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Politics

Nancy Argenziano Quits PSC to Back Alex Sink

October 11, 2010 - 6:00pm

Public Service Commission Chairwoman Nancy Argenziano, a Republican, resigned her PSC post Tuesday so that she can endorse Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink.

In a press conference Tuesday at the Florida Press Center, Argenziano, who served in the Legislature as a Republican, offered stinging words for the leadership of the Legislature and Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott.

I do not know that I can effectively portray the immensity of the danger of a marriage between the clowns, cowboys and crooks of the current Republican-led state Legislature and Rick The Fifth Amendment Scott, said Argenziano. There would be no balancing of power.

We need checks and balances, she said, noting that, if elected, Sink could provide those over the Republican-led Legislature.

Argenziano, whose term was up in January, hammered Scott for his record in the private sector. I dont think anyone whos defrauded Medicare has integrity, she said.

She added that she thought Scotts energy plans would raise the rates of consumers while letting utilities off the hook.

Rick Scott says he wants the utilities to regulate themselves, she insisted.

While saying there were some people there who did a fine job and that most of the small utilities were following the rules, Argenziano said she was frustrated with the activities of the PSC, saying it was too influenced by campaign donations to legislative candidates.

The Public Service Commission is not working, she said. I blame the Legislature.

Argenziano took the gloves off in her attacks on the leadership members of the Legislature -- calling them pipsqueaks and insisting they were young, inexperienced and severely lacking in institutional knowledge. She contrasted them with previous leaders, namely the late Jim King.

Despite blasting Scott and Republicans in the Legislature, in particular Senate President Jeff Atwater of North Palm Beach and incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos of Merritt Island, Argenziano insisted she is still a Republican.

I still believe in the Goldwater principles, she said.

I believe in the Republican platform, she insisted but added she thought it was not being promoted or enacted.

Argenziano said she had not talked to Sink or her camp before resigning her position so she could campaign for her. She added that she had talked to former Sen. Rod Smith, Sinks pick for lieutenant governor, and asked questions about their positions on the issues.

Argenziano said she is not looking for a position if Sink is elected. I have not been promised anything, she said. Im not looking for anything.

But Argenziano showed no sign that she is planning to fade away. While she did not rule out another return to the Legislature, she said she is looking to take a proposed constitutional amendment to the voters in 2012 reforming the way the PSC is named.

The Scott camp dismissed the endorsement.

"It's amazing that anyone would publicly support CFO Sink, as reports are simultaneously emerging about her authorizing felons to work in the insurance field and access the sensitive and personal information of Floridians, said Joe Kildea, a spokesman for Scott.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting(850) 727-0859end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

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