Our own Howard Troxler ventures into the Lion's Den one last time
ST. PETERSBURG — Legislature flogging ran at full throttle at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club Wednesday, except for a tender, one-on-one interchange between the newsman and the lawmaker.
St. Petersburg Times columnist Howard Troxler, retiring next month, was delivering an amped up luncheon speech about “stupid stuff the Legislature does,’’ a familiar theme for his regular readers.
Leadership funds? “Direct bribery to the Legislature.’’
Election reform? “Put the League of Women Voters out of business — are you kidding me?’’
Repeal growth management rules? “It will be the central issue Florida will have to settle for years to come, so good luck.’’
Several hundred club members — who usually pride themselves on peppering speakers with edgy questions — clapped, laughed and played eager choir to Troxler’s podium pounding preaching.
Then the portly, white-bearded guy in the back stood up, stopping Troxler in mid-sentence.
“Are you leaving?’’ Troxler asked.
“I love you, but I have to get to Orlando,’’ said Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala, of Clearwater.
“I love you,’’ Troxler responded. “I’m glad you are in the Legislature.’’
Troxler’s last column will run June 12. He is moving to the mountains of North Carolina, near relatives, where he plans to “get up in the morning, walk the dog and do nothing.’’
-- Stephen Nohlgren, Times staff writer