Crisis in Tallahassee? Stay calm people. The resignation today of Florida's lieutenant governor means little to the overall body politic.
The Federal investigation that led to her resignation is unpleasant - for her. And it certainly does not help the image of Gov. Rick Scott who judgement on a host of issues has led to him being one of the nation's most unpopular governors.
The most difficult part of all this for Scott is the fact that he must pick a replacement for Carroll. Already in campaign mode, Carroll is doing Scott a huge favor by getting out of the way now. Still, Scott is going to have to careful about his next selection.
Will he try to appease the Tea Party be picking someone that makes those folks happy? They are a bit ticked off with Scott after his embrace of ObamaCare, his proposal for across-the-board teacher raises and other issues where Tea Party advocates believe he has strayed to the left.
Or, will Scott look for a moderate?
Whoever he picks, that person will be dissected by the Tallahassee Press Corps, Democrats and even some GOP opponents.
A couple of quick names:
Former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff. She lost a her seat to Democrat Maria Sachs but Bogdanoff, 53, could help Scott in Broward and Palm Beach counties. More importantly, she could be very effective for Scott in pushing his agenda in the state Senate. At this point, he needs all the help he can get. If Scott has a miserable session, it's not going to help him during next year's campaign.
BOGDANOFF UPDATE: BUDDY NEVINS AT BROWARD BEAT.COM quotes Bogdanoff as saying: “If the governor called, I would be glad to have that conversation.” Read more here.
Bill McCollum. Okay stop chuckling. McCollum is not especially fond of Scott but he is even less
fond of not being in public office. McCollum could be a safe pick, a GOP establishment figure, and someone who could do more than just wait for Scott to croak.
Of course there are others who should be on the list. If you have any ideas share them. We know the gov's office looks here.
BREAKING: WCTV is reporting a raid in Tallahassee: About a dozen
WCTV was first on the scene this morning. Our reporter arrived just after 9 a.m. At that time, investigators were waiting outside the café. A locksmith let them inside the building. More from WCTV here.
BREAKING: Tampa Bay Times is reporting: It's unclear if Carroll is the target of any criminal charges. Attorney General Pam Bondi and law enforcement officials have scheduled a 2:30 p.m. press conference in Orlando to discuss the case. Gov. Rick Scott also has announced an afternoon press conference. More here.
Now back to our regularly scheduled post:
Scott's chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, issued this statement about Carroll's resignation:
“Individuals were arrested Tuesday for a racketeering and money laundering charges in connection with Allied Veterans of the Worlds illegal gambling companies. Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll consulted for Allied Veterans while serving as a member of the Florida House of Representatives in 2009 and 2010.
"She was interviewed by Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers Tuesday regarding her work with the company. Lt. Gov. Carroll resigned in an effort to keep her former affiliations with the company from distraction from the administration’s important work on behalf of Florida families. She made the right decision for the state and her family.”