Rick Scott's Struggle with Power and Politics

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, FL - "Good morning, everyone. Welcome to the first Cabinet meeting of 2011."

It's a new day in Florida, and along with it comes a brand-new Florida cabinet.

Today (1-19), attorney general Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater, agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam and governor Scott got together for the first time.

But, it's what happened *before* the meeting that continues to make waves.

In his effort to make Florida more business-friendly, the governor asked his colleagues on the cabinet to give him complete control over their departments' regulations.

Their answer...No way.

St. Petersburg Times political editor Adam Smith calls it the kind of public sector shock Scott may not have bargained for.

Smith says, "When you're a CEO, you can snap your fingers, things get done, people take orders. When you're in a government, you've got three equal branches of government, the Legislature's not going to take orders necessarily, even if they're fellow Republicans."

But, before a crowd of more than a hundred journalists, the new governor says working for the people has a distinct advantage over working for the board.

Governor Scott says, "I think it's easier. Nobody comes to me with a deal, ha, so it's all public, so I think it's easier. I like the process, because everybody knows, I mean, everybody knows what I say."

To that, more than a few reporters would beg to differ.
They complain the governor's making another misstep in not being as accessible as a public figure should.

"Some of you think that it's always hard to get enough access with me. I can just tell you the other side - my wife thinks I talk to you guys more than I talk to her."

Aside from pushing back at the governor's attempted power grab, the other cabinet members continue to be on friendly terms with the governor.

In fact, they say it's hard for them not to repeat his campaign trail mantra, 'Let's get to work'.


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