Monday, February 28, 2011

High-Speed Lawsuit Against Rick Scott

Sen. Thad Altman (R-Melbourne) and state Sen. Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) are are preparing for a possible lawsuit against Gov> Rick Scott. Altman told the Miami Herald that Scott did not have to authority to turn down federal rail money. The Orlando to Tampa high-speed rail project had already been approved by former Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida legislature.

“I believe that he exceeded his executive authority and in a very strong sense we have a Constitutional crisis on our hands,” Altman said. Senate Republican leader Andy Gardiner acknowledged there are concerns about the “parameters” of the governor’s use of his executive power. He did not reject the possibility that a fellow caucus member would have a legitimate basis for suing the Republican governor. Altman noted that the Legislature voted to accept the federal money and build high-speed rail in a special session.

“We have a law on the books,” he said, and quoted the portion of the Florida Constitution that reads: “The Governor shall take care that the laws of Florida are faithfully executed.”

“The governor has completely ignored that,” Altman said.

Scott Randolph shared Altman's view that Scott is acting without legislative approval.

"It's time to play hardball," said state Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando. "It's a tough situation for the legislature but I think at some point in members of his own party, are going to have to stand up, and say that we are an independent branch of government and you're going to respect us."

I wouldn't be surprised if Scott reacts to losing the lawsuit by throwing a hissy fit and going back to the private sector. We now have a Governor who is creating a state constitutional crisis by failing to legally honor laws. This isn't governing. This is the reckless behavior of a man too immature to govern.

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