With Fasano bumped from committee chairmanship, is this the beginning of the end of the Haridopolos Senate Presidency?

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Sen. Mike Fasano is being removed as chairman of the Senate committee that writes the criminal justice budget by Senate President Mike Haridopolos because, Haridopolos said, he has lost confidence in Fasano’s dedication to cutting the budget, reports the News Service of Florida. Fasano will be replaced as chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale. Fasano, R-New Port Richey, has led the effort to derail a Senate priority, a plan to privatize prisons in most of the southern part of the state.

Update – 4:38 p.m. – Paula Dockery tweets: @FasanoMike welcome to the I’m-a-true-Republican club. You know, the kind who vote based on the right thing-not based on who is dumping cash into a CCE. Leadership may have taken your chairmanship today, but you are a champion for the people of Florida and no one can take that away.

Update – 4:44 p.m. – Sen. Fasano speaks:

“In my 18 years of elective office I have always and will continue to vote my conscience  I have stood up for the little guy and gal, those who otherwise would not have a voice in the legislative process.  I will always speak out when I see injustice, no matter what the consequences may be.
 
“No matter how big the bully in the schoolyard may be, if the loss of a chairmanship is the result of taking a stand for what is right, I wear that loss as a badge of honor.
 
“As the final days of the president’s tenure comes to a close I encourage him to stand up for taxpayers and consumers to ensure that each and every tax dollar is spent wisely.  The special interests should not prevail.  I hope that he will do what is right and remember why we were all sent to Tallahassee.”
Update – 4:55 p.m. – Matt Dixon tweets: FEA Prez on Fasano losing chairmanship: “It’s a shame that standing up for what you believe is right can land you in hot water”
Update – 5:19 p.m. – Florida AFL-CIO President, Mike Williams has released the following statement in defense of Sen. Fasano:“It is a sad day in Florida politics when disagreeing with Senate Leadership on legislation can remove a Senator from a chairmanship or any leadership position. This happened today to Senator Fasano.  The Florida AFL-CIO and our affiliates are outraged that the leadership in the Senate would stoop to political games and payback for disagreeing with their expedited process to privatize correctional facilities.”Why did they do this? Because the Senator from New Port Richey is standing up for the working families of Florida, instead of special interests who have bought and paid for politicians to do their bidding.  The Florida Senate should not be a venue for retribution but should serve the people of the state of Florida.  We are disappointed by today’s events, but we know that this will embolden the Senator and his allies on this issue. We know Senator Fasano will fight even harder to make sure that families and communities in our state are protected and that the voice of opposition to a corporate takeover of governmental functions is louder than ever before.”

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.