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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bob Graham weighs in on George LeMieux and Frank Brogan



We caught up with former Florida Sen. and Gov. Bob Graham today. Before taping a Political Connections interview that probably will air Sunday on Bay News 9, we asked him about Frank Brogan being picked picked as university chancellor and George LeMieux as U.S. Senator.

Graham said Brogan's political skills are strong but his agenda uncertain at time when Florida's future requires a focus on "the intelligence-driven economy. ... We've got to make a much greater investment in education. Frank is an unknown quantity as to whether he appreciates that and whether he will do the kinds of things that will require him to be very aggressive with the Legislature with its funding levels. Do you know that since 1990 on inflation-adjusted dollars the funding per-student in our state university system has declined $4,500? That's had a horrific effect."

The LeMieux pick surprised him: "LeMieux is a person of values and competence, no question about that. I just think that given that he's only going to be there 16 months, you want somebody who can actually play a role. There's no state that going to be more impacted by this health care debate than Florida. ... It would have been better to have someone (with Washington experience). For instance Clay Shaw had served on the Ways and Means committee and he knows this issue very well. He would have been an example of somebody who could have hit the ground prepared and ready to be a player."


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:15pm]


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