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The Buzz 9/15/11

SINK FORMS THINK-TANK Former Florida CFO Alex Sink has established a new organization focused on the future of Florida, Florida Next Foundation. In an email, Sink, the Democratic candidate for governor in 2010, described Florida Next as a “a non-profit, non-partisan, communications and research organization that I have created to gather the best ideas from everyday Floridians, small business owners, and entrepreneurs.”

Sink is following the example of Jeb Bush, who formed a similar think-tank, albeit more conservation, when he was lost his first race of governor to Lawton Chiles in 1994. Bush’s non-profit was The Foundation For Florida’s Future and become the catalyst for his successful gubernatorial bid in 1998.

The foundation is leasing office space in the Tampa Museum of Art. Its president/CEO is Jim Cassady, Sink’s former chief of staff as CFO and her top campaign adviser. Board members include her husband, Bill McBride, whom Bush beat in 2006 and her former campaign finance chairman, Richard Swann.

Sink hasn’t committed to running for governor again, but she said that her foundation will tackle how Florida can ensure that the future for the next generation of Floridians is as prosperous as past generations.

“Florida Next will use an aggressive platform focusing on interactive social networking, in-person policy forums around the state, opinion polling, and online surveys,” said Sink, “to reach as broad an audience as possible so Floridians can share their ideas, concerns and aspirations.”

PERKINS SNAPS ON SNAPPER REGS Emerald Coast Utilities Authority Board member and charter boat captain Dale Perkins has resigned from the Gulf Council Red Snapper Advisory Panel to Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

Citing emails from Steven Atran, Population Dynamics Statistician, Perkins resigned on Labor Day.

“The whole process is a charade as evidenced by the fact that they schedule meetings to take our input and then go ahead and make decisions without even holding the meetings,” said Capt. Perkins. “I am not going to lend false legitimacy to this charade by allowing my name to be used on a so called committee that has no input.

“No matter what the data shows, it is always interpreted as a need to reduce Total Allowable Catch. If we are catching to few fish, they say to reduce the quota. If we catch too many, reduce the quota. The fish are too big, reduce the quota. The fish are too small, reduce the quota.”

Perkins resignation coincided with a Fox Business report on federal regulation of fisheries. Fox Business interviewed Rep. Barney Frank, (D-Mass.), “What the fishermen want is sensible regulation that takes into account a valid notion of how many fish are out there and listens to their expertise.”

Sensible federal regulations? Not likely.