Jeb Bush Endorsed Congressional Candidate Woefullly Ignorant of Constitution & Federal Role in Education

May, 2014

Javier Manjerres of Shark Tank reported on the debate between the candidates for the Republican nomination to take on Democrat Allen Grayson in Congressional District 9 that took place on May 22nd.  The candidates are U.S. Navy veteran Jorge Bonilla, realtor Carol Platt, and Pastor Peter Vivaldi.

Here is how Shark Tank described each candidate:

Jorge Bonilla, who is running for elected office for the first time, is considered by many to be the frontrunner in the Republican primary race, and having the best chance to defeat Alan Grayson this November. Bonilla has been placed on former Congressman Allen West's coveted "One's to Watch" list, and has been endorsed by Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) and state Representative Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) 

Carol Platt, the soft-spoken Realtor from Osceola County, like Bonilla, is a virtual newbie at running for office, but not to the political game. Platt's family history in the district and numerous contribution to elected officials over the years have garnered her widespread support within traditional Republican circles. Platt announced the endorsement of state Representative Mike DeRosa at the debate, and mention in her closing remarks, the support she has received from Jeb Bush, Charlie Bronson, and former Congressman Dave Wheldon. (Emphasis added).

Peter Vivaldi is a Pastor who seems to have growing support from within the Hispanic evangelical community, has run for office several times before, but has come up empty handed each time. Vivaldi has been endorsed by the former liberal Democrat Governor of Puerto Rico, but is considered by a growing many to be unelectable, considering the recent discovery that he falsified an application he submitted for consideration of appointment to a vacant Orange County Commission seat. Vivaldi, whose falsification of the document stems back to his 1989 Felony arrest for passing bad check(s), was up for this appointment in 2011, but did not vet with Florida Governor Rick Scott's administration.

As in the CD19 primary won by Curt Clawson, education, particularly the US Department of Education, and Common Core, was a prominent issue.  When asked if they would shut down the U.S. Department of Education, both Bonilla and Vivaldi said they would without hesitation.  Bonilla also promised that if elected, he would sponsor or co-sponsor a bill to defund Common Core at the federal level. He also correctly pointed out that Florida had rebranded Common Core as the Florida Standards, not gotten rid of it.

The Jeb Bush endorsed Platt, however, would not directly answer the question, saying that there were some good things done at the federal level but that the federal government had overstepped its bounds.  She then demonstrated incredible ignorance both the federal and constitutional roles in education.  Here is the report of her response:

Platt said that the federal government was stepping into states rights," and that there are "some good things that can be done in D.C.," adding that the feds were not responsible for our children's education, and that Florida, as well as all other states, needed to be held responsible. "I would be in favor of the true boundaries of the national board of education...There are many agencies that are being disguised that are better served by a different style of agency, and if that's where we have to go, that's where we'll go."

There is no national board of education and if following the "true boundaries," she would have said that unconstitutional Department of Education should not ever have been formed and should be shut down. As expected, when asked by Manjerres after the debate if she opposed Common Core, she parroted the Jeb Bush approved talking points:

Carol Platt responded by saying that education is "not where it needs to be," and that "there are some good aspects of it," and that there needed to be improvements to it, adding that there was "misinformation" about Common Core circulating around.

Here is the Shark Tank video of all three candidates' responses on the  education question:

According to a straw poll conducted by members of the Republican Club of Solavita that hosted the event, Bonilla won the debate by a resounding vote of 55% to 31% for Vivaldi to 14% for Platt. It looks as though we have another congressional district where the candidate with a sincere, well articulated and constitutionally grounded opposition to Common Core is leading  in a contested primary.



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