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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

One last night of decadence



[Members of the Florida Legislature, lobbyists and members of the media mingle at the Associated Industries of Florida party Monday night. Scott Keeler | Times]

Heaping plates of fresh shrimp, carving stations of prime rib, cherries jubilee -- and liquor flowing like water. That was the scene Monday at Associated Industries of Florida as the business giant hosted its annual pre-session bash for legislators, lobbyists, media, business people and others in Tallahassee.

Faces in the crowd included Sen. Al Lawson, Rep. Marty Bowen, Allan Katz, John Wark, Marnie George, Rep. Adam Hasner, Steve Uhlfelder, Vivian Myrtetus, Jack Cory, Anne Mackenzie, Richard Pinsky, Jeff Ryan, CFO Alex Sink, Sen. Charlie Dean, Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, Chris Mobley, and Rep. Joe Gibbons.

The nice evening brought out a big crowd but there appeared to be light attendance among legislators. That might have had something to do with the requirement that lawmakers and staffers regulated by the ban on gifts, meals and drinks had to pay their way at $32 a person.

On Tuesday, the Legislature gets down to the business at hand of shrinking the state budget, by $543-million this year, up to $2.5-billion next. Come to think of it, what better metaphor for this session than a carving station?      

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:14pm]


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