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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bennett introduces, withdraws amendment to create specialty plates for Dem and Repub parties

After a Democrat and a Republican trashed the idea, Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, withdrew an amendment to a Choose Life specialty plate bill that would have created specialty plates for the Florida Democratic and Republican parties. Under Bennett's proposal, the plates would have had to have the words "I Vote" and would eventually sale of each plate would have generated $35 for each party.

When the Senate president confused Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who sponsored the Choose Life bill, as the sponsor of the amendment, Fasano said: "I only support good causes." 

Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdal, called it a "bad idea" and a "slippery slope." reading off the names of some of the state's political parties, including  the American Fat Cat Political Party and the American Lobbyist Political Party.

"The lobbyists got a  party!" he said. "I could see one day the American Nazi Political Party."

After Smith's remarks, Bennett said he would withdraw the money, saying he was disappointed the Democratic party didn't lobby Democratic senators to support the amendment.   

"They were the ones that wanted the money," he said. "Since they're not going to give you anymore money, I'm happy to withdraw the amendment."

Without the amendment, the bill passed by a vote of 28 to 10. It requires money generated by the Choose Life license plates to go to Choose Life, Inc., which supports pregnant women. Currently the money goes to counties.

[Last modified: Friday, May 6, 2011 4:20pm]

    

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