Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Good Luck Charlie

The media is reporting this morning that the upcoming legislative session could impact Florida CEO Scott’s interest in being reelected.  This is because if he doesn’t have a “successful” session, his already weak poll numbers will sink further and his much coveted reelection might just slip away into the tanned, unsweating palms of a smiling Charlie Crist. 

Everyone now knows how dumb it was for Scott to take all those highly regarded governmental programs and experienced people -  ensconced over the last 50 years to take Florida forward for a healthy future - and so callously and thoughtlessly kick them to the curb … some to the gutter.  People, even some republicans, are realizing that the state will suffer for years because of these really stupid actions and Scott is trying his political best to shift course without admitting he was wrong, bad wrong, disastrously wrong. 

Take for example the number of “For Immediate Release” releases that DEP was spewing out seemingly every day.  Each would bugle some amazing accomplishment by either the clearly inept secretary of DEP, Herschel Vinyard, or the clearly inept governor.  Most of these “noteworthy” accomplishments were actually nothing more than the department doing its job which neither Scott nor Vinyard actually had any part in, or adamant denials that the stupid things they were doing in the interest of politics were not in the interest of politics – so called, “setting the record straight,” as these denials were many times entitled. 

In any case, the number of these propagandistic missives has slowed dramatically and now the DEP spin mongers are careful how they mention anybody.  Take for example their latest little communiqué which suddenly announced that, out of an excess of wisdom, it was no longer going to try to sell environmentally valuable lands in order to raise money to buy environmentally valuable lands, a gambit Senator Jack Latvala has labeled disastrous and a charade.  No mention was made in the release of Scott, and Vinyard was quoted only as simply thanking his staff for its efforts.  They held a lot of public meetings and spent a lot of time and public money … and sold nothing. 

Seems Senator Hays must have had an epiphany.  Wasn’t he the guy who announced that the public owned way too much land and shouldn’t, because it should be owned by corporations and individuals for profit-making, public interests be damned?  Has he suddenly realized that environmentally valuable land held for and by the public of this state is a key factor in securing the state’s economic future?  

This latest release doesn’t mention Scott but wouldn’t you like to have been a fly on the wall when Vinyard, Scott and Hays, the brilliant ones who put this idea into law, decided it was a political liability, a really crappy thing, and needed to be flushed?   

Environmentalists are happy but they should be wary about this sudden-found apparent wisdom.  Those responsible for the craziness of the idea in the first place, haven’t yet left the building.  The heat they felt on their political backsides that made this reversal of misfortune happen should be stoked even hotter. For example, I doubt if Hays has had any such revelation.  He is still full of ill-advised bad ideas and even more misunderstood good ones.  Thinking he has now left the side of the special interests he has served so religiously would be foolish.  In terms of natural Florida’s best interests, the man is still very dangerous and will remain so as long as he is a legislator.  A smile and thanks for those who truly saw the light is appropriate but as for the rest, no rest. 

It’s noteworthy that senate president Gaetz and house speaker Weatherford are being insensitive to the governor’s reelection plight and have identified several legislative objectives that are making Scott squirm.  Their dilemma is that they find themselves between a rock - the fact that Scott could be headed for a lost reelection bid - and a hard place - the fact that if he loses, republican imperatives will likely get lost in the dust from a resurgence of Tallahassee democrat power.  In other words, they’re figuring they might best strike now while the governor is still a republican to achieve what they know will be difficult victories, because that circumstance could change in November. 

Pardon, I should probably stay focused on other issues but one of their more brilliant proposals, for example, would further erode the right of a woman to manage her own body by “tightening” the laws that define when abortions will be legal and not.  The republican concept is that women are not capable of deciding if and when they should end a pregnancy they do not want, and only government can and should make that decision.  Weatherford must have some expansive background or understanding and knowledge of this matter because as speaker he’s spinning it up for consideration by the house.  Scott’s handlers understandably would rather the legislature not stir the hearts of the state’s childbearing women against this indefensible republican tenet. 

Another bothersome proposal is this.  Remember when Scott and his legislative lemmings said the state’s oversight of comprehensive growth management should be removed from Tallahassee and left to the wisdom of its 67 individual and disparate county commissions, because there is no need to pursue a long-term state plan that would only serve to provide some level of desirable direction for its future in the decades ahead?  Remember when they were saying state-level planning was a useless pursuit that only served to slow the approval of sprawl, and since sprawl is where the jobs are we needed to have more of it and get rid of state planning?  

Well, the special interests were not satisfied.  They have directed the legislature to go further.  Now that control of large projects has been returned to 67 individual county commissions and any number of cities with no functional way for them to coordinate the review of projects that affect more than one jurisdiction among themselves, they are demanding local governments be even more limited in what they control.  Locals should be prohibited by law, for example, from requiring developers to insure roads will be ready for those who will live in a development by the time they actually move in.  Inexplicably, the idea that the availability of roads should be concurrent with the need for them seems too elusive for Tallahassee legislative logic to grasp.  

In addition, there are legislators ready to give greater control of water over to private interests until the lines between control and ownership become blurred to the extent there is no legal difference.  The more scarce water becomes, the more the legislature wants to take control away from the public and hand it to the private sector to sell.  There’s huge money to be made if this happens and Tallahassee is all about money.  Doesn’t matter that those who will need water the most will pay the most, and those who own it will also control it and become very powerful, indeed. 

Yes, “when the legislature is in session there isn’t a man women or child safe on the streets of Florida.” 

But here is something that makes me smile anyway.  A hugely apparent dilemma for the republicans who are trying to find something negative to say about Charlie Crist is that there is nothing negative they can say that hasn’t already been said and profusely written about.  He was a republican, then an independent, and now a democrat.  There have been rumors as to why he was never married, but now he is and, it seems, happily so.  He’s known as supporting an issue yesterday but not today, and vice versa. (Haven’t we all?) Talk about transparent!  And, we have absolutely no doubts about how he’ll perform as governor, do we?  He can answer questions extemporaneously without robotically having to stick to his handlers talking points like some automaton, and he always knows, recognizes and says hello to everybody in the room.  How can he be disparaged for that? 

It is actually refreshing that the man, literally, doesn’t have anything to hide.  What can the republicans possibly bring forward that we don’t already know and which would amount to such a shocking revelation about him that he would lose support to Scott?  Everybody knows about Charlie and the conclusion is, so what, it’s still a whole lot better than what we know about Scott. 

You need to take a long hard look at the alternative to Charlie.  I’m a republican and I have, and I’m sticking with the man I know and who will be so much less dangerous than the guy we’ve had for the last 3.5 years.  Good luck Charlie.


  1. Sonny: As always, an exceptionally insightful post. Evidently like you, I am a life-long member of the Republican Party, but I cannot recall the last time I voted for a Republican candidate (possibly Gerald Ford in 1980). I did not vote for Gov. CEO FUBAR in 2010 and certainly have no desire to vote for him in 2-14.

    Sen. Alan Hays is another abomination which you rightly call attention to, and a continuing toxic factor in the legislature. Last year he introduced a bill to require that if an acre of land is acquired by the public, an acre must also be sold. Fortunately it never went anywhere. BUT, he has vowed to introduce similar legislation in every session as long as he is in the legislature. I hope the people of that District will realize the Idiot they have representing them and vote him out.

    As you pointed out (but should have "named names"), our good buddy Rep. Patronis has introduced legislation to gut local government home rule, in terms of land use planning, regulation, etc. This is another individual (like Mr. Hays) who seems to think they have some kind of overwhelming mandate from their constituents. I hope the people of this District make him unemployed very quickly in the next election.

    Keep up the posting and I hope lots more people check into your blog. I know I direct as many people as I can towards it.

  2. I will second that thought! Charlie wasn't my favorite, but he's a rock star compared to Scott...who has rendered the concept of dogma to heretofore unknown density.

  3. I agree. I need a beer after reading all of that.

    The long-term damage that this clown has done to Florida will out live his tenure and his miserable life span as well. In less than 1/2 a term in office he had single handedly undone over five decades of environmental and land management legislation and programs that often served as models for the rest of the Country. I grew up and developed professionally within or as these programs were developed. I cannot imagine what this place would look like without the Land and Water Management Acts, Comprehensive Planning, Florida's Preservation 2000, Florida Forever, successor acts and implementing regulations.

    The senior staff of the agencies that were purged left a giant hole in the understanding and implementation of those "then programs". The agency staffs (where they have been replaced) are nothing more than "Tallahassee's minions", unable to think or act for themselves, but only able to perform the rubber stamping that they have been directed to do. More than 1/2 of the Tampa DEP staff are gone (a few select ones needed to be gone) and the building is being gutted to sub lease the no longer needed space. What a way to literally and figuratively gut an agency.

    This guy is a one man environmental wrecking ball.

    Hope the rest of your day is going well.

  4. Thank you for continued vigilance and insight. I am so proud to count you as friend. You are the best

  5. this is about your best and you write the best. I'm going to forward it ...

  6. I know Charlie too well to ever support him again.......he is no better than what we have which is not our best.

  7. NEVER would have guessed you are loyal GOP. We can argue merits at next family reunion, after discussion on religion! What I'll say here in total agreement is "GOOD LUCK CHARLIE"". Don't think he'll need much luck. 'My' independent poll says 'landslide victory'. If we can just get rid of a few legislative egg heads, then maybe we can begin the process of repairing the massive environmental damage that occurred in only 4 years under our present leader(?)

  8. Right on Sonny! We also need to bring back balance to the totally arrogant runaway Republican legislature.. The sooner the better. We used to have some very bright, thoughtful people who were real public servants and when the numbers between the Ds and Rs were closer, it forced better policy. These buffoons are in it for them selves and they have sold us all out.

  9. My vote for the next governor of the state of Florida will be for "the tanned, unsweating palms of a smiling Charlie Crist"!! Thanks, Sandspur!!!

  10. For everyone out there that cares about Florida...this is a must read! Keep giving us the facts, Sandspur!!

  11. Kudos, Sonny! Keep speaking truth to power!

  12. Thank you for another excellent analysis. You are so right to make the connection, if obliquely, between the Republican belief that government (through religion) should control women's bodies, effectively making women into exploitable resources, and the Republican conceptualization of "nature" as merely a supplier of resources to be controlled and exploited for private gain.

  13. Great discussion, Sonny. I also am a republican and fed up with Scott. I've never been a big Charlie Crist fan but he is clearly the better choice. Let's hope that there are enough informed voters at the polls this coming November to stop this insanity.

    Thank you for having the courage to tell it like it is.