Before the gavel falls on Tuesday to open Florida’s 2015 Legislative Session, before Gov. Rick Scott gives his annual State of the State missive, there is a final blast from the Tallahassee “river of green.”
“Old Corruptible” makes its last hurrah, before falling silent for the next 60 days.
Today, editorial cartoonist Bill Day casts his razor-sharp gaze on Monday, the closing day of pre-session fundraising.
In the shadow of the Florida Capitol, the underground river crests after making way through the state’s porous limestone, gaining depth and strength, until it bursts forth – a shower of lobby money on South Adams Street that Day refers to as “Old Corruptible.”
Florida law bans legislators from fundraising during session, which begins March 3. Therefore, the previous day – all the way to midnight – will present a flood of campaign cash raging towards a waiting (and willing) flange of legislators, many of whom look towards 2016 re-election.
For a handful of them, their eyes are also on 2018, when Florida chooses its next governor.
As Lobbyist money flows through a number of smaller interconnected capillaries on its way to Tallahassee – as if a mighty river – representing special interests, a few of them actually will support significant issues facing the Legislature.
Those matters impacting every Floridian include school testing and educational standards, water and land conservation, medical marijuana and the wider expansion of gambling and many more.
There is always the possibility the river of lobby money carries good governance, while drowning out the bad.
For “Old Corruptible,” we can only hope.