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Author Topic: Thought I Would Share This Correspondence With You Guys  (Read 1059 times)


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Thought I Would Share This Correspondence With You Guys
« on: Dec 01, 2004, 09:20:59 PM »
This email is in reverse order to times they were sent sent, So, you might want to start from the bottom. I'll only give away that I'm Carl:


As fundamental as it should be considered to be that in the absence of wrongdoing, both parents ought to be able to be a meaningful part of their kids lives, it is still hard to express my joy, respect, and to a much smaller extent, some feel sort of vindication when a legislator openly agrees. I realize the phrase of "meaningful part" sets the bar pretty low, but even so, making it possible for all good parents to do just that would be the most important piece of legislation to benefit the current generation of children, as well as others to come. Even if the legislature had an infinite amount of money to fund an unlimited number of programs, it would still fail to match the success that only a child's two parents have the ability to provide. I appreciate and accept Rep. Goodlette's offer to locate another sponsor. I am certain that in hind sight, Rep. Goodlette's only regret will be that he wasn't the original sponsor of such common sense and profound legislation. Nevertheless, I am proud of his stance.

If you and Rep. Goodlette have noticed a marked decrease in my correspondence to your office, it is that I regrettably no longer live in his district. But, my son still does while he is not with me. Since my focus has always been about making things the way they ought to be by the time it is time for him to be a daddy for all the right reasons, your response regarding his future means more to me than my current representative's would (Rep. Davis). Besides that, from my correspondence with Rep. Goodlette, and especially Steve Hart, I can say that I like you. I hope you will pass along our correspondence to Steve. He is a good dad too. There is no reason why Florida shouldn't say that it is the policy of our state that all parents like him be able to be a meaningful part of their kids' lives.

Regrettably, I have not heard back from Rep. Davis' office in quite a long time now. That is even though a similar type letter was emailed to him at the same time as this last one to you. If there is anything you can do to help facilitate correspondence between us, I would very much appreciate it. Coincidentally, he is on the Future of Florida's Families Committee, which would be a very appropriate committee for such legislation to originate from.

I am sorry that I somehow missed your message at my home phone. I would be honored to hear from you on my cell at XXXXXXXX. That is how to best get in touch with me during the day. Of course, email is always good too. My first natural question is what would you like me to do to start looking for another sponsor, and can I say that Rep. Goodlette has agreed to co-sponsor the legislation?

On behalf of millions of good dads, who would like to be more meaningful parts of their kids' lives, I anxiously look forward to hearing back from you.



----- Original Message -----
From: Kardas, Jessica
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 4:13 PM
Subject: write your representative website

Dear Carl,
Thank you for your email to Representative Goodlette. He has read your email and asked that I respond. I did try to contact you through the XXXXXXXX phone number and left a message. Representative Goodlette, although he agrees with your analysis, is not in the position to file such legislation. He would however like to help you locate another bill sponsor. Feel free contact me via email if you have any additional questions.

Jessica T. Kardas
Legislative Assistant
State Representative Dudley Goodlette
Florida House of Representatives, District 76
3301 East Tamiami Trail Ste 203
Naples, FL 34112 P:(239) 417-6205
317 The Capitol, 402 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
850-488-4487 FAX 922-6002

Sent: Wed 11/24/2004 8:49 AM
To: Goodlette, Dudley
Subject: From 'Write Your Representative' Website

11/24/04 8:49 AM

To the Honorable J. Dudley Goodlette;

Dear Rep. Goodlette:

Ch. 61.30 of Florida's statutes defines a 'substantial" amount of time between a parent and their child as being 40% or more overnights by the child at that parent's home. In that context, the word substantial has been used interchangeably with the word meaningful. Yet, Florida has no provisions or assurances that fit parents retain their rights to be a meaningful or substantial part of their children's lives. In contradiction to the U.S. Constitution, Florida's state statutes do not provide parents any rights to the custody and care of their children at all. Somehow an Orwellian presumption was allowed to develop that courts can best determine the interests of children, rather than their parents. Could it possibly be that Florida's Legislature doesn't believe that in the absence of wrongdoing both parents should be a meaningful part of their kids' lives?

I suspect that if asked in a public setting, nearly all legislators would say that yes, they believe in the absence of wrongdoing, both parents ought to be able to be a meaningful and substantial part of their kids' lives. But, needless to say, the Florida Legislature has been collectively silent. As a result, it would be difficult for the Legislature to have failed its children more miserably. By just about every conceivable measure of child welfare, that is proven to be the case. I'd be happy to provide the results of those types of studies to you again, if you would like.

Interestingly, in Massachusetts, quite possibly the most liberal of states, where it would be rational to assume that NOW has as much political influence as anywhere else, there was a statewide referendum on this very issue. The following is the exact wording on the ballot that was put to voters just this month:

"Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote for legislation to create a strong presumption in child custody cases in favor of joint physical and legal custody, so that the court will order that the children have equal access to both parents as much as possible, except where there is clear and convincing evidence that one parent is unfit, or that joint custody is not possible due to the fault of one of the parents?"

The measure received a super majority of 85% of the vote. To put that in context, John Kerry only received 63% of the vote. It was a 6 to 1 vote in the support of the common sense that the best parent is both parents. With knowledge of these types of facts, it is my hope that legislators in Florida will no longer be reluctant to deal with the issue. As my son's representative, and a member of the Civil Justice Committee, I ask that you sponsor a bill which will assure him that both of his parents be allowed to be a meaningful part of his life.

Please let me know where you stand on this issue.

Happy Thanksgiving,



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