Joe Henderson, Author at Florida Politics - Page 6 of 15

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including the last nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. I covered a large variety of things, primarily in sports but also including hard news. The two intertwined in the decade-long search to bring Major League Baseball to the area. I also was the City Hall reporter for two years and covered all sides of the sales tax issue that ultimately led to the construction of Raymond James Stadium. I served as a full-time sports columnist for about 10 years before moving to the metro news columnist for the last 4 ½ years. I have numerous local, state and national writing awards. I have been married to my wife, Elaine, for nearly 35 years and have two grown sons – Ben and Patrick.

Joe Henderson: Not just papers; it’s #LoveMyWebsite day, too

On Sunday afternoon, a man carrying an AR-15 assault rifle walked into a popular pizza place in northwest Washington D.C. and began shooting.

No one was hurt, thank goodness and the gunman was arrested.

What he said after being taken away, though, should be a warning to us all. He said he came to “self-investigate” whether Hillary Clinton was using the restaurant as a front for a child sex trafficking ring. Just before the election last month, that story had made the rounds among crazy people who frequent conspiracy-theory websites and believe what they read.

Normally, such a thing would be limited to charter members of the Tinfoil Hat Society. But after the ironically named “fake news” became real news for its impact on the recent elections, I guess we can’t afford to assume people can tell the difference – although I do think a few well-publicized libel judgments against sites that deliberately lie on the scale we just saw might give these miscreants a moment of pause.

I mention this because the hashtag #LoveMyNewspaper was trending Monday on Twitter. That gives me a warm feeling. I worked for about 45 years in the newspaper industry, including nearly the last 42 at the Tampa Tribune before it was bought and closed in May by the Tampa Bay Times.

This is not to lament that day because my attitude is to look forward, not backward. Besides, we know the business side of the newspaper industry overall sucks. The website newspaperdeathwatch.com lists 15 large papers that have closed since 2007 and details cutbacks and layoffs at many others, including the venerable New York Times.

Let’s all just take a deep breath, though. The need for detailed and accurate information doesn’t go away – maybe now more than ever, as the story in Washington shows. That’s where legitimate media comes in.

No matter your political persuasion, you can’t disagree that America is entering uncharted waters. Reporters have always been basically under siege from readers and politicians who don’t like their work, but as the recent national election proves they are more necessary than their enemies would like to admit.

So, I would add to the love for newspapers with another hashtag: #LoveMyWebsite – at least the ones like this one where readers go looking for real information and find it.

Reporters for SaintPetersBlog, FloridaPolitics.com and the Times perform their craft with distinction. They find out things people need to know and they understand the difference between fact and fantasy. That’s what we’re all after.

The Times revolutionized the game eight years ago when it launched PolitiFact, but probably never guessed the Pulitzer Prize-winning site would have to be used, as it was Nov. 4, to debunk the sex-trafficking story with a “Pants on Fire” rating.

And if you a frequent visitor to this site, you understand what a valuable tool it is to help stay abreast of the goings-on in Tallahassee, Tampa Bay and around the state.

When someone is willing to play that kind of mind game to dupe the nation that we see on the splinter sites, you need to ask what else they are willing to do.

The only way to combat that is with inconvenient truths known as facts. That is where reporters come in. That’s where newspapers with resources and willingness to shine a light in dark places are most needed. That’s where websites willing to cover local races with the same vigor as a governor’s race are most needed.

So yes, love your newspaper.

And love your website.

We’re all in this together.

Joe Henderson: Donald Trump ‘saves’ Indiana jobs; Eric Newman asks ‘why not us?’

Eric Newman read news reports of the fight by incoming president Donald Trump to keep the Carrier air conditioning company from moving jobs to Mexico and thought, hey, why not us?

Newman owns the J.C. Newman Cigar Company in Tampa and has been fighting the Food and Drug Administration over regulations that Newman says could put his 121-year-old operation out of business.

So when this lifelong Democrat saw what Trump was doing to save jobs in Indiana, he described himself as “cautiously optimistic.”

“If President Trump is true to his word that overregulation is killing small businesses, we are the poster child for that,” Newman said. “It’s still way too early to tell if he can help us, but I feel better about it now.”

At its peak, Tampa was home to about 150 cigar-making companies, but Newman’s is the last such operation in the city. Other companies folded under increased regulatory pressure by the FDA and health concerns about tobacco use.

But, Newman has always argued that cigars are different from cigarettes and shouldn’t be held in the same category as a cancer risk.

“You go outside an office building, and you’ll see people huddled around smoking cigarettes,” he said. “You don’t see them smoking cigars. It’s not the same thing.”

You can’t blame Newman for feeling his government is out to get him, though. In addition to stringent new FDA rules that restrict the development of new product lines, Newman pointed to an executive order by President Obama that benefited Cuban cigar-makers.

The order allows travelers to bring all the Cuban cigars they want into the United States for personal consumption. Those cigars aren’t subject to the same regulations faced by Newman’s company.

“I have no problem competing with Cuban cigars on an equal footing,” Newman said. “But this exemption by President Obama gives such an advantage to the Cuban worker while screwing the American worker.

“We’re not looking for a handout. But one federal agency says cigars are bad for you, while another federal agency – in this case, the president – says it’s OK to bring in all the Cuban cigars you want. This whole thing with Cuba is just wacky.”

There have been attempts in Congress to address this issue, but despite bipartisan support from U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, they haven’t gotten anywhere.

However, as Newman pointed out, “There will be a new sheriff in town.”

The Trump administration likely will mean an overhaul at the FDA and that gives Newman hope that the added fees and testing requirements that he says drives up his cost dramatically will be reduced or eliminated.

“It is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” he said. “It’s not supposed to be screw the people.”

Joe Henderson: What Democrats missed about Donald Trump, Rick Scott — it’s about jobs

We probably will never know what happened inside Trump Tower recently when Florida Gov. Rick Scott met with the president-elect.

It wouldn’t surprise me, though, if they talked about jobs the entire time.

I mention this because Donald Trump gave a preview this week of what he hopes are coming attractions. He announced that Carrier, the giant air conditioning manufacturer, had agreed to keep about 1,000 jobs in Indiana instead of shipping them to Mexico.

That is straight out of the playbook Scott used to run for governor in 2011, and then to be re-elected to a second term in 2015.

Neither Trump nor Carrier have disclosed details of the deal, but my guess is that none of the affected workers care. That’s where Trump — and Scott — have outfoxed the experts.

Scott has boasted of bringing 1 million jobs to Florida, a claim backed up by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Critics say, with some justification, that Scott and Florida benefited from an improving economy throughout the United States.

I’m a big one for giving credit (or blame) when something significant occurs on a governor’s watch. That’s what happened with Scott.

While his campaign had considerably more bombast than Florida’s taciturn governor, Donald Trump campaigned hard on the issue of jobs. He smartly targeted key Midwestern states — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and, of course, Indiana.

There, he promised workers who lost manufacturing jobs that he had heard their cry and would do something to help them. The Carrier deal is no doubt an encouraging sign.

There is a long way to go, of course. The Washington Post reported that since 1969, Indiana has lost more than 235,000 manufacturing jobs. More pain may on the way, as several companies have announced intentions to migrate jobs to Mexico.

Reality says that even should Trump be successful in offering incentives for those companies to keep jobs here, they likely won’t pay as well as before. Once again, though, Trump can look at what Scott did.

Critics complained that many of those million-plus jobs the governor claimed credit for creating paid subsistence wages at best. They said his tax and incentives policies created wealth for corporate owners while barely paying workers enough to get by.

What all that missed, though, became the central point of the election — both in Florida and this year in the Rust Belt states. When a person doesn’t have a job, particularly someone in middle-age with kids and mortgage, they solely focus on being employed again.

Democrats missed that.

They missed it in Florida against Scott. They missed again with Trump. So, while Trump’s ridiculous tweet about jailing and stripping the citizenship of anyone who protests by burning the U.S. flag got headlines, his deal with Carrier resonated loudly with the people most responsible for putting him office.

As Rick Scott once said, let’s get to work.

Joe Henderson: Jeb Bush, school choice advocates could not be more pleased with Trump’s pick for education secretary

Jeb! Bush generally is considered the father of school choice, especially in Florida.

As Governor in 1999, Bush pushed through the first statewide school voucher program in the nation. He was the champion of grading individual schools on how well students do on standardized testing. He pushed for what became known as “accountability” for public school teachers through a battery of standardized tests.

Boiled to its essence, the philosophy is this: If the kids flunk, it’s the teacher’s fault. It’s not an idle threat.

The school and the teacher can pay the price for that. Schools can get labeled as failing. Teachers can lose their jobs.

”Why should we trap kids in schools that aren’t working?” Bush told the The New York Times in a 1999 interview.

Given all that, it figures he would herald the announcement that Betsy DeVos has been chosen to be the next federal Secretary of Education. She is considered a champion of school choice, including funneling public tax money into schools with a religious background.

She and her husband have been major Republican donors for years. She also served as chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and was the finance chairwoman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. She has conceded that for her efforts and money, she expects a “return on investment.”

Now she has that.

“I cannot think of more effective and passionate change agent to press for a new education vision, one in which students, rather than adults and bureaucracies, become the priority in our nation’s classrooms,” Bush wrote on his Facebook page after DeVos was announced.

A “new education vision” sounds good, but let’s see this for what it really is. That vision likely will amount to an all-out assault on the way public schools are funded and how they educate children, a tactic signaled by new Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

He said a lawsuit against by the state teacher’s union against the corporate tax scholarship program – a deftly named voucher program – was “evil.”

Then he really got rolling.

“They are literally trying to destroy the lives of 100,000 children. Most of them are minorities, and all of them are poor. It flies in the face of common sense, and it defies every single study. It’s downright evil,” Corcoran said at his swearing-in ceremony.

Corcoran is known for blunt talk and power politics, but he outdid himself with this one. To say this lawsuit is “literally trying to destroy” lives is ridiculous and incendiary – not to mention wrong.

I have always believed the worst thing that happened to education in this state is when politicians began seeing teachers as a target instead of an ally. Bush was at the forefront of that. While I don’t doubt his sincerity in trying to address problems in struggling schools, I think his premise – implied or otherwise — that students fail because of bad teachers is wrong.

In many instances, the problem begins at home. Bush and Corcoran should spend a few days in the front office of a public school and listen to the abuse administrators and staff take from parents and students. Full disclosure: My wife works in the office at a local high school, and my oldest son is a teacher.

They are far from my only source on this, though. I hear all the time about students who won’t do their work and cause disruptions in class, only to have the parent file a complaint (or just start screaming) when the student fails.

Would that be different at a for-profit charter school? I doubt it, especially if the operator of the school is well-connected politically. Given Republicans’ zeal to weaken (if not destroy) the teachers’ union though, we will no doubt get a picture now from Washington that “choice” and “charters” are the key to make America great again!

Tallahassee has a head start in taking Florida in that direction. Jeb! couldn’t be more pleased.

Joe Henderson: Donald Trump has political cover to bring Cuba under U.S. umbrella

Fidel Castro is dead!

That was the totality of a simple tweet Saturday morning from president-elect Donald Trump as the world awoke to the news that millions have waited for so long to hear. The exclamation mark was telling about how Americans feel on either side of the issue of restoring normal relations with Cuba.

There isn’t much middle ground. You either believe that is time end the trade embargo between the U.S. and Cuba and restore full diplomatic ties, or you’re in the camp that screams “Hell No!”

About six in 10 Americans believe that we should re-establish relations with that rogue island nation, and that exclamation mark on Trump’s tweet may be a clue on how his administration will proceed. Trump has criticized President Obama’s executive actions to open commerce and reduce restrictions with Cuba, but the incoming chief executive now has the opening hard-liners have always said was the first step to pushing ahead with reform.

Those people wanted Castro gone, and by the time you read this, his body will have been cremated into ashes. It doesn’t get much more gone than that.

With Castro dead and the beginnings of a move toward reconciliation under way, Trump has political cover to push ahead with moves to bring Cuba back under the U.S. umbrella. Raul Castro, Fidel’s 85-year-old brother, remains in charge of Cuba, but he likely is contemplating his own mortality this morning.

If Trump moves swiftly to build on President Obama’s initiatives, it could lay the groundwork for lasting reform with the next Cuban leader – whomever eventually takes charge.

It will be a tricky game of global intrigue, though. The next world war will be over trade and commerce, and Cuba represents a big prize 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang visited Raul Castro in September, resulting in the signing of 30 trade agreements between the two nations. Vladimir Putin dropped by for a visit in 2014 and to tell Raul that he was forgiving Cuba’s debt to Russia. Many other nations have been doing business for years there.

Trump ran for president based largely on his business acumen, and now he will have the opportunity to show that. He can make a difference, because there are two Cubas.

Don’t be fooled the singular picture of an emerging, vibrant Havana. Once you get outside the city, a different story emerges. There, the Cuban people still struggle for basics like fresh water and adequate housing. Wages are stagnant. While Cuban heath care has made significant advances, many people need help to even obtain things like vitamins.

Human rights violations still occur. Government censorship remains the norm.

You can expect a lot of tough talk in the coming days and weeks that America should keep the sanctions in place until Cuba adopts a democratic form of government. But this also is a chance for a major move by the incoming president to rebuild ties with a nation that has been a source of irritation since Castro swept to power in 1959.

It’s a new dawn.

As Trump said, Fidel Castro is dead!

That’s what people wanted. Now they have it.

Joe Henderson: Look for Pat Kemp to turn Hillsborough Commission on its ear

Pat Kemp officially joined the Hillsborough County Commission when she was sworn into office Wednesday. If she stays true to her nature – and there is no to believe she won’t – Kemp might just turn the Commission on its ear.

I hope she does.

Most politicians like to play it safe and tell voters what they want to hear. Pat Kemp’s style is to tell what she believes they need to hear.

Get used to it.

Running for a public office isn’t easy, but I think Kemp has had to work harder for her seat than most. It seems like she has been campaigning nonstop since she was defeated narrowly by Al Higginbotham in 2014. That’s when she set her sights on the District 6 countywide seat this year. She handily defeated a tough Democratic primary field in August, then beat Republican Tim Schock in the general election.

Why so determined?

Spend a few minutes with her, and you’ll understand. This former aide to U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor is perpetual motion and passionate about accomplishing as much as she can. When she gets going, she tends to talk in breathless run-on sentences while waving one hand and using the other to check her phone.

It stands to reason, then, that Kemp believed winning a seat on this government body was a must-do because that’s where decisions are made that affect everyone.

It won’t be the same-ol’ approach to solving transportation problems, that’s for sure. Kemp made transportation the cornerstone of her campaign and voters have clearly shown they believe finding a solution is a top priority.

Commissioner Sandra Murman said Wednesday at Kemp’s swearing-in that she was glad to have another woman on the board. That is no doubt true, but we also safely guess that if Murman still proposes Band-Aids for transportation she will find Kemp an exasperated and sharp voice of opposition.

Kemp won’t play it safe, either. She blasted the ill-fated “Go Hillsborough” transportation plan, but not because it was a sales tax increase. She hated it because it was all about roads and cars and didn’t go far enough to address the area’s real transit needs.

As she says on her Facebook page, “Simply stated, a good transit system is the gas that makes cities go.”

True, Kemp is just one vote on a body where most of the members have been around for a while. Ken Hagan was first elected in 2002. Higginbotham has been on the board since 2006. Murman, Victor Crist and Les Miller have been commissioners since 2010.

To accomplish what she wants, Kemp will need to convince them to take chances and do what’s right for the county, even if it isn’t right for their political careers. That won’t be easy.

Regardless, though, I think we can make one assumption with no fear of being wrong. There is a new voice on the board, and by golly, it is going to be heard.

 

Joe Henderson: Despite opposition, ‘campus carry’ returns

Remember that measure some Republicans in the Legislature have tried to pass the last couple of years to allow guns on college campuses?

You know, the bill the House passed last year before it died in the Senate (thank goodness).

Well, it’s back.

Of course, it’s back. It never really left, and it won’t leave until the National Rifle Association finally rams this thing into law.

Never mind that a survey last year by the University of South Florida showed 73 percent of Floridians oppose allowing the state’s 1.4 million concealed permit holders to tote their weapons on campuses. Doesn’t matter.

Every state college and university president opposes this idea.

Doesn’t matter.

The Florida League of Women voters is against it. Really doesn’t matter.

As the Tallahassee Democrat reported, incoming Sen. Greg Steube, who pushed this idea while in the House, said, “I don’t see how you can say it’s not a more favorable landscape.”

Favorable for what? Favorable for foisting something through against the will of the people?

If this went to a popular vote, it likely would be crushed. Just because the political climate might be, in Steube’s words, “favorable” for passage doesn’t mean this is the right thing to do. Of course, logic is another thing that doesn’t matter when talking about guns.

The evidence is overwhelming that the NRA and its legislative minions don’t care who opposes them, how many oppose them, or how whacked the idea of bringing guns more into the everyday college mainstream seems to be.

I will save proponents the time of typing a rebuttal, because I know what they will say: Since only holders of concealed permits will be able to legally carry, what’s the problem?

The problem is what comes after that, when their insatiable thirst for gun expansion needs to satisfied again. We already know that enough is never sufficient for the NRA. This is an organization that wouldn’t give ground when 20 elementary school students and six adults were slaughtered in Newtown, Connecticut.

The NRA’s answer to every problem is a gun.

To these people, guns seem to matter more than anything.

So, of course, the idea of legalizing guns on college campuses is back. You can’t kill this idea, no matter how much opposition there is among the citizens of this great state. This is the zombie apocalypse of lawmaking.

Maybe that’s why some of the more strident Second Amendment folks vow you’ll have to pry their cold, dead fingers from their guns.

Joe Henderson: Kevin Beckner made a difference, which should never be forgotten

All politicians start out by saying how they want to make a difference. Well, Kevin Beckner did.

His now-former colleagues at the Hillsborough County Commission acknowledged that Wednesday during his final meeting as a member of the board. He is leaving because of term limits after serving eight years.

Yes, Beckner was the first openly gay man to serve on the commission, which by itself was highly significant given that just a decade ago Hillsborough banned any recognition of gay pride at county-sponsored events. Former Commissioner Ronda Storms even stipulated the ordinance would be spelled with lowercase “g” and “p” in case anyone doubted we were serious around here about bigotry.

When Beckner led a contentious but successful push to overturn that law, he stipulated it would be spelled with a capital “G” and “P” in case anyone doubted it was a new dawn.

Beckner wasn’t a one-issue commissioner, though. Far from it.

He pushed for juvenile first-time misdemeanor offenders to be issued civil citations so they wouldn’t be tagged with a police record so early in life.

He championed the push to shut down pill mills and insurance fraud. He pushed for the county to amend its Human Rights Ordinance to include prohibitions against discrimination based on sexual or gender identity.

He was a strong voice for transparency in government and fiscal restraint. He helped create an animal abuse registry so that people convicted of abuse on our four-legged friends could no longer own an animal.

But the thing that always stood out to me about Beckner was his determination. Once he set his mind on accomplishing something, he went after it with a righteous zeal. He is one smart guy, too. If you wanted to debate him on an issue, you had better come armed with the facts to back up your argument.

He pushed for the board to act on tough issues when it was clear some members would prefer to avoid that, oh, forever.

It is true that his campaign for Hillsborough Clerk of Courts was basically a disaster. It was sometimes over-the-top negative against incumbent icon Pat Frank, which was out of character for Beckner. I think he would have made a fine Clerk, but going negative backfired and Frank beat him easily last August in the Democratic primary.

Beckner has a lot of fences to mend after that, but here’s where the bigger picture needs to evolve for local Democrats who say they’ll never get over what he did. Beckner is exactly the kind of person needed in government.

We need intelligence. We need visionaries. We need people whose motto isn’t go-along-to-get-along. We need boat rockers. We need people who can take the heat. We need people who aren’t afraid.

Kevin Beckner checks every box and he made a difference. That never should be forgotten.

Joe Henderson: Facing many hurdles, Bob Buckhorn could make a good governor

The rebirth of downtown Tampa brought inevitable speculation that Mayor Bob Buckhorn might parlay it into a shot at the governor’s mansion in 2018. The job obviously has appeal for someone like Buckhorn, who likes a big stage and challenge.

Asking him to tip his hand about a possible run, though, has proved to be a necessary, but ultimately fruitless, endeavor.

As he told Mitch Perry of FloridaPolitics.com Wednesday, “Like a lot of people who are contemplating the future, you have to sort of sift through the carnage of last Tuesday and see what the landscape is, see whether or not there’s a path for victory for Democrats there, whether I’m the guy that can carry that torch, that I can inspire people to follow my lead.”

He then added, “ultimately it’s gotta come down to whether in my gut whether this is something that I want to do.”

Oh, I think a big part of him wants to do it. I also believe Democrats have a path to victory in the race to succeed Rick Scott. Whether Buckhorn can lead his party down this road and win is another question, though.

I like Buckhorn. I like his style. I like what he has done as Tampa’s mayor. I like his determination. I have known him for a long time, dating to his days on the Tampa City Council in the 1990s. I think he would make a good governor.

Whether any of that matters won’t be decided for a while and Buckhorn has a lot of hurdles to overcome, starting with his own party. U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham from Tallahassee has all but declared her intention to run, and high-profile attorney John Morgan might get into the race as well.

Graham is the daughter of one of Florida’s legendary politicians, former Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. Morgan has been on TVs around the state nearly every night for years with his relentless “For the People” slogan, and voters just strongly approved his signature issue — making medical marijuana legal.

Escaping the shadow of either of those two would be a huge challenge for Buckhorn, or anyone else.

Plus, statewide Democrats may have a case of Tampa Bay Fatigue. There have been four races to be Florida’s governor in this century and a Democrat from the Tampa Bay area has been atop the ticket each time — Bill McBride (2002), Jim Davis (2006), Alex Sink (2010) and Charlie Crist (2014).

They all lost.

Buckhorn is a loyal Democrat, though. He went all-in for Hillary Clinton in this year’s election and worked for Barack Obama here before that. He has been outspoken in his disdain for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. That’s all fine, but Clinton lost, Rubio won, and Obama is leaving office.

One thing to keep in mind: Buckhorn isn’t afraid of losing.

He lost in a primary for state House seat in 1992. He finished third out of five candidates running for mayor in 2003. And then there was the humiliating loss to former pro wrestler and first-time candidate Brian Blair in a 2004 county commission race.

He came back to take an upset win for mayor in 2011 and was re-elected without serious opposition.

Buckhorn always says being mayor of Tampa was his dream shot. Whenever I’ve told him it looks like he never sleeps, he responds that there will time to sleep when his second term is up. Whether he decides to postpone that nap to run for governor remains to be seen.

At this point, I don’t like his chances.

But knowing Buckhorn, he will figure out a way to be involved even if he is not on the ballot. He loves this stuff too much.

Joe Henderson: Looks like Donald Trump insider Pam Bondi is movin’ on up

It great to have choices, especially the kind in Pam Bondi’s world these days.

If there was any doubt about her clout with President-elect Donald Trump, that was put to rest when she was named to his transition team executive committee late last week.

This is as close to being brought into the official Trump family as one can get without bloodlines. It’s a team of power figures that includes Trump’s children, several important lawmakers, and key insiders whose work helped him win the election.

Trump clearly believes Bondi deserves “insider” status.

“I’m honored to serve President-elect Donald J. Trump in making this historic transition and assisting in finding the best individuals to bring change to Washington on Day 1, grow our economy, protect our children and families, and be unafraid to stand up for Americans,” Bondi said in a statement.

No one will be surprised if Florida is looking for a new attorney general soon. I don’t think Trump brought Bondi in this close to merely shake her hand when the transition is done and say, “Hey, thanks. Appreciate it. See you in four years.”

And Bondi, who is nothing if not ambitious, must know this is the time to jump. It won’t be long until the wrestling match for slots in the 2018 statewide and U.S. Senate races begin in Florida (I know, I know … sorry) and Bondi doesn’t seem to have a natural fit anywhere.

She hasn’t been mentioned in any serious chatter about running for governor. Her current boss, Gov. Rick Scott, seems to have his eye on Bill Nelson’s Senate seat. Bondi’s best bet might be to get what she can now with Trump and see where that takes her.

If she does join the administration, there are a lot of people who will consider it a quid-pro-quo for Bondi’s look-the-other-way performance on questions about consumer rip-offs in Florida by Trump University. The $25,000 campaign check Trump wrote for Bondi’s 2014 race might come up a time or two — or several thousand.

It sure has the look of something cozy.

That’s the thing about her, though.

That ambition-driven interior is covered by a Teflon exterior. Nothing seems to stick to her. Don’t forget, Bondi originally backed Jeb Bush for president, only to swear allegiance to the candidate who insulted and trashed him.

Trump won Florida by 1.3 percent, or about 120,000 votes out of about 9.3 million cast. Did Bondi’s support help swing the necessary votes his way? I doubt it. I think Trump voters chose him for reasons that had nothing to do with Bondi’s endorsement.

Once she was on Trump’s team, though, she was all in — and the incoming president didn’t forget that. Now that the race is over, she has moved to the head of the line for whatever awaits. I suppose it’s possible she could come back to finish her remaining two years as attorney general.

At this point, though, it seems a lot more likely that she is headed uptown.

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