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Transcript of ASK THE GOVERNOR
As taped for radio release the week of
January 26, 1962
It's time to "Ask the Governor," when Governor Farris
Bryant answers questions based on letters and comments received
from Florida citizens.
QUESTION: Governor, there have been reports from SoUth
Florida that there will be candidates for the Legislature this
year pledged to a program of extending legalized gambling in the
state, with an eye perhaps toward Florida becoming a sort of
southern Las Vegas. What's your opinion of such a program for
GOVERNOR: Well, I am afraid my views on the expansion of
legalized gambling are pretty well known. I am opposed to it
unalterably and irrevocably. It has been my experience --.and it-has
been my experience since being in office, as well as before -- that
gambling brings nothing good to Florida and that it creates in our
children an acquisitive instinct without that productive instinct,
without that earning desire which has been the very bedrock of
I am afraid that wherever there is gambling -- even if it
is legalized -- there is a temptation, because of the value of the
gambling franchises, to engage in the bribery of public officials.
And there are always those illegal gamblers who are trying to, as
it were, "muscle in" on the operation and bring in the whole train
of vices with which gambling is so often associated.
I will be opposed to any extension of legalized gambling
in Florida, and I hope the people of Florida will not send to the
Legislature representatives who would condone it.
QUESTION: On another political subject, there are
indications we will also see an active slate of Republican candidates
in Florida for these off-year legislative and congressional elections.
Will you take to the stump in support of the Democratic nominees?
GOVERNOR: Well, I always support the Democratic nominees,
where they deserve support. It has been my policy to believe, and
to act upon the belief, that people are elected to office not because
they belong to a particular party, but because they can serve the
people. Now in Florida, fortunately -- at least for me -- these
people have for the most part been Democrats. And I have always
supported Democrats or I have stayed out of the political picture
because I am wedded to the Democratic Party. I hate to see a time
ever come in this state when people will vote for a man because he
is a Democrat or because he is a Republican without consideration
of his ability or the merits. We have seen some instances in
Florida where people have just voted for an individual because he
bore some party label. This, in my judgment, is not responsible
citizenship. I will support Democratic candidates actively
whenever they want me to and are qualified to do their job.
QUESTION: Do you think that the Democratic Party in
Florida is losing any of its strength as Republican registrations
GOVERNOR: Oh, no. I think we grow stronger all the time.
As a matter of fact, I don't know any time the Democratic Party of
Florida has been as vigorous and as active as it is at the present
QUESTION: During the 1960 election campaigns, we had a
case of a candidate running for the office of county judge and
circuit judge simultaneously. There are rumors that we may have a
candidate running in this coming year's campaign who will be a
candidate for congressman and for United States senator at the same
time. Do you think this is a good practice or do you believe that
there should be some change made in our laws to stop this practice?
GOVERNOR: Oh, I don't know. I think the people can take
care of that situation. If they want a man to be able to do that,
they can let him do it. On the other hand, if they disapprove of
it they can defeat him for either one or both of those offices. In
my judgment, this is probably the best solution. I believe in
democracy -- leaving these things in the hands of the people. And
I have a great deal of confidence in their ultimate wisdom in
resolving questions of this kind.
QUESTION: After more than a year of working with the
elected Cabinet that Florida has, is it your feeling that you still
would support the Cabinet system as strongly as you did before your
GOVERNOR: Oh, yes. I think the Cabinet system is an
excellent system. I don't think that we should dilute responsibility.
I don't think that those of us in one area of administration ought
to get over into other areas of administration. But I believe in
the Cabinet system.
Thank you, sir. If you have a question of general
interest you would like Governor Bryant to answer on this program,
jot it down on a post card and send it to "Ask the Governor,"
Governor's Office, Tallahassee, or in care of this station, which
has made available this time in the public interest. Be with us
next week when again we "Ask the Governor."