Democrats not bothering Sansom

27 01 2009

By Kartik Krishnaiyer

The silence is deafening. At a time when Democrats fortunes are soaring throughout the country and two years after the GOP was relegated to the minority in congress because of a culture of corruption, the Democrats in Florida are letting Speaker Sansom off the hook. Florida Democrats are unwilling to challenge Republicans on their questionable public behavior. Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants in the US House successfully made ethics an issue in 2006. Florida’s own Suzanne Kosmas made it an over riding issue in her 2008 upset of former Florida House Speaker Tom Feeney.

Speaker Ray Sansom’s continued problems seem to be a hot potato for Democratic leaders in Tallahassee. They don’t want to get near it. Perhaps it’s because of the Democrats own embarrassment with a House Speaker from Northwest Florida (Bo Johnson in 1994) not so long ago. Or maybe it’s because the Democrats, so long in the minority have the attitude of a neutered puppy dog. The Democrats have become a submissive minority, not wanting to rock the boat except on a few issues a year and wanting to take home largely symbolic or frivolous legislation to claim success to constituents after each session.

Sansom has served in the House long enough to know the impotence of the minority party. The fighters who’d previously bring attention to the serious matter at hand have all moved on. The fighting spirit of Kendrick Meek and Tony Hill is no longer found among the House Democrats. The politics of accommodation and submission are fully on display from today’s Democratic minority. The last real fighters of the group, Susan Bucher and Dan Gelber are no longer in the House. What is left is a group of confused members who did well on the budget but don’t seem to realize that they must take the fight on ethics to the GOP, or relegate themselves to a permanent super minority status.

Sansom’s real opponent is the Capitol Press Corp. With accomplished media veterans such as Adam Smith and Steve Bosquet  in Tallahassee, it’s difficult to escape all questioning. But the St Petersburg Times, Florida’s paper of record cannot wage this campaign alone. The Democrats however won’t engage in the battle. Perhaps that’s better than storming the beach with your soldiers and then cutting a deal, leaving them to die, as Legislative Democrats have done in the past.

Tomorrow we’ll explore the cradle of corruption in Florida. It’s not Northwest Florida where Sansom, Johnson and former Republican Senator Robert Harden (who also went to jail) hail from, but the Democrats own home base of Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Urban politics meets non ideological, personality driven politics deep in southeast Florida.

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5 responses

27 01 2009
Anonymous

Okay you lost me now.

You had me going until you simply choose to omit what many of us think is the reason for the Democrats decision to take a pass on this.

After all the Ds previously seized on any rumor involving Jeb Bush and his kids.

Franklin Sands the Democratic leader who you fail to mention in this posting essentially sold committee spots for fundraising dollars. It was all over the paper. You must have missed it.

Sands is a good guy but a bad leader. He was over his head and thus panicked. Much like Blago in Illinois he sold access for campaign cash.

Perhaps in the next story you write you may want to mention this. With a leader who has been accussed of pay for play as it is called the Dems do not have a n ethical leg to stand on.

If you take on tough issues like this you have to attribute it more than to some sort of abused child syndrome or neutered dog psychology as you have done here. A lot more to this. Look up Franklin Sands and campaign money and you’ll see what I am talking about.

27 01 2009
kkfla737

Anonymous, you are WAY WAY WAY off base.

Sands wasn’t even in the House when this accommodating behavior by Legislative Democrats began. I must have missed all the press you are talking about: it was the subject of discussion for a day or two no more and went away because it really was not much of a big deal.

The Democrats mentality has little to do with Franklin Sands and much much more to do with the psychological issues I discussed in my article.

I’d like future comments on this thread to stay pertinent to that very real topic of Ray Sansom and Democratic inaction and not to some conjecture or personal agenda’s anonymous posters may have.

Bottom line: this is just the latest in a pattern of Democratic disengagements from key issues in the state. Franklin Sands isn’t doing a great job on this particular issue but even the better leaders like Doug Wiles and Dan Gelber weren’t able to stop the trend of fear among Legislative Dems.

27 01 2009
Anonymous

This piece is spot on.

27 01 2009
Demo Operative

When Dems. are not challenging Reps. in all races, they will continue to be seated as they say in the back of the room. The art of the deal will continue to be the death of this party in local elections for years to come. When you have so-called high profile Dems. hosting Reps. in their offices and in some cases supporting them what else can you expect.

28 01 2009
T Rex

They are scared of Sansom and of losing their feel good smiles in the hallway.

Also they may lose a hunting or fishing invite from the boys of North Florida.

These Democrats seem to “go country” when they get to Tallahassee.

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