It's the 2017 Rick Scott-Richard Corcoran Reconciliation Tour
Remember when Gov. Rick Scott called House Speaker Richard Corcoran anti-family, a job-killer, and a career politician to boot? Or when Corcoran called Scott "a governor who won't help us" and who only cared about protecting an "absolute cesspool" at Enterprise Florida?
Scott and Corcoran now realize they're both better off congratulating each other than kicking each other. On Tuesday, the two Republicans will hopskotch around the state on what Scott calls the "Fighting for Florida's Future Victory Tour" to celebrate money for K-12 students, tourism, job creation and the dike at Lake Okeechobee.
Scott has done similar fly-arounds in past years to draw media attention to tax cuts and jobs, but this one looks more like The Rick Scott and Richard Corcoran Reconciliation Tour. Cynics will say it's more about Scott's political future, and Corcoran's, than Florida's, as the governor eyes a U.S. Senate candidacy and the speaker weighs a 2018 run for governor. "The message is that we're on the same page in fighting for jobs and fighting for a world-class education," said Corcoran, who gets to stand next to Scott and proclaim "no more corporate welfare" in Florida.
The fly-around begins at Jungle Island in Miami and travels to West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Tampa and Jacksonville.
Corcoran chartered his own plane through the Republican Party of Florida. It wouldn't look right for the speaker who banned House members from hitching rides on lobbyists' planes to ride with the governor, who by law is a principal represented by lobbyists -- that would create a gift ban problem. Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, also was invited to participate, but he had left for a long-planned Senate GOP golf tournament fund-raiser in San Diego before the governor finalized his travel plans.
The fact that Scott wants Corcoran at his side Tuesday is the strongest indication yet that the governor will sign HB 7069, the sweeping school choice bill that Corcoran calls "transformational" that has been under attack for weeks by educators across Florida. The word is that Scott will sign the bill Thursday with the once-vilified Corcoran back at his side as the two men's schedules converge in Orlando, a transaction that will culminate an every-man-for-himself legislative session in which all three leaders battled, sometimes viciously, until each got what he wanted.