Skip to comments.So far, everybody loves Charlie [re GOP FL Gov Charlie Crist]
Posted on 03/09/2007 5:44:48 AM PST by summer
GOP FL Gov Charlie Crist
Gov. Charlie Crist invokes Robert F. Kennedy and channels Al Gore on global warming. He embraces paper trails for voting machines.
Florida's most powerful Republican pays homage to the teachers union and speaks so passionately about civil rights that one legislator dubbed him "Florida's first black governor."
What's a Democrat to do?
"Gov. Crist is a political nightmare for the Democrats," said state Senate Democratic Leader Steve Geller. "How do we run against somebody who whenever we come up with a good idea, he goes, 'Hey that's a good idea, let's do that.' "
State Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, called Crist "one of the best Democratic governors Florida has ever had."
In this strange, post-Jeb Bush era, Democrats in Tallahassee are struggling to make sense of their new buddy in the Governor's Mansion.
"With Bush, we woke up in the morning knowing that whatever he said we'd be against," House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber said. "With Crist, because he's clearly not an ideologue, we might wake up one morning fighting him and then the next morning as his choir.
"We can't lose our job as the honest opposition, but if he's going to offer centrist, progressive policies, we certainly can't reject that just because of his party."
The love and harmony breaking out in Tallahassee is unlikely to last throughout the 60-day session. But much of Crist's agenda is likely to face more obstacles from Republicans than Democrats.
"Some of us old heads will kind of rein things in as we go along," said state Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala. "There will be some days where it's just too far over the edge. Our job as stronger, staunch conservatives is to hold up the plumb line once in awhile."
State leaders face some of the biggest challenges in modern Florida history - a property insurance crisis and cries for sweeping property tax reform - so bipartisanship is more than a noble goal. To get any tax reform plan on the ballot, Republicans need three-quarter majorities in both chambers. Which means they need Democrats.
But Democrats are in a tricky position. They don't want to roll over and accept proposals such as replacing property taxes with a higher sales tax, but they risk being cast as petty obstructionists if they block tax relief efforts.
"Gov. Crist has played a brilliant game of chess because he's got the Democrats with no place to go but follow him," said Steve Uhlfelder, a Democratic lobbyist who supported Jeb Bush.
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, perhaps the Democrat best positioned to challenge Crist down the road, called for her party to embrace Crist as an ally rather than a rival.
"If I were going to sit here and say for the next eight years we want a governor who's not going to be successful, that would be totally wrong and totally against my values," Sink said after leaving Crist's state of the state speech that drew stronger applause from Democrats than Republicans. "The message I heard from Gov. Crist was very, very encouraging, and I wish him every success."
FYI. Peace. :)
What? He just proposed like a 10% raise to teachers. Milions to reduce class size. MIllions to 'global climate change' and you say the Dems hate him???
He's also unafraid to automatically restore felon voting rights.
Yeah, but are we headed toward the cliff? (not an easy item to find in Florida)
His whole family is involved in public school teaching, etc. He's a RINO
This guy has destroyed the insurance market by demanding rate cuts. This will drive rates 10 times higher in the long run and force everyone in the state run insurance company ,Citizens, which will loss billions and cause taxes to sky rocket.
But everyone loves him right now because he is sticking it to the MAN.
Oh wait I am the MAN? No the taxpayers are the man.
I think FL will be just fine.
I think you've got that wrong - the insurance companies almost destroyed FL with their rate hikes. I know someone now paying $19,000 per year on their home for insurance due to the hurricanes, etc.
FYI, there are many conservatives on this forum who are public school teachers.
Well, maybe that needs to be done - otherwise, how will people like Scooter Libby (now a convicted felon) ) ever vote again?
Also, FYI, new teachers often can not survive in this state, because many local school districts pay their superintendents a ton, and have layers of adminsitrators, but forget about the teachers (and, local districts set their own salaries here). That's why Gov Bush (not Crist) wanted to raise all new teachers' salaries to a minimum of $35,000. But, he was never able to pass that through the FL legislature.
BTW, for the first time, last year more people moved out of Florida than into Florida. I think it had something to do with sky high real estate prices and out of control insurance rates. Meanwhile, salaries of the average Joe have not exactly skyrocketed.
I would like teachers to work a normal year like the rest of us for that starting salary of $35,000 a year. Not the 7 months they do now (if that?)
Gov. Bush was never for the class size admendment like Crist, and Jeb certainly wouldn't have poured millions into this GLobal Warming Hoax like Crist wants to.
...and the fact that Charlie drives the Terribots into apoplectic fits can only be a plus.
"He's also unafraid to automatically restore felon voting rights."
Which is the right thing to do after a person has paid their judicially decreed debt to society.
The important thing is, what does Judge Greer think?
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