A few things I think I think about today’s Tampa Bay Times

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Oh my, what a rant I went on yesterday. Unfortunately for the purposes of this blog, it took place on Twitter, so it’s almost impossible to recount it all here and give it justice.

It was prompted by this column by Lucy Morgan — who appears to be as good at retiring as Regis Philbin — who, her editor warns, is “not finished giving advice to Tallahassee lawmakers.”

Actually, the column is light on advice and long on tsk-tsking.

“How in the world could a veteran senator sitting as chairman of a committee that will determine the future of the gambling industry think it’s okay to accept frequent airplane rides on planes owned by a gambling lobbyist?” questions Morgan.

I’m not saying Morgan is wrong to ask this question; in fact, she can ask any question she wants.

But is this gotcha journalism — OMG, a legislator paid full freight to fly on a chartered plane — effective? Has any of the do-gooding done any good? 

Are state politics better off post-gift ban, post-lobbyist fee disclosure, post-term limits? 

No, no, no!

All of these ideas were guilted into existence by lawmakers tired of listening to the whining of editorial boards and reporters, so the media deserves some of the blame for the caustic politics which is all but ruining the system.

Defending the media’s position yesterday during my rant was the Orlando Sentinel’s Aaron Deslatte. The exchange was polite, but sharp as Deslatte bemoaned the “corruption, bribes, graft, revolving doors …”

And that’s where it got interesting.

That’s when I tweeted:

@SaintPetersblog: for every fmr. leg lobbying, I can show you a fmr. reporter working in PR 

And then the conversation spiraled in several interesting directions.

It’s worth reading on Twitter here.

Two quick jabs at Steve Bousquet.

The first relates to this preposterous blog post in which Bousquet writes that my friend Steve Schale “is expected to be tapped to run another campaign — against Rick Scott —  if former Gov. Charlie Crist decides to challenge the governor for re-election next year.”

I respect very much Steve Schale, but Bousquet is reeeaaalllyyy putting the horse before the cart there. 

As Schale is fully aware, the worst job on a Crist campaign is being campaign manager. Besides, the campaign manager on a Charlie Crist campaign is invariably Crist himself.

The second jab at Bousquet involves his speculating about who might replace Jennifer Carroll as Rick Scott’s Lieutenant Governor. There’s a name or two he mentions he is simply regurgitating from speculation which began on this blog.

There’s nothing wrong with that, Steve-o, just give credit where credit is due once and a while. Like the rest of us who have speculated — 10 News, Brian Crowley, Anthony Man, Buddy Nevins, and Sunshine State News – have done in our columns.

You’re not above the rules, Bousquet!

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.