Buckhorn meets governor, seeks convention cash
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn met with Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday in Tallahassee to exchange pleasantries, swap details of their upcoming trips to Israel and seek help in providing security at the upcoming Republican convention.
"It was good. I'm sort of doing my first tour up here as mayor," Buckhorn said after he met with Scott and the governor walked him around and introduced him to key staff members. "I've met him (Scott) socially before but this was my first real chance to sit down with him."
With former Gov. Bob Martinez, the city's lobbyist (himself a former Tampa mayor) at his side, Buckhorn sought Scott's intervention in Tampa getting $55 million from the federal government to help defray the costs of security at the GOP event in August. The mayor said the city will need to hire 4,000 law enforcement personnel, a $25-million expenditure.
"We're hoping the federal government will get moving and get moving quickly on it," Buckhorn said. "I don't have $55 million laying around."
Scott later told reporters he has already raised the issue with several members of the Florida congressional delegation and will continue to do so. "What they tell me is, this always happens," Scott said. "Every time there's a convention, the money always comes in late. But he (Buckhorn) said to me that it's getting very late because they've got to buy some equipment."
Buckhorn, a Democrat, was asked how Scott, a Republican, is doing. "On the issues that I care about, in terms of job creation, I think he is somebody I can go to, if we have a project, and I think he'll move mountains to help us get it done," Buckhorn said. "As a mayor, on the economic development front, I couldn't be happier."
"He's got the same issues I've got: growing jobs," Scott said of Buckhorn.
By coincidence, both men plan trips to Israel in the coming weeks. Buckhorn heads there in late November, Scott in early December.