Speculation continues to swirl around the prospect of Orange County school Superintendent Barbara Jenkins leaving her post to become Rick Scott's lieutenant governor.
Frankly, I think it's more likely that I sprout a unicorn horn.
Why would the respected Jenkins leave a job where she makes a real impact to take one where she'd be as useless as a mesh umbrella?
Seriously, the entire job of lieutenant governor has no official duties — other than to remain alive.
In Jennifer Carroll's last month as lieutenant governor, her tasks included serving as a model in a "wear red" campaign for women's health, announcing an essay contest, giving out awards for said essay contest and re-dedicating buildings in Lake Wales and Lakeland. (Not even dedicating, mind you. Re-dedicating.)
The biggest headlines Carroll made dealt with suggestions that she might have been a lesbian, her denial that she was a lesbian and then an apology for the way she talked about lesbians.
Oh, also her resignation.
Before that, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp's biggest splash involved revelations that he had somehow racked up $425,000 in travel bills.
Even Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan once described the job as "the person down the hall with little or nothing to do" — which may explain why some states have axed the post altogether, opting for succession plans involving other office-holders.
All of this is to say that I think the odds of Jenkins — a Democrat — leaving her respected post to go be a glorified ribbon-cutter for Rick Scott — a Republican — are slim.
It'd be a loss for us. And for her. Quite literally — since her $230,000 salary is almost twice what an L.G. makes.
•Prediction: the Citrus Bowl will get more money. Today's front page carries a story about how renovations at the Citrus Bowl — once proposed at $50 million … then approved for $175 million … followed by an escalation to $190 million — may now top $200 million. They will. While the story was filled with intricate details about how everyone's supposedly studying all the options with a fine-tooth comb, all you need to know is that Mayor Buddy Dyer wants it. And what Buddy wants, Buddy gets. The rest of it's just for show.
•The Tampa Bay Times just reported that Gov. Scott is preparing to pen a book about notable Floridians, including … wait for it … rap star Flo Rida. Sure, two peas in a pod, those guys. If Scott plays his cards right, he might get the rights to a re-election theme: Shawty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low … unemployment.
•Prediction: More casinos are coming to Florida. I've predicted this before. But this week the Legislature received the first part of a $400,000 study it commissioned on gambling. Much as they did with the Orlando sports stadiums, the politicians will hem, haw, act concerned … and then plow right ahead. Gambling is spreading. The American appetite for it is on the rise. And the gambling companies have enough lobbyists and money to buy whatever policy they want from our eminently purchasable lawmakers. The only real battle will be here in Central Florida, where our family-friendly tourism execs are pretty unified against the idea — with legitimate reason, according to one line I found buried in the 307-page report that discussed "the possibility of an adverse impact on business in the Orlando area." So look for more casinos … but not here.
•The Washington Post recently cited a branding study that identified each state by its most recognized corporate brand. Washington had Starbucks. Tennessee had FedEx. And Florida had … Hooters. Talk about a cheap shot. (And perhaps more of a reflection of the study author's fixations.) Besides, everyone knows this state's most famous boobs serve in public office.
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