With Richard Corcoran the Musical debuting this week on Broadway, both the Miami Herald and POLITICO offered interesting reads about the Speaker-to-be.
Unfortunately for the Herald‘s Mary Ellen Klas, POLITICO’s reporting undercut the thrust of her story, while, ironically, reminding me of something Klas recently tweeted.
First Klas’ story, “Corcoran has legislative reforms in mind when he leads Florida House“:
“Working behind the scenes since he won enough pledges to be named speaker of his incoming class in 2010, Corcoran and the 28 members of his class have developed a white paper he calls ‘The Manifesto.’ In it, they outline a plan to blow up the top-down process of House leadership that has allowed special interests to drive a wedge between lawmakers.”
” ‘The special interests are the biggest cowards in this process,’ Corcoran told the Herald/Times. ‘They split up the herd and go after the weak ones, and they’ll even go after the big ones if they think they can.’ “
It’s not that the Herald/Times‘ report is uninteresting, it’s that it’s such a naked attempt by Klas to catch up on the Corcoran beat. Also, the “manifesto” Klas reports about as if its an exclusive from WikiLeaks has been circulating, in one form or another, for quite some time.
Still, Klas’ big read would have been a perfect curtain-raiser for Corcoran’s official designation Wednesday as the next Speaker of the Florida House if it were not for Marc Caputo’s reporting, which is covered in elbow grease from his hard work proving the double negatives of oblique campaign finance reports.
Standing in stark contrast to Klas’ headline is POLITICO’s, which blares, “Future FL House speaker bashes special interests, but spends big on their dime“:
“Charter airplanes. Expensive dinners. Cigars and wine and fancy hotels. The big Republican Party of Florida spending by the House GOP caucus stands out for its size — $238,000 in five months — and also because of whom the bills ultimately trace back to: Rep. Richard Corcoran, who’s to be officially designated Wednesday as the next House speaker.
“Corcoran this spring said he was ready to “declare war on all the special interests … all the Gucci-loafing, shoe-wearing special interests, powers-that-be.” But at the same time, he and other House Republicans charged hefty expenses on the dime of the special interests who traditionally fill party coffers. A peek at some of the sums they spent between Jan. 23, when he began running House campaigns, and the June 30 end of the most-recent quarter:
“$72,000 on charter air service, $69,000 on food and beverages; $20,000 on hotels, $1,000 on cigars, $1,000 in purchases from the Trophy & Awards Center and $1,100 from Cufflinks Depot. Corcoran acknowledged that the sums look large, and he pledged to run House campaigns efficiently.”
Those kind of numbers put Klas’ story about Corcoran seeking legislative reforms in a completely different light, no?
They did for me, at least, when I read them. In fact, comparing Klas’ and Caputo’s reporting made me think of something Klas recently tweeted.
“Solid reminder that good journalism isn’t just about writing things first,” Klas tweeted over a picture of a new mural in the Miami Herald’s newsroom, “but also probing, amplifying, expanding.”
Just like the way Caputo’s story probed, amplified, and expanded upon Klas’ reporting.