Monday, April 16, 2012

Polytechnic is About Crony Capitalism

Florida state Rep. Larry Ahern urged Gov. Rick Scott in a letter to veto making USF Polytechnic into an independent school.

Ahern, R-St. Petersburg, called the bill "a hasty attempt at pleasing special interests without consideration for the students attending USF Polytechnic." He asked Scott in a letter to "uphold the principles of limited government and sound fiscal policy" when making his decision about whether to sign or veto the bill.

For a governor that billed himself as a decisive leader, Scott has become the Hamlet of Tallahassee. Polytechnic would have no accreditation, students or buildings. The controversy surrounding Polytechnic makes it politically unwise for Scott to sign a new independent school, at a time when other state universities are facing budget cuts. The reason Scott hasn't vetoed the Polytechnic legislation is because Scott is a crony capitalist.

It is no secret that J.D. Alexander pushed for an independent Polytechnic school because it would increase the value of his Atlantic Blue property. A new independent university would mean a new road near 30,000 residential units Atlantic Blue plans to build.

Scott killed a federal rail project approved by the legislature and former Gov. Charlie Crist. Scott used a faulty report by the by the Reason Foundation to justify killing high-speed rail. Scott claimed that Florida would have to spend too much of its tax dollars. The federal government was set to give Florida $2.4 billion for the high-speed rail project. The rail line was projected to create 48,800 jobs, at a time of staggering unemployment in Florida.

Scott suddenly supported a rail line when J.D. Alexander pushed for the SunRail line. The reason Alexander wanted to SunRail line approved is because the rail's hub would go by frozen food warehouses owned by Alexander's family company Atantic Blue. The state would be financially responsible for any SunRail accidents caused on CSX lines. The first seven years of fares would not pay for SunRail. None of this is fiscally conservative. Scott approved it because the very fiber of his being screams crony capitalist. Scott desperately wants to approve Alexander's Polytechnic real estate scam. The only question is does Scott have enough political capital to get away with signing the Polytechnic legislation.

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