Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Crist's record, vision prove critics off base
By Jim Greer, Special to the Times
Published August 17, 2007
Sam Rashid's recent column ("Platitudes are not enough, Charlie," Aug. 12) condemning Gov. Charlie Crist was based on personal politics, not the facts. For example, his opening statement declares that Crist's "new friend du jour is California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger."
Crist recently hosted a historic Climate Change Summit in Miami. Schwarzenegger was a keynote speaker. If this is constitutes a "friend du jour," I hope our governor continues to cultivate these professional relationships. The people of Florida can only stand to benefit from them.
Rashid also criticizes the governor's remarkable 70 percent approval rating, repeating the mantra of cynics everywhere - there is nowhere to go but down. What an enviable position for a governor who has taken on such challenges as Florida's unstable insurance market, skyrocketing property taxes and global climate change!
What Rashid does not point out is that 77 percent of conservative voters approve of the governor. Why? It all stems from the governor's ability to get things done. Cutting $15.6-billion in property taxes - the largest tax cut in state history - and capping the rate at which local governments can collect taxes is no small feat. Nor is passing meaningful and broad-based insurance reform that aims to reduce insurance rates and enhance competition.
Though the results of these initiatives cannot be felt overnight, Floridians can rest assured that Crist will do everything in his power to return tax dollars to pocketbooks.
Those who seek to drive a wedge between the Crist administration and conservative Republicans inevitably bring up civil rights restoration. Abraham Lincoln, the founder of our party, would be proud of the governor. Quite simply, Crist and the Florida Cabinet worked to strike a balance between restoring the civil rights of ex-offenders who have paid their debt to society and the need to ensure that there is a responsible clemency process in place that protects our families and keeps our neighborhoods safe. Yet Rashid vilifies this initiative, ignoring the fact that the governor's plan achieves this balance by providing a fair, realistic and more efficient manner of restoring rights. Rashid also fails to mention that Crist is nothing if not tough on crime, having recently passed the antimurder bill, which seeks to keep violent offenders behind bars and out of our communities.
On the economic front, Rashid overlooks the fact that, in a tight budget year, Crist signed a fiscally conservative and responsible budget that would make President Reagan proud, ensuring that the state lives within its means.
At the same time, Rashid criticizes Crist for his trip to Israel and a planned trip to Brazil. As the governor of the fourth-largest state, a critical player in international trade, the governor would be ill-advised to not proceed with international trade missions. Under his leadership, Florida and Israel have moved forward with an agreement that provides up to $20-million to encourage Florida and Israeli companies to collaborate on research and development.
As Crist continues to address the challenges facing Floridians, I am confident that he will do so under three guiding principles: lower taxes, less government and more freedom.
Yes, these are Republican principles. As chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, I am proud of that.
But Crist has shown that this approach to governing is also compassionate, results-oriented and visionary. That is neither Republican nor Democrat. It is simply the American way.
No political party owns an issue. When we as Republicans respond to the needs of the voters and demonstrate that our party is the best vehicle for providing the results that our citizens deserve, the Republican Party of Florida will benefit and continue to grow. It will only make us stronger. That is why I am proud of the Republican Party of Florida and our Republican governor.
So if Rashid wants to tell Crist that "platitudes are not enough," I would tell Rashid this: neither is personal politics.
Jim Greer is chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.