State Senator Jack Latvala (R) gubernatorial campaign isn’t even a day old, and its already taking incoming fire from his very own voting record in the Florida legislature.
During an interview with the Tampa Bay Times moments before he embarked on a statewide campaign kick-off tour, the not-so-even-tempered and argumentative Latvala stated that he was “a Conservative” who “never voted for a tax increase.”
Say it aint so, Jack.
While many will argue that Senator Latvala is a really a Democrat in Republican clothing, the elder statesman really is a registered Republican, regardless of how much of a Charlie Crist-like Republican his past votes have portrayed him to be.
While Latvala doesn’t appear to have actually voted to increase taxes, it looks like Jack’s support for increasing taxes on Floridians goes back many, many moons.
In fact, since 1996, “Levy Latvala” has supported a number of tax hike initiatives, including a raw sugar tax, an internet tax loophole bill, and of course his 2002 co-authoring of a $880 Million sales tax hike that former Governor Jeb Bush called “One Of The Largest Tax Increases In Our State’s History.”
According to the Naples Daily News, Latvala clashed with current House Speaker and probably Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Corcoran, over increasing taxes to pay for education.
Latvala was unwilling to promise a second year without a property tax increase needed for schools. This year, the Legislature froze property taxes used to pay for public schools, instead using $392 million from general revenue.
“I think we’re going to have to let them take the additional property value,” he said.
Latvala’s prospect of raising property taxes signals a rift with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. Last week, Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, said property taxes would not increase to pay for education.
“We’re not raising taxes, absolutely not,” Corcoran said. “We’ll find a way.”-NDN
Like his GOP gubernatorial opponent Adam Putnam, Latvala is saying that his record as a conservative speaks for itself.
“I’ll put my voting record up against any Republican. Now, some people equate being a conservative to being anticonsumer or being antienvironment. I don’t.”-Sen. Jack Latvala
It goes without saying that because Latvala has rubbed many people the wrong way over the years, his voting record is being scrutinized for a bit of payback.
You better believe that the political long knives are being sharpened, and the whipping sticks are being dusted off.
With that said, it is fair to say that with all of his baggage, Latvala is this election cycle’s political piñata.