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Chan Lowe: Charlie Crist's special session

special.gifMuch as it makes me shudder to agree with anything Marco Rubio says, I have to admit that there’s something fishily opportunistic about our newly independent governor calling for a special session to deal with offshore oil drilling.

Charlie wants to enshrine a ban on drilling off Florida’s shores in our state constitution. For several reasons, this is unnecessary and sets bad precedent.

First, the state constitution ought to be a blueprint for the mechanics of how Florida is governed, nothing more. Any editorial board and political policy wonk will tell you that. The rest of us probably don’t even know or care that we have one.

Specifics like oil drilling policy have no more reason to be included than protecting pregnant pigs. Oops, that’s in there, isn’t it? Remember, this is Florida’s constitution. We should allow room for at least a little idiocy.

Second, a ban on offshore drilling is already part of state law, so the amendment would be superfluous. But Charlie fears the law could be changed someday. Does he really think that after what just happened in the Gulf, any politician would dare touch that law? Ever?

So it’s beginning to look like Charlie is calling a special session--at tens of thousands of dollars per day—which will accomplish little more than showcase him at the podium acting as master of ceremonies. Oh, and looking senatorial.

If it’s so easy for Charlie to play fast and loose with state money (where the budget has to be balanced by law), imagine how much fun he’ll have in Washington, where they can print as much as they want.

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The intent of Crist is more important then the results.
He is for conservation when all around him call for destruction.

This is a pure political move for his re-election. I think he is hurting himself more than helping himself.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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