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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bullard shuts down Senate, could kill CSX

Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami, called for a "point of personal privilege," in which she smacked down the Senate President for repeatedly not calling on her six different times when she waved her microphone to speak.

Bullard During a session marked by mostly harmony on the Senate floor, it was quite a surprise to hear Bullard, wavering on tears, talk about being ignored, disrespected and used.

"This day is a painful day to me on the Senate floor. I believe I've served in these 14 years to the best of my ability I have never disregarded or disrespected anybody in this process," Bullard said. (See parts of speech below.) She also lamented that her bill to commission a study of traffic flow around I-95 is about to be loaded up as the vehicle for proposals to bring commuter rail to Orlando and to provide a gas tax holiday.

Senate President Ken Pruitt apologized and called a brief recess. "If you feel that I have disrespected you in any way, I apologize."

"Today I feel a heavy burden on my back. Very heavy. It's not just on my back, it's also on my heart...I've waved my mic six times and you did not recognize me. I do not know why you did not recognize me. .. When I raise my mic, I only want to be recognized, because I'??m not clear on an issue or I want to at least respond to an issue. This day is a painful day to me on the Senate floor. I believe I've served in these 14 years to the best of my ability. I have given of myself to my constituents. I've never disregarded or disrespected anybody in this process. As I walked the halls in this capitol, I respectfully walk the halls of this capitol. But to think that because of one issue, this Senate, and some people, and you know who you are, would take a person, such as myself and bury me, because you think you can.

I will not allow anyone to just jerk me around, as I've been jerked around today. I wanted to say something about our Secretary (Faye Blanton who is retiring) ....only because I care about her. I was denied. I wanted to say something about my Leader Geller, (Minority Leader Sen. Steve Geller who is term-limited) I was denied. I even wanted to say something about my Speaker Webster (Majority Leader Sen. Dan Webster who is term-limited). I was denied.

But today, I'm denied to ask questions. And that I think is just blatantly disrespectful. That's just not something we should do."

"Iâ??ve very, very saddened that we have reached that level in this process. This process is a process by which we are to do what we think is best for the people we serve. We are to do what is best based on our conscious and what we believe in.

The last situation I experienced like this, was with Terri Schiavo. When people stood at my door and I called on Jesse Jackson. Today I don't need Jesse Jackson today, because I've got God. . .But I don't appreciate the way I'm being treated, because I will not allow CSX to come on a vehicle I have."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:55am]


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