Members of Rick Scotts transition team will be barred from lobbying state agencies for one year once he takes office, the governor-elect announced Wednesday from his transition headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.
The ban will not be extended to other elected officials, such as incoming Attorney General Pam Bondi or Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who will have to make up their own rules, but Scott said the ethical code of conduct will govern and be signed by all members and agency heads he appoints to prepare for his succession in January.
During my service with the transition and for one year thereafter, I will not lobby any state agency (excluding other constitutionally elected officers), on behalf of any other person or entity (except for any federal, state, or local governmental entity for which I am an employee), the code reads. I will promptly cause my firm or organization to establish reasonable procedures to assure that I will not participate in any undertaking with respect to which I am affected by this provision.
Scotts transition ethics code also goes even further than the $25 gift ban currently enforced for lawmakers and state employees by barring team members from accepting anything of value that could be construed as an effort to curry favor as transition officials dole out state jobs.
I will not solicit or accept anything of value based upon any understanding that my responsibilities during the transition would be influenced by such a gift, including in exchange for a promise to support or use influence or referring or obtaining for any person any appointive office or place in the state of Florida, the code states.
In other action Wednesday, Scott tapped Gov. Charlie Crists government transparency guru Pat Gleason to oversee open government efforts during his transition. Gleason is recognized as the leading expert on Floridas Sunshine and Public Record laws, Scott said.
Additionally, Scott hired former Solicitor General Christopher Kise to serve as legal counsel to the transition. Kise served on Crists 2006 transition team as well.
Crist and former Gov. Jeb Bush each issued a similar mandate when they came to power in 2006 and 1998 respectively, but their bans were limited to the area's officials worked on in the transition. Scott, however, bans anything involving the executive branch.
Scott and Crist met earlier this week in Tallahassee, though neither said much about the specifics of their meeting. "Our goal is to have a smooth transition, and I'm looking forward to getting to work," Scott said.
Work hard, which Im sure he will, Crist told reporters before the meeting when asked what advice he would have for the soon-to-be 45th governor of Florida. Do the best you can. Enjoy the job. Its a great gig.
Scott named several members of his transition team last week, tapping Tennessee attorney Mary Anne Carter, who ran his political action committee that fought the federal health-care law, as the day-to-day director of the transition. Washington lawyer Enu Mainigi is chairwoman of the group.
Other members include outgoing U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and former Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings, as well as two prominent former Jeb Bush staffers, Sally Bradshaw and Kathleen Shanahan.
Also named to the transition team were Sweetwater Mayor Manny Marono, an early Scott supporter, and former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre, who endorsed Scott after being largely ignored by his own Democratic Party during an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate this year.
More announcements are expected soon.