Senate president Haridopolos strips anti-privatization Fasano of committee chairmanshipby Dara Kam | February 1st, 2012
In a rare use of political muscle, Senate President Mike Haridopolos has stripped Sen. Mike Fasano – a fierce opponent of prison privatization – of his post as chairman of the Criminal and Civil Justice budget committee.
Haridopolos kicked Fasano off the committee after putting on hold for the second day a troubled prison privatization measure splitting the GOP caucus despite the support of the senate president and Gov. Rick Scott. Scott today called several Republican senators opposed to the measure (SB 2038) into his office to try to convince them to get behind the measure that would outsource all Department of Corrections operations in the 18-county region in the southern portion of the state.
“I just felt I had lost confidence in him to fill that mission” as chairman of the committee in charge of spending on prisons and other criminal justice operations, Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, told reporters late this afternoon.
Fasano said he met with Haridopolos briefly after the Senate session broke this afternoon and was told he would no longer be chairman. The meeting lasted two minutes at the most, Fasano said.
“Unfortunately, this is about the special interests of Tallahassee. This is a perfect example of when they don’t get their way, and leadership doesn’t get their way, they start firing people, or they start removing legislators from their chairmanships,” Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said.
Taking over for Fasano will be Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, and Sen. Jim Norman will assume her role as chairman of the Senate Finance and Tax Committee.