While business groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce are helping bankroll a campaign to pass Amendment 3, it turns out that both candidates for governor Republican Charlie Crist and Democrat Jim Davis are solidy opposed to the measure.
Amendment 3 was placed on the ballot by the Florida Legislature and if passed it would require that all future constitutional amendments pass by a 60 percent margin, instead of the current simple majority. Groups in favor of the amendment include the chamber, the National Rifle Association, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Publix Supermarkets, and TECO Energy among others.
But both Crist and Davis said Tuesday that it is wrong to require a supermajority to pass constitutional amendments _ a position echoed by former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, who is helping a group opposed to the amendment. Davis said he agreed that their may be problems with the current process to get amendments passed in Florida, but said that the 60 percent requirement went too far.
"I don't support that,'' said Davis. "I think the voters should have the opportunity to decide by majority rule. It is a proposition fundamental to our democracy. I think it should be preserved. I certainly think there is abuse right now in the system but it could be addressed in other ways without taking the right of the majority away."
Crist pointed out that he helped push through a constitutional amendment outlawing fishing nets in Florida waters after failing to get it through the Legislature. He then quoted former Gov. Reubin Askew: "Never forget whose Constitution it is. It is theirs. We should not raise (the approval requirement.)"