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Catfight! Rep. Janet Long files complaint against Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff

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Steve Bousquet reports about a nasty catfight developing between Reps. Janet Long and Ellyn Bogdanoff:

Rep. Janet Long, D-Seminole, filed a complaint with the speaker’s office Tuesday accusing Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, of making “threats of harm and retaliation” against her that violate House rules by impugning the reputation of the House.

Bogdanoff, reached before the complaint was filed, acknowledged she had lost her cool with Long, but denied saying anything threatening.

“I didn’t say anything to her that you don’t hear on the floor, in this building or out in the street,” Bogdanoff said.

At issue: Long’s bill (HB1467) to change the governance structure of the Pinellas Park Water Management District Authority and Bogdanoff’s bill (HB1425) that sought to establish a Broward County inspector general. Bogdanoff wouldn’t agenda Long’s bill, saying it became too controversial. And so Long’s co-sponsor in the House, Seminole Republican Dennis Jones, put a hold on Bogdanoff’s bill in the Senate, though it passed the House unanimously.

In her three-page complaint, Long said Bogdanoff was at her desk on April 22 and accused Long of playing a role in her bill being blocked. ”This is going to hurt you for the next eight years. I am going to hurt you for the next eight years,'” Long quoted Bogdanoff as saying.

Long described Bogdanoff as appearing “very agitated. She shook her finger repeatedly at me. Her head shook in an agitated fashion.” In an accompanying letter dated Tuesday, Long told Bogdanoff that she disagreed that her complaint “would demean and discredit all women in the legislative process.”

Bogdanoff said Long’s complaints and pestering were just part of the job. And so was the tongue-lashing she gave the Democrat.

“I’ve killed a lot of bills,” Bogdanoff said. “When Marco Rubio was House Speaker, there’s a reason he used to call me the angel of death.”

The Juice added this account:

Bogdanoff disputed Long’s claim that she’d threatened to “hurt” her. “There’s no question I was hot, but that’s not my language. I don’t tell people I’m going to hurt them,” Bogdanoff said. The complaint, Bogdanoff added, seems to be motivated by “political purposes.” If she wins a Senate primary against Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, she’d face Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D-Boca Raton, in the general election. “I think the allegation is inappropriate,” said Bogdanoff, who added she was angry over the “retribution” Long and Jones had sought by killing the Broward ethics bill. Bogdanoff added, “Perhaps I intimidated her. I don’t know… It occurs 400 times a day, every day, in the chamber, in the rotunda, and on the streets. People get into disagreements. Happens all the time. You can’t take everything that happens to you in a political environment and file complaints.”

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.

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