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Thrasher: Blocked vote on drilling not linked to oil industry promises

With word that that the GOP-led legislature is going to prevent a vote on Gov. Charlie Crist's proposal to put an amendment to ban oil drilling on the November ballot, rumors are swirling and accusations hurling that there might be a tidy reward in the fall to RPOF coffers from the oil industry.

For example, Rep. Scott Randolph, an Orlando Democrat, believes Republican House leaders won't take the issue to the floor because "they have taken so much money from offshore drilling and spent it all on their lavish credit card spending'' that they don't want to cancel out the prospect of oil industry drilling in the future.

Republican Party of Florida chairman, and state senator, John Thrasher forcefully denies those allegations. He said he has not personally spoken to any oil lobbyist and the decision not to put the amendment on the ballot has more to do with giving voters time to carefully review the issue than to rush to judgment on the emotional issue now. "Nothing in this special session, as far as I'm concerned, is in anyway linked to any kind of a quid pro quo from the oil industry," he told the Herald/Times.