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by Dara Kam | August 16th, 2010

Former Rep. Loranne Ausley, isn’t waiting until the primaries are over to bash her GOP opponent – Senate prison-to-nowherePresident Jeff Atwater – in the race for state CFO.

Ausley’s blasting Atwater’s voting record on spending issues in an attempt to paint the North Palm Beach banker as a Tallahassee insider (Ausley spent eight years in the Florida House and whose family has ties to the late Gov. Lawton Chiles) out of touch with Floridians.

Ausley’s latest attack slammed Atwater for a program that did away with 71 prison work squad jobs and created a controversial new private prison in the Panhandle.

Ausley dubbed the Blackwater River Correctional Institution, run by Boca Raton-based Geo Group, the “Prison to Nowhere” that cost taxpayers $110 million during this year’s budget-slashing session. According to the Florida Department of Corrections, which fiercely opposed opening the prison this early, the prison work squads saved taxpayers $35.7 million.

“Senate President Jeff Atwater’s ‘prison to nowhere’ is yet another product of the broken system in Tallahassee, and once again Florida taxpayers are stuck with the bill,” said Ausley. “Floridians are fed up with politicians who play by their own rules with our money. Whether it’s the ‘Tallahassee Taj Mahal,’ the ‘Prison to Nowhere’ or an airport hanger for a political contributor, politicians in Tallahassee need to be held accountable.”

Ausley last week slammed Atwater for supporting a new District Court of Appeals courthouse building in Tallahassee, which she called the ‘Taj Mahal.’

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4 Responses to “”

  1. Andrea Says:

    Ausley bashing Atwater for spending is laughable. Loranne Ausley voted against every tax cut and was a big proponent of incresed spending. Her conversion to fiscal responsibility is late in the game and not believable at all.

  2. Unreal Says:

    No offense but to criticize Atwater, or to refer to this prison financing as the ‘prison to nowhere’ without all the facts is ridiculous.

    The very nature of transferring from state operated to privately operated prisons indicates a level of savings. Oh well if some overpaid union workers lose their jobs. The rolls will still be filled by other workers. Not necessarily a net job loss. Private prisons operate at a cost savings to the state.

    Discontinuation of the prison work programs is going to push the burden of funding those other service to the municipalities that depend on them. They can then determine if they want their roads cleaned or not at a more local level.

    All of the facts are not presented in order to determine if this was an acceptable change or not, but then the pb post is just reporting on what Ausley is saying. She obviously has her own loyalty to the union, but it doesn’t make her opinion correct.

    Politics is an ugly business, and we should always look at the bottom line financially to see whether or not a change in programs is actually worthwhile.

  3. Sheila Says:

    A privately run entity has the primary purpose of making a profit. How can that be better? And voting against tax cuts for big business IS fiscally responsible. Our state needs money to get the state’s work done. Since we don’t have an income tax and never will, we have to get revenue from other sources. Good schools, safe roads, good care for our seniors and disabled — where do you think these services will come from?

  4. Mark Says:


    Oh yes Politics is a very ugly business and it’s about time that some like Ausley started outing the thugs that have CONTROLLED Tallahassee for 16 years. She will beat Atwater and raise holy H*** in Tallahassee as she writes the checks.

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