When the 2017 legislative session began, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran said he wanted to clean up Tallahassee by adopting sweeping ethics reforms. Those reforms have advanced about as far as sex and drinking have stopped during the legislative session.
At a time when there is such a severe public trust deficit, our elected officials should be more aware of the dangers of even the appearance of self-enrichment, as well as their relationships with lobbyists, regardless if that relationship is just friends or friends with benefits.
It seems, however, legislator’s insatiable desire for self-gain, pleasure and perpetual re-election outweigh their concern for the public trust.
Today we have a Senate President and a House Speaker who are both employed by law/lobbying firms. They hide behind the “I’m a lawyer” line, but the truth is, their employers directly employ registered lobbyists who lobby the legislative bodies these two men head.
How can this be anything but a conflict of interest? Even if these two men do not entertain matters of their firm’s clients, which is likely all but impossible, the conflict is inescapable.