House Speaker Larry Cretul 2, Rep. J.C. Planas 0
Ouch. Not to suggest that House leadership is the vengeful type, but nonetheless it might be a long and miserable spring session for Rep. J.C. Planas, whose attempted power play against Speaker Larry Cretul just died in Rep. Bill Galvano's hands.
Galvano has dismissed the rules complaint that Planas, R-Miami, filed earlier this month after Cretul restructured committees and assignments - removing him from two major committees/councils). Planas maintained that Cretul "showed a complete disregard" for the rules by combining two budget committees into one (putting all budget power into the hands of fellow Miami Republican David Rivera. Planas said such a structural change requires a vote of the membership.
(Planas said he was filing the complaint just to make sure the rules are followed, not because Cretul removed him as chair of the Public Safety & Domestic Security Policy Committee and as a member of the Criminal & Civil Justice Policy Council.)
Planas today called Galvano's decision "very scary."
"They are changing things as they go along," he said. "I think this opens up a really dangerous Pandora's box. For a speaker to say, I don't want to fill three committees - well, what's to stop him from not filling 30 committees?"
Galvano's letter, sent this morning to Planas, concludes that there is no merit to the complaint because House members have long delegated great authority to the speaker to make decisions including "exclusive power to appoint the Chair and all members of each standing Council and Committee." Read for yourself here: Download Galvano.Planas
It's worth noting that Planas in January complained that Sansom's temporary recusal, which put Cretul in charge, was not legal. So that probably didn't boost the love factor between Cretul and Planas. And it's just a wild guess here, but Planas also probably didn't win any Cretul camaraderie by comparing him to dictator Hugo Chavez during all the committee shuffling. Just a guess. ...