The Fissure Between Crist and Rubio
There have always been strains between Marco Rubio and Charle Crist. Rubio wrote a Miami Herald op-ed against the Governor's green policies. The House Speaker published another op-ed against the slot machine deal Crist is negotiating with the Seminoles. These op-eds were about Rubio increasing his profile and his ideological differences with Crist.
Rubio will have the Florida Supreme Court review if Crist can make a gambling agreement with the Seminoles without the Florida legislature's approval. There are valid arguments for legislative involvement in gambling compacts. What Rubio fails to mention if Crist doesn't cut a deal, the U.S. Department of the Interior would step in and Florida would lose an estmated $100 million in tax revenue. The Seminoles will get slot machines.
This has pushed the politically nonconfrontational Crist. Spokeswoman Erin Isaac issued a statement on the Governor's behave.
"We are reviewing the petition. The Governor is disappointed that the actions of the Speaker may delay additional dollars to education."
Chief of Staff George LeMieux came out gunning at Rubio.
"It's easy to be a critic," LeMieux said Monday, as he plopped a copy of Rubio's court petition on his desk. "It's disappointing because the governor is trying to show leadership, and it's not an easy situation ... We were put in a situation with the federal government where the governor felt like he didn't have a choice." LeMieux said Crist negotiated the best deal he could with the state, including a guarantee of at least $100-million a year in revenue to the state.
Rubio's anti-gambling stance makes no sense when Florida is facing a budget shortfall. The Speaker isn't about to propose tax increases and county budgets are hurting from the slumping housing market. The conservative base loves Rubio. Those are the people that put him into power and whom he ideologically agrees with. Ideology trumps common sense in Rubio's world.