Monday, June 13, 2011

The Party’s Over

Next month, Broward County police officers will get the chance to show what they think of Florida’s governor, the legislature, and the way they’ve been dealing with public employees.

Next month the Broward County Police Benevolent Association is holding a “Party to Leave the Party” — an event coordinated with the Supervisor of Elections where police officers and the general public can switch their voter registrations from Republican to Democratic or Independent.

The reason for the switch? The association, which serves as the bargaining union for the county’s law enforcement officers, is unhappy with the leadership of Governor Rick Scott and the results of the past legislative session, including changes to the Florida Retirement System that will require the workers to pay more of their own wages into retirement savings.

The PBA may be a union, but it’s not traditionally a bunch of liberals. “You’d be surprised,” says Broward PBA President Patrick Hanrihan. “I think most of our police officers and stuff are Republicans.” Well, until the party-switching party, that is.

This is where you’re going to start seeing the tipping point; where people realize that voting for candidates like Mr. Scott is actually voting against their own self-interests, especially when it comes to finances. Being in favor of tax cuts for the rich when you’re not rich, or voting against gay rights or in favor of abortion restrictions when you’re not touched by either issue is one thing. But when it comes down to seeing the results in the paycheck or the retirement account, then the party’s over.