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A Times Editorial

Self-important Kottkamp can't leave soon enough

Florida Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp's ridiculous request for a state-paid security detail while he was on vacation in Italy is affirmation that voters made the right choice in August when they chose Pam Bondi, instead of Kottkamp, as the Republican nominee for attorney general. Ridding Tallahassee of this self-important politician can't happen soon enough.

Neither public scrutiny of previous state-financed junkets, a statewide electoral loss nor initial rejection of his request by the Florida Highway Patrol in September tempered Kottkamp's mistaken sense of entitlement. Earlier this month, just a week before he was set to depart, Kottkamp wrote FHP executive director Julie Jones once again demanding 24-hour security because he would meet with a handful of Italian business leaders and "current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests."

It's hard to imagine Kottkamp — a former state lawmaker plucked from obscurity to be Gov. Charlie Crist's running mate in 2006 — being recognized on a Tampa street corner, much less a piazza in Rome.

The taxpayers' heroine in this tale is Jones, a right-minded but diplomatic bureaucrat who rejected the request again by responding that "during these challenging, economic times we are compelled to make difficult decisions."

Of course, the story's ending is set. Kottkamp, an attorney, will presumably return to Fort Myers in January when a new governor, lieutenant governor and Cabinet, including Bondi, are sworn in. His is a legacy none of them should try to emulate.

Self-important Kottkamp can't leave soon enough 11/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, November 18, 2010 7:02pm]
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