As Governor Crist prepares to deliver his third State of the State address, those liberals so anxious to support the teflon governor that waltzes to Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon may want to think again. Not only has Crist helped send the state into a major budget crisis by pushing the slashing of property taxes, but his government run solution to the insurance crisis will likely leave the state broke should a major Hurricane hit in 2009, and he trivialized his first major decision as a Gubernatorial candidate.
While Jeff Kottkamp deserves our praise and admiration for his valiant fight for his life many years back, the selection of the Lee County lawmaker as Lieutenant Governor was simply put, a joke orchestrated for political reasons. After three successive well qualified and visible Lt. Governor’s Crist choose to select an obscure lawmaker with little substance to his record, but one key qualification: he hailed from a professional association that has for years funded Democrats to a greater tune than Republicans.
Kottkamp is a trial lawyer, and his selection was a cynical political maneuver that worked, disarming the funding of Jim Davis at a critical moment in the campaign. Worse yet, the LG doesn’t have the stature or capability of his three immediate predecessors who elevated a relatively new office (formed in 1968) to an important symbolic position.
Now we learn that Kottkamp has gallivanted across the state with his family on the state dime. If this had been Buddy MacKay or Frank Brogan, I personally would be less offended. Both those men along with Toni Jennings, the former two time Senate President brought a seriousness to the post. Their travel was often times important to state Government.
But Kottkamp is a trivial figure whose travels and functions have reduced the office to splendid insignificance. While some editorials have recently asked the point of the office, this would not be an issue if Crist had not made such a terrible, blatantly political pick. His selection of Kottkamp makes Richard Nixon’s selection of Spiro Agnew look like a stroke of genius.