Don't Ya Just Love it? Pam Bondi Blows Off Bubbletown
Around the State
State officeholders serve the state, not the state capital. So, good for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi who had the guts to break out of the Tallahassee bubble.
It drives the capitol press corps nuts, this wanderlust Bondi's got.
Everywhere you look these days, there she is, laughing it up with Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, working the GOP mystique with Rudy Giuliani in Tampa, guest-gabbing on national television. Face it, Pam Bondi has manufactured a little celebrity and become a darling of the Republican Party.
Well, we can't have that. We in Tallahassee can't have her running all over creation without telling us. Reporters are here to cover state leaders and, by God, state leaders have no business galavanting around the country or going home whenever they want.
"State statutes say Bondi is to reside in Tallahassee and keep her office in the Capitol," wrote Tia MitchelI of the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau.
So, take them statutes, Madam Attorney General.
Except that the attorney general complies with the law. She rents a house in Tally and the office comes built in -- it's right off the Capitol lobby. In fairness to Mitchell, her story did point that out. What it didn't mention is that the law is so vague, it gives no clue what percentage of her time must be spent in Tallahassee.
The truth is, so strange is the karma up here in the capital, a get-out-of-Tallahassee week should be a once-a-month mandate for all policymakers.
It blows my mind how quickly lawmakers and those who feed off them -- their bureaucratic handlers, the lobbyists, the press corps, and the press handlers like high-powered flacks who profit off of Tallahassee centric governance -- can arrive in town and careen from zero to 100 on the ain't-I-swell-o-meter.
How quickly this self-important lot piles into the capital bubble. And there they all live for as long as they call Tallahassee home.
In the capital bubble, everything is the most important thing.
Bubbletowners fill their days having conversations with themselves, with people who think just like they do. And they believe -- truly believe -- that the folks in Miami, Ocala, Leesburg, Clearwater are hanging on their every word.
Hanging out full-time in Bubbletown is the best way I can think of to twist or lose touch with the things Floridians want or need for their families and for their state. And Pam Bondi knows it.
She clearly wants to be closer not just to home in Tampa, but near a substantial population center.
Fifteen years ago, this Times/Herald story might have been quite a shocker. But today, technology and able staffs have given statewide officials an opportunity to reach out, to spread their wings. Bondi has no state-issued car for travel. But she gets to Cabinet meetings, no problem.
Nothing unnerves the keepers of Bubbletown more than seeing electeds leave it behind.
Bondi is on the side of the angels.
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-0859.