Expect obedient Colleen Burton and Jennifer Canady to vote to kill Lakeland Electric's support of the city
Powerful people in state government want to force our people-owned utility to stop funding our quality of life in our city. They want to raise your taxes and push for privatization.
State Sen. Colleen Burton and new Rep. Jennifer Canady, both R-Lakeland, are, above all, obedient to the handful of gross men who run Florida’s state government racket.
A couple years ago, I asked Burton during a Kiwanis Club meeting to name a single time she had ever bucked legislative leadership. She couldn’t do it. And a form of literal Biblical womanly obedience is built into the oath Jennifer Canady has sworn to her employer — the Lakeland Christian School. See below.
So when Ron DeSantis or whatever powerful person tells them that Lakeland Electric can no longer contribute $33 million annually to our city parks, low taxes, and high quality of life, they will either quietly obey and vote for it or quietly vote against it — with permission from people of power for the purposes of meaningless show.
They will not fight it. Prove me wrong, Colleen and Jennifer.
When they don’t, we should at least make their passive destruction of the city they call home painful for them.
The latest DeSantis/GOP/political capital effort to make Florida communities unlivable
What’s going on here is simple: privately owned power companies want to force publicly-owned utilities to sell so that they wipe out competition, jack-up rates, and collect more profit from captive power selling. Why own and run a public power utility if the people can’t profit from it? It’s blatant rent-seeking, as Jason Garcia might say.
If this was about consumer protection from rates, not gangsterism, the legislative capos working for private utilities would be aggressively, permanently reducing the profit/return for private utility shareholders.
But they are not — of course.
No one doubts that shareholders who own private utilities are entitled to a profit on their capital. As the co-owners of Lakeland Electric, you and I are also entitled to the profit generated by the public utility we own.
We take that profit in quality of life and low property taxes. That’s the return on our capital.
So killing that quality of life and low property tax structure is a dagger at heart of Lakeland — and helpful to Florida GOP efforts to kill communities and replace them with nothing but bad private services and extortion rates. (Very similar to the school model.)
Have you heard any of “your” legislators or leaders publicly oppose this dagger? LOL.
By comparison, when I was a School Board member, and Ron DeSantis tried to gut the Polk School District with threats of mass teacher firings, I immediately mobilized opposition and went on TV to say “over my dead body.”
And all the gross men running state government — tough guy DeSantis included — backed down within a weekend.
The LEDC should issue a statement of support or opposition
You may remember that the Lakeland Economic Development Council — or Steve Scruggs and Barney Barnett, specifically — used to be quite curious about the possibilities of selling Lakeland Electric to privately-owned TECO.
Massive local opposition ended that trial balloon pretty quickly.
And political support for the socialist power plant that makes Lakeland a great place for capital and families alike has become a fundamental requirement for getting elected here.
The LEDC should clarify its position on this end-run around local control and local benefit from municipal power ownership. It should clarify its position on the service cuts and property tax increases it supports or opposes when DeSantis, Burton, and Canady take away that $33 million in vital socialist capital each year.
LEDC fancies itself as the real power in this community. Let’s see it. Let’s see it take a position and impose that position on Colleen, Jennifer, and anybody else that might have influence.
Because in this case, you’re either with our great city or against it. There is no middle ground. And I don’t intend to let anybody hide in it.