Hillsborough activist hails Sansom's fall

01/30/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Although news about Ray Sansom’s actions became known last fall, it seemingly took ethics complaints by two Tampa bay area citizens for anything to be done about it.

Clearwater resident David Plyer filed a complaint to the Florida Commission on Ethics. That led to Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs to convene a Grand Jury, which earlier this week ruled that there was sufficient evidence to investigate Sansom.

And earlier this month, Hillsborough County Democratic Party activist Susan Smith filed an ethics complaint that was taken up this week by House Rules Chairman Bill Galvano of Bradenton.

Smith said today Sansom’s fall from grace was necessary, if a bit tardy. She says the fact that she and David Plyer’s complaints were taken seriously and spurred further action shows the people that citizens do have rights. She says it’s incumbent for people to be aware of what politicians are doing in our names.

Smith then referenced The Florida Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday that clears the way for a possible ballot amendment that could change the state’s GOP-dominated political landscape.

The group Fair Districts Florida is working on an effort to change how district boundaries for state and federal offices are drawn.

Leon County Republican Party activist Thom Rumberger says the current system protects office holders and denies people the right to self-government.

Sansom announced today that he is stepping down from his post as House Speaker while his legal troubles are resolved.

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