Talk The Talk, Walk The Walk
May 29, 2009
When any politician consistently uses overheated, and some would say irresponsible, rhetoric to make a point, the politician has to expect the media to scrutinize the difference between words and action.
State Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D- Boca Raton, has been quoted multiple times, in multiple publications, issuing dire, overly dramatic budget warnings like this one from a Nov. 30, 2008, story in the Sun Sentinel: “We will simply not have the resources available to meet the need. It sounds dramatic and theatrical, but people will die, based on the budget cuts we’ll make, if we do not open our minds to other sources of revenue.”
I will be sure, now that a budget was passed on Friday, to be careful when walking outside, lest I stumble over all the bodies left lying in the streets.
Skidmore, according to her statements, takes the budget process very seriously. So I was surprised when my phone started to ring from my Tallahassee tipsters with the news that Skidmore did not stay in the capital on Friday to vote on the budget. Florida’s $66.5 billion budget passed by a 75-43 party-line vote, with only two legislators missing the vote, and one of them was Skidmore.
When contacted, Skidmore said she had to leave early for a “personal family situation”, and that her “no” vote was recorded “after roll call,” which simply means she was out of the capital and missed the vote.
Skidmore went on to say that she was “fully involved in the budget process” and that her vote “would not have changed the outcome.”
Skidmore is right, her vote would not have changed the outcome, but after all of her extreme statements about the budget, Skidmore should have seen the budget process through to the end.
I’m sure the 118 legislators who stayed in the capital, and voted on the budget, had their own “personal family situations” that needed attending to.
It’s not the end of the world, but in the future, if Skidmore is going to talk the talk, she needs to walk the walk.