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GOP pre-session plan: Party this weekend at Hard Rock

Universal studios Florida's Republican leaders may be in for one of the most difficult sessions of their legislative careers but this weekend they're ready to rock at Universal Studios and the Seminole Tribe's Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando.

The weekend-long event is being sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida which is parlaying the gathering of Florida's legislators into a fundraiser. Lobbyists, lawmakers and their families are invited to join VIP tours of Islands of Adventure & Universal Studios on Saturday morning, dine at lunch and enjoy a dinner reception and "Mardi Gras Celebration Parade" in the evening.

After dinner, they'll be escorted to a "VIP viewing of the Pat Benatar Concert.''

Incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon of Orlando believes the event is fine, even as lawmakers debate stripping the state budget of more services and jobs. "The fact we are doing fundraising to support our members is appropriate,'' he said. "This promises to be a a particularly challenging session and we want our spouses and children to have a brief chance to fellowship before we embark on the 60-day session.''

Cannon said he is sensitive to the economic climate and that's why he cancelled all social events related to his designation on Monday as speaker designate. "We are well aware this is not a time to celebrate, it is a time to get to work,'' he said.


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This is one more indication that the Republican led Legislature is out of touch. They can't postpone their "fellowship" at Universal while the economy is in shambles? It's one big party for them. We should take our hand-painted signs and stand out in front all weekend and shame them.


If they were in Orlando they could have all shown up at the state Teacher Rally along with thousands of Florida's teachers who are desperately hoping for the funds to teach Florida's children!!

Ms. Constituent

Thank you for posting this info for us. This shows us how insensitive and tone deaf the Republican Legislature has become. They have no shame. They're celebrating!

patty de biase

Yes, they are celebrating with no shame because the public doesn't know that we are 50th on the country. Last Thursday (on my birthday) I cancelled 2 tutoring jobs so that I could go to the Broward County Rally. I helped organize a charter bus full of teachers and staff from our school, Indian Trace Elementary to go to the Rally. To the parents and everyone else that I mentioned the rally to they tought it was a teacher concern about their salary. It is not.With the economy the way it is they all had a comment to make about all the cuts in everyones jobs. Were they surprised after I informed them about the real reason behind all these rallies. I had also talked with the Miami Herald education reporter twice prior to the event and once there in person.I pleaded with them about writing specifics about why we are doing this and nothing. It is a shame that we are 50th in the country but this has nothing to do with today's economy. If the economy would not have taken the downfall it did in the past 2 years, we would still be at the bottom. How can we have been 49th and the state dept. not look into this and help us move up and not down? What happened to the lottery money? We were told it was going to enhance EDUCATION BUDGET NOT REPLACE THEM? We need to go back and raise our education spending without counting on the lottery money. We need to look at how the state funds education and modernize it. Florida is no longer just a RETIRMENT STATE, we are a thriving community full of families with children. Children who upon finishing their education are having to look for careers outside of Florida.They need to relocate elsewhere because they see no future in raising a family here. Hey, wait maybe this is what they want for Florida to become a retirment village again.

sos our schools parent

This is unforgivable!
They party while our kids education is in jeapardy.

They should have postponed their celebration for a more appropriate time.
Is there anything for Republicans to celebrate right now?
They have been VOTED OUT OF OFFICE
in almost every corner of the USA.

With this public blatent disregard for our kids, I think the rest of them should start packing their bags before the next election!They will be completely voted OUT!

Education saves all of us in the future. No education equals ignorance and poverty which can equal crime. The cost of NO education is too high! Cut from the top NOT our kids!

FYI: The Hard rock in Orlando is NOT owned by the Seminoles to my knowledge. You may have it confused with the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa.


First off, the Hard Rock chain is owned by the Seminole Tribe. They purchased it a few years back (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16090321/).

Second, I would understand this public outrage if these lawmakers had spent public money to throw themselves a party at Universal Studios. I would be the first one driving up to Tally. The fact of the matter is that they didn't. They used private party money the weekend before they have to go in for session where they will spend the next 60 days (not counting the special sessions they've already had in the last two months) hashing out the whole budget situation.

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