The question of the day is whether the GOP-led Florida legislature will roll over for the Miami Dolphins.
It's not that the Republicans are immune to entreaties from billionaire sports team owners. Far from it. What is going on now, is that the House Speaker Bill Weatherford wants a better way to extort money from the public while maintaining tax breaks for special interests.
Tampa Bay Times writer Craig Pittman offers a more detailed view of how the system works, in "Panhandle lawmaker loads bills with environmental de-regulation". Representative Jimmy Patronis has emerged as the most anti-environmental politician in Tallahassee. He tells the Tampa Bay Times, "I'm trying to force two children to play well together," a forced metaphor describing his efforts to reconcile environmental and business interests.
What Representative Patronis fails to say is that there are only three or four environmental lobbyists in Tallahassee. The other side fills the chambers with seventy or more. That's why an anti-bullying law is needed. Oh well. Dream on.
Last night I had a chance to listen to US Senator Al Franken speak to a gathering of supporters in Miami. A member of the audience asked a question after his remarks, "Isn't it possible to reconcile with Republicans across the aisle?"
Franken answered, with a story of what it is like to be pro-tem president of the Senate; a kind of party responsibility that requires him to to be on the floor when senators take the microphone and speak to a chamber completely empty except for transcribers and the C-Span camera. "I'll be listening," Franken said, "and my Republican colleagues will come out with something that I know to be patently untrue. The facts are completely wrong. I'll go up to the senator, later, and repeat what he said and then give him the facts and then ask, why are you using bad facts?" Franken finishes the story, saying that most of the time, he won't even get the courtesy of a response.
It is all about, scheming.