Mixed reaction to Crist's speech
[Scott Keeler, Times]
CFO Alex Sink: "It was very good, very good, just set the right tone. He acknowledged the state has a lot of challenges but we also have a lot of hope. ... For the governor, I thought it was a little less optimistic than usual. I think he set the right tone."
Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton: "I don’t know if we can hit all the goals he wants to hit. He set a high bar and we’ll see if we can get there."
Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park: "It was a fine speech ... I have some concern that taking all (the federal stimulus money) may leave us in a worse position two or three years from now than if we only take targeted portions of it. ... The most important thing we have to do right now is do no harm."
Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale: "Always optimistic, which is a good thing right now. Obviously, he's noted the pain and the suffering of the citizens of the state. His approach is one way to try to deal with the issue. ... I have some deep concerns about taking everything (stimulus) ... The House has always had much less of an appetite with respect to increasing taxes, and I'm not sure how you can take some of that money without doing that, so it could be problematic."
Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter: "It was positive. You've got to be positive. He makes a good case for appropriately spending this stimulus money we got from Washington. Why would you turn it back? ... I wish he talked a little bit more about tax cuts. Maybe he just wanted to talk about something else tonight."
Rep. Juan Zapata, R-Miami: "I thought it was a call to action. He laid out the groundwork for us to put aside partisanship and really focus on doing the people's work."
Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando (prepared statement): "Some states may use these monies to push back problems two years—or some states will turn down these funds. Florida should not do this. We need these dollars to soften the blow of the recession, and to be a bridge to better days. We can focus on the basics -- education, health care, good jobs -- so that our state is positioned well for when the economy breaks through again."
-- Interviews by Alex Leary and Breanne Gilpatrick.