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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ray Sansom, the silent Speaker



House Speaker Ray Sansom treated two reporters like vampires Thursday during a House holiday lunch. The Destin Republican made a mock sign of the cross with his fingers and smiled as reporters tried to get him to answer basic questions about his involvement with developer Jay Odom and his new job at Northwest Florida State College.

Sansom, wearing a name tag that read Mr. S with a Santa Claus hat, refused to comment while waiting in the buffet line on the fourth floor of the Capitol. "Can't you see I'm busy," he said. Sansom has been too busy for the past week to answer questions. We asked anyway. Spokeswoman Jill Chamberlin advised Sansom to say nothing, as to not give an "exclusive."

Q: It appeared you worked to skirt Florida's open meeting law.
A: Sansom smiled.
Q: Why won't you comment on whether you flew on the private jet of Jay Odom.
A: Sansom smiled.
Q: It appears you were involved in the airport issue to benefit Jay Odom.
A: Sansom did not turn around.

At that point, Chamberlin accused a reporter of being "a wise guy."

Marc Caputo and Alex Leary

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:10pm]


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