Monday, January 22, 2018
Politics

Romano: So I guess Twitter is Florida's new field of honor

Just so you know, this little skirmish between Gov. Rick Scott and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran is not unprecedented.

In fact, men of a certain conceit have been taking shots at each other for years in Florida. Sometimes, literally.

Leigh Read, who was rumored to be the next leader of Florida's territorial legislature in 1839, got in the crosshairs of Augustus Alston because Read didn't think government money should bail out private business interests. And, no, I couldn't possibly make this up.

The two men met on a field of honor and, before they could finish walking the duel's 15 paces, Alston supposedly stumbled and his rifle went off. Read calmly turned around and shot Alston dead.

Which brings us to the equally epic Scott-Corcoran showdown of 2017. Except, instead of guns, these two walk their 15 paces in loafers and then start firing tweets.

One can only imagine the carnage.

This was Scott's hysterical-sounding response after the House Appropriations Committee approved Corcoran's plan to eliminate Enterprise Florida and whack Visit Florida's funding on Tuesday.

The problem is Scott has cried about this wolf before. When he first ran for governor in 2010, he warned that the Affordable Care Act would be "the biggest job-killer in the history of this country."

Except from 2010 to the end of last year, with Obamacare still going strong, the nation had added more than 15 million jobs in the private sector. So, it might be fair to say Scott's aim, when it comes to job-killing laws, is suspect.

This was Corcoran's highfalutin' tweet that helped get the blood boiling on this feud. It was Corcoran's answer to a suspiciously lopsided poll commissioned by Scott's people that claimed Floridians simply loved the idea of giving taxpayer money to Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.

You might have noticed Corcoran likes to invoke his "principles" in political battles such as this, but it's really just a euphemism for "intolerant." If your principles do not align with his — and I do mean precisely — then you're the enemy.

He doesn't believe in compromise and doesn't want to hear alternative views. Which, when you think about it, doesn't necessarily match the "principles" that helped build this country.

This trash-and-burn approach by Corcoran was actually starting to achieve the impossible — making you feel sorry for Scott — when the governor opted for his own brand of overkill.

Scott visited the districts of what he considered to be susceptible House members and basically tattled on them for not adhering to his job-creation credo. In a street fight, this would be the equivalent of giving somebody a nasty little rash.

Earlier in the battle, Scott accused Corcoran of attacking Enterprise Florida to raise his profile for a future run at governor. This is a strategy Scott knows well, since he is funneling money to Enterprise Florida to boost his own profile for a future run at senator.

For these guys, the field of honor seems to be 140 characters long. And the weapon of choice is a smartphone.

This duel may lack virility and nobility, but it makes up for it in sheer petulance.

Comments
Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

New York TimesWASHINGTON ó Congress brought an end to a three-day government shutdown on Monday as Senate Democrats buckled under pressure to adopt a short-term spending bill to fund government operations without first addressing the fate of young un...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

WASHINGTON ó Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making un...
Published: 01/20/18
The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The early days of the federal government shutdown wonít slow the U.S. economy much. No workers are missing paychecks yet, and because it is a weekend, few businesses expect to feel the effects of lost customers or suppliers.That could change, quickly...
Published: 01/20/18
Romano: If UCF is national champion, then Iím a Hollywood stud

Romano: If UCF is national champion, then Iím a Hollywood stud

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said people were entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.Clearly, Moynihan never dealt with Florida legislators.Because around Tallahassee, facts are fungible. They arenít just up for debate, they...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

WASHINGTON ó The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trumpís inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunctio...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

NEWARK, N.J. ó U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez might spend 2018 asking voters to re-elect him and jurors to acquit him. Prosecutors from the Department of Justice told a federal judge in New Jersey on Friday that they will seek a retrial of the Democratic sen...
Published: 01/19/18
Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

WASHINGTON ó A bitterly-divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being dep...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

CLEARWATER ó Voters may not be too familiar with the name John Funk.So since launching his campaign for City Council Seat 5 against well-known incumbent Hoyt Hamilton, Funk said he has knocked on 2,000 doors to introduce himself. Before the March 13 ...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

CLEARWATER ó By asking voters to elect him into office a fifth time, Hoyt Hamilton knows heís now considered part of the old-guard. Born and raised in Clearwater, his family roots stretch back here more than 100 years. Hamilton, 59, spent nearly his ...
Published: 01/19/18

Q&A: Government shutdown looms. Hereís what you need to know

Lawmakers have until midnight tonight to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown.Hereís what that means. Why would the government shut down?Every year, Congress has to approve laws, known as appropriations, that provide money for federal agen...
Published: 01/18/18