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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kottkamp + Llorente - Rivera = game on



Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp has brought heightened scrutiny on himself and his use of state planes, partly because he has taken sides in a contentious Miami-Dade state Senate race involving both of the House's most influential budget writers.

Kottkamp supports Rep. Marcelo Llorente, R-Miami, whose fellow budget chairman and political rival, Rep. David Rivera, has suggested abolishing the lieutenant governor's post as unnecessary.

Rivera also has asked state highway safety officials to explain the costs of Kottkamp's security detail, provided by the Florida Highway Patrol. Rivera, who oversees the budget of the Highway Patrol, met this week with the agency and its parent agency to learn more about Kottkamp's travel and security. Rivera declined to discuss the meeting, saying he was seeking more information.

Llorente noted that Rivera has twice sponsored an $840,000 state appropriation for a festival in Miami that Crist vetoed two years in a row. (Rivera said he asked for the appropriation as a favor to a senator.)

"It seems to me that the lieutenant governor's expenditures are much more worthwhile and justifiable," said Llorente, who called Kottkamp "the most honorable and decent man I've gotten to know in Tallahassee." (rest of story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:30pm]


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