Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Corcoran Is Not an Easy Man to Put Labels On

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Corcoran Is Not an Easy Man to Put Labels On

Article excerpt

Byline: Tia Mitchell

House Speaker Richard Corcoran is a hard guy to figure out. Some of the things he says and does are downright contradictory.

Take for example his commitment to transparency. Corcoran said he would make the Florida House the most transparent legislative body in history. Not just in Florida, but nationwide.

In some ways he did. He required lobbyists to submit paperwork outlining the bills and issues they were trying to influence during session, and forced House members to outline each budget request by filing standalone bills.

However, Corcoran refuses to concede the later phases of the budget process were severely lacking in the transparency category.

He also pushed through a school reform measure, House Bill 7069, that was finalized behind closed doors and incorporated proposals that otherwise were dead-in-the-water or had not been fully vetted.

These kinds of things make Corcoran an interesting guy to write about. He can't easily be put in a box.

Politicians have experiences and motivations that cause them to act the way they do. Personality, ambition and history shape how politicians approach policy.

Getting to know them provides insight into how they govern.

Which brings us back to Corcoran, a Land O' Lakes Republican I have been watching since his sophomore term when he became the House's point person on health care policy.

That put him at the center of the debate on Medicaid expansion, which the House refused to implement.

Many predict Corcoran will run for some kind of statewide office in 2018, when term limits push him out of the House; perhaps the U.S. Senate or governor.

As I watch him now in the first of his two-year term as speaker, I often think about Corcoran the politician and the man.

He served as a top aide to former Speaker Marco Rubio and it's clear he kept plenty of notes. …

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