Sen. Jack Latvala on the hot seat at Tiger Bay
State Sen. Jack Latvala spoke at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club's meeting on Wednesday. True to form, he offered quips about people in the audience while touching on current political topics.
Some take-aways from Latvala:
"The main reason I agreed to come today is because I knew this is one place I could come and give a speech and not have to deal with any tea party people. …. Can’t go to a Republican club and say that anymore."
On the St. Petersburg Times upcoming name change to the Tampa Bay Times, Latvala noted he didn't see top company executives in the audience: "Well it’s a little longer drive from Tampa to get here."
On term limits:
"I voted for term limits, one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done in my life," he said. Later he added, "The worst part of the term limits, when you leave the House, they all came to the Senate. … A lot of the people who I spent a lot of time stepping on in the House, they’re all running the Senate."
On his chances of becoming a Senate president:
“I can’t tell you here today that I’m going to be successful. … We’ve got a very close race. We’ve deadlocked it.”
On redistricting: "The redistricting process this year has been .. so well handled," Latvala said, defending a process that has been criticized for protecting incumbents.
"Just to prove that we didn’t do anything to preserve incumbents and protect incumbents … just to prove that ... the senate district that I reside in only has 21 percent of my existing district. … That means next year I gotta go out and do this all over again, go out and make all new friends and start from scratch."
That ignored that the new district is basically his old district from a previous Senate tenure for longtime powerbroker. He acknowledged as much later, quipping his old district didn't have Largo, though.
On ranking Gov. Rick Scott among the six most recent governors:
"I’ve been around a long time. There’s two reasons for saying that. One is I don’t remember how good a couple of them were. … the other thing is, being old, I know better than to answer questions like that."
David DeCamp, Times Staff Writer