BURT SAUNDERS RUNNING FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL-Andrew Stelzer02/20/06
Naples area state senator Burt Saunders officially kicked off his campaign for Florida attorney general today, he spoke in front of a group of employees at All Childrenâ€™s hospital in St Petersburg. WMNFs Andrew Stelzer was there and filed this report.
ACT- â€œthis will be the challenge of my life in terms of running for statewide office..â€?
Saunders is currently serving out his last term as a state senator, heâ€™s also been in the Florida house, the collier county commission, and was the assistant Dade county attorney. He told the 50 or so people gathered that the most important thing an attorney general can do is keep people safe from violent crime, and says he took action 12 years ago, when crime Floridaâ€™s was out of control.
ACT â€œThe system failed to keep people locked up, and led the nation in violent crime, thatâ€™s no longer the case..fought for 85 percent rule, ..â€?
Saunders said he believes border security has been largely ignored by Florida lawmakers, and that he hopes to crack down on rings of gangs, which smuggle in undocumented immigrants from central and South America. He also spoke about the growing spread of methamphetamine lab in Florida, and said that as attorney general he would make moves to reduce the illegal use of prescription drugs such as oxycotin.
ACT â€œmore people die each day in FL from oxy, that illegal drugs, im not talking about accidental , im talking about illegal , recreational..â€?
Saunders says that in this yearâ€™s legislative session he has a bill for a prescription a validation program, which his opponent in the race for attorney general, Everett Rice, is opposed to. Heâ€™s also spearheading a bill to restore funding to the states anti teen smoking truth campaign. Saunders was asked if he will be supporting legislation to eliminate the joint and severed liability statute, he said heâ€™s not sure, and he wants to wait until he sees what the legislation looks like. Saunders gave a similar answer about legislation proposed by the NRA to let employees bring their guns to work in their cars, even if the employer has regulations against guns on their property.
ACT â€œI am a strong supporter, I have a gun in my car, I never thought it would violate..Im gonna have to weigh the issue closely..â€?
If heâ€™s elected attorney general, he will be a member of the states clemency board, which reviews applications from felons to have their civil and voting rights restored. WMNF asked Saunders about Floridaâ€™s ban on felons having their civil and voting rights restored, but he seemed unaware that the state requires an application process.
WMNF also asked Saunders opinion about the states juvenile boot camps, which are facing increasing calls to be closed, in the wake of a 14 year old dying at a Bay county boot camp after being beaten by guards. ACT â€œboot camps.. drug offenses..
Burt Sanders campaign website is www.burtsaunders.com
For WMNF news, From St Petersburg, Iâ€™m Andrew Stelzer