Updated 6:45 p.m.
Republican Senate candidate Adam Hasner is attacking one of his primary opponents by linking him to a stalled cap-and-trade climate change law in Florida. That may sound like par for the course in GOP politics except for one small problem: Hasner co-sponsored that bill, and praised it publicly when it passed the state legislature.
In a press release attacking Republican candidate George Lemieux — who already served in the Senate in an interim capacity after Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) resigned — Hasner tied his opponent to a cap-and-trade initiative spearheaded by former Governor Charlie Crist.
Like many Republicans, though, Hasner knows a thing or two about supporting cap and trade in the pre-Obama era.
He cosponsored the legislation calling for the creation of a cap-and-trade regime in Florida. And when it passed the Florida House, his office issued a press release on behalf of the bill’s sponsor praising the initiative
“Responsibly addressing global climate change and anticipated national cap-and-trade legislation, while continuing to focus on energy diversity, reliability and affordability, the bill will place Florida’s energy sector and economy in
a position to best protect the interests of Florida’s citizens,” the release read.
A spokesman for Hasner points out that the Florida cap-and-trade bill prevented Crist from implementing a stricter pollution reduction regime by Executive Order. And he notes that Hasner’s office issued press releases for all Republican members as a courtesy.
Crist signed the bill in 2008. But the law was never fully implemented, and now state Republicans hope to repeal the entire initiative.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.