‘Hamilton hated that’: Gov. DeSantis vents about Florida Constitution

desantis
Power is 'splintered' among Cabinet members.

Gov. Ron DeSantis offered an unsolicited assault on Florida’s Constitution Wednesday, something critics will say they’ve seen before.

This time, however, it was rhetorical.

During a press conference in St. Petersburg, DeSantis argued Florida’s governing document deviated from principles of the founders of the United States and suggested Alexander Hamilton and James Madison would have found the state’s constitution lacking.

“Let’s put it this way,” DeSantis said. “In the 1960s when they did our state constitution, they were absolutely departing from some of Hamilton and Madison’s insights.”

The Governor was responding to a question about whether the Commissioner of Education should be appointed or elected when he launched into his holistic critique.

Commissioner Richard Corcoran argued that he should serve at the pleasure of the Governor, but referred to the post erroneously as being part of the Cabinet. DeSantis corrected Corcoran, a former Speaker of the Florida House, reminding him that the Department of Education is more correctly considered an “executive agency.”

Then the Governor offered far more trenchant criticisms of the 1968 Legislature and the voters who ratified the modernization of Florida’s Constitution, noting that the document’s understanding of executive power is a jumbled mess.

“This goes back to political theory,” DeSantis said. “You go back and read Alexander Hamilton on how the Constitution was structured. Read Hamilton on executive authority. He would not have liked parts of the Florida Constitution.”

The Governor suggested that Hamilton would have wanted him to have more power.

“He would not have liked parts of the Florida Constitution. He would not have liked the fact that you have a Cabinet system of government where the executive power is splintered in certain areas.”

DeSantis cited the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), which is headed by “all four Cabinet members acting together” with “no one person accountable for FDLE.”

“Hamilton hated that,” DeSantis claimed. “He thought there had to be one person who was accountable, one person who could make the decisions, and you have a very clear chain of command.”

“There’s people who are critical of Hamilton and Madison,” DeSantis said. “But if you look back through American history, there are not very many people that are smarter than Alexander Hamilton. I mean this guy was absolutely unbelievable and I think if you read him on executive power or on the judicial power, I’m not sure that anybody has surpassed him, and we’ve had over 240 odd years to be able to do it.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


41 comments

  • Ron Ogden

    March 15, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    DeSantis has the intellectual credentials to address this topic, something not every individual in power in Tallahassee or Washington can claim.

    • #deathsantismustgo

      March 15, 2022 at 2:49 pm

      Have you listened to his speeches?

    • 100% Truth

      March 15, 2022 at 3:06 pm

      You’re a RINO Ron Ogden

    • Hamilton

      March 15, 2022 at 3:41 pm

      “Not many people that are smarter then him”

      If he’s so smart why didn’t he stop doing slave transactions lol

    • Robert H Hogner

      March 15, 2022 at 5:32 pm

      We might add as DeSantis praises him, Hamilton, as well as a proponent of Presidential power, was steadfast in his advocating the states were to be ruled, almost in a serval sense, by our Federal Government. DeSantis may smell a bit intellectual at times, but at his core he cherry-picks when developing propaganda.

    • John Lockwood

      March 16, 2022 at 9:10 am

      That is ‘comedy’ gold.

    • GovDeathSentence

      March 16, 2022 at 12:42 pm

      That’s why his constant prevaricating is SO offensive. He KNOWS he’s lying..he knows he’s lying about masks and vaccines, he knows he’s lying about CRT and his ridiculous “Woke Act”, he knows he’s lying about the ‘Don’t Say Gay” legislation. etc., etc., etc. If DeathSantis’ lips are moving, he’s lying. And the rubes on the right just gobble it up. Let the grift continue!

      • Johnny Bans

        March 18, 2022 at 3:03 pm

        “he knows he’s lying about the Don’t Say Gay legislation” I like that you call the other person a liar while parroting the “Dont Say Gay” line. LOL

    • Mark Anderson

      March 17, 2022 at 12:32 pm

      Yes, the shortstop who wants to be centerfielder.

  • tom palmer

    March 15, 2022 at 1:41 pm

    I guess he wants to be dictator for life like Putin He has been so disappointing after beginning his term with some sane, level-headed decisions.

  • Brian Brady

    March 15, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    I love Gov DeSantis but think Hamilton was a statist. I wish he extolled the virtues of Madison more in that press conference

    • Frankie M.

      March 15, 2022 at 5:14 pm

      Everyone wants to be the next Lin Manuel Miranda. Too bad that trained has already sailed. Dude needs to stop eating out so much. Looks like he’s a cheeseburger away from being the next William Howard Taft. Or maybe the next Trump.

      • just sayin

        March 16, 2022 at 7:59 am

        Given that the current occupant of the White House has to have his food chewed for him, I’ll take DeSantis.

        • Frank Rizzo

          March 16, 2022 at 12:15 pm

          Hahaha! Tool.

        • Michael Dumford

          March 16, 2022 at 7:17 pm

          Stupid. Unless you are the one chewing it dear.

  • Arnie Rosentreter

    March 15, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    Ever since T fed him the koolaide he has been worthless as a governor and a human.

  • Robert Hogner

    March 15, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    We might add as DeSantis praises him, Hamilton, as well as a proponent of Presidential power, was steadfast in his advocating the states were to be ruled, almost in a serval sense, by our Federal Government. DeSantis may smell a bit intellectual at times, but at his core he cherry-picks when developing propaganda.

  • Emperor Palpatine

    March 15, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    “Everything that has transpired has done so according to DeSantis’ design. Your friends, there in the sanctuary legislation, are walking into a trap.”

  • Robert

    March 15, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    Hamilton and Madison were only two of the individuals whose theories were behind the Federal Constitution. And there is no reason why a State constitution should be modeled on the Federal example.

  • Comment

    March 15, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    Really he should be venting about using your image for gain laws

  • Hamilton

    March 16, 2022 at 3:53 am

    Hamilton had less gut “Ronald McDonald”

  • Office of governor desantis

    March 16, 2022 at 6:42 am

    I’m gay

  • Andrew Nappi

    March 16, 2022 at 9:05 am

    Hamilton was a monarchist who wanted a president for life, and a federal veto over state legislatures. That was soundly rejected at the Philadelphia convention. He did get his wish for a federal veto over state legislation via the incorporation doctrine of the Bill of Rights, a spurious judicial scheme by SCOTUS in the 1920s. DeSantis is a big fan of Hamilton and quoted him in his inaugural speech. Our mercantile economic system, or crony capitalism is also a legacy for Hamilton as well as Lincoln. DeSantis is at heart an authoritarian. His holding of Hamilton as a fixture of liberty or freedom shows this quite clearly.

    • Capt Roger

      March 16, 2022 at 12:08 pm

      He is an authoritarian, and his speeches ramble on about nothing ultimately but his agenda.

  • Kenneth L Gallaher

    March 16, 2022 at 9:36 am

    Fascists always find constitutions inconvenient.

  • Chef Bubba

    March 16, 2022 at 9:42 am

    Where’s Aaron Burr when you need him?

  • M. Robinsoc

    March 16, 2022 at 9:53 am

    DeSantis wants a new police force for himself to control and he wants more power. L’il hitler wanna be.

  • Johnfsu

    March 16, 2022 at 9:57 am

    Is it just me? Or does it seem like the GOP only wants Governors to have more power when a Republican is Governor? Look at Wisconsin, GOP majority legislature took away quite a bit of the Governors power when a Democrat got elected. Hypocrisy is a disgusting trait on the right or the left.

  • slb

    March 16, 2022 at 10:07 am

    There’s nothing wrong with Der Dwarf that couldn’t be fixed by him stepping into traffic.

  • Christopher Cano

    March 16, 2022 at 11:58 am

    Florida’s split executive branch was designed from the post-Civil War constitution as the corrupt and anti-reconstructionist politicians of the era could not be trusted with wielding such power. And, based on DeSantis’s behavior and policies it should remain that way. Furthermore, the 1960s and the influence from corrupt and anti-integration politicians to adequately oversee our public schools is another factor for the formerly elected position for Commissioner of Education. All these historical facts a child can learn in a fourth grade Florida history course, prior to DeSantis’s crusade to whitewash Florida’s history books. Our Constitution was designed for corrupt politicians just like him. Of course he would have issues with it.

    • Capt Roger

      March 16, 2022 at 12:10 pm

      Well pointed out!

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    March 16, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    I love it when the far left panics as they circle the drain. Troll away troll away

  • Chuck_C

    March 16, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    Oh, look! Another despot moment from Ron Deathsantis . “I want more power!”

  • Comments

    March 16, 2022 at 3:06 pm

    I don’t know about Florida politics. But it is sure hard to get medical and dental without corp insurances

  • RonDeSantisSucks

    March 16, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    Thank God we don’t have a unitary executive, or things in this state would be even worse.

  • Every time

    March 17, 2022 at 3:30 am

    It’s always the ones with his looks

  • Thomas Jefferson

    March 17, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    Is DeSantis in St. Petersburg Russia? Sound like he is trying to become a dictator.

  • Larry Gillis, Libertarian

    March 18, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    A BETTER FLORIDA CONSTITUTION?

    If we want a better State Constitution, then why are all 37 members of the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission appointed every twenty years, instead of being elected in some responsible way?

    For that matter, why does it have “37” members? Is that number ordained in some way in the Bible? (I thought “12” was the Biblical number).

    FYI: Governor appoints 15; Senate President, 9; Speaker, 9; Chief Justice, 3.

  • darcy L Delia

    March 19, 2022 at 10:48 am

    Desantis takes his orders from Koch. he’s just the front man…

  • Karen Holmes

    March 19, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    During the revolution, the people were divided into the same schism that is occurring now. Every movement divides the people into four segments. 25% stood on the principles. 25% focused on power. 25% on their life. 25% for their own interests. Hamilton focused on money and power, not on principles, like the GOP today. The last 25% who functioned for their own interests started the rebellion, like Trump. Then it was the American Revolution Movement. Today it is the World Peace Movement. We are reliving history.

  • Robert Cannon

    March 19, 2022 at 10:32 pm

    Florida’s Constitution is a product of the War Between the States and the painful Reconstruction years that followed. After the Carpet Baggers went home, the good citizens of Florida decided they never again wanted Executive Power concentrated in the hands of one single individual. Strange that a Republican governor would be against more power for the People.

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Renzo Downey, Daniel Figueroa, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Mike Wright, and Tristan Wood.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories