Last summer I wrote about the curious goings-on in the Florida State House (July 18) and the problems of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll in particular. Carroll had been accused by her spokesperson Carletha Cole of having an inappropriate relationship with travel aide Beatriz Ramos.
Cole, who has her own legal problems, claimed she walked in on Carroll and Ramos in a compromising position. Carroll initially defended herself by claiming that she was too attractive to be a lesbian, but later apologized for that remark.
On Wednesday Carroll announced her resignation as Florida’s Lieutenant Governor. But, at least publicly, it wasn’t because of the sexual accusations. Carroll’s association with Allied Veterans, an Internet gambling site, had become part of a federal investigation that resulted in 17 arrests, including the president of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police.
Allied Veterans—which claimed to be a charity—had given away only 2 percent of the $290 million it had collected over five years. A public relations firm Carroll owns did work for Allied Veterans and the former Lt. Governor—a veteran herself—had appeared in their commercials.
In the end, voters don’t know if it was sex or money that ended the Lt. Governor’s political career. Voters don’t know if Cole’s charges against Carroll and Ramos are true and if there really was a sexual relationship. And voters don’t yet know her part in the IRS and Secret Service investigation. According to party leaders, Carroll resigned because she had become a distraction from work “on behalf of Florida Families.” But perhaps the sex scandal, followed by the financial scandal, was just too much for party leaders.
Politics is a risky business, and it attracts people who have a high tolerance for risk. After all, to win office, politicians have to be willing to tolerate the media prying into every part of their lives. Can it be true that the Lt. Governor was having sex with a subordinate in her office? Or that she’s part of a charity fraud? Either possibility is so outrageous that Florida voters must be happy to see her go.
Photo Source: Movie Masher