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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

With no public schedule, Scott keeps Lopez-Cantera well-hidden

Carlos Lopez-Cantera laughs while speaking during a news conference after Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, named him lieutenant governor and his running mate for 2014.

Associated Press

Carlos Lopez-Cantera laughs while speaking during a news conference after Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, named him lieutenant governor and his running mate for 2014.

19

February

How do you say "invisible" in Spanish? (In-vi-SEE-blay).

After a 10-month search for a new lieutenant governor, Gov. Rick Scott announced the selection of Carlos Lopez-Cantera with much fanfare last month. But since taking office Feb. 3, Lopez-Cantera has been largely out of sight, and Scott's office appears to want it that way.

"He'll do a great job," Scott told reporters on Feb. 3. Really? How would we ever know?

Lopez-Cantera is the first lieutenant governor in memory whose daily schedule is kept private -- off limits to reporters and to the general public. After waiting nearly two-and-a-half weeks, The Times/Herald asked Tuesday that as of Wednesday, Feb. 19, his schedule be made public. It wasn't.

Communications director Frank Collins and deputy Monica Russell gave no reason why his schedule remains a state secret. A request for Lopez-Cantera's Wednesday schedule was referred to the Office of Open Government as a public records request.

Lopez-Cantera apparently has so little to do that his schedule isn't worth circulating or Scott's people want his activities kept from public knowledge. The lieutenant governor did appear at a Wednesday breakfast with Palm Beach County Republicans and a luncheon with Miami GOP women Tuesday -- events that were publicized by the Republican Party of Florida.

Scott's office routinely provided the schedule of Lopez-Cantera's predecessor, Jennifer Carroll. For comparison, here's her schedule from one year ago today:

LT. GOVERNOR JENNIFER CARROLL’S SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2013
 
8:00am-1:00pm          STAFF AND CALL TIME
Location:         The Florida State Capitol Building
                                    Address:          400 South Monroe Street
                                                            Tallahassee, FL
                       
1:00pm-1:30pm         MEETING WITH OPERATION HIRE OUR HEROES
Location:         The Florida State Capitol Building
                                                           
1:30pm-2:00pm         STAFF AND CALL TIME
Location:         The Florida State Capitol Building
                                   
2:00pm-2:15pm         MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVE TRAVIS CUMMINGS
Location:         The Florida State Capitol Building
                                                           
2:15pm-5:15pm         STAFF AND CALL TIME
Location:         The Florida State Capitol Building
 
5:30pm-7:00pm         BLACK HISTORY MONTH RECEPTION
Location:         The Florida Governor’s Mansion
                                    Address:          700 North Adams Street
                                                            Tallahassee, FL 32301

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:11pm]

    

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