Budget farce: This Tally senator's scolding protesting USF students from an ethical sinkhole
Wake up and good morning. Kudos to the Tampa Bay business community's rallying -- thus far -- around the University of South Florida in the face of the Neanderthal extortion tactics by lame duck Senate budget chairman JD 'My Way or the Highway' Alexander to gut USF's budget because he isn't getting his independent Polytech University fast enough for his Polk County legacy.
This was only inning one. It is critical for the Tampa Bay business community to sustain its support and pressure on Tallahassee to be fair in how it legislates. Given all of Florida's challenges, it's truly pathetic that all this time and resource must be spent dealing with what is, at its heart, the selfish whims of playground bullies who feel their inflated roles as state lawmakers is to polish their own resumes or pad their own pockets.
Alexander's a special case. But let's not forget his partner in this crime, Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, (left), who not only introduced the bill with Alexander's blessing to eviscerate USF's budget but did so on the sly.
How classy it was to hear Lynn take to the microphone in Tallahassee Wednesday to criticize the USF students who had traveled half the night from Tampa to support their university and condemn the Alexander-Lynn budget farce. Lynn scolded the students for supporting tuition hikes in the past -- as if that has much to do with this matter -- then complained about the way the students presented their arguments and for not doing their homework.
"What you say and how you say it, this is an education in itself," Lynn said, as reported here by the Tampa Bay Times.
Let's be crystal clear about Lynn and her apparent inability to find the moral high ground.
This is the same senator who, in 2007, helped Florida State University get $1 million to set up a literacy center in her home district and then was later hired to run the center for $2,300 a week or nearly $120,000 a year.
Worst of all, Lynn had the gall back then to defend her actions as perfectly okay. "I'm confident that what I am doing is perfectly proper, legal and ethical," Lynn said in this Orlando Sentinel story.
Really? A week after the public outing, she stepped down from the paid position.
Such is the caliber of those now trying to inflict pain on USF -- and Tampa Bay -- for petty reason.
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times