Dwight Dudley fires back at Frank Farkas in increasingly terse HD 68 race

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Following yesterday’s comments by candidate Frank Farkas in this blog and the Tampa Bay Times Bay Buzz blog, Democrat Dwight Dudley, candidate for House District 68, sent the following letter to Farkas.

Dear Mr. Farkas,

The truth hurts. And it seems the facts surrounding your 2006 vote to tax Floridians for new power plants are worse than we thought. Your response and mock outrage are nothing short of deceptive.

You claim that power companies are exploiting some accidental “loophole” in the bill they tricked you into voting for. The truth is that SB 888 actually created an entirely new section of Florida law, for the up-front collection of power plant construction costs. In fact, it even states – in plain English – that the power companies will get to keep our money even if they don’t build or fix any power plants.

I’ve read the law, and it couldn’t be clearer. I’m beginning to wonder if you’ve read it.

Unbelievably, you voted for this twice. You were chairman of the House Commerce Council when you shepherded the bill’s House version out of your committee. To claim that you were just one of 119 when you were complicit in moving the bill forward is nothing short of ludicrous.

So which is it, Mr. Farkas? Did you not read the bill?  Did you read the bill and not understand it?  Or did you read the bill and not care about the damaging effects it would have on millions of families and businesses?

What’s more troubling is that instead of taking responsibility for your actions, you tried to shift the blame to everybody else. Either you have spent too much time in Tallahassee to shoot straight, or you simply don’t understand the problem because you helped create it.

You had your chance to do the right thing, but you chose to side with the special interests.  My plan is to repeal the fee and rebate our money.  I have pledged to do exactly that, and I won’t rest until it’s done.  All you seem interested in doing is ducking responsibility and blaming others.  People are looking for leadership and backbone to stand up to the special interests.  Instead of leading, you chose to make a career politician’s half-hearted excuse.

You owe the people of this district an explanation. But more than that, you and the power companies owe each Pinellas family $321, which is how much the average homeowner has paid so far for a power plant that doesn’t exist.

Today, I call on you to join me in at least one debate before the November election. Perhaps then you can explain to the people why your regrets about your vote are six years late and 650 million dollars short.

I look forward to your response.


Dwight Dudley

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.