One of the top takeaways from MacNamara drama: Don’t screw with Marc Caputo

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It is being widely reported tonight in Florida’s political media that Steve MacNamara has resigned as Chief-of-Staff to Governor Rick Scott and is being replaced by Jacksonville-based political consultant Adam Hollinsworth.

Beyond the obvious political ramifications, there is this lesson: don’t screw with the Miami Herald‘s Marc Caputo.

What other conclusion is there to draw after MacNamara, one of the most powerful figures in Florida politics, resigns less than a week after Caputo went to work on him with his must-read article, “Gov. Rick Scott’s biggest failure: his chief of staff.”

After that story was published, it was all downhill for MacNamara.  MacNamara said as much in his resignation letter, writing that “media attention” played a role in his decision to resign.
MacNamara was planning to resign all along, Tallahassee insiders will tell you, but that’s not the point.  MacNamara was driven from his position, that’s the point.
The conventional wisdom — and when I refer to conventional wisdom who better to quote than Steve Bousquet — held that “lost, for the moment, is that MacNamara had a very positive impact on Rick Scott (more engaged, meeting with ed bds., workdays, etc).”
Yet, what does it matter if Scott was more “engaged” if the product from the Governor’s mansion remained the same?  You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, right?
What does it matter if Scott spent a day hawking doughnuts as a reminder of his “humble” beginnings?
Scott and his policies were disliked, if not despised, before MacNamara was installed and Scott’s policies are still disliked, if not despised, and MacNamara is on his way out.
Kudos to Marc Caputo for noticing nothing changed during MacNamara’s reign.

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.