Sunday, February 18, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Shuttering the make-work No. 2's office

Until he settles on a replacement to succeed Jennifer Carroll, Gov. Rick Scott has done the right thing in temporarily shutting down the vaguely defined office of lieutenant governor. While she was in office, Carroll had little or nothing to do. Since Carroll's resignation earlier this month, in the wake of disclosures of her ties to an Internet sweepstakes cafe under federal investigation, her four-person staff has had even less to do — at a cost to the state of $510,000 a year. Although Scott has a constitutional obligation to eventually appoint a lieutenant governor, his time could be best spent working with the Legislature to craft a constitutional amendment to abolish the office.

Carroll submitted her resignation March 12 after law enforcement officials interviewed her in connection with a federal investigation into an Internet sweepstakes cafe operation. She was questioned about her business relationship with Allied Veterans of the World & Affiliates, which operated the cafes and is accused by prosecutors of masquerading as a charity whose owners kept nearly all of the profits. As an indication of just how inconsequential the lieutenant governor's office can be, Scott says he won't think about Carroll's successor until after the legislative session ends in May.

In the meantime, Scott wisely has closed the lieutenant governor's office doors and furloughed its four employees, including chief of staff John Konkus, who was making an $100,000 a year. From 1858 until 1968, Florida managed to function without a make-work lieutenant governor padding the payroll. Few lieutenant governors since the post was reinstated in 1968 have distinguished themselves, although Democrat Buddy MacKay and Republicans Frank Brogan and Toni Jennings are notable exceptions. Carroll all but disappeared from view the moment she was sworn in, and she will be remembered most for minor office scandals and for resigning.

Florida already has in place a clearly defined succession system, beginning with an elected Cabinet. Now Scott has time to demonstrate Florida can get along just fine without an unnecessary No. 2 wasting time, money and space down the hall.

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Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Itís not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18
Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

The city of Tampa should have taken Tanja Vidovic seriously from the start when the Tampa firefighter complained about her treatment in the workplace. Now that a jury and judge have spoken, itís time for City Hall to cut its losses, learn from its mi...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

The dark cloud enveloping Tampa Bayís job placement centers keeps growing. There are accusations of forged documents, evidence of nepotism and concerns about grossly inflated performance numbers that could be tied to receiving more public money and b...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Even before the victims of another mass shooting at another public school were identified, Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state legislators and members of Congress rushed to South Florida or to social media to offer their thoughts and p...
Published: 02/15/18
Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

The Florida Department of Children and Families is right to call for a timely and "comprehensive" review of Hillsborough Countyís foster care system. Though the probe is a reaction to a recent case involving a child who was left unattended, the revie...
Published: 02/14/18

A Washington Post editorial: Modernize 911 calling before it becomes an emergency

This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the first 911 emergency call placed in the United States. Since then, uncounted lives have been saved and people helped. It has been a great accomplishment of government.But even as an estimated 240 million 9...
Published: 02/13/18
Updated: 02/14/18
Editorial: Scott, Cabinet cannot be trusted on felonsí voting rights

Editorial: Scott, Cabinet cannot be trusted on felonsí voting rights

Gov. Rick Scott always has been grudging and imperious about restoring the voting rights of felons, requiring them to wait for years before begging the governor and Cabinet to be recognized again as citizens. That arrogance is on full display in a le...
Published: 02/13/18
Another voice: ĎDreamersí donít know whom to trust on immigration

Another voice: ĎDreamersí donít know whom to trust on immigration

Immigrants brought into this country illegally as children by their parents may be wondering whom to trust. The political theater being played out in Washington hasnít settled the status of either the "Dreamers" or the estimated 11 million other undo...
Published: 02/13/18
Editorial: Promising Tampa stadium site for Rays

Editorial: Promising Tampa stadium site for Rays

While it came as little surprise, the Tampa Bay Raysí selection of an Ybor City site near Tampaís Channel District as the best spot for a new stadium is an important milestone in the effort to keep Major League Baseball. Now comes the hard work of de...
Published: 02/09/18
Editorial: Senate should reject Houseís attack on public schools

Editorial: Senate should reject Houseís attack on public schools

After pummeling public education so soundly last year, itís little surprise Republican state legislators are mounting another attack on public schools, teachers and local districts. The mammoth education bill passed by the House last week is loaded w...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/13/18