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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Paula Dockery on Rick Scott: 'I am very comfortable with him'



Sen. Paula Dockery, the Republican from Lakeland who spent part of a day on the recent Rick Scott bus tour, just posted a lengthy post on Facebook with her thoughts on the trip. In short: she's a Rick Scott fan. (We should note that Dockery has been mentioned as a possible running mate for Scott, and she hasn't exactly tamped down that speculation.)

In her post (copied in full below) she says it is "most appealing" that Scott is not indebted to Tallahassee's political players. She has also been briefing him on issues and writes, "I see an opportunity to influence his stance on those issues in which he doesn't hold strong beliefs." (Which beliefs are those?)

She ends her post with this not-so-veiled swipe at Scott's primary rival, Bill McCollum: "Next post: 'The difference between self-funded independent campaigns and special interest funded insider campaigns.' or 'How the process is corrupted by special interest funded insider campaigns' "

I was invited to ride on the Rick Scott bus tour on Friday July 23rd. I've been asked to share my thoughts/impressions of my time on board and my opinion of the Gubernatorial candidate.

At the first stop, I met Rick's mom, his wife Ann and one of his daughters, Allison. His "Let's get to work" came from his mom who encouraged her children to complete their tasks before they could partake in other activities. He grew up in a modest hardworking family. His wife Ann is very down-to-earth and supportive. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with her.

His daughter Allison attended George Washington University and is pursuing a career in fashion design. She is intelligent and very personable.

I had spent time with Rick before and felt that we shared some common interests such as:

*to focus on the creation of private sector jobs to turn the economy around
*to enforce laws relating to illegal immigration that the Federal government is failing to do
*to ensure a safe and adequate water supply and preserve our quality of life
*to be fiscally responsible with tax dollars through better budgeting
*to fundamentally change the way state government operates
*to clean up the culture of corruption in Tallahassee

*to bring commonsense and independent thought to governing

*to bring an outsider's perspective to the Governor's office to replace the "Good Old Boys Club"

On this trip, I had the opportunity to discuss my perspective on issues. Rick seemed interested, receptive and engaged. While we don't agree on all issues, I get the impression that he has an analytical mind and is open to a factual discussion before cementing his position on any issue. I found him open-minded, fair and NOT beholden to special interests which is a refreshing change. He seems well organized and calm. He is obviously a good manager of people and resources. His demeanor is somewhat surprising for a man of his wealth and success. He is polite, friendly, enthusiastic, energetic and somewhat shy. He's quick with a smile and a good listener.

He is a political novice. He is learning who the political players are but is not intimidated by them or indebted to them. This is what I find the most appealing.

He is bright enough to learn the issues and the process but he already possesses the business acumen and managerial skills to lead. He doesn't pretend to have all the answers but knows how to find the right people to advise him and to be part of the team. He does not surround himself with "Yes Men". He questions why there aren't more women in the key positions in the Republican Party.

We spent at least 30 minutes alone discussing issues and I see an opportunity to influence his stance on those issues in which he doesn't hold strong beliefs.

I was present when he was being interviewed by four reporters on the bus. He did not shy away from tough questions and did not get angry or defensive while questioned about HCA.

He does not possess an ego-driven "it's my turn" or "I'm entitled to win" attitude. He knows it takes hard work to campaign and hard work to govern well. He's obviously a hard worker and a very driven individual. It's my belief he has run a picture perfect campaign in his first attempt at running for office which shows a tremendous amount of planning, preparation and assembling a talented team.

While some may view his self-financing as a negative, I have a much different view after watching the legislative process at work. Because he is self-financed, he is beholden to no one and can govern in a manner that puts the best interests of the people of Florida at the forefront.

While I'd like to change his views on a few issues, and will try, for the most part I am very comfortable with him and think he is in tune with the voters and their desire to rein in our out-of-control and out-of-touch government.

** Next post: The difference between self-funded independent campaigns and special interest funded insider campaigns." or "How the process is corrupted by special interest funded insider campaigns"

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:16am]


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