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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bubba the Love Sponge highlights Legislature's Expressway Authority money grab

28

April

Bubba the Love Sponge hosted Stephen Diaco, chair of  the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, this morning, giving Diaco a chance to rail against a move in the state Legislature to force the authority to pay $69 million to the Florida Department of Transportation or be shut down. The program, heard in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville and Fort Myers, spawned phone calls the to the offices of Senate President Jeff Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul, urging them to remove the language form the budget bill.

Diaco, appointed to the authority by Gov. Charlie Crist, directed much of his wrath at Sen. J.D. Alexander, who put the provision in the bill to punish Rep. Rich Glorioso, a Plant City Republican who advocated for a $160 million raid on the DOT's trust fund. Diaco said he has urged Crist to veto the provision. "This will give Charlie Crist another opportunity to highlight what's right and wrong about the Legislature," Diaco said.  "It's just amazing what's happened and how it happened and why it happened. It's everything's that's wrong with government." He said he believes Alexander's vendetta extends beyond Glorioso to Crist, reasoning that it's odd Alexander targeted only the tolling agency on Crist's home turf.  "How can it be that our authority in Tampa is getting pick-pocketed and other authorities aren't getting touched?"

He said he has heard that people calling the offices of Cretul and Atwater are being ignored and hung up on. "All they're trying to do in a respectful way is communicate that this language should be removed," Diaco said.

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:31pm]

    

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