By Michael Peltier
The News Service of Florida
THE CAPITAL, Tallahassee, Nov. 4, 2010…..As promised, Rick Scott reached beyond the Tallahassee political establishment as he began Thursday to transition from candidate to governor, and begin shifting the government in Tallahassee from the Crist administration to the Scott administration.
Scott named Tennessee attorney Mary Anne Carter, who ran his political action committee that fought the federal health care law, as the day-to-day director of the transition, and tapped Washington lawyer Enu Mainigi as chairwoman.
Mainigi works as a lawyer mostly for health care, pharmaceutical and insurance companies and served as Scott’s lawyer after he resigned from health care company Columbia/HCA, which then came under investigation for Medicare fraud. Mainigi also has represented another Scott company under investigation, Jacksonville-based Solantic.
In keeping with his outsider approach, Scott also said he would be looking to the public at large to fill some roles, rolling out a Web site for people who think they have good ideas and want to join the team.
Scott said he’ll be taking suggestions and looking at possible hires through the website. His criteria: Be hardworking, optimistic, honest and willing to look at old challenges with a fresh eye.
“We’re going to lay a foundation for an unbelievable four years,” Scott said. “And the whole focus is going to be getting this state back to work.”
The transition team won’t be all outsiders. It includes outgoing U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and former Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings. Two prominent former Jeb Bush staffers, Sally Bradshaw and Kathleen Shanahan are on the team, as is Sweetwater Mayor Manny Marono, an early Scott supporter.
But despite winning with less than 50 percent of the vote and saying he wants to reach out to vanquished Democrats, Scott put just one Democrat on his transition team, 1980s Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre, who endorsed Scott in the election after being largely ignored by his own party during an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate this year.
“Clearly we’re rolling,” Scott said at a news conference in Fort Lauderdale. “We’re going to get started and keep things going.”
Two sitting lawmakers, Rep. Mike Weinstein, R-Jacksonville, and Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, and one former lawmaker, Bill Galvano of Bradenton, will serve as advisers to Scott and the transition team on the Legislature.
Galvano, the former House rules chairman, said he would help Scott get up to speed on legislative procedures, but also is familiar with dealing with the Senate and the federal government because he was the House’s lead negotiator on Indian gaming.
“(The team) is all individuals who love Florida and have been involved with what goes on in Florida,” Scott said. “Everybody is going to bring different things to the table….I’m truly an outsider…I’m going to take their ideas and make good decisions based upon them.”
The transition team will be based in Fort Lauderdale.
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