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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist: 'solely within bounds' of authority



A lawyer for Gov. Charlie Crist told the state Supreme Court moments ago that the governor negotiated a casino gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe "solely within the bounds of his authority" and it does not require legislative approval.

"The governor acted responsibly, properly and solely within the bounds of his authority as chief executive," states the filing with the Florida Supreme Court. Rubio filed suit against Crist last month and since them the Senate has joined him as a supporter.

The Crist response suggests Rubio blew the chance for legislative approval. Bills granting that power were offered in both chambers. It passed the Senate, but the House version never got on the floor.

Rep. Jim Waldman, a first-term Democrat from Coconut Creek, said he talked with Rubio and others about getting the bill heard, but nothing happened. As new lawmakers are apt to do, Waldman wrote letters to House leaders calling attention to the bill. Here is one of them.

“It’s kind of disingenuous at this point to say we didn’t have the opportunity to ratify the compact,” Waldman said.

Rubio spokeswoman Jill Chamberlin noted the hundreds of bills that never get heard each session (and those that do usually belong to more tenured members) and said the compact did not heat up until after the session.

"There were a lot of bills and he was very focused on the property tax issue," Chamberlin told the Times.

Said Crist, "Everybody has their own timing when they feel issues are ripe and I respect that he feels it’s ripe for him now."

The Seminoles also filed a response Monday. Click here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:09pm]


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