Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Scriptgate and Other Gifts for a Columnist

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Scriptgate and Other Gifts for a Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: Ron Littlepage

Sometimes the gods smile upon columnists and bless them with a cornucopia of fodder to choose from.

Or, put another way, a plethora of targets for pundits.

Or manna from heaven.

This has been such a week.

Where to begin?

OK, state Rep. Janet Adkins.

It's never wise for a politician to think something said in private will stay private. Just ask Mitt Romney about his 47 percent comment.

During a closed-door meeting with North Florida Republicans last month, Adkins said, "Are there any reporters in here? Any reporters? OK, so inside baseball."

She then threw a high, hard inside pitch, explaining how redesigning U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown's congressional district on an east-west alignment instead of its current north-south serpentine shape would help end the Democrat's long career.


Because that alignment would include a lot of prisons, and the African-American inmates housed there would not be able to vote even though they would be counted as residents for creating a minority access district.

That's exactly what Brown has been arguing the Republicans are setting out to do.

And, oops, a recording of that conversation was leaked to Matt Dixon, a former Times-Union Tallahassee reporter who now works for PoliticoFlorida.

Adkins later apologized, but her remarks offer further proof of just how corrupt the redrawing of congressional district lines every 10 years has become with both parties to blame.

The only hope for fairness is to have an independent, nonpartisan commission doing the work.

Then there was the gift that keeps on giving.

In last Sunday's Florida Times-Union, staff writer Eileen Kelley reported on how the maddening saga of John Keane, the executive director of the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund, gets smellier by the day.

His $227,158 annual pension (set to grow by 3 percent each year after he retires) is bad enough. …

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