Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to veto a relatively non-controversial citrus-industry bill, HB981, has the ag community seeing some conspiracy. Ostensibly, the bill concerned citrus research, but it also included some property-tax language (background here) that Crist used as his grounds for vetoing the bill.
"I have concerns about making it easier for developers to take advantage of a program intended to protect Florida farmers from facing financial pressures to sell their land," Crist wrote in his Saturday veto letter.
But guys like Bill Becker really wanted the bill to pass. Who's he? A source tells us he owns multiple citrus processing plants, is "real close to Jeb," and his son is president of Florida Citrus Mutual- who lobbied the bill through the process.
Oh yeah. Becker's also the first name on this list of "donors" who asked Crist to refund campaign money to Republicans once the governor left the GOP. Becker's name is first on the list, even though he didn't give a cent.