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“Do as he says, not as he does”

Our Governor has made quite a statement on crime during his tenure. He has built prison beds in good times and bad, passed the three strikes law, 10-20-life, and made five misdemeanors a felony. His stand on drugs alone makes it quite clear he is a zero tolerance kind of guy, with minor exceptions regarding his wife and all three of his children…

So when I saw the recent allegations made about the Department of Corrections I thought surely the governor would act—and he did. Jeb circled the wagons. His head of the Department of Corrections, James V. Crosby, Jr., who has been an outstanding contributor to his campaigns has been accused of wrong doing along with numerous prison officials. In one case the victim of a beating refuses to press charges since his still wife works for the DOC and he fears retribution.

Add to this the steroid abuse by guards. (Could they have been willing dupes of Al-Qaeda by buying their drugs from Egypt to support terrorism?) Add the use of prison labor and parts for Crosby and his guard’s pet projects, rampant pilferage, the misuse of prison radios at Jeb’s inauguration as well as the padding of a prison’s payroll so a star athlete could play for its softball team.

We can’t afford job training or counseling but we can find money to assure that a prison team can prevail on the athletic field. Oh by the way, did I mention the alleged rape of a co-worker and the subsequent suicide of the perpetrator, a DOC officer at river Correctional Institution? Can you smell the testosterone?

We also have the beating of Bradley Tunnell, a security expert, by Colonel Richard Allen Frey and Major James Bowen. All three of these men have been suspended.

To all of this instead of applying zero tolerance to this band of out of control miscreants Jeb’s advice to Crosby was, “Don’t let the “Blanks” get you down. By the way the ‘Blanks” he’s referring to are agents of his own Florida Department of Law Enforcement of whom the head of just happens to be the father of Bradley Tunnell the victim of the beating and his Brother’s FBI.

This is serious business. The reign of terror must end and the rule of law and decency must prevail. Instead of giving flip advice the Governor should call for the resignations of Crosby and his cronies. There should be no “stay out of jail cards” based on past political contributions. All allegations must be fully investigated and the guilty fully prosecuted.

You and I both know that true prison reform will only come when people like Karl Rove, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Rush Limbaugh and yes…perhaps even James Crosby and his boys find themselves on the other side of the bars.

Will it really happen? Yes…but only if we don’t let the “Blanks” get away with it.