Already a few interesting emails in Gov. Scott's new program that puts his, top staffer's emails online

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Gov. Rick Scott launched a new open records program Thursday dubbed “Project Sunburst,” designed to give the public — and the media — access to the emails to and from the governor and 11 top staff within seven days of writing them, reports Mary Ellen Klas.

At a news conference at the Capitol, the governor touted the effort as a reat leap forward.

“This is a big step and it will be nice as we keep adding agencies,” Scott said. “The public and you have way faster access to information.”To access the system, click here. Domain and password are “sunburst”.

Because I’m an information junkie, I’ve already been prowling through some of the emails and found a few interesting ones.

In Chief of Staff Steve MacNamara’s file, there is a heartwarming email from Eric Thorn in the Governor’s office about “the Cub Scout that I mentioned saved the life of a drowning 3 year old.”

No, the email is not spam. A scout named Conner Ingram really did read a three year-old’s life.

Also in MacNamara’s file is an email from Tea Party activist Matt Falconer offering a lead on “a friend in central Florida who may be of service to the Governor with the Hispanic community.”

I was expecting more out of Communication Director Brian Burgess’ email file.  Reading it, one would think that he is having an affair with AP reporter Gary Fineout, who emails Burgess often.

Actually, the emails from Fineout tell us more about Fineout than they do Burgess, reinforcing the notion that Fineout really is a helluva reporter.

There is a fascinating exchange between Burgess and Serge F.  Kovaleski, a national correspondent for the New York Times.  The email chain has gone on for a month, but the latest reply from Kovaleski is tantalizing enough that it will make you want to read the whole series.  Yesterday, Kovaleski replied to Burgess, writing:

“Your distortions are certainly troubling.

No one from your office, for instance, has responded to us about the decision to select Ms. Corey as a special prosecutor and what the process entailed. If they have, point it out. And no one from your office has responded to us about the conflict of interest cited by Mr. Wolfinger. If they have, point that out, as well.

If you decide that you or somebody else in the Scott administration would like to substantively engage on these issues for the upcoming story, feel free to reach out, absolutely. Short of that, no one here is interested in your games.

Thank you and very best,


Looking through press secretary Jackie Schutz’s emails, it sure is nice of Times reporter Katie Sanders to let her know she will be giving her “heads up” on PolitiFact rulings.


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.