Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Times-Union Calls on Sansom to Resign

The Florida Times-Union, long one of the more reliably conservative papers in the state, has called on Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom to resign.

The public perception problem stems in part from when, on his first day on the job as House speaker, he accepted a $110,000 unadvertised post from Northwest Florida State College as a vice-president. That’s his alma mater and the same college he has helped in a big way as he has risen through the ranks to become speaker.

The choice Sansom should make is one that can help reverse a damaged reputation with the public.

– He can resign from the college job, admit it was a bad call to accept it and explain to the public why he thinks he can still be the speaker that Florida needs him to be.

– Or he could keep the college job and step aside as speaker.

The new job raised serious questions, given that Sansom earlier this year steered more than $25 million to the school, his alma mater, when it was known as Okaloosa-Walton Community College.

The Orlando Sentinel reported the money represented the largest single college expenditure of capital outlay funds in Florida, even though the school is among the state’s smallest colleges.

The St. Petersburg Times reported that the Panhandle school received $35 million over what had been budgeted during the two years Sansom was the House’s chief budget writer.

I’d love to see the Times-Union do a follow-up story on this and force North Florida’s Representatives to comment on this.  From what I’ve been told, they are responding to questions by saying they “can’t be responsible for the Speaker.”


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One Response - Comments are closed.

  1. spidey says:

    I read in the St. Pete Times Politics blog that a gentleman from Pinellas County, David Plyler, has filed an ethics complaint against Ray Sansom asserting he used his position to secure a high-paying job at his local college after steering millions to the school. He cites a Florida Statute, Chapter 112.313 (6) that says no public officer shall “corruptly use or attempt to use his or her official position … to secure a special privilege, benefit of exemption for himself, herself or others.”

    Here’s the link: http://blogs.tampabay.com/buzz/2008/12/sansom-faces-et.html#more

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