Friday, March 13, 2009

Almost Democratic But Still Republican

For those of you unfamiliar see my earlier post

By Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau
In Print: Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gov. Charlie Crist addresses a joint session of the state Legislature on Tuesday.
TALLAHASSEE — In a short and perfunctory State of the State speech, Gov. Charlie Crist urged the Legislature on Tuesday to rally behind his plan to spend billions in federal stimulus money as "a bridge to better economic times" in Florida.

Crist called his address "a dose of reality," muting his usual cheerfulness to state the obvious: An epidemic of foreclosures and business failures and the highest unemployment rate in 17 years has ravaged state revenues. Crist used the deepening economic crisis to justify injecting $12.2 billion of federal money into the budget over three years.

"Some argue the politics of the federal stimulus plan," Crist said. "My friends, while our people worry, we cannot put politics over their needs — the needs of our students and teachers, the sick and the infirm, or those out of work."

In his third year in office, Crist is in the awkward spot of facing resistance within his own party in seeking to use stimulus money to jump-start the economy and get people back to work. Underscoring that point toward the end of his speech, Crist said: "We have to be willing to put solutions above who gets the credit."

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