Thursday, January 25, 2007


Regardless of if you agree or disagree with a politician's point of view, one has to respect when he or she decides to actually vote their conscience...even if they are fully aware there will be a price to pay.

That's what happened over the weekend to two up-and-coming state representatives, Republicans Dennis Ross of Lakeland and Donald D. "Don" Brown of DeFuniak Springs. They were the only two votes against the Legislature's comprimise property insurance package during the recently completed special session.

Ross had only recently been named as Chairman of the House Safety and Security Council by Speaker Marco Rubio (R - Coral Gables), and Brown, an insurance agent, had been selected as Chairman of the Jobs and Entrepeneurship Council and a member of the Rules and Calendar Council.

Both men lost their chairmanships after being requested by Speaker Rubio to submit their resignations. Ross told the Orlando Sentinel that Rubio said during their meeting that ""he needs leaders that are with him on major votes."

"My vote cost me my chairmanship. That's the price you pay if you want to express yourself," Ross said, though he added that he did not hold hard feelings toward the speaker. "This is a very emotional issue, highly charged, and very political….I was aware that there would be consquences [to voting against the bill.]"

Ross was bumped to Vice Chairman of the Safety and Security Council and received assignments to two other committees. Brown was named Chairman of the Insurance Committee along with posts on three other committees and councils.


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