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Florida legislature, Gov. Crist point fingers over political ploys

11:41 PM, Jul 20, 2010   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Florida - It's taking significantly longer for the dust to settle around Tallahassee on Tuesday than it did for House Republicans to adjourn the Governor's special session on a proposed offshore drilling ban.

After Charlie Crist called the state legislature "arrogant" for taking just 49 minutes to dismiss the idea of an offshore drilling referendum, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) accused the U.S. Senate hopeful of "Leadership Via Press Conference."

Previous Story: Special session lasts just minutes
Previous Story: Special session may last just minutes

In a sharp-toothed press release Tuesday evening, the RPOF said, Crist's "feigned outrage doesn't overshadow that fact that he waited until he was down in the polls to call a special session and then failed to offer a single substantive proposal."

"It's easy to sit back and fake leadership by showing up for photo opportunities and holding press conferences," the release continued.  "But what Floridians are actually looking for from their current Governor and their CFO (Alex Sink) who would like to be Governor, are credible solutions. Instead, all Charlie Crist and Alex Sink have done is generate free publicity for their respective campaigns."

Republicans said a referendum on oil drilling was unnecessary because the state already bans drilling off of Florida's coast.

But the Florida Sierra Club lashed out at the lawmakers who dismissed the proposed amendment.  They say the current ban could be lifted by legislators and a voter-approved amendment would take away that ability.

"In an act of cowardess," Frank Jackalone, Florida Director of the Sierra Club, said of the legislature, "(they) decided to ignore the people of Florida. Moreover, they said 'We cannot trust the people of Florida.'"

The Sierra Club is calling on lawmakers to re-convene so a referendum can be placed on the 2010 ballot by the Aug. 4 deadline.

"Come back," Jackalone urged.  "Do it right! Don't waste our money again."

House Republicans indicated a special session may be called for September, but only to discuss the economic impact of the oil spill.

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