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Did FL state senator, J. D. Alexander, threaten USF student about his future?

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 01:00 PM
Original message
Did FL state senator, J. D. Alexander, threaten USF student about his future?
It all goes to the issue of J. D. Alexander wanting to convert a campus of the University of South Florida in Tampa to become Florida's 12th state university. It has become a circus of power politics.

Board of Governors student member recounts face-off with Sen. J.D. Alexander


JOSH RITCHIE Special to the Times Sen. J.D. Alexander pushed independence for USF's Lakeland campus for months.

TAMPA A collective gasp swept across the room. Michael Long, the lone student member of the Florida Board of Governors, had just told the audience that Sen. J.D. Alexander threatened to stop supporting higher education if the board didn't make the University of South Florida Polytechnic the state's 12th public university.

Heads turned to Alexander, sitting right behind Long. The senator remained silent. Long continued.

"He is leveling his power in the Legislature," Long said. "I do not feel very well represented by J.D. and his comments."



JOSH RITCHIE | Special to the Times
USF president Judy Genshaft speaks with Board of Governors student representative Michael Long at the meeting in Boca Raton. Genshaft does not want USF Poly to become independent.


Michael Long had an earlier encounter with Senator Alexander in his office. He had gone to the office with a list of questions.

But according to Long, the senator answered like this:

Years ago, Alexander, who controls the state budget, wanted to bring a heart-health program to a hospital in his home district, but it was derailed by someone from a university in another area. After that, he said, the school that fought against him lost tens of millions of dollars.

That's politics, Long said the senator told him.


The scary part is an encounter Long had with Alexander as they headed out of the room.

Heading out of the room, Long said, the two bumped into each other. He said Alexander told him his actions were "highly inappropriate" and that he had just marred his future career.


J. D. Alexander is a powerful man in Florida. I like the way Randy Schulz of the Palm Beach Post describes him, and it gives a good idea of the power of his threat to mar the future of a university student who opposes him publicly.

Of all the things Florida needs to improve higher education, a new university in Polk County - about 50 miles east of Tampa - would be nowhere near the top of most peoples' lists. Unfortunately, a new university in Polk County is at the top of J.D. Alexander's list.

J.D. Alexander is a state senator from, surprise, Polk County. He also is chairman of the Budget Committee, one of the very few people in Tallahassee who can wave through or block the largest and smallest state expenditure.

Sen. Alexander's grandfather was Ben Hill Griffin, the late citrus mogul for whom the University of Florida football stadium is named. Sen. Alexander himself is a citrus grower, owns a lot of land and ignores silly things like conflicts of interests, having supported projects - a rail line, a road - that would increase the value of his holdings.


Term-limited after 2012, Sen. Alexander has little time left to leverage a new university for his district. What he now has is a Lakeland branch campus of the University of South Florida, whose main campus is in Tampa. USF Polytechnic is supposed to focus on science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM programs. USF has other branch campuses in St. Petersburg and Sarasota, and thus covers its west-central Florida service area.

Schultz: Cheer, cheer for old, above-average Florida


J.D. Alexander is the cousin of Katherine Harris. Perhaps some day he will become as irrelevant as she is now...though there will be the inevitable damage left behind by such people.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. Correction on Long's status. He is New College student.
"Michael Long: The co-president of the student alliance at New College of Florida, Long represents the state's students. A native of Sarasota, he is chair of the Florida Student Association. He voted against the independence motion."

http://www.theledger.com/article/20111111/NEWS/11111984...
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. The corruption in the State of Florida is astounding.
Maybe I am naive, but I don't think we see anything like it in California.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I believe this is only a very small part. Power has corrupted them here.
The GOP here has been in power so long without any Democratic voices speaking out loudly....that they are the personification of that absolute power described by some British lord.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. It's a Banana Republic, run by, not surprisingly, the Bush Cartel
One thing that could be done that would be a major step toward getting the country back is to imprison every single living relative of Poppy Bush
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