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Florida’s Silly Season Returns

ConfusedManBLOGThey hafta be joking, I thought when the news began to trickle out of the Sunshine State that its House of Representative was once again targeting Visit Florida for elimination. I mean, Lord Voldemort and many of his White Walkers (I know I’m mixing my blockbusters...but hang with me, here) are no longer members of the Florida House. So, WTF? Their young Republican spawn are taking up the mantle? 

The strange aspect is that members of this year's movement aren't pointing to secret endorsement contracts or DMOs that refuse to turn over staff salary information. They're just done with the agency, apparently. No reason is given for wanting to eliminate their State Tourism Office on October 1. They just want to. Because they think they can.

And, members of the Senate (which have served as the only adults in the room over the past few years) are starting to wiggle. Their counter proposal is to retain Visit Florida, but with a budget cut of about a third. Oh...and then there is the requirement that Visit Florida be barred from promoting any destination that has banned some types of sunscreen. Like the Keys.

No...I'm not kidding. One of the Senators behind the measure actually said, "I don’t want that brand to be changed from the Sunshine State to the melanoma capital of the world. If we’re going to give skin cancer to people they’re not going to come down."

It really is time for people that benefit from visitor spending (and, that would be...ummm, everybody) to start paying attention to who they vote for.

Really.

         

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Bill Geist

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