Florida State Rep. Bogdanoff: Crist Playing Politics on Oil Spill

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:53 PM

By Dan Weil

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Republican State Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff of Florida scoffs at Gov. Charlie Crist’s idea to convene a special legislative session on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Crist, the Republican turned independent who is running for the U.S. Senate, wants the special session to advance a constitutional amendment to ban offshore drilling.

“A special session on this issue is a little premature,” Bogdanoff, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who represents House District 91 and is running for state Senate, tells Newsmax.TV.

“Whether we pass a bill to put on the ballot won’t solve the problems we’re dealing with today,” she says, referring to the fact that an amendment to ban offshore drilling would be subject to voter approval.

Story continues below video.



“What the governor is attempting to do is play politics at a very difficult time,” Bogdanoff says. “We need to be in our districts calming people down, letting them know we’re going to do everything possible to make sure the oil company [BP] is held accountable.”

The spill could have a serious impact on Florida’s economy, she says, adding, “Businesses in the Panhandle are certainly feeling it. They’re getting cancellations on hotel rooms.”

“Media reports will play a large role as to whether people start cancelling conventions. So we have great concern about the economy of the state,” says Bogdanoff, who has served in the House since 2004 and is running for Senate in the 25th District of Broward and Palm Beach counties.

She seeks to replace fellow Republican Jeff Atwater, who is running to be the state's chief financial officer.

On the issue of Arizona’s immigration law, Bogdanoff tells Newsmax that it looks like the state is simply trying to enforce federal law.

Given that we don’t let illegal immigrants stay in the country, “The question is how do you find them?”

As Arizona is a border state, the police there have the opportunity to check whether someone stopped for a traffic violation, for example, is here illegally, she says.

“We have a different problem in Florida, so we would have to evaluate the law to make sure it would be effective here,” Bogdanoff says.

“A lot of our illegal immigrants come legally through a work or visitation visa and then overstay.”

With the economy weak and illegal immigrants taking jobs away from Americans and legal immigrants, there’s growing support for a law like Arizona’s, she says.

As a successful woman in a male-dominated profession, Bogdanoff says she appreciates the success of Sarah Palin.

“Any time you have a woman who achieves that status, it helps raise the profile of women,” she says.

“The more women that you have out there that are promoting other women and are dragging them along and making sure we are supportive of each other, it helps.”

And it helps more than women, Bogdanoff says. “It will help the country by diversifying the political landscape.”

As for the anti-incumbency mood sweeping the country, it doesn’t have to destroy individual politicians, she says.

“All politics is local. People hate the Legislature but love their local elected official. If you work hard and take care of your constituents, you’ll be ok. When you stop doing that, it’s time to go home.”

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