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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

'Try not to date your aide'

30

November

That was among the pearls of wisdom offered to House freshmen during this week's two-day orientation program led by senior House Republicans.

One of those voices of experience belongs to Rep. Joe Pickens, R-Palatka. He warned the newbies that some lobbyists promote an amendment to a bill by claiming the Senate sponsor supports it. It's best to check that out, said Pickens, a past victim of the tactic.

Rep. Ed Homan, R-Temple Terrace, cautioned that changing "an" to "the" in a bill makes all the difference in the world. (It's often a change meant to cater to a special interest).

Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, was assigned to explain the House policy that bars sexual harassment.

"People hug a lot around here," Bogdanoff said. "But inappropriate hugging, I think, we can probably tell the difference." It was she who began her talk with a friendly don't-date-your-aide admonition.

Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton, raced through an explanation of the ban on gifts and meals from lobbyists, noting a few narrowly-drawn exceptions. Summing up, he said: "When in doubt, do without." The 36 new House members are the first to begin their Tallahassee careers in the new no-freebies culture. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:41pm]

    

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