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Friday
Jan082010

Five Takeaways from the Week

It has been a long few days of political operative world travel, so pardon the late and shorter version of 5 Takeaways from the week.

 

5.  Florida Emergency Management Director resigns.   It isn't every day that a key member of the state's emergency response team resigns with no notice, especially in the middle of the state's worst cold snap in years.  But given the accusations made about Ruben Almaguer, it should come as no surprise.

4. Rothstein to plead guilty.   Alleged ponzi schemer and occasional world traveler, Scott Rothstein will plead guilty to a variety of charges.  The question on the minds of many---did Rothstein give away anything for his plea deal? 

3. Meggs still after Sansom.  After courts threw out the other charges against former House Speaker Ray Sansom, Tallahassee State Attorney Willie Meggs came back with a few more creative charges.  Even if these don't stick, Sansom isn't out of the woods as a House Committee begins hearings on whether or not he will remain a member of that chamber---and he and future pols in his same boat probably should hope Dan Gelber's honest services bill doesn't become law. 

2.  John Thrasher to become new RPOF Chair.  With a resume that already includes House Speaker, State Senator, Alex Sink donor and Uber Lobbyist, John Thrasher now wants to be chair of the GOP.  Thrasher is a very organized and hard-nosed fundraiser who would surely bring order to the disorder of the Republican Party of Florda.  However, he is also the epitome of establishment, arguably even more 'establishment' than Jim Greer.  Will the grassroots accept that?  We will find out soon.

1.  The GOP Soap Opera Ends:  Greer is Out.  After months of hand-wringing, the GOP finally forced its embattled and controversial chair, Jim Greer, to resign.  Greer, known more for bluster than winning, had managed to alienate both donors and activists, all while running up an endless number of newspaper headlines around his party's credit card spending. 

Now here's the interesting part:  Greer still knows which GOP politicians had access to those credit cards and where they spent party money, undoubtedly with the chance to embarrass at least one or two.  My gut says Greer is a good party guy and holds his powder, but just the fear that he could drop a dime to a Bousquet, Caputo or Deslatte, is probably enough to keep a couple pols from sleeping well at night.

 

HONORABLE MENTION:  Me guest lecturing for Hse GOP Leader, Adam Hasner's grad school class.  I started this morning in Boca Raton (long day that included Miami, Orlando and now St. Augustine), giving a guest lecture for a class at Lynn University taught by Adam Hasner.  Needless to say, I was a little surprised when Adam called to ask me to join him, but I really enjoyed the opportunity.  He's got a good group of students at Lynn, has put together a fun course and I had a good bit of fun. I hope he'll invite me back next year.

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