Text of a Email I sent to My FL State Senator, Don Gaetz
I never heard anything from you before the vote. I did my homework and came to the conclusion that rail is a) Incredibly cost effective for transporting goods b) Incredibly inefficient and costly when transporting people. Seed money from the US Government will eventually translate to taxes for Floridians, regardless of their location in the state, much like Medicare.
Also, I was dead serious when I said JD Alexander should have recused himself. It was improper and, quite frankly, reeks of entitlement and corruption, that a) he voted for this and b) The Senate leadership didn’t have the integrity to privately ask him to step aside and then publicly ask for it when/if he refused.
I don’t know about the world of the Florida Senate, but in my world of everyday Joes, allowing Senator Alexander to have ANY input into the crafting or voting on this bill was simply wrong. We, as Republicans, could have chosen to do the right thing. We failed. To say I am disappointed is an understatement.
When I was in the Navy, I was once faced with doing the right thing or NOT ruining the career of a very promising young LT (he was my Protégé) because he made a very bad personal choice with regards to his fiancé. (She was enlisted when they began their Liaison and while she was getting out of the Navy, she came to visit him in London while she was on terminal leave). An Officer took notice and reported the transgression. A special Inquiry was ordered and I was the officer assigned to do it. The LT was guilty of fraternization both in London and his previous command. Mind you, he was going to marry this girl (I think the invitations were already sent out), I could have covered it up, but to do so would have shown to the enlisted people in London there was one standard for officers and another for enlisted. I played it like “Joe Friday” and presented the facts and the result was a letter of reprimand for the LT and the effective end of his very promising career. This young man WAS a friend but I did the RIGHT thing. You can ask my wife Gina about how tough it was for me to do this. It tore me up.
While you may have had your reasons for voting for this project, I find it very difficult to understand why the Republican Leadership did not have the intestinal fortitude to make Senator Alexander step aside. It was a 27 to 10 vote, so his absence from the debate would have had zero impact on the final outcome.
There seems to be a different set of rules for Politicians than the ordinary Citizen. A secretary of the Treasury that cheats on his taxes; A Senator who nominates his girlfriend for a judgeship; A governor who uses state money to carry on a relationship with another woman; Trips to the Caribbean or Europe on the taxpayer dime; A family fortune enhanced with a vote for Railroads.
Finally, you have made it harder for local Republicans to argue there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats in Florida. I’ll keep trying, but it just became a tougher sell.