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Fasano, Thrasher clash angrily at Senate hearing

A Senate hearing on Gov. Rick Scott's proposed prison system reorganization turned ugly Thursday, prompting heated exchanges between two strong-willed GOP lawmakers..

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, chairman of a panel overseeing prison spending, repeatedly grilled Scott budget aide Bonnie Rogers, highlighting the proposal to eliminate 619 prison guards' jobs by shifting more inmates to private prisons.

"We would put out of work 619 families," Fasano said, as lobbyists for the prison guards' union watched closely from the back of the room.

Thrasher then came to the new administration's defense, saying "I'm not that worried about protecting government employees." He said Scott is trying to ensure public safety while cutting the cost and size of government at the same time.

Fasano continued to hammer away, asking why the prison system can't rein in excessive overtime costs. When he aimed his ire at Dan Ronay, the new No. 2 corrections official on the job four days, Thrasher exploded, calling Fasano's treatment of Ronay "not fair to him."

Thrasher blamed the problems on former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Fasano ally whom Thrasher worked to defeat as an independent U.S. Senate candidate last fall.

When Thrasher cited the past four years of prison oversight by "a governor (Crist) who left us and ran for something else," Fasano angrily interrupted Thrasher.

"Oh, Senator Thrasher, we're not going to get into politics," Fasano shouted at the powerful Senate Rules chairman. "We're here to discuss a budget. We're not going to discuss politics."

"I'm not playing politics," Thrasher said.

-- Steve Bousquet

Comments

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Yes, he's the Great Pretender

Why does Fasano pretend that he's a Republican? He was a shill for the worst governor in Florida's history, and now he's a puppet for the unions.

Oh boy.

Fasano needs to chill before even more people start thinking he's gone off the deep end.

Kelly

I'm with you guys. How can anyone take this Fasano guy seriously anymore? Throwing a fit because someone disagrees with you? What does he think this is, kingergarten?

Oh boy.

Kelly, long as he keeps flying off the handle, people will just keep ignoring him. Nobody likes a guy who's bitter AND loopy.

Johnny Hot Head

Have any of you ever thought Sen. Thrasher is trying to suck up to a guy he didn't support until he'd already won the primary (Scott). As a former chair and total party hack, Thrasher is figuring RPOF can talk Scott into paying for his own re-election while RPOF focuses their money on trying to recapture the House and Senate seats they'll lose in 2012 as a result of reapportionment. Nothing like a chess game played by mental midgets!

Oh boy.

Your tinfoil is giving me some major glare, Johnny. Guessing this is all just about a bitter guy facing term limits blowing a comment way out of proportion and whining about it. Fasano's just losing it.

The Boy who Cried Wolf

Fasno is a kook. He's like Dockery in seeing a grand conspiracy behind every door... He's probably crying wolf, again, to hide his enthusiastic support of Charlie Crist.

bananapants

Thrasher's got more leadership in his pinky than this nut Fasano has in his whole body. You see the news that FL's schools are #5 in the country? Yeah, Thrasher's got that to point to. This other guy? Please. Let him whine.

Violet

I was at the hearing; most likely none of you were. Fasano was grilling Bonnie about $2 million in overtime earned by 25 nurses. Ya, do the math. This doesn't make Fasano a nut, it makes him somebody who wants to know what the heck is going on.
Thrasher was trying to make a point that the department was poorly run in the past and was blaming that on Crist. Instead of trying to find out why crazy things had happened, he WAS trying to make a political statement. How does that help the taxpayer?

Hypocrites, all of them!

Fasano should have asked Bonnie Rogers about mismanagement at DOC. After all, she was chief of staff there before hightailing it out of Dodge after the elections, only to join the OPB suck-up team for Scott. She replaced Randy Ball, who had the integrity to tell Scott he was jeopardizing public safety, which led to the "off with his head" order. Bonnie Rogers is a sell-out like all those other parasites who live off state government rather than serve the public. Bonnie used to defend prevention spending for juveniles as chief of staff at DJJ before she went to DOC...now she's trying to defend hacking the DJJ budget so more kids end up at DOC -- or, more likely, on the streets.

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