section 24 of the Florida constitution will get you all the information you wish. The person who handles the records request for LCSD is top notch and an exemplary example of how all people, who are hired and/or elected to do the People’s business, should conduct themselves.

    Now they are trying to pass an LGBQ+ policy without any parental oversite or input. But we got a copy of the proposed policy, and we called out the no video or recorded meetings. We forced them into the light and we are watching everything they do. We are holding them to their oath of office.

    We are also following the federal law suit filed against LSCB. The case where a parent told the teacher that their child was having some gender issues and they were supporting and getting them counseling. The school then took it upon themselves to setup a transition plan, change pro-nouns, change sleeping arrangements on field trips and bathroom assignments. All of this was done with the purpose of hiding it all from the parents.

    These are not left right issues, or liberal or conservatives issues, these are parent/child issues. We do not give our kids over to someone to have control over them and decide what is best over our objections. We hire people who love kids and want to do a good job educating them. We don’t elect leaders, we elect mangers to handle our business.

    Article I. Bill of Rights
    Section 3. Government instituted for common benefit
    That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and, whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

    Rocky and 4 of the 5 board members will be replaced this next voting cycle. If they continue to violate their Oath of Office we will be taking them to the Grand Jury. The Shariff and the AG received copies of all these affidavits via certified mail the same time Rocky and the Board did.

    We the People hold ALL political power, we are the body politic, we brought this government into this world and we can and will take it out. A majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal. It is OUR DUTY as citizens of this republic to do so.

    And God bless our women, it is the women who have stood up and are correcting this corruption.

  2. I’m left speechless by the incredible hutzpah of Representative Randy Fine of Florida District 53, a district with 126,000 voters. Poor Randy Fine. I guess he didn’t get enough recognition of his power and leadership when he sponsored legislation to honor Holocaust survivors and victims of Florida’s racist past so he tried a different tack and condemned the teaching of Critical Race Theory and sponsored this legislation to punish school districts that required masks during the pandemic. I hope his constituents are proud of him but the word hypocrite doesn’t do justice to his demented search for name recognition.

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