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New House, Senate leaders take over

by Dara Kam | November 20th, 2012

Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, officially took the gavels in their respective chambers this morning, launching their two-year terms as presiding officers and welcoming a slew of newly elected lawmakers.

Weatherford’s ceremony had the added bonus of being led by former House Speaker Allan Bense, Weatherford’s father-in-law.

Both Weatherford and Gaetz gave speeches outlining their plans for the next two years.

Fifteen of the 40 senators are new to the chamber. Several of them – including Palm Beach County Democratic Sens. Jeff Clemens of Lake Worth and Joseph Abruzzo of Wellington – previously served in the state House.

Gaetz praised Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, and emphasized that the two parties have to work together, unlike lawmakers in Washington.

“You want to know who lost the 2012 election. Congress. Congress, both parties, has an approval rating of 11 percent. Muammar Gaddafi had an approval rating of 14 percent and his people killed him,” Gaetz said.

Gaetz said he and Weatherford agreed to make ethics reform a top priority.

“In my medium-sized north Florida county, a commissioner was just removed for official misconduct, the tourism director committed suicide after he stole bed tax and BP money, the Speaker of the House was forced to resign, the tax collector was run out of office, our college president was fired and our sheriff is in federal prison. That’s just my county,” said Gaetz, who lives in Okaloosa County.

And Gaetz also pledged to do something about the state’s prolonged election, certified this morning by Gov. Rick Scott and two other members of the Election Canvassing Commission, saying Florida is not a “third world country.”

“Floridians should never again have to stand in lines for six and seven hours to vote. Floridians should never again have to wonder if their ballots were miscoded or misprinted or miscounted. Floridians shouldn’t be embarrassed that while most counties in our state run flawless elections, some counties keep running flawed elections,” Gaetz said. “This isn’t a third world country. America shouldn’t have to wait for five days after the polls close to find out how Florida voted.”

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11 Responses to “New House, Senate leaders take over”

  1. Team Truth Says:

    Clemens and Abruzzo, the worthless twins.

  2. Earl Haggard Says:

    I’m over here sitting in my truck at John Prince Park trying to enjoy my lunch (shrimp dinner and a cup of coffee) and I look over and there is a homeless guy Self Fellating! and to top it all off, when he was done, he wiped his chin with a dag-gum chick-fil-a bag!

    If this ain’t Obama’s America, I don’t know what is!

  3. Costly mistakes-Supervisor of Elections Says:

    St Lucie needs to look at their Supervisor of Elections and recruit someone who KNOWS what they are doing and are ORGANIZED!

    PBC Supervisor of Elections should clear out those who don’t understand what QUALITY ASSURANCE means and who fail to be thorough in managing material.

    Bucher should also consider MORE early voting sites and the State should be forbidden to have more than 3 amendments on ballots!

    If a republican had been PBC Supervisor of Elections there would be constant articles in the media mentioning every problem that a voter expereienced or more fingers pointed at the lack of quality control regarding ballots/printing.

    Do you think the citizens will find out the total co$t of Bucher’s failures and how much we had to ante up for the hand corrected ballots, paying for overtime, etc. etc.

  4. 2013 PBC! Says:

    The “worthless twins” that pass good laws and that the people overwhelmingly elected! Team Truth your more like Team Crazy.

  5. PoonTang Slayer Says:

    What is this world coming to?!?

    We got muslims destroying the middle east. We got muslims launcing bombs into Israel and just today, a mulims pardoned some turkeys on the south lawn. with all this bad news, I took a coat hanger and tore out about two and a half feet of my lower intestine and just wrecked my colon! God Bless America!

  6. T. J. Ewing Says:

    Cry me a river Poon Tang and Earl Haggard. You LOST! Boo Hoo!! Now as in Allen West, get the hell out of the U.S. if you don’t like who the voters voted for. We already have enough red neck idiots!

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  8. suckSeed Says:

    Well nothing has changed same ole Jeb Booosh minions ramain in control of Flardy. At least the voters screwed up their plans for Chris Dorworth to suckseed these appleseeds!

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  10. Shan Says:

    I’m sure, in 2014, a lot of Floridians will wait in line, no matter how long it takes, to insure Rick Scott aand some of his cronies do not get another term to do further damage to this state. What has happened in Florida under this totally partisoned electorate is a travesty to its citizens and the United States. I’m almost embarassed to tell people where I live when I travel around the country. Scott has got to go!! Charlie Crist is definitely my candidate of choice if he runs. If he doesn’t, ANYBODY BUT RICK SCOTT will have to do!!

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