Mitch Perry Report 2.20.14: Where in the world is Carlos-Lopez Cantera?

  • Have you seen this man? Florida LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera

For critics (like myself) who believe Florida's lieutenant governor position is completely superfluous and lacking any significance whatsoever, Carlos Lopez-Cantera's first three weeks on the job have done little to crack that belief.

Simply put, Rick Scott has done everything in his power to make the job irrelevant. How? By waiting 10 months to replace Jennifer Carroll, who stepped down nearly a year ago
amid fallout from an investigation into Internet cafes that were fronts for gambling.

Scott finally picked her replacement, former state legislator Carlos-Lopez-Cantera, earlier this month.

His first few weeks on the job have been, well, it's sort of hard to describe what they've been, since this public official hasn't been seen too much doing "the public's business," as the phrase goes.

According to the Times' Steve Bosquet, Lopez-Cantera is "the first lieutenant governor in memory whose daily schedule is kept private — off limits to reporters and to the general public." Furthermore, requests by Bosquet to learn what the LG is doing most days have been met with indifference, if not insolence, necessitating a public records request.

What is going on here? Will it take a legislator to bring a bill to the floor demanding that the position be eliminated, or through a vote via constitutional amendment by the public?

Neither will probably ever happen, but that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be a legitimate way of easing this job out of the state's governing system. There's really no need for a position that requires nothing more than a warm body just in case something or somebody should cause harm to the current governor. And if the lieutenant governor post wasn't already superfluous, the Scott administration's rank indifference to the position has made it so.

In other news...Yesterday wasn't a good one for the folks hoping to get PInellas County voters to approve light rail. Ronnie Duncan is stepping down from his role with the Yes on Greenlight campaign following conflict-of-interest charges because he chairs the TBARTA board. And the PR/marketing firm that was slated to carry the measure across the electorate, Tucker/Hall, is also no longer involved.

A study of the "Dirty Dozen" worst laws in Florida was published yesterday. Right near the top was the state's banning of 64-ounce beer growlers, a subject we're watching closely as the legislative session beckons.

CL visited the campaign offices of CD13 candidate Alex Sink yesterday. She brought out three local Republicans who are endorsing her candidacy against the Republican in the race, David Jolly.

And CL was at Tuesday night's community meeting in West Tampa where that so-called night of "wilding" at the Florida State Fairground some 13 days ago was discussed in detail.

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