Gary Fineout on the origins of the Scott vs. Putnam rivalry

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On his blog, the AP’s Gary Fineout explores the origins of the budding rivalry between Rick Scott and Adam Putnam.

Fineout concludes like much of the rest of the political establishment that a Putnam challenge to Scott is “unlikely” but shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, especially those in “Scott world” that Putnam came out so forcefully against Scott’s decision to back the expansion of Medicaid. 

… But that wasn’t the end of the tug-of-war between the Scott administration and Putnam’s office. … Another warning shot from Scott to Putnam came right after the governor signed his first budget into law. In his veto message Scott openly questioned the “value” of two divisions under Putnam including the Division of Consumer Services. He wrote that Putnam’s office had not done a good enough job to justify the money spent on the two divisions and suggested he might eliminate it in the future.

The tension between Scott and Putnam has also been on display during meetings between the governor and the Cabinet. If you watch closely there have been numerous times that Putnam has gingerly waded into some issue, only to cut himself off and not press the item any further. It almost seems as if he wants to say something, but then decides it’s not worth the fight.

… The biggest question moving ahead is whether Putnam, Bondi or Atwater take time to keep up their opposition to Medicaid expansion and actively lobby against it in the Legislature. 

… But with 2014 right around the corner it will be interesting to see whether or not Putnam – as well as Bondi and Atwater – decide to ratchet up their profiles and battles with the governor. 

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.