Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jan. 27: Is Florida Turning Into the Surrender State?

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Attorney Dan Paul died earlier this week. Paul was known as a principal creator of Dade County's home-rule charter in 1957, and as an activist against unchecked development, particularly of the county's parks and green spaces. He was a fighter.

That's worth remembering at a time when too many of Florida's residents and elected officials are giving up the fight against various things - particularly the dangers of offshore oil drilling and spreading casino gambling.

Obviously, members of the Florida Legislature and too many members of Congress didn't hear about that oil-tanker spill off the coast of Texas during the weekend. They're still keeping up the drumbeat for drilling off Florida's beautiful shoreline.

And it was disheartening to read that State Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, a candidate for Florida's Senate, is giving up her battle against expanded casino gambling in the state and essentially saying that if Florida can't beat the Seminoles, it should compete against them. That means more hotels with casinos - as well as more gambling addicts and a bigger fight against crime by police departments that have had their budgets slashed.

All of this is coming because of Florida's struggling economy. Bogdanoff and her colleagues can't seem to come up with constructive ways to fix that economy, so they're coming up with destructive ones, instead.

That kind of attitude will turn the Sunshine State into the Surrender State. That's not good for Florida in any way.

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