Shot fired: Kathleen Peters gets in dig at Richard Corcoran – Florida Politics

Shot fired: Kathleen Peters gets in dig at Richard Corcoran

A GOP House member seemingly is taking a swipe at House Speaker Richard Corcoran, a fellow Republican, with a bill that bans sitting lawmakers and family members, including “siblings,” from working for lobbying firms.

Corcoran’s brother Michael is a lobbyist.

State Rep. Kathleen Peters of Treasure Island, who filed the bill (HB 1325), had been “ousted to political Siberia,” as the Tampa Bay Times put it.

Among other disagreements, Peters refused to support Corcoran’s efforts to overhaul VISIT Florida and Enterprise Florida last year.

“A member of the Legislature and his or her spouse, parent, child, or sibling may not have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with a lobbying firm … during such member’s term of office,” her bill says.

The legislation “aims to create a more ethical distance between legislators and lobbyists for the time that members are serving in public office,” a press release from Peters’ office said.

She was in a House floor session Thursday and not immediately available. 

“In recent years, our Florida House has shown a steadfast commitment to ethics reform and closing the revolving door between lobbyists and the Legislature,” Peters said in a statement.

“If the Legislature is serious about ethics reform, then this provision must be included in this year’s effort to ensure a high quality standard of conduct among our public officers,” she added.

“If we agree that members should be banned from working for lobby firms immediately after they leave office, it should be common sense that legislators shouldn’t be working for firms who lobby the government while holding elected office.”

Peters is leaving the House and intends to run for a seat on the Pinellas County Commission in 2018.

The bill, if passed, would not take effect till July 1. Corcoran, of Land O’ Lakes, is term-limited and leaves office at the end of the year. He’s widely expected, at least for now, to jump into the 2018 race for governor.

Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.
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