Florida Flip-Flop

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on August 8, 2009

How tremendously shallow of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. Temperatures and public sentiment have cooled on global warming, while his political ambitions are now trained on the Senate, so what does he do? In a Schweitzer-like flip-flop, he hints that he’s having second thoughts on cap-and-trade. The Miami Herald reports:

Under mounting criticism from fellow Republicans, Crist looks ready to cancel his climate-change summit and is backing away from advocating a “cap-and-trade” energy policy.

At his well-publicized climate summit last summer, Crist pushed a number of energy plans to encourage renewable energy development and establish a cap-and-trade market that would penalize fossil-fuel use.

But Crist’s plans were shredded by the Republican Legislature and his cap-and-trade proposal has been bashed as a “tax” by his Republican U.S. Senate opponent, Marco Rubio, who has been ardently courting the GOP’s conservative wing.

“Well, it may be [a tax]. That may be accurate,” Crist, who recently signed an anti-tax pledge, said Thursday.

Indeed when it served what he thought were his best political interests, Crist was gung-ho in the fight to stop global warming. He keynoted his own climate change summit in 2007 and brought in Arnold Schwarzenegger (also spoke last year), Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Theodore Roosevelt IV to heighten his profile on the issue. He issued executive orders, created a “Climate Action Team,” and hired the advocacy group Center for Climate Strategies to steer the agenda. The alarmist media lapped it up and bestowed the love.

Now he’s trained on the Senate, as is Rubio, who is vacuuming up conservative support while Crist suffers with a tax-raising, stimulus-supporting image. Global warming is a boat anchor for Crist’s campaign now, and he’s starting to make excuses for why he might not host another climate summit, The Herald says:

Crist was even more tight-lipped about hosting another annual “Serve to Preserve Florida Summit on Global Climate Change,” which for two years attracted international media coverage and large, enthusiastic crowds to a downtown Miami hotel. Crist and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger basked in the glow and vowed sweeping reforms to combat global warming.

Asked Thursday about the summit’s fate, Crist said he had not decided yet and cited the “cost” to potential sponsors.

Florida Power & Light, a major sponsor of last year’s summit, gave at least $26,600 to Crist’s record-setting, $4.3 million campaign account in the past three months.

Gag me.

Hwan August 8, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Florida Power and Light has sold out their ratepayers. They have a fiduciary responsibility to their customers and to the people that own stock in their company.

Sleep with dogs…wake up with fleas.

I hope Rubio cleans Crist’s clock in the upcoming election. Crist is nothing but an opportunist.

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