Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander just give a blistering criticism of Gov. Charlie Crist for vetoing $45 million for the University of South Florida's polytechnic campus in Polk County, Alexander's district. Alexander said Crist was getting revenge on him for voting against the governor's Public Service Commission picks during the last legislative session.
Here's Alexander, raw and uncut:
“Clearly, it was a personal attack on me because I didn’t share his view of his appointments to the PSC. It’s a shame he doesn’t share the vision for expanding education and helping expand education opportunities. Instead, he decided to be personally punitive. This was broadly supported across the state and across the region. I feel confident that we will prevail one day.
“He said he supported USF polytechnic. But what’s new? He didn't tell the truth. He was a Republican until he wasn’t. He supported Senate Bill 6 until he didn’t. And he was for polytech until he decided not to be. He’s all politics and he doesn’t have any substance.”
Last year, when the budget was smaller, Crist let stand two USF polytech appropriations that totaled $16.4 million.
Alexander said Crist could wind up in court for canceling a transportation trust fund raid that helped boost education spending.
"He can probably get away with the veto if the Legislature doesn’t take him to court," Alexander said. "There’s clear evidence that the governor can’t veto proviso language but keep the money. You can’t pick and chose"
Alexander, though, said he didn't support the trust-fund raid in the first place and suggested the House would be more likely to sue.