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Crist takes off the gloves, repeats veto threat all over the place

Speaking to a crowd of Realtors in the Capitol courtyard, Gov. Charlie Crist peppered his remarks with another veto threat and he later repeated his hint that the teacher tenure bill could be in trouble.

“If a bill gets to my desk that favors the property insurance industry, I will veto it,’’ he said to loud cheers. “You have to be the one that we fight for."

He told the crowd that said the property insurance market has stabilized. “In fact, property insurance in the Sunshine State because of new companies coming to the state, and a more stabilized market, have decreased 15 percent in the last three and a half years.”

Later, he told reporters, "this is the last time that we need to have a property insurance increase."

Asked if he was concerned about a veto override on that bill, Crist said: "I can't imagine how many members of the House and Senate would want to override a veto that reduces property insurance. They do so at their own peril."

Asked to elaborate on his concerns from teachers, particularly a close friend whom he spoke to over the weekend, that the merit pay bill could adversely affect special needs students, Crist said his friend was concerned about “How special needs teachers will be evaluated. With the progress required, he was concerned about it.”

Crist acknowledged he was shifting his opinion. "Shame on any public servant who doesn't listen to the people.''

Crist said he had no problems with former Gov. Jeb Bush’s heavy lobbying on the teacher tenure bill, saying “every citizen has a right to do that. That’s for every citizen to decide, whatever their level of interest is, they have a right to exercise it.”