Why didn’t the Democrats in the Florida Senate create a little chaos and vote against the ‘destination resorts’ legislation?

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On Monday, a Senate committee approved a controversial bill that would allow up to three resort casinos in Florida.

The bill (SB 710) also would allow slot machines at pari-mutuel facilities throughout the state — subject to voter approval — and would regulate strip-mall Internet cafes. A limited number of pari-mutuel facilities might end up being able to offer casino-style games such as craps, black jack and baccarat.

The Regulated Industries Committee approved the bill in a 7-3 vote.  Supporting the bill were Republicans Ellyn Bogdanoff, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, Dennis Jones and Democrats Oscar Braynon, Nan Rich, Maria Sachs, and Gary Siplin.

Opposing it were Republicans Thad Altman, Charlie Dean and John Thrasher. 

With the vote going that way, why didn’t the Democrats create a little chaos and vote against the bill?

Imagine: on the day right before Session, on the issue captivating the capital, the Democrats could have torpedoed a major piece of legislation.

Such a scenario would have set the stages for all sorts of behind-the -scenes maneuvers, not including the opportunity, maybe, for the Democrats to add to their meager coffers from Genting, the Internet cafes, the pari-mutuels, etc.

In fact, if the Democrats had been really smart, they could have voted against the bill, won that vote, then promise to bring the issue back up at a later date.

Instead, the Senate Democrats lived up to the self-fulfilling prophecy long associated with them: They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

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.