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Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Birth of Another Governator?

Is it fair to ask for just a little bit of ideological consistency from elected Republicans? This month's Florida Trend Magazine depicts Florida Governor Charlie Crist standing outside the Governor's Mansion. In quotes below the piece's title is the following:
"Nearly two years in office, Gov. Charlie Crist has all but abandoned traditional ideology in favor of governing from the gut."
Anyone with a wallet in the State of Florida needs to watch out when politicians start 'governing from the gut.' While Crist deserves praise in several key issues during his tenure; his radical departure from conservatism on property insurance and several other key issues will surely come back to bite the State of Florida in a big way.

To address the [property insurance] problem, Crist imposed de facto price controls that have turned the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, essentially a state agency, into Florida’s largest provider of homeowner’s insurance... “This plan violates every principle of actuarial soundness,” says a prominent Florida Republican. The result is that taxpayers are now on the hook if a violent tempest slashes its way across the state in the next few years.
This big gamble doesn't quite fit the mold of "limited government" or fiscal responsibility.

Maybe Charlie has taken a page out of the play book of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican California Governor who has presided over $41 billion in new spending since a recall election ousted former governor Gray Davis in 2003. Schwarzenegger openly encourages "Republican candidates, after getting nominated, [to] 'wander a little bit more to the left.' Schwarzenegger thinks "Flip-flopping is getting a bad rap, because I think it is great."

Californians who elected Schwarzenegger with his conservative agenda are now officially out in the cold. Mike Spence, president of the California Republican Assembly, said Mr. Schwarzenegger had all but abandoned the party that helped elect him. "Who cares if he gets re-elected if he's not going to advocate one iota of a fiscally conservative Republican belief?" Mr. Spence asked. "The good news is you don't know what he stands for. So he may stand with us next year."
[Recently] California Governor apologized...citing "political inexperience" as his excuse for having espoused semiconservative ideals and principles during his first campaign and in the early years of his Governorship. The man who rode into the Governor's mansion four years ago on a wave of dissatisfaction with former Governor Gray Davis and the budget crisis he wrought was, by all accounts, sober in his reflection on the last few years in office, telling Times writers and editors "that he now regrets a number of the policies he championed in his early days in office and acknowledges his own rhetoric was at times overheated and naive."

Hmm...Maybe abandoning a conservative ideology wouldn't have saddled your state with another $15 billion shortfall. Let this be another lesson learned for the Republican party officials who get elected and then try to beat the Democrats at their own game.

Update: I think Governors Crist and Schwarzenegger ought to go ask George W. Bush what it feels like to be an ideologically muddled, big spending conservative. I don't think it's too good for the legacy building campaign.

Update: Keep on eye on Charlie Crist. Arnold of the South? Maybe in a few years, they'll be calling Arnold the Charlie of the West.

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