Shame fathers who walk away from paternal obligations
Jeb Bush defended a passage in a 1995 book he co-authored calling for the restoration of shame as a way to curb out-of-wedlock births. Single parenthood, he said, "hurts the prospects, limits the possibilities of young people being able to live lives of
purpose and meaning."
In the book, "Profiles in Character," it said that "one of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma
attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Shame is one of the great regulators of conduct."
Asked about the passage, Bush said his stances have evolved since 1995 but that "my views about the importance of dads being involved in
the lives of their children haven't changed at all."
The problem, said Bush, has grown worse, not better. Bush said the original passage he wrote referred primarily to shaming fathers, though that is not clear from the wording in the book.
Certainly the most important characteristics most conservatives and Hispanics share are religious and family values. Hispanics tend to be deeply religious, to practice conservative forms of Christianity, and to be politically influenced by their religion
What is most striking about Hispanic religious beliefs is their attachment to "renewalist" faiths--Pentecostal, evangelical, and charismatic. 2/3 of Hispanics say their religious beliefs are an important influence on their political thinking.
But conservatism among religious Hispanics has not translated into Republican partisan affiliation. Democrats outnumber Republicans by 55 to 18% among Hispanic Catholics, compared to a 39 to 32% Republican edge among non-Hispanic Catholics.
Obviously, a large part of Republican electoral successes since 1980 is attributable to mobilization of religious voters, particularly evangelicals. Republicans should make a similar effort to connect with Hispanics on religious faith and moral values.
Supper with kids keeps them away from drugs & booze
In 2005, Jeb hosted "Family Day" in the Capitol courtyard to encourage parents to have supper together with their children as a way to stay close and help keep them away from drugs and booze. Family Day took place barely a week after [Jeb's son]
Jebbie was arrested for public intoxication in Austin, where he was a senior at the University of Texas.
"Families are the first line of offense and the first line of defense in providing support for children," explained Jeb to a pretty television
reporter. "It's common sense. I think everybody would understand how strong, wholesome family life really matters, but there is really data, real research that suggests that families that are united, families that eat together, just have dinner
together will have a better chance of their children being drug free and alcohol free."
So I asked Jeb if he wished he had spent more time with his own children when they were growing up. He walked away without saying a word.
A "Palm Beach Post" review of Jeb's privatization of foster care found caseworkers and foster families who saw it as privatization merely for privatization's sake. Said one caseworker: "They were given a pretty well-functioning system and blew it to
bits." one foster parent, talking about penny-pinching over basic services, called the old, state-run system an aging but serviceable Chevy with a few dents: "What they did was they traded in the Chevy and got us a Yugo."
Others became more agitated
about the penny-pinching, particularly when they realized that Jeb's DCF was letting FOR-PROFIT companies in on the foster-care game. One, Family Preservation Services, actually made $1.3 million in profits on $19.2 revenues for foster-care contracts
in southern and central Florida. That upset even Republicans, including state senator Evelyn Lynn: "If you can make a profit on anything we are doing, then that means we are doing something wrong."
No Place Like Home initiative: find families for DCF kids
We must do our part to find families for children who need them, by finding permanent homes for the children in state care. There are more than 4,000 children in Department of Children & Families care today. In November, we launched the
No Place Like Home initiative to find Florida families who will open their hearts and homes to them.
We're actively looking for the right families, and streamlining the adoption process to remove the obstacles and frustrations that have
been part of the process for far too long. I ask you to support these new families by approving the funds required to support adoption in Florida.
We are committed to supporting Florida's families, but government will never be the full
answer to their needs. Our state is blessed with an incredibly strong network of community and faith-based partners that offer a helping hand, provide counseling, and teach skills required to build strong families and hold them together.
Health and human services spending has increased by a record $4 billion. For example, under our KidCare and Medicaid budget recommendations,
1.3 million children will be receiving health care coverage, up 69 percent from four years ago. The number of developmentally disabled being served has increased by 330 percent.
Source: State of the State address to 2002 Florida Legislature
, Jan 22, 2002
No mandated child safety seats
Senate Bill 1412 would require a child booster safety seat for motor vehicle travel. This means that law enforcement officers would be able to stop and ticket motorists based solely on the failure to comply with this regulation.
The sponsors of Senate Bill 1412 truly have their hearts in the right place. The problem with the Bill [are] with the question of enforceability, its unintended consequences, how far this particular bill goes, and the appropriate role of state government
In order to address a legitimate concern, Senate Bill 1412 initiates a government-imposed regulatory solution at the outset rather than as a last resort. For many parents this will be viewed as more government intrusion in their lives -
a command and control approach to a problem more in need of education and awareness. It substitutes government’s judgment for that of the family, and fails to acknowledge that there is no law preventing parents from voluntarily purchasing a booster seat.
Source: Veto notification on Senate Bill 1412
, Jun 15, 2001
Parental consent over government intrusions into families
While I support the idea of providing comprehensive services for the early identification and intervention of learning disabilities, I have a number of concerns with Senate Bill 1018, grounded on the potential for excessive intrusiveness of
government in the lives of Florida’s families.
The bill is silent on the issue of parental consent for referral, assessment and intervention services for identified children and their families. Referrals of “high risk children” are automatic and may
be interpreted to be without parental consent.
The absence of a public records exemption to protect the privacy of families and children impacted is also problematic.
The Florida State Laboratory will be required to purchase an expensive piece
of equipment to process required Tandem Mass Spectrometry tests of all newborns in the three demonstration counties.
And finally, this program is to be provided at an enormous cost to taxpayers, despite services already provided by the state.
Source: Veto notification on Senate Bill 1018
, May 31, 2001
Encourage fathers' participation in child-raising.
Bush adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
Growing evidence suggests that children from families in which fathers do not contribute their time and support endure a number of risk factors. Children with absent fathers are more likely to drop out of school, become teenage parents, develop drug or alcohol problems, or become involved in violent criminal behavior. Congress and the administration have recently proposed a number of federal programs to support state and local fatherhood initiatives.
Governors believe that government at all levels can and should take immediate action to help reduce the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and encourage active participation by fathers of all ages in raising their children. Governors have played a leadership role at both the national and state level in developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to strengthen the role of fathers in their childrens’ lives. While many Governors are using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other federal program funds to support state-specific fatherhood initiatives, additional investment in fatherhood would broaden the population of fathers that can be served. Governors believe that there should be support of and coordination between existing programs and any new federal funding stream designated for fatherhood initiatives and that these new initiatives should not be funded at the expense of another vital human service program.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA12 on Sep 7, 2001
Federal funds & state involvement in fatherhood initiatives.
Bush adopted the National Governors Association policy:
The nation’s Governors recognize that governments at all levels can and should take immediate action including:
providing additional education and information about the importance of fathers participating in raising their children;
establishing a nongovernmental national clearinghouse to collect and disseminate information regarding responsible fatherhood;
expanding efforts to prevent unintended and out-of-wedlock teen pregnancies;
providing children with appropriate adult male role models, such as mentors, in the absence of a caring father;
ensuring that young men are given opportunities to feel successful and valued, which will lead to the development of self-confidence and preparation for fatherhood;
encouraging the involvement of the community, including the religious community, civic community, business community, and mentors in addressing the importance of father involvement;
developing strategies that include both parents in activities focused on their children, such as training service providers and educators to include both parents in their service delivery;
working with private employers and the education community to provide education and job training opportunities to unemployed, underemployed, and low-skilled fathers; and
paternity establishment and child support enforcement efforts.
Any new federal funding stream designated for fatherhood initiatives should:
support programs in states, at the discretion of each Governor, that encourage appropriate involvement of both parents in the life of a child, with priority given to programs that specifically address the issue of fatherhood;
be coordinated with existing fatherhood programs, as well as with other federal funds that can be used for fatherhood initiatives, such as TANF; and
not be funded at the expense of another vital human service program.
Source: NGA policy HR-28. Fatherhood Policy 01-NGA6 on Aug 15, 2001