Earlier today we chastised Governor Charlie Crist for his failure to strive to bring about change when it comes to environmental initiatives over the past year, so we've got to give him props for sacking up and calling this afternoon for a special session on discussing a constitutional amendment on banning offshore drilling, to take place July 20-23.
According to Steve Bosquet of the St. Pete Times, the Governor realizes that part of his job is to lead, and not follow:
"I feel a compelling duty to protect Florida," Crist told reporters. "And I'm going to be governor for about six more months, and I think I wouldn't be doing my duty as governor if I did not call for this special session."
Critics of the Governor had questioned why he had said in the past he supported the proposal, initially brought up in the House by St. Pete Democrat Rick Kriseman and Sarasota Representative Keith Fitzgerald, but hadn't called for the special session to make it happen. Longtime Tallahassee observers have commented that a special session is never called unless everybody knows what's going to happen, which makes Crist's call today truly risky.
The move is opposed by a number of House Republicans, in particular Speaker Larry Cretul, as well as rank and file Republicans who sent tweets questioning the timing of the move. One misguided soul wrote that it had to be because a new poll showed him down against Senate rival Marco Rubio today. However, the Rasmussen survey showed Crist actually in a statistical tie with the former House Speaker, which would indicate that the Governor would somehow be freaked out by such numbers. Not likely considering it could ultimately blow up in his face. Crist reacted to what no doubt we'll be howls of dissent from his various opponents:
"Politics has nothing to do with this," Crist said. "This has everything to do with doing what's right for a place that I love. I love Florida." The press event ended abruptly with Crist saying he did not know how House leaders would react because they have repeatedly refused to return his phone calls.