Sansom’s Resignation Not Enough

6 01 2009

FLORIDA VOICE EDITORIAL

Speaker Ray Sansom’s decision to step down as the vice president of Northwest Florida State College is not nearly enough to put the latest scandal involving the Florida Legislature in the rear view mirror. Sansom has used his position as chronicled in the Miami Herald for the last several weeks to steer millions of dollars in state money to the University and his hiring was merely a pay off for his misuse of the state’s appropriations process.

But Sansom will get away with his token resignation, while undoubtedly continuing to help his former employer due to his house position. But can one really blame Sansom?

With a virtually impotent minority party opposing him, the Destin Republican has merely had to fend off the editorial boards of Florida’s major newspapers to keep his Speakership.  The failure of the Democrats in the House of Representatives to challenge the Speaker and to question the integrity of a body that allows a man to lead the House despite these serious allegations is the real crime. Ray Sansom knows with a weak minority party opposing him, he can push the envelope as far as it will go.

In the past eight years the Democratic super minority has produced some outstanding members: Rep. Doug Wiles and Rep. Dan Gelber come to mind immediately. But by and large the Democrats seem unwilling to ever rock the boat for fear of losing access to power. When the Democrats finally realize they are the minority party and need to act like the loyal opposition, the state as a whole will benefit.

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5 responses

6 01 2009
RB

Democrats said plenty about Sansom. Conflict of interest, troubling, etc.

You wanted the Dems to come out and call for him to resign from the House obviously. But that would be suicide in a body controlled by the majority party as tightly as the Florida House is. You have to pick your fights as a legislator in the minority and this was a losing one.

The editorial boards you praise don’t have any real sway in the capitol. If the papers say do one thing the Republicans are bound to do the opposite.

You ought to be more practical with this forum than to simply parrot the papers and point fingers at the Democrats. That’s why alot of people in the process don’t read the papers anymore. We know what the St Pete Times is going to say and we know what the Florida Times Union is going to say. We also now know what this website is going to say so what is the point?

6 01 2009
kkfla737

You wanted the Dems to come out and call for him to resign from the House obviously. But that would be suicide in a body controlled by the majority party as tightly as the Florida House is.

This is precisely the problem. Many Democrats are more concerned about access to power than standing on principle.

The editorial boards you praise don’t have any real sway in the capitol. If the papers say do one thing the Republicans are bound to do the opposite.

I’d like to think better of the GOP Leadership than this but sadly you are probably correct.

6 01 2009
Anonymous

I’m not sure what the Democrats were suppossed to do. They brought attention to the matter and let the editorial boards and blogs like this tee off on the Speaker. They did about all they could do.

6 01 2009
Anonymous

Sansom is a crook and should be thrown out of office still. He’ll be jail before long.

6 01 2009
Publius

Your point about the Democrats being the loyal opposition is well taken. To date, most Democrats loyalty has been to the institution and those in power, rather than to the Democratic party and their constituents. It’s time they stood for something, rather than falling for table scraps the GOP throws their way.

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