Winner and loser of the week
Winner of the week: Paula Dockery. Whatever happens in the special legislative session on rail, the underdog Republican candidate for governor was a tour de force in Tallahassee this week. Full of facts, figures and pluck, the Lakeland Republican once again had her supposedly conservative colleagues reeling and struggling to back up lofty job creation projections and explain why taxpayers should be thrilled to bankroll a massive pay out to a for-profit corporation, CSX. The lobbying corps and GOP establishment may be fuming, but nobody in Florida politics today looks like a more effective maverick/watchdog today than Dockery. Runner up: Susan MacManus. The pundit/political scientist has long warned the Florida GOP it needs to do more to promote women candidates and now ( through no effort of state party leaders), the GOP has three strong women running for statewide office - Dockery, Holly Benson, and Pam Bondi.
Loser of the week: State Sen. J.D. Alexander. We’ve already seen Alexander push hard a massive toll road project that would dramatically increase the value of real estate he owns. Last week, his estranged cousin and family business partner, fellow Winter Haven Republican state Rep. Baxter Troutman, put the spotlight on another conflict: a business they own relies heavily on business with CSX (their company actually features the CSX logo on its Web site), which would be paid hundreds of millions in public money in the Sunrail legislation Alexander is advocating. Here's a crazy thought: If "in an abudandance of caution" you have ask a lawyer to review a potential conflict, maybe you should should go ahead in an abundance of caution and recuse yourself. Runner up: John Delaney. The former Jacksonville mayor widely seen as a future statewide candidate has Republican friends scratching their heads about him going so overboard trying to torpedo the nomination of Harry Shorstein for U.S. Attorney.