Tallahassee, FL – The Chair of the House Finance and Tax Council provided an overview Wednesday of the House Legislative agenda to the Capital City Republican Club. James Call reports the Tallahassee group gave a warm welcome to Broward County's Ellyn Bogdanoff.
"Thank you all very much. Actually, I didn't think there were this many Republicans in Leon County."
Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff calls herself a policy nerd, but she talks like a regular person.
"I live in Broward County. We have a lot in common. I'm actually the only resident Republican in Broward County, the only elected. The other ones were appointed by the governor when they went to jail."
In between committee meetings, Bogdanoff delivered a forty minute talk to the Capital City Republican Club during its monthly luncheon. The club's president caught a speech earlier this year by the powerful chair of the House Finance and Tax council and liked what he heard. Greg Marr describes Bogdanoff as a real fireball, a rising star in the Republican Party, and said he wanted to give her platform.
"We had a straw poll last month that tilted pretty heavily towards Marco Rubio. I think it was 71 to 17. So that probably gives you some insight into ideological leanings of the club, you know, more towards Reagan republicanism as opposed to the more populist wing of the party epitomized by Charlie Crist."
Like much of the Republican leadership in Tallahassee, Bogdanoff is looking to move up. She is running for the seat held by Senate President Jeff Atwater, who is running for Florida Chief Financial Officer. Like most GOP lawmakers, Governor Crist being the exception, Bogdanoff came to the Capital City to reduce government spending. Economists say the state may need to cut spending by $3-billion.
"The sad thing is we are going to be making decisions between disabled seniors and blind babies, and that is just how bad it is. No one is going to be spared, and it's a $3.2-billion budget shortfall and I've told the speaker, he agrees and the entire team agrees, that we're not going to be raising taxes on the citizen of Florida. That means we have to cut $3.2-billion."
Bogdanoff told the group to start watching for some aggressive action from the House of Representatives. With money short, House leaders say state government is in need of a comprehensive tune-up. Speaker Larry Cretul is supporting proposals to repeal outdated laws and reduce regulations as a way to grow jobs. As chair of the Finance and Tax committee, Bogdanoff is exploring matching local government incentives for companies that relocate to Florida if the community cuts the red tape to get the company up and running.
"I was thinking of using some of the dollars I have to match that grant, whatever incentive to bring that company down, provided that the city or the county create an expedited permitting process. So you have to guarantee, I'll give you the money if you guarantee that you'll put this business up and running in 30, 60, 90 days depending on the magnitude of the business."
Bogdanoff's message of job creation efforts, reduced spending, and fewer regulations was well received by the more than one-hundred people who attended the luncheon. It was unclear if any were registered to vote in the Senate district where she is a candidate.