Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dawdling Senate lets Scott's appointments stay in limbo

Little is left to chance in the Florida Legislature.

While things may look haphazard from a distance, there's usually a road map somewhere. The challenge is finding the truth that lies behind what the eye sees.

The Senate ended the 2012 session last month without executing its fundamental duty to confirm hundreds of Gov. Rick Scott's appointees to state boards and to run state agencies. It's a glaring oversight that the Senate can't explain convincingly.

Rarely does the Senate not confirm someone. The process has a rubber-stamp quality and takes minutes.

But while senators devoted hours to pontificating on one issue after another and allowed term-limited members to make windy farewell speeches, they were unable to find 10 minutes to confirm Scott's appointees.

"We got jammed up," Senate President Mike Haridopolos said lamely.

In fact, it took a plea from Scott's office for the Senate to confirm eight holdover appointees who had been unconfirmed in the 2011 session and would have lost their jobs if they weren't approved. They included Ananth Prasad, head of the Department of Transportation, and Tena Pate, one of three parole commissioners.

That's a red flag, too. If the Senate could confirm those eight, surely they could have confirmed the other 414 who now languish in political limbo, including Secretary of State Ken Detzner and prisons chief Ken Tucker.

Dozens of others are big-name Republicans who served in state government or are active in Florida politics.

Here's where things get very interesting. Scott has 45 days to reappoint everybody, retroactive to March 9.

His appointments director, Chester Spellman, sent them an email that said: "The governor is currently reviewing each appointment and our office will be in contact with you in the coming weeks once a decision has been reached."

Asked if he has second thoughts about any of his original appointees, Scott said last week: "I'll go back through and look." He said his office did not request inaction by the Senate.

"Did the governor request that they not be confirmed or was it an oversight? I don't know," said Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole.

Jones' son, Rod, is one of the unconfirmed appointees — to the Board of Chiropractic Medicine. During the session, Jones got into a scrap with the governor's office when he refused a request by Scott's chief of staff, Steve MacNamara, to meet with the governor in his unsuccessful effort to privatize prisons.

"It's unfortunate that so many of them are in limbo," Jones said. "I guess we'll find out which ones are in play."

The governor makes thousands of appointments a year. It's time-consuming, and with Scott the process seems to be moving more slowly.

A case in point occurred the other day when Scott appointed Matt Carlucci, a 55-year-old Jacksonville insurance agent, to the Commission on Ethics. Carlucci is replacing Cheryl Forchilli of Tampa, whose term ended June 30, 2011, nine months ago.

In the press release announcing Carlucci's selection, Scott's office said: "The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate."

Yeah, right. Eventually.

Steve Bousquet can be reached at [email protected]

Dawdling Senate lets Scott's appointments stay in limbo 04/02/12 [Last modified: Monday, April 2, 2012 11:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa International named among least expensive airports

    News

    TAMPA — Florida airports apparently have a knack for getting it done cheaply.

    According to RewardExpert, Tampa International Airport is the fifth least expensive domestic airport. 
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
 file photo]

  2. What Hurricane Maria taught me about the people of Puerto Rico

    Hurricanes

    SAN JUAN — After Hurricane Maria took their roof, water and electricity — but spared their chickens — Ana De Jesús and Santiago Quiñones packed a few basics and moved across the street into their windowless beachside kiosk.

    Ismael Freytes, 69, removes muddy debris as he tries to clean out his house in Arecibo, where the local river poured into the streets after Hurricane Maria. [CARL JUSTE?| Miami Herald]
  3. Anna Maria City Pier to close for year after 'extensive damage' from Hurricane Irma

    Travel

    ANNA MARIA — While Hurricane Irma's last-minute shift helped spare large swaths of Florida cities from catastrophic damage, the Anna Maria City Pier didn't fare so well.

    A damage assessment following Hurricane Irma suggests repairs for the Anna Maria City Pier can take at least 12 months. [LUIS SANTANA for Visit Florida]
  4. Photo of the Day for September 26, 2017 - Flying gecko on glass

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Wayne Rayburn of Tarpon Springs, FL. He calls it "Flying gecko on glass."

  5. Candidate in East Hillsborough House primary didn't vote in primaries

    Elections

    TAMPA — Personal voting histories show a sharp difference between Yvonne Fry and Lawrence McClure, the two candidates in the Republican special election primary Oct. 10 for East Hillsborough's District 58 state House seat.

    Yvonne Fry, Republican candidate for state House District 58, has voted in 34 elections at all levels since 1994. She likes to vote on election day, she said, and considers it a national holiday. [Courtesy of Yvonne Fry]