Shooting down the conspiracy theory about Rick Scott and SB 1400

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With two weeks left in the 2014 legislation session, conspiracy theories are abound. In fact, this is the second one I’ve written about just today.

The latest? That Sen. Joe Negron is holding up legislation which would offer in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants just so Governor Rick Scott can swoop in at the end, convince enough senators to hear and pass SB 1400, and then get credit in this election year for coming to the rescue of a bill seen as pivotal to winning the support of non-Cuban Hispanic voters.

That sounds like a strategy cooked up by Wile ECoyote.

First of all, a conspiracy like that would involve at least Scott, LG Carlos Lopez Cantera, gubernatorial Chief of Staff Adam Hollingsworth, Senate President Don Gaetz, House Speaker Will Weatherford, and Sens. Negron, and Jack Latvala, as well as some of their staffs. It’s difficult to imagine all of those people keeping such an elaborate plan a secret.

Even if all of these lips could remain sealed, some of the conspirators’ would need to be either really good actors or have incredible poker faces. For example, Sen. Latvala said he was “shocked” by Negron’s maneuvering. Even if Latvala is feigning surprise, as would be necessary for this kind of conspiracy to work, it’s not like Jack Latvala to let himself look like he’s been caught with his pants down.

Also, if there is a conspiracy and Gaetz is in on it, why would he send a letter to his constituents and write an op-ed critical of SB 1400? Could he really be that disingenuous? I doubt it.

Rather, I believe those who tell me this is Don Gaetz’ final kiss-off to a governor he’s never really liked.

Again, there are a lot of conspiracy theories working their way through the capital right now. This Wile E. Coyote conspiracy theory about passing SB 1400 looks as stupid as strapping yourself to a rocket in order to catch The Road Runner.

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.