Former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Speaks at Jim’s Buffet and Grill By Sid Riley
"These are bad days for the GOP, but the pendulum will swing back our way", were the words of encouragement offered by former Representative and Speaker of the House, Allan Bense as he addressed the local Republican Club on Tuesday. Bense is currently the elected President of "Enterprise Florida" the economic development organization which combines the private and state efforts to recruit new industry to Florida, or to expand existing industries. Their organization took an active role in our local recruitment of Family Dollar Distribution, and Green Circle Bio Energy.
Bense stated that in these times it is difficult for a conservative, pro-life, anti-tax, anti-large government elected official from the panhandle to be effective in Tallahassee, with the liberal media constantly working against them. He praised our local representative Marti Coley for the work she is doing in Tallahassee. Bense stated that she had the needed personal attributes and common sense it takes to be effective in that arena.
Bense also stated that he was strongly in favor of term limits. "Sure, we have lost a lot of good legislators because of the rule, but we have removed many, many bad ones at the same time. These guys were rooted in and it was impossible to oust them because their constituencies were motivated to reelect them for personal gains. The existing process is much better".
He stated he had always been guided by five principles which he held to, despite any pressures he was under to support some legislation which violated one of those principles. These five principles are:
- Always work towards the smallest role possible for government.
- Always work for the least possible amount of taxation.
- Always work for the preservation of families.
- Always work for personal accountability for actions taken.
- Always work for preservation of personal liberties.
In the matter of the existing problems in banking…he feels the greedy banks who took unjustified risks seeking huge profits are now being rewarded by government while those banks who followed good, sound practices are being ignored. He questions the leadership which exists in Washington…for instance he stated he would rather have "Barney Fife" looking after the Financial Services Committee than have Barney Frank.
He stated the Republican party is getting what it deserves at this moment. "We had it all, and didn’t know how to manage it", he explained. We overspent in a foolish manner and abandoned the basic beliefs of our party.
At the state level he feels there are too many permitting agencies which have a combined negative impact on existing and potential new industries in our state. He believes our environmental concerns and enacted legislation has gone past the middle area of sensible reason, and is tilted too much toward the extreme. He feels workman’s compensation insurance needs reform, he feels the CAT insurance fund program is putting all Florida property owners at risk of financial overload in the event of a huge catastrophe. He favors tax reform in the state, and better educational funding systems.
When asked what objectives he had for his term as leader of Enterprise Florida, he stressed recruitment of new industries with high paying jobs, and expansion of existing industries. In order to recruit international companies he feels the organization must develop a method of reaching out to these potential new industries through a network of foreign presence sponsored by the funding of Enterprise Florida.
Most of those in attendance voiced their support for Allan Bense to seek the office of Senator at the first opportunity.