Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sansom's Hiding Place

Florida newspapers from Miami to Tallahassee are ganging up on state representative Ray Samson (R-Destin) for his painfully obvious pay-for-play politics.

The way it worked was simple: Bob Richburg, the president of Okaloosa County Junior College... sorry, now it's Northwest Florida State College, thanks also to pay-for-play hanky-panky .... handed Samson a $122 million wish list and Sansom got a cushy $110 thousand job in return for funding most of it.

Worse, some of those funds supposedly earmarked for "education" turn out to have been designated to build a customized airport hanger suspiciously identical to one wanted for personal use by a Sansom campaign finance contributor. Wink-wink. Your scarce taxpayer dollars at work.

Here's more, from the News Herald:
Since 2006, when he became House budget chairman, Sansom helped the college get $35 million above what the Department of Education recommended. This year, while the Legislature was attempting to close a $6 billion shortfall, he secured $25.5 million for the school, which was $24.5 million above what had been initially budgeted. That was the single-largest public education capital outlay for community college projects this year.
Today's PNJ joins in with an editorial summarizing how Sansom is now avoiding all questions about the recent revelations. It's titled "Sansom Has No Place to Hide."

The thing is, he does have a hidey-hole. It's in the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Florida. We're still living in the Bush era, after all.

Northern Illinois U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald may see pay-for-play politics as an indictable offense -- it's called bribery and extortion in his book. Apparently, however, North Florida's acting U.S. Attorney, Thomas Kirwin, doesn't have a book.

Quite a few Florida newspapers, pols, and good-government types are demanding that Sansom resign as speaker of the state house of representatives. There's even a web site called SackSansom.com.

What? And leave him sitting there, a free man, in the Florida House of Representatives? We don't get that. If a publicly-paid politician in Illinois, or just about anywhere else, abuses his position to feather his own nest, we'd expect him to be indicted. If a publicly-paid politician does it in Florida, he should get a mere job demotion?

And what about Sansom's publicly-paid academic accomplice? He should testifying in front of a grand jury right now.

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