Lawmaker Wants Crist Censured
A Republican state lawmaker is calling for a censure of Gov. Charlie Crist over his move to bring legislators back to Tallahassee next week to vote on a proposal that would constitutionally ban offshore oil drilling in Florida.
Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Orlando, also a candidate for congress, announced Thursday that she was filing a resolution to censure the governor during next week's session. The special session, she said, is a waste of taxpayer dollars because the proposed constitutional amendment seeks to ban something already prohibited by a moratorium.
“This is $50,000 a day to basically solidify something we can't do already,” Adams told the News Service. “There was no way any drilling was going to start on our coasts this year.”
Crist last week hastily ordered lawmakers to Tallahassee to examine an offshore oil drilling ban that, if approved by the Legislature, would go on the November ballot for inclusion in the constitution. The point, said Crist, would be to make it harder to lift the current ban – as GOP lawmakers have tried to do now for two years running.
Republican lawmakers, who control both the House and Senate, have accused Crist of political grandstanding, though, saying that in the wake of the massive spill that only ended with the capping of the BP well on Thursday, nobody had any intention of suggesting lifting the moratorium anytime soon. Still, if lawmakers were to wait until the regular session to propose an amendment, it might be 2012 before it would go before voters.
Senate leaders initially had discussed bringing other measures to the table during the July 20 -23 special session specifically dealing with the economic impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. But that idea also faded Thursday, when Senate President Jeff Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul agreed that those proposals should be more fully developed and taken up in late August or early September in a separate session.
That would leave only Crist's offshore oil drilling proposal on the table for lawmakers to debate and vote on over the four-day period – unless Adams can muster enough support to force the chambers to take up the censure proposal.
A Senate spokeswoman said thus far, nobody in the Senate has expressed interest in censuring the governor.
Adams acknowledged that to take up the matter, the two legislative leaders would have to agree to expand the call, but she said she expects to see other lawmakers supporting her measure in the coming days. She also said that her proposal had nothing to do with politics, but rather was about guarding the taxpayers' dollars.
“This has got nothing to do with my campaign” for Congress, she said.
A spokesman for the governor declined to comment on Adams’ proposal.