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Nancy Smith

Now Look Who Alex Sink Blames for the Taj Mahal Screw-Up

October 27, 2010 - 6:00pm

Nice to see a reporter asking Alex Sink a challenging question, even if that reporter is ours.

Job performance is the issue here. How has Alex Sink been doing hers? On Thursday, that's what Sunshine State News reporter Lane Wright was trying to find out.

Floridians have seen and heard Sink make statements, even call a press conference expressing outrage at price excesses going into the so-called Tallahassee Taj Mahal.

Yet, here she is, Florida's chief financial officer, a member of the Cabinet, one of the most powerful people at the Capitol -- and, more important than any of the above, the officer who signs all the checks for the Taj Mahal -- blaming others for failing to hit the brakes on this courthouse project.

Four years went by, folks -- her whole CFO administration -- during which Sink was signing checks for this apparently "disgracefully excessive" project. Yet she didn't know it was excessive -- did she know about it at all? -- until the St. Petersburg Times told her in August.

Last time I heard her talk, she blamed the Republican leadership -- some by name, but mostly Republicans in general. They're all over the place up there at the Capitol, you know.

Lane Wright has been trying for the last few weeks to ask her about her own responsibility in the Taj issue. Last week she dodged his questions -- literally dodged them by rushing behind a curtain.

On Thursday he caught up with her in Lake Worth. Tougher to run when you're wedged into a crowd. This time she blamed people in her own department.

You might want to look at Lane's telling video interview.

You don't need a crystal ball to figure this out: If Sink is elected governor, every time something unpopular happens in Tallahassee's tallest building, it will be the fault of the Republican Legislature. Or an aide who needs dismissing. Or auditors somewhere down the hall. Or somebody in office before she came along.

Nobody will push the minority advantage quite like Alex Sink.

On the other hand, at least she'll have the St. Petersburg Times to tell her when to push.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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