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Charlie Wields His Mighty Pen

My GuvThe Pensacola News Journal reports on our governor [independent orange running for US Senate] slicing away at the Republican legislature’s budget bill:

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist cut $371 million in spending Friday with line-item vetoes of the $70 billion state budget.

Crist’s actions continued his conflict with lawmakers, particularly Republican leadership. He rejected language prohibiting state funds for human stem-cell research, cut spending on projects he said were inserted into the budget late and wiped away a poison pill lawmakers inserted in an effort to protect a $160 million sweep from a transportation trust fund.

Legislative leadership said they’ll consider a lawsuit to challenge Crist. Crist’s vetoes drew the wrath of Senate President Jeff Atwater, a North Palm Beach Republican running for chief financial officer. He said Crist’s criticisms of college building projects were unfounded in what Atwater characterized as an open budget process.

Ah, yes, the “transparency” of the Florida budgeting process – so transparent that no one knows it is happening. You would think that after Ray Sansom’s problems and the grand jury report the legislature would make an effort to look legitimate for at least the year following, but they still don’t get it.

They stole $160 million from the transportation trust fund, and stealing it was because those funds are designated for transportation projects only, to hide their underfunding of the public schools.

They put together a package worth hundreds of millions of dollars to attract bio tech firms, and then pass this stem cell research ban to pander to their base. Bio tech firms would be insane to relocate to a state that could ban their research at any time because of pandering to religious whackos.

Speaking of the whackos, they still haven’t sent Charlie their latest attempt at messing with women’s health issues. It passed, but they are sure he’s going to veto it, so they are mounting an e-mail campaign to influence his actions.