Nicole Allan, a staff editor at TheAtlantic.com, examined the political motives behind Charlie Crist’s special session to pass a state constitutional ban on drilling. Crist’s effort was considered a redundancy, since Florida has banned leasing and drilling in its waters since 1990. In her article: What’s Behind Charlie Crist’s Constitutional Drilling Ban, Allan asked John Dowless for his take on Crist’s call for a special session.
John Dowless, president of Florida’s Millennium Consulting firm, thinks the amendment would put state legislators in a tough spot. “I guarantee you when gas climbs back up to $5 a gallon, they’re going to say ‘Drill here, drill now,'” Dowless says. “But I think it would be a little difficult for them politically to vote against the amendment right now.”
Dowless thinks that legislators will not pass it through committee in order to avoid the optics of voting against a crackdown on big oil during a big oil spill. For Crist, though, the optics are the primary draw. While he’s not raging ahead of Rubio in the polls, the oil spill has so far worked to his advantage. He’s received constant media exposure and has had the opportunity to cast himself as a leader in crisis.
His call for an amendment, according to Dowless, is “absolutely, 100 percent political. It’s about getting poliitical headlines, it’s about political posturing, it’s about winning political votes.” Noting Crist’s vacillating stance on drilling, Dowless surmises that if Crist were not running for Senate, he would probably not be calling for the amendment.
To read the full article, visit: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/07/whats-behind-charlie-crists-constitutional-drilling-ban/59481/