Note: This is a new addition to my Commentary.
I will write a Qurourm Call on the first of each
month that is similar to what I wrote for the
Tallahassee Democrat and Facebook. Subscribers are
encouraged to nominate legislators who
served during the Golden Age, '70's and '80's.
Post # 287, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
Michigan's Loss Was Florida's Gain in the 1974 Legislature.
In 1974, I took my seat in the Florida House of Representatives representing District 116 from South Dade County in Miami. Hailing from Palm Beach County, I kept my eye open for any new political contacts from that county. As indicated in my book, The Golden Years...The Florida Legislature, then-Senate President Jerry Thomas (D., Tequesta) had been my secret advisor in my race for the Legislature against incumbent Representative Jeff Gautier (D., Miami). I also got to know Attorney Hugh MacMillian who was a lobbyist for then-Governor Reuben Askew. MacMillian was one of Palm Beach County's most decorated football players, having starred as a tailback at Princeton University.
So I made it a point to meet impresasive new State Representative John Considine from West Palm Beach. I found he had married Julie O'Connell, the daughter of one of the state political giants, Phil O'Connell from Palm Beach County. But it was apparent that John had won his seat on his own merits--a law degree from the University of Florida and an undergraduate degree from Villanova University. His immediate family also had impressive roots from Detroit.
But perhaps most impressive of all was his successful campaign for a Democratic seat from largely Republican Palm Beach County. I found common interests with John immediately in consumer issues. He teamed up with another Democrat freshman, Tom Moore from Pinellas County to sponsor legislation to shed light on the excessive costs of consumer loans. With a heavy senior citizen population in Palm Beach, their legislation made sense. I had a sizeable mobile home popular in Cutler Ridge, Narajana, and Homestead, so their legislation struck a nerve with me. I became a co-sponsor of their legislation.
To my surprise, John did not continue his political career. He had a young family, a starting law practice, and was only 26 years old, so he could afford to take a hiatus and still stay involved in politics. I am able to maintain contact with John through social media. He remains razor-sharp and opinionated on the issues of the day.
Representative John Considine remains one of the bright spots of the Golden Years of the Florida Legislature.