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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

How the Rick Scott administration evades sunshine law



TALLAHASSEE — When U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson's office tried to contact Gov. Rick Scott's top lieutenant, Mary Anne Carter offered her cell number, her state e-mail address and a warning.

"I rarely check and almost never respond to work e-mail because of the open records law," Carter wrote from her private e-mail account.

The admission stunned an open government advocate who said it was a chilling insight into an administration that has created roadblocks to Scott's own goal of accountability.

Scott's spokesman disputed any problem.

The e-mail, along with hundreds of other received by the Times/Herald as part of a public records request, shows why Nelson was interested in Carter: She's the main operator within the new governor's nascent administration.

Carter, a campaign consultant who splits her time between Tallahassee and her Tennessee home, was the voice within Scott's office pushing to reverse former Gov. Charlie Crist's policy to streamline the restoration of civil rights for ex-felons. She has helped shape Scott's internal strategy on redistricting, the highly contentious and politically charged task lawmakers must undertake in 2012 to draw new boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts....

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[Last modified: Thursday, April 28, 2011 9:45pm]


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