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Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Opening Speech Written By Lobbyists?

There was an oddly curious development on the opening day of the legislative session in Tallahassee today. Senate President Jeff Atwater (R) made his opening speech available to the media in Word format.  When the document was downloaded; however, Sen. Atwater did not show as the original author of the speech.  The author?  Public Concepts, a Palm Beach-based lobbying firm headed by political heavyweight Randy Nielson. Nielson’s company pulled in over $4.5 million in work from Republicans over the past legislative cycle, assisting Florida Republicans with bucking a national trend that leaned Democratic.  Was writing the Senate President’s opening speech of the legislative session also a form of payment?  Check out the document and the accompanying story at the St. Pete Times blog located here.

Humorous side note about the speech:  Atwater (or Public Concepts) referenced “a sextant, a navigational tool utilized by explorers from the 16th through the late 19th centuries.”  One problem.  16th century explorers would have had some difficulty using an 18th century invention.  Oh well, maybe those lobbyists will get it right next time…

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Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , ,

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