Friday, November 24, 2017
Politics

Carlton: Your underpaid Legislature, a Gator smackdown, packing at the park: The week that was

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For a fall Friday, the week that was.

Some spit-out-your-Starbucks headlines: With a straight face, someone is advocating that your Florida lawmakers, who cannot seem to finish the job we pay them to do and have really bad ideas like letting people walk around packing pistols at their hips, get a $20,000 raise, please.

A bill from state Sen. Arthenia Joyner would mean a fat 68 percent hike even as the rest of Florida is still regrouping from a wrecking ball economy. Should it pass — not likely, you say, except think fox and henhouse — Florida lawmakers would be the best paid in the South.

Sure, why not. You fail to reach consensus to finish the job on time, you cost taxpayers what will likely be more than a million bucks in special sessions, and you deserve a staggering raise. Nice work if you can get it.

The audaciousness of that headline can be rivaled only by the one about the possibility of allowing hunting in every state park in Florida — our own serene Honeymoon Island, for example.

Can someone please explain to this current crop in Tallahassee — and especially to Gov. Rick "Not From Here" Scott — the concept of a state park?

Because, somehow, they look at these pristine pieces of Florida set aside to preserve the best we have and see nothing but real estate primed for money-making exploitation.

Color us surprised: Over at Tampa's financially beleaguered Museum of Science and Industry, was anyone shocked at the latest bad news that its crowd-drawing IMAX Dome Theatre is closed for repair? Given the big premiere of the new Star Wars movie scheduled for that same big screen next month, clearly, the force is not with MOSI.

Question of the week: You would think being a lawyer facing disbarment for your part in setting up an enemy attorney for a DUI arrest would be enough notoriety for one guy. Apparently not.

Tampa lawyer Robert Adams of the infamous Adams & Diaco firm faces a battery charge after investigators say he punched a 53-year-old woman in the face during the big Florida-Georgia football game in Jacksonville.

Much like the DUI scandal, the story isn't pretty. The woman told the Tampa Bay Times the fracas began after her 77-year-old father, a man with a pacemaker, requested that the group behind them take it down a notch. This apparently involved Adams' son's use of a four-letter word. Adams struck the woman, according to police, and another man who also has been charged hit her father.

Adams is a Gator fan. Which prompted another UF diehard, one of the many across Tampa Bay who bleed orange and blue, to ask this:

If a man can be disbarred, why can't he be disGatored, too?

The week's quote that makes you go: Seriously?

"I hope there was more respect for me and my job as chair and as the only female on the board than to have any retribution for just trying to put another funding option out there."

— Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman on her surprise ouster as commission chairwoman this week, hinting her gender may have played a part.

Or, perhaps, fellow commissioners were disappointed in Murman's dropped support of a hard-fought transportation tax and her last-minute, Band-Aid of an idea to replace it and opted for leadership elsewhere.

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