Is the Ethics Chairman being ethical?

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Posted on February 22, 2010 - 11:54am by Anonymous.

You may remember a while back our post about the Republican Party of Florida infighting. Jim Greer, the old chairman and a Charlie Crist ally, was ousted for a slew of reasons, but mostly because he was a Crist ally. Then more infighting happened when the heir apparent, State Senator John Thrasher, was challenged by Sharon Day for party chairperson. 

Over the weekend the party took a vote and Thrasher won with 135 votes. Day received 85 and Mark Cross, got two. 
Thrasher started off with a bang saying, "Our enemy is the liberal media. And the Democrats." Huzzah. 
But of course, this being Florida politics, there is a twist.
Thrasher is the Chair of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee. He is also on the Reapportionment Committee, the powerful committee that oversees redrawing the state's legislative districts.
Just to make it clear- the new chair of the Republican Party of Florida is the Chair of the Senate committee on Ethics and Elections and will personally help to draw the new legislative districts that will decide how Florida is governed for the next ten years. 
Again, I say huzzah. 
This doesn't seem ethical to me and the Senate Democratic Leader, Al Lawson, apparently agrees. He released this statement:
“While I wish I could congratulate John Thrasher on winning the Chairmanship of the Florida Republican Party, I am very concerned with his offensive language used this morning during a speech to Republican activists.  In his comments, Sen. Thrasher referred to voters that register with the Democratic Party as his “enemy.”  John Thrasher’s language is beyond the pale and offensive to the nearly 4.7 million voters who identify themselves as Florida Democrats.


“Unfortunately, John Thrasher is no longer fit to serve as Chairman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee nor serve on the Reapportionment Committee.  Both positions require bipartisan cooperation, and John Thrasher has demonstrated that he is incapable of conducting himself in such a manner.

“On Monday, I will make a formal request to Senate President Jeff Atwater to remove Senator Thrasher from the Ethics and Elections and the Reapportionment Committees.  President Atwater has expressed a desire that Senate business be conducted in the highest professional and ethical standards.  As a result, I am confident that my request will be granted.”

It's interesting that at the same time former House speaker Ray Sansom is on trial for ethics violations (and has subsequently resigned from the House), the same party is pulling the same shenanigans. When will they ever learn? 

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