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Crist Forging Own Path

January 12th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

Governor Charlie Crist has been on the job less than two weeks, and he is already shaking up the Tallahassee establishment. The difference between Crist and predecessor Jeb Bush is being described as one of night and day, but as Mike Vasilinda reports, Crist will face the toughest challenge of his administration next week.

Hear it here: New Day in Tally 

On January 6, 1999, Jeb Bush’s first day on the job, The Governor violated the constitution when he met privately with legislative leaders.
On Charlie Crist’s first day, he signed an executive order creating an office of open government with the words “ Now it’s done” Barbara Peterson of the First Amendment Foundation is as pleased as she can be. “ I find it so exciting and really heartening. It’s been… the last few years have been really, really repressing in the area of open government.”

On Tuesday fo this week, Jeb Bush appointee Ken Littlefield was sworn in as a Public Service Commissioner. When he was in the legislature, Littlefield had spoken out for the largest phone rate hike in state history.. a rate hike which Crist Opposed.

On Thursday, the new governor won praise from consumer groups for a controversial move replacing Littlefield and another Bush appointee. Mike twomey of AARP says the move restores balance to the PSC. “In the past we have often had utility bias and anti-consumer bias. These changes announced by Governor Crist yesterday will bring us more toward the middle” says Twomey.

For many people, the difference between Governor Bush and the current occupant has been like night and day for the past two weeks… but Charlie Crist is about to face the toughest challenge of the last decade.”

Next week, state lawmakers tackle a growing Insurance crisis. The new governor remains optimistic.

Another major player from the Bush administration turned in his notice today. Education Commissioner John Winn says he’ll retire from state government at the end of February. Technically, Winn is appointed by the state Board of Education and Crist did not have the authority to fire him outright.

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