Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Nothing really to report on Special Session

Nothing really to report from the first day of the Special Session other than the Legislature (the House specifically) has refused to hear any bills dealing with cigarette “user fees” (bill by Rep. Waldman) or “taxes” (bill by Rep. Pafford).   30+ placeholder bills have been filed in the Senate.

From the TU:

A push to raise cigarette taxes by $1 per pack to finance health care, rejected earlier by legislative leaders, failed on a voice vote in the House.

Sansom and Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, agreed to allow discussion of minor changes in some state fees.

Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, said Monday that legislators should be examining a wide range of tax breaks for businesses, saying some aren’t justified when the state is financially strapped.

“Our economy would be in a lot better shape, and our budget, … if we look at closing these loopholes,” he said.

He said the reasons for those tax breaks were outweighed by the potential for cuts to affect government services that many people depend upon.

“We’re talking about people’s lives,” he said. “We’re talking about children, we’re talking about the elderly.”

Oh – I am sure we will all be happy to know that our Representatives had plenty of time to consider and adopt a resolution introduced by Rep. Hasner (and co-sponsored by members of the Duval House Delegation, among others) supporting solidarity with Israel.   Sorry, I don’t remember that subject being mentioned in the call for the Special Session.

Read more of the TU article here.

Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , , , , , , ,

AP learns Sansom frequently deletes E-mails

The Associated Press (AP) recently made a request for public records from embattled House Speaker Ray Sansom and his new employer Northwest Florida State College for E-mails between Sansom and Bob Richburg, the college’s president. 

“We just didn’t find anything responsive,” Jill Chamberlin, spokeswoman for the speaker’s office said Monday.  And the AP still hasn’t received any response to their December 1st request to the college.

 According to the AP article,

the Legislature has few rules about what records must be kept and for how long. So while important e-mails sent to and from the governor are permanently archived and while even logs of 911 calls have to be kept for a year, there are no such rules for the Legislature. The Department of State even requires logs listing who entered certain government buildings to be kept for 30 days. 

And so, as it turns out, Sansom deletes his business E-mails every 30 days, with the exception of fiscal, travel and personnel records and official bills that are preserved pursuant to House policy.

Governor Charlie “Mr. Open Government” Crist still has steered clear of criticizing Sansom, as have the Duval Delegation House members. 

So much for open and honest government.

Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , , , , ,

Still nothing from Jacksonville’s Republican House delegation regarding their Speaker

The furor over Speaker of the House Ray Sansom’s dealmaking grows even louder with newspaper editorials, political groups, citizens, and Democratic party chair Karen Thurman calling for him to either step down from one of his two jobs or be ousted.  A poll, launched on December 4th by Progress Florida (albeit a left-leaning group), with 1,882 Floridians having voted over the course of a week, finds that 97% of respondents believe Sansom should either resign (51%), quit his college job (23%) or be censured by his colleagues in the House (23%).  In response to the poll, Florida Progress has launched a new site, www.sacksansom.com.

While some Republicans are quietly grumbling under their breath, there is still nary a sound coming from the Duval Republican House delegation.  You know, I would expect that from Mike Weinstein who is friends with Ray Sansom and held a joint fundraiser with him earlier this year.  Why Sansom is even in a picture on the front page of Weinstein’s website.  (I can’t believe he hasn’t taken that down yet.)

So what’s up with the rest of our local  Republican members of the House?  Maybe they should start singing the Sansom Anthem louder so that we can hear them.

The Sansom Anthem
(Sung to the tune of Na Na Hey Hey)

Na na na na na na na na
Hey hey Ray Good-bye

Na na na na na na na na
Hey hey Ray Good-bye

We’ll never love you
The way that we loved you
‘Cause when we did, you lied and then you
Made us cry
You might have fooled us Ray, but then you showed your (showed your)
True colors so pucker up and kiss our
Yes, pucker up and kiss our–pucker up and kiss our–behinds
(chorus x 2)

We want to jeer you
You double-dippin’ heel you
While all the rest of us are
Standin’– in the unemployment line
You might think you’re entitled
But it’s only–yes it is only
You know that it is only–know that it’s only–your pride
(chorus x10)

We’re really sick to death
Of all of you fat cats
Abusing power, stealing all our rights, everyday
You know it’s true, Ray
We’re sick of the games you play
Can’t let you get away with all that dough
Oh no no no

Na Na Na Na
Na Na Na Na
Hey Hey Ray
Goodbye (rpt 2 end)

Reworked Lyrics Written By
Carol Tucker, MA
Pensacola, FL

Filed under: Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, Jacksonville, , , , , ,

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