THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: February 24 Briefs
Feb 24, 2009
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: SANSOM COMPLAINANT TARGETS KOTTKAMP
A Clearwater Democratic activist who filed an complaint with the state ethics commission about Rep. Ray Sansom’s ties to a state college he is accused of steering money to has now set his sights on Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp. David Plyer has filed another complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics alleging that Kottkamp misused his office by flying himself and his family for free on state airplanes. Kottkamp said recently that he would pay just under $13,000 to reimburse the state for about two dozen flights taken by his family for free, but he denied any wrongdoing. However, Plyer called Kottkamp’s actions “revolting” in his letter to the ethics commission, dated Feb. 23. “We, the people, pay those we elect to represent us,” Plyer wrote. “We also provide them with money to do the people’s work and to do it efficiently and faithfully. We do not expect them to squander our money to make their personal lives more convenient.” A spokesman for Kottkamp said Tuesday that he was unavailable for comment because he was en route to Tampa for an event.
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: 5 PERCENT PAY CUT PROPOSED FOR MANY ELECTED OFFICIALS
A bill filed Monday by Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, would cut by 5 percent the pay of elected and appointed officials in Florida who make more than $65,000. The measure wouldn’t affect lawmakers because they make less than that, but it would mean about a $6,600 cut for Gov. Charlie Crist, who makes $132,932 and about the same for members of the Cabinet who currently earn $131,604. Others who would get 5 percent pay cuts under the measure (SB 2020) would be Supreme Court justices, most judges in the state, agency heads, state’s attorneys, the elected public defender in each circuit, members of the Public Service Commission and many others. It appears the bill would also cover many big city mayors and commissioners. The bill, which doesn’t have a House companion, hasn’t yet been given any committee assignments by Senate President Jeff Atwater.
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: BARREIRO TO RUN FOR STATE SENATE
Former state Rep. Gus Barreiro, who was recently fired from the Department of Juvenile Justice after porn was found on his computer, has decided to run for the state Senate. Barreiro, who represented House District 107, will run for Senate District 36. A report from Juvenile Justice said Barreiro denied using the computer to view pornography to investigators, but a forensic examination of his computer’s hard drive found 382 graphic photos, 280 of which were located in a folder created under Barreiro’s user name, “cubancigar107.” Barreiro later told media outlets that he had been framed. So far, the only other person to file for that senate race is current state Rep. Julio Robaina, R-Miami.