Monday, February 11, 2008

Why VP Crist Makes Me Nervous

Some friends of mine from out of state asked me about Gov. Crist, as his name has been mentioned on the short list for Vice-Presidential candidates. I would gladly promote Mr. Crist out of my hair if Sen. McCain were not going to be 72 on the day he would take office. So here's the deal for you out of staters:

He claims to be 'The People's Governor', and her certainly does seem to be on the popular side of every issue. Which is part of my problem with the guy. He's only consistent on being on the popular side.
  • He campaigned vigorously for Amendment 1, which would limit property taxes, squeezing county and local governments in a down year for taxes (Not that I'm crying for them.)
  • He also proposed a budget that 're-allocated' fees and one-time money to General Revenue. More than 3% of his budget was 're-allocated' money, which violates the State Constitution.
    • While revenues are off huge amounts -- State Universities are rumbling about having to cancel their Summer Sessions, and reduce admissions, local schools aren't sure how to keep operating under the class size amendment -- Gov. Crist wants to increase Dental Reimbursment by $20 Million
  • In the meantime, Gov. Crist is hosting Environmental Summits, and proposing to give away big money [$50 Million] for energy subsidies. I should note that Gov. Crist has opposed (and therefore made impossible) the permitting of Clean Coal and Nuclear plants. Oh, and there's $200 Million for CLIMATE CHANGE PREVENTION!!! in his budget. Sorry, my head almost exploded. What are we California, now? Didn't you get your Ah-nold autograph yet, Governor?
  • Crist put the State of Florida on the hook for $12 Billion in catastrophic Hurricane Insurance last year. And, while it makes me a little nervous, I'm okay with that. The insurance markets, especially since the re-insurance markets seemed to have bought the Global Warming crap about catastrophic hurricanes every year in 2006 & 2007. I'll note, however, that the Wall Street Journal has meticulously documented Mr. Crist's attempts to pass the buck to the Federal Government, or the taxpayer in Butte, Montana. I'll further note that the State CFO, Alex Sink, has suggested that the re-insurance market has calmed to the point where the state could off-load $3 Billion in risk this year for a 3-4% rise in At-Risk homeowner premiums.
    • N.B. -- Just to give a sense of scale, the Governor's proposed budget this year for the State of Florida is $70 Billion. That will include tapping the 'Rainy Day Fund', tobacco money, and re-appropriating fees. So, yeah, $3 Billion in risk off-loaded would be a good deal.
I can go on like this for days, and may, but the point is that no matter how Republican Lite people think John McCain is, the man has principles. I disagree with lots of the expression of said principles, see: McCain-Feingold, but I don't doubt he's doing what he believes is best for the country. Charlie Crist, as best I can tell, does what's best for Charlie Crist's polls.

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