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State Journal: Creation flap; Missing dinner; Hard to change

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Buddy MacKay, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in Florida, created a small campaign flap recently when he made a comment that appeared to equate belief in the Biblical theory of creation with the notion that the world is flat.

Mr. MacKay quickly apologized for his remark, and his gubernatorial running-mate, Lawton Chiles, added that he would not object if local school officials wanted to include creationism in their curricula.

Gov. Bob Martinez, a Republican who is seeking re-election, said at about the same time that he favored teaching creationism, along with evolution, as valid explanations for life's origins.

A new statewide opinion poll suggests that opposing creationism in the classroom would be a risky strategy politically.

The poll found that 56 percent of Floridians favored teaching the Biblical theory, while only 29 percent opposed it.


At a convention of school-board members this month, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo of New York offered a predictable message to educators from the leader of a state facing deepening fiscal problems.

"We have an obligation to teach each [of today's students]," he said, "and we're going to have to do it with less economic resources."

Mr. Cuomo also explained that to make the speech he had had to miss the Alfred E. Smith dinner, a widely noted political and charitable event held each year in New York City. The affair, named for the late Governor and 1928 Democratic Presidential candidate, is hosted by Cardinal John O'Connor, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York and a frequent critic of Mr. Cuomo.

"I think Al Smith understands my being here tonight," Mr. Cuomo told board members.


Gov. George Sinner of North Dakota fought hard last year to win voter approval of tax increases for education and other programs.

The taxes were rejected, however, forcing substantial cutbacks in services.

Appearing before a state teachers' group recently, Mr. Sinner reflected on his failure.

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