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Republicans Hit The Ground Running (Backwards?) In Florida

By Tom Tillison
Orlando Political Press

Where to begin, where to begin…

Rick Scott has announced his transition team, which seems to have a healthy mix of insiders and outsiders.  On Wednesday Scott said, “today is the end of politics as usual in Tallahassee.”  I trust Rick Scott knows what he’s up against…

Speaking of, Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, said Tuesday’s elections made it plain that Floridians want changes – fast.  “People have given us the keys to the car,” Richter said. “They want it put in drive. If we leave it in park, they’re going to come back and say, `give us the keys back.’”

Excuse me…didn’t the Republicans have the keys all along here in Florida?  And, if these politicians have learned anything, which it’s beginning to look like they haven’t, the people don’t want anything done fast, they want it done right!  This is the same mentality we have been battling for 18 months with the Progressive Left in Washington, D.C.

A strong indication that things are already going south is the announcement of a special session to override Crist vetoes on legislation. 

Incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate Majority leader Mike Haridopolos want to override Crist’s vetoes of $9.7 million for the University of Florida’s Shands Teaching Hospital, and another veto of spending $30 million in state and federal funds to give tax credits to homeowners who replace air conditioners with more energy-efficient ones. 

In all, nine bills are up for consideration, with a $3 million fee increase tucked into one, according to the News Service of Florida

With the overrides, lawmakers are looking to spend more and also draw down additional federal stimulus money – approaches condemned by Scott during the campaign.

Sounds like more of the same, tax and spend…

The RPOF will be wise to understand that this election was not a mandate for their policies.  Obama and Pelosi made this mistake and we see how well that worked out for them.  Marco Rubio said it best the night of the election, “We make a grave mistake if we believe that tonight, these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican party.  What they are is a second chance.  A second chance for Republicans to be what they said they were going to be.”

Along this line, it seems that State Sen. Paula Dockery is having a Crist moment.  Dockery serves on Governor-elect Scott’s advisory team, and had this to say about high speed rail, ”I’m certainly trying to convince him of the benefits of high-speed rail”.  This is the same Paula Dockery who, back when she was running for Governor, had this to say about SunRail, ”This is a $1.2 billion boondoggle that nobody is going to ride”.

Cannon, who was instrumental in Tallahassee in winning passage of the region’s commuter-rail and high-speed rail legislation between Tampa and Orlando last year, said Thursday he also hoped to talk to Scott soon about the merits of the projects.

Today is the end of politics as usual in Tallahassee?

Rick Scott has his work cut out for him.  If he’s serious about changing the way business is done in Tallahassee, he will meet resistance.

“As I’ve traveled this state, I’ve talked to so many people who have lost their jobs, who have lost their homes, and many who’ve just lost all hope,” Scott said. “Some are beginning to wonder if anyone in Tallahassee can turn things around.  “To them, and to thousands of Floridians who are hurting, I say, `Don’t give up.’ I give you my word, better days are coming.”

God speed as you get to work, Rick Scott.

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