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The Buzz on Florida Politics: Charlie Crist considering job with the 'people's' law firm

For now, Marco Rubio is conducting business from the basement of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

ALEX LEARY | Times

For now, Marco Rubio is conducting business from the basement of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Charlie Crist, the self-styled "people's governor," is in talks to join the "people's" law firm. The Buzz has learned Crist is weighing an offer from high-profile trial lawyer John Morgan.

Crist — who has not committed — has discussed working in St. Petersburg or Tallahassee. Crist and Morgan have long been allies, and Morgan helped raise money for Crist's unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate. Morgan was among those pushing Crist to run as an independent when it was clear he could not beat Marco Rubio in the GOP primary.

Morgan is known for his ubiquitous "for the people" billboards and radio ads promoting the firm's pro-consumer work. As governor, Crist cultivated a similar pro-consumer image. The firm has offices across Florida and in Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee, but not Tallahassee. Morgan also does not have a lobbying arm. Crist, a Cumberland School of Law grad, leaves office in January.

Crist recently said he was looking at numerous options but declined to be specific about John Morgan and the firm.

Scott's goodie bags

I gave $25,000 for Rick Scott's inauguration and all I got were these stinkin' cuff links.

In addition to cuff links, Gov.-elect Scott is giving top donors VIP tickets to the swearing-in and inaugural ball, a photo with him, a commemorative Vineyard Vines tote bag and commemorative winter scarves and golf balls.

A snub to Dockery?

Senate President Mike Haridopolos describes his leadership style as inclusive, such as by handing committee chairmanships to a pair of friendly Democrats. But veteran Republican Sen. Paula Dockery of Lakeland isn't feeling the love.

Dockery is the only experienced GOP senator who was not named chairman of any Senate committees, and she was unceremoniously reassigned to an office on the second floor of the Senate Office Building, the province of Democrats and freshman Republicans. In the Legislature, that's the equivalent of being sent to Siberia.

"It is what it is," Dockery said as she packed up her papers at the end of Tuesday's one-day session.

Not happy with Pelosi

U.S. House Democrats picked Nancy Pelosi as their leader for the 112th Congress. But more than a few lawmakers, including some from Florida, opposed her.

"The truth is, she is the face that defeated us in this last election," said Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Monticello, who lost his re-election bid this month.

Tampa Rep. Kathy Castor also voiced reservations about Pelosi returning, saying she favored a fresh start.

Bondi hires two also-rans for transition

Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi's transition team includes two people who made failed runs for the office: Republican Holly Benson and Democrat Dave Aronberg. Aronberg is on the group advising Bondi on pill mills, and Benson is on the Medicaid fraud group.

Chairing the transition team are former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, former state House Speaker Larry Cretul and state Attorney General Bill McCollum. Lawyer Carlos Muniz, a deputy general counsel to to Jeb Bush when he was governor, is executive director.

Marco Rubio … in the basement?

He's in the basement, literally, for now.

Rubio has an office in the lower reaches of the Dirksen Senate Office Building until he is assigned a permanent space. On Tuesday, three staffers worked amid a pile of resumes spread on the floor.

Times staff writers Steve Bousquet, Michael C. Bender and Janet Zink contributed to this report.

Winner
of the week

Jim Morrison. The Doors singer made international news when Gov. Charlie Crist said he would pursue a pardon for Morrison, who was convicted of exposing himself during a Miami concert in 1969. Crist's move needs support from other members of the Clemency Board and has drawn mixed reaction. Usually it would be uncool for a rock star to get help from a politician, but Morrison was fighting the charges at the time of his death in 1971, and there has never been photographic evidence he exposed himself as charged.

Loser
of the week

Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp. Headed to Italy for his 50th birthday, he wanted the state to pay for 24-hour security from his full-time escort and driver, a captain in the Florida Highway Patrol, which would have cost thousands of dollars. No way, the state said.

The Buzz on Florida Politics: Charlie Crist considering job with the 'people's' law firm 11/20/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 2:12pm]
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