9:03 PM EDT, October 3, 2013
Thanks to smartphones, most of us know the pitfalls of auto-correct.
You try to type one thing, and your phone changes it to something else.
One of the oddest ones I encounter involves my daughter's name, Cameron. My phone sometimes changes to "Saddam."
So I end up with disturbing little notes like:
"Pack Saddam's lunch."
"Help Saddam with Algebra."
"Get Mary Poppins music for Saddam's audition."
It's funny, unsettling … and probably responsible for me being on an NSA watch list.
Anyway, I understand how typos happen — which is why I just assumed Florida's political reporters made similar mistakes when they recently wrote that aspiring legislator Eric Eisnaugle was rumored to be a leading GOP contender for speaker of the Florida House … in 2021.
Um … what?
The guy isn't even a legislator. He's hoping to get elected. And yet there's talk of him running the House eight years from now, before he even gets into it?
Yes indeed, say reports from Tallahassee to Tampa Bay.
This, friends, is why the Legislature looks like an insane asylum.
In the old days, folks had to prove themselves first. Leaders like Dan Webster and Toni Jennings got elected, proved their mettle and then made plays to run the Legislature.
Nowadays, thanks partly to term limits, these power-hungry pols start campaigning to run the Legislature before they even get into it. This allows the lobbyists to place bets early on, finance the campaigns and earn gratitude from newly crowned leaders.
Eisnaugle did serve in the Legislature from 2008-2012. But he ended his largely unmemorable tenure when his district was redrawn. Now he wants back in. Swell. But he should earn his way to the House before making a play to run it.
Eisnaugle didn't respond to requests to talk about this. Maybe he was actually embarrassed by the premature talk. Maybe he'll have the humility to tell his fellow Republicans: Guys, Let me get elected first, then we'll talk.
Both parties should institute new rules to prohibit early gamesmanship. Prove you're competent enough to hold the gavel before we let you bang it.
All of Florida deserves that much … including little Saddam.
Wednesday's column ended with a call for more cameras in cop cars and on cops themselves.
It was answered by two local departments that said they are ahead of the camera curve.
Officials at the University of Central Florida called to report that, during any given shift, half its officers are wearing on-person cameras.
And the Casselberry Police Department says it will soon have cameras in two-thirds of its cars — and ultimately hopes to have every officer either wearing a camera or driving a camera-equipped car.
Both departments say the same thing: Cameras are good for everyone involved.
They foster public trust. They protect cops from false accusations. They help prosecutors make cases. Quite simply: They help tell the whole story.
The on-person ones seem to be the preferred. They catch a cops'-eye view of everything — and are increasingly affordable at $1,000 to $2,000.
Casselberry Chief Bill McNeil said cameras already have helped him dismiss two bogus complaints against his officers.
These smaller departments didn't wait for lawsuits. Or threats. They didn't bellyache about the costs — which are tiny in the grand scheme of hiring and equipping an officer.
They simply decided their officers — and the public trust — were worth the investment.
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