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Democrats and Republicans fire shots over Polytech

Before Gov. Rick Scott announced the creation of Florida Polytechnic as the state's 12th university on Friday, the Florida Democratic Party released a statement condemning the action.

“This move is nothing more than an appalling and wasteful power play by the Republicans in Tallahassee. The people of Florida didn’t ask for this university, they don’t need it and can’t afford it," wrote Brannon Jordan, Democratic Party spokesperson.

Powerful Republican Budget Chairman Sen. JD Alexander of Lake Wales pushed through the bill to immediately break off the University of South Florida's Lakeland branch.

But the Democratic Party release has one important omission: Most Senate and House Democrats also voted for the university.

That led Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry to quickly call out the Democatic Party condemnation as "nonsense."

"If they wanted to go after anyone on this issue, perhaps it should have been their own senators,” Curry said in a release.

Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich of Weston agreed.

"Before the party puts out a release, they should check and see how everyone voted," Rich said.

She felt comfortable voting for Polytech, she said, and she thinks most of her fellow Democrats did, too.

"I don't think this is a partisan issue," she added.

In recent weeks, public tide seemed to turn largely against the university, with lawmakers and citizens sending thousands of e-mails to Scott's office. Many lawmakers publicly urged Scott to veto.

That includes Rep. Larry Ahern, R-St. Petersburg, who sent a letter to Scott lobbying against the bill. The letter does not mention he voted for the university, then went back and changed his vote a month later.

"I just really wasn't comfortable," he said, adding that he became concerned with the university's financial impact on the state. "The last resort was the governor, I was hoping I could pull at his heart strings a little."

@britt_alana

Comments

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Anti-Tallahassee

So what if Dems voted for the bill? Are the Republicans going to start using Democrat opinions as justification for their actions? If Republicans agree with Democrats, the Republicans should take that as a sign of just how far they have strayed from their professed conservative ways. What a crock of crap that is - there is nothing conservative about the power hungry self-serving Repugnant Party of Florida.

aspiesmom

There is sooo much wrong with Rick Scott's policies, The Dems don't need to point at the one right thing (that they voted for!)

Adele Roberson

I wonder if this is one of the schools I have heard about from people I know who live in Florida.
Apparently the Koch Bros are giving a great deal of money to Florida schools on some conditions. And those conditions are that the Koch Bros will have the complete right to hire the teachers and draw up the ciriculum.If the schools do not allow this then the Koch Bros will take the money back.
This article says nothing about any of this...Knowing how the Republicans are trying to destroy this country I would not be surprised if they are doing another underhanded thing to gain more control.

Randall McMurphy

Just what Florida, and Polk County in particular, needs--a new UNACCREDITED university. It won't have accreditation for four to five years. This is some kind of payback or payoff between Scott and Alexander (who is a major landowner in the immediate vicinity of the new campus) and it stinks of politics. This is something about which Carl Hiaasen might well write a future book.

Johnylaw

Unfortunately, it shows just how lousy even the majority of our elected Democrats are in Florida. Any Democrat who voted for this should be ashamed - it made no sense and nobody wanted the university other than JD Alexander to feed his ego. How long until he becomes the president of the new university (a Florida tradition). The State Party is a mess and the local Democratic Executive Committees are filled with with dead-enders far more concerned with their petty inter-party power plays than building an effective electoral structure that gets us votes and builds a strong bench for future elections. So many young progressives in Florida (like myself) are absolutely demoralized by the state of our party, and any time we try to make a change, the rules are stacked against us. That's how a dolt like Rick Scott got elected, Republicans control every cabinet post, and we are down to a handful of seats in the house and the senate. Yes, gerrymandering had something to do with it, but our own party's disarray and fecklessness contributed just as much I"m at a loss for the solution.

Rudy Gonzales

In a one-party state, that's what you get! Don't like it?
Make a change in November. Vote out the confrontational TEA-Republicans! Get registered to vote. Be sure and vote! Then get out the vote. Staying out of politics at the local level is shooting your self in the foot. Staying out of politics at the state level is political suicide. Sending a true representative to Washington is imperative. Wake up, Florida! It's your time to shine on the national level again!

whasup

Let's see now ...

The existing schools in the state university system were sitting on huge piles of reserve cash, several hundred million. In fact, they had tried to hide that from the Legislature (and from their students), just like big bureaucratic government agencies do, led by their autocratic power-tripping educrats.

Those piles of cash could only have come from one place--the higher tuitions they have been jacking out of their students over the last several years.

So when the USF President fought tooth and nail, beak and talon, hammer and tong against this break off, she was just trying to avoid losing part of her fiefdom. What do these overpaid university Presidents think they are: grand high Dukes or something?

Her nasty bureaucratic and political opposition to this, from her high noble seat over in Tampa, was the best sign that this should have been done. It's a good idea on its own, but it's better as a rebuke to the university duke overlords and their minions who abuse their position, place, and our money.

KathyC

I don't know much about this situation....I admit that freely. But......knowing Scott as I do he is probably making money off this deal. Everything he does seems to benefit him personally.

Atochapirate

Sounds like a mission for Skink or Serge.

R. Carrifee

Another corrupt corporate college that suckers in the poor and desperate with easy loans, to buy overpriced, on-line college pseudo-credits that never transfer and are worthless to any potential employer!

Soffers

Whasup- you have no clue what is going on in higher education in the state of dumbville. So go kiss up to the guv- you must be JDAlexanders cousin. He is a legend in his own mind and comes from a long line of bullies-this from Polk county natives.

B. McDonald

@ Adele Roberson | April 22, 2012 at 03:46 PM

Please, would you have some links that might verify your allegations on this issue? I am out of state and know nothing of said political ties. I know just how insidious the Koch brothers are amongst the Republican Party, but this one is new to me, so please, when making such comments, might you include some supporting links? TY

Nuria

Scott must want a place to work after he's finally finished shafting the Florida voters.

joyce richardson

we the people do not count anymore all these people that we put in office and they act as if we don't matter well we don't florida is a wreck we need help we have a criminal for governor and the rest follow.

Alex

This whole thing is nothing more than JD Alexander making some money. Yes, he owns land near by and as part of this whole deal the state will put roads right through his land. Thus he earns a nice paycheck for his "advancing" our college system here in Florida.

Mountaineer

THE KOCHE BROTHERS AND ALEC ARE ALIVE AND WELL IN FLORIDA, AND THE LAWMAKERS DON'T EVEN HAVE THE INDEPENDENCE OF MIND TO SEE THEM FOR WHAT THEY ARE. THERE IS POWER IN MONEY, RIGHT POLITICANS!

NANCY

How did Floridians get saddled with this boob? I live in Florida and I can't find a single person (and I have asked many people) who will admit actually voting for Rick Scott. He is a disaster for Florida. Florida used to have great governors like Ruben Askew and Bob Graham. Now we have this clown driving the clown car. Sitting next to him in the clown car is Pam Bondi, whose campaign slogan should have been "A Bimbo for Attorney General."

Michigan_Joe

They are all mad

Donna

I live in Fl also. Scott got elected by amere 812 votes over Alex Sink. Even more out rageous is turning down federal money for those on Medicaid about 2 years ago. It would have gone to help poor women with cancer screenings etc. And much support for those caregivers with serious disabled children that they are trying to care for without much help. He didn't want any stinking bail out money for healthcare from the feds so who suffers. And don't forget all the money for a high speed train in the billions that he nixed as on of his first deeds as governor. The state congress pleaded with him to accept it. Other states drooled to get those funds to build high speed rail

M. Craun

Hey I know Rick Scott... Please build Polytech, & let's reduce big government even more by laying off more middle class State workers or privatize the state so we can make you big profits or the companies that give you money, while you also hire PR reps for salaries that replace 5 middle class workers you laid off this year, and yes let's build a college YOUR voters clearly do not want because you have told us we need to budget, that we are broke and this is the reason why you are closing down prisons, reducing the budgets of the special needs and our childrens education...oh that's right, criminal activity is at an all time low...or is it because you are keeping offenders on probation and not sending habitual offenders to jail and they now know there are no consequences to crime, some of us have seen the memos your office has sent out to probation and parole... but, I'm sure you will higher all those healthcare workers laid off at this new college, or maybe corrections officers that have lost their jobs over the last year will make great security for Polytech at below the economic level to be able to feed their families.

Ecoonerty

Democrats, for the most part are morons

Bruce

Another University??? As a family we moved to
Florida in 2005. We had thought we had done
most of our homework with schools, jobs etc...
But after being down here for 7 years, we realized that it falls shorts in it's education
and does'nt really have much to offer those who
would like a tradeskill through a vocational
High School. There are very little afforts down here to offer High Shcool students a vocational
trade. Many upper states offer and invest in
Vocational High Schools offering:machine shop,
nursing,autobody and auto mechanics etc.. to
name just a few. So for those who graduate down
here must either find ways to further educate
themselves with costly loans. A High School
Diploma gets you Mcdonalds or Burger King or
a 8.00 per hour service (hotels + theme park)
jobs. So to sum up my story the State needs to
invest in it's education better at the High School levels then another makeshift college!!!!

A Facebook User

Scott is a convicted felon. Who cares ?

bluqe

Politics, politics and more politics. Blah, blah and then some more blah. Most hsve nothing of substance only crap they heard from other crappies on what thier uncle heard from a major source at his local golf club.
Looking back on the story, it would seem to me, Florida could use a good technical school, there should be enough football money around to support it. Come on folks, how can a good technical school hurt us.

Dark_Archer

both parties voted for this and the democrat blame Scott ??? ,,, what a hoot !!!! Hitler would be so proud of the communist / socialist Democrat party, they have taken the NAZI propaganda techniques to a whole new level..... meanwhile as the sheeple are distracted Adolf hussein obama quietly signs into law h347 prohibiting free speech . to the discernment of his NAZI SS...SEIG HEIL YOU IDIOTS

Flotsam

I live in Pasco County. My State senator, Mike Fasano, voted against Poly Tech. He also lost his committee chair for fighting the senate leadership over privatizing prisons. He and Paula Dockery are the only republicans in the Florida senate who stand up for what is right. Remember those names. Look up their records. There is still hope for Florida...but not much.

Red Ruffian

Rick Scott and the Republican legislators in the Florida House and Florida Senate are the only known unreconstructed, congenital criminal class in the United States of America.

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