The Executive Summary: Florida lieutenant governor resigns as probe into non-profit widens
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Edited by Greg Janetka
MADISON, Wisconsin: This edition of The Executive Summary dives into the story of the second lieutenant governor to resign amid a scandal this year, Florida's Jennifer Carroll. We will also bring you up to date with the latest election news and other state executive tidbits from around the country, such as the comeback of former Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade.
Florida lieutenant governor resigns
On March 13, 2013, the public learned that Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll (R) had submitted her letter of resignation to Gov. Rick Scott, effective immediately. Scott's chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, released a statement explaining how Carroll's past relationship with Allied Veterans of the World, a non-profit chain of Internet cafes currently under investigation for illegal gambling, had precipitated Carroll's departure from office roughly halfway through the term, which expires January 12, 2015. After being questioned by state law enforcement officers about her involvement with the companies, Carroll was forced to conclude that her history consulting for Allied Veterans in 2009 and 2010--her last two years serving in the Florida House of Representatives--was a "distraction from the administration’s important work on behalf of Florida families," that she would not tolerate, according to Hollingsworth's statement. "She made the right decision for the state and her family," he added.
The timing of her resignation aligned with the arrest of Chase Burns, owner of International Internet Technologies, who turned himself in to police in Oklahoma on a felony charge of being a fugitive from Florida. He had been wanted in Florida in connection with racketeering and conspiracy charges on March 12. Burns allegedly sold illegal gambling software and then, together with the purchasers, claimed that proceeds from the games would benefit the Allied Veterans. However, prosecutors alleged that Burns made $290 million on the scheme and that less than 1 percent of the proceeds went to the non-profit. Kristin Burns, his wife, had been arrested in Oklahoma on March 11 on charges of being a fugitive from Florida, where she was wanted on charges of racketeering, money laundering, and money laundering.
3 N. & J.C. Corporation, the public relations firm Carroll owned and served as president of, had represented Allied Veterans, and she consulted for the non-profit while serving in the Florida House of Representatives. Carroll was criticized for having a conflict of interest when she pre-filed House Bill 1185 on February 22, 2010. This bill would have imposed various regulations on gaming operators for "sweepstakes" games but exempted non-profit operators from the requirements. The exceptions for non-profit gaming operators, such as Allied Veterans, was removed in a later version of the bill, but Carroll withdrew HB 1185 on February 24, 2010, before it had even been formally introduced. Citing an anonymous Republican Party source, Florida Times-Union online columnist Abel Harding attributed Carroll's decision to withdraw the bill to pressure from party leaders, but the legislator claimed that one of her staffers had "erroneously filed" the bill instead of simply requesting a "placeholder" bill which could be completed later.
Carroll was sworn into office as Florida's 18th lieutenant governor on January 4, 2011. The prior November, she became the first female elected lt. governor and the first African American to be elected statewide in Florida history. Her resignation has left the lt. governor's post vacant. According to Florida statute, the governor must appoint a replacement lt. governor to serve the remainder of the former officeholder's term. Governor Scott has said he won't appoint someone to fill the position until after the legislative term ends in May. Possible replacements that have been mentioned include State Sen. Anitere Flores, Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado, State Rep. Jimmy Patronis, and State Rep. Doug Holder.
In resigning Carroll became the second lieutenant governor this year to be chased out of their term early by scandal. The first, Rick Sheehy (R), resigned as Nebraska Lieutenant Governor in early February after it came out that he had made roughly 2,300 phone calls, many late at night, to women other than his wife over the past four years on his state-issued mobile phone.
Tennessee Labor Commissioner and deputy resign
Karla Davis, the Tennessee Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, abruptly resigned her position on Monday, citing family reasons. Deputy Commissioner Alisa Malone also resigned the same day. Burns Phillips, managing director of the Department of Finance and Administration, was named to take Davis’ place. While Gov. Bill Haslam's press secretary suggested that there were no other reasons for the resignations, the department has been a recent source of controversy.
In fall 2012, Don Ingram, a former longtime departmental administrator, filed suit against Davis, alleging she fired or forced out many longtime employees, himself included. Ingram's complaint implied racism, stating that "virtually every one of the employees who were terminated or forced out" was "Caucasian" while "virtually all of their replacements were of African-American descent." Ingram also cites the controversial hiring of Turner Nashe as assistant Administrator of the Division of Employment Security. Ingram says he first raised concerns over Nashe, who was under indictment in Ohio, when Nashe began to work part time for the department. Nashe joined the staff full time around the same time the charges were dismissed in November 2011. Nashe has also resigned his position.
Attorneys General write Congress
On March 11, 2013, thirteen state attorneys general sent a letter to Congress in support of the Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act, a bill which would ban for-profit colleges from using federal funds for marketing and recruiting techniques. Sponsored by Senators Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), who chairs the chamber's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the law aims to “ensure that scarce federal education dollars will be used to serve and educate students rather than to finance advertising campaigns, recruitment operations, and aggressive marketing.”  Consumer protection is one of the key duties assigned to the attorney general in each state.
According to the law's text, student enrollment at for-profit degree-issuing institutions such as the University of Phoenix more than doubled between 1998-2008, during which time the federal government--through student financial assistance programs--provided 86% of revenues to 15 reviewed publicly traded companies operating these for-profit colleges. A separate analysis of 15 such companies concluded that, on average, 28% of all expenditures were on advertising, marketing, and recruiting. Critics, including the attorneys general responsible for the letter advocating the bill's passage, contend that these expenditures are used to deceive consumers about program costs, graduation rates, or their employment potential beyond graduation. The bill seeks to restrict spending of this nature by higher education institutions or other postsecondary educational institution by prohibiting use of federal loans or grants in specific areas, and requiring that all such institutions whose revenues can be traced to federal educational assistance funds "report annually to the Secretary and to Congress the institution's expenditures on advertising, marketing, and recruiting."
In the letter, the attorneys general urged, “Federal taxpayers should not be asked to foot the bill for aggressive recruiting and deceptive sales tactics of colleges that have placed profits ahead of ensuring student success.” There are an estimated 3,000 for-profit schools nationwide, though neither the letter nor the bill cited the name of a specific institution.
- See also: State executive official elections, 2013
|State Executive Official Elections Results in 2013|
|Office||Incumbent||Incumbent Party||Incumbent Running?||2013 Winner||Partisan switch?|
|Governor of New Jersey||Chris Christie||Republican||Yes||Chris Christie||No|
|Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey||Kim Guadagno||Republican||Yes||Kim Guadagno||No|
|Governor of Virginia||Bob McDonnell||Republican||No||Terry McAuliffe||Yes|
|Lieutenant Governor of Virginia||Bill Bolling||Republican||No||Ralph Northam||Yes|
|Attorney General of Virginia||Ken Cuccinelli||Republican||No||Mark Herring Pending recount||Yes|
|Superintendent of Wisconsin||Tony Evers||Non-partisan||Yes||Tony Evers||No|
|Mark your calendar|
|March 13||Voter registration opens in Wisconsin|
|March 28||Filing deadline for primary candidates in Virginia|
|April 1||Filing deadline for primary candidates in New Jersey|
|April 2||Wisconsin holds general election|
|May 17-18||Virginia Republican Party holds statewide primary convention|
There are three states holding state executive official elections in 2013 -- New Jersey, Virginia and Wisconsin. A total of six officials will be elected. The attention-grabbing positions up for election are Governor of New Jersey and Governor of Virginia. Both made The Washington Post’s list of the top 5 races to watch in 2013.
The first state executive election in 2013 will take place in Wisconsin on April 2. Incumbent Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers is running for re-election. Unlike previous elections where multiple challengers filed to run, Evers only had one challenger submit the necessary signatures required to appear on the ballot.Cite error: Invalid
refs with no content must have a name The filing deadline passed on January 2, 2013. This negated the need for the scheduled February 19, 2013 primary election. The two will instead face off in the general election on April 2nd.
With less than three weeks to go until the election, incumbent state superintendent Tony Evers and challenger Don Pridemore faced off on March 13, 2013 at a meeting of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards in Madison. The race, which is non-partisan, has recently focused on education proposals put forth by Gov. Scott Walker (R) in his budget plan.
Pridemore, a Republican member of the Wisconsin State Assembly since 2005, supports Walker's plan to expand the use of vouchers in the state while not increasing public school spending. Meanwhile Evans, who was first elected in 2009, opposes both measures and wants to increase spending by $225 per student.
Pridemore said budgets are tight and schools should not expect more money. "A lot of these common core standards really started with international standards. Now, why should we be beholden to some worldwide organization that's just trying to dumb down America," he stated.
Regarding school safety, Pridemore proposed allowing schools to have armed volunteers to provide security, which Evers said risks turning schools into the "wild west." While presenting a stark contrast in most of their views, the two did agree in their opposition to Walker's proposal to create a separate school board to oversee charter schools.
On March 17, 2013, the Associated Press reported on the existence of a memo from Pridemore's campaign containing the names of five members of the press who had been blacklisted, along with their affiliated media outlets, for exhibiting what Pridemore considers "liberal bias." The memo was turned over to the AP by one of the blacklisted reporters, Jack Craver, from The Capital Times. The memos said: "If the reporter requests an interview, they must submit their questions in a written form and they will receive a written response to only those questions we want to respond to. These are all LIBERAL's and have chosen to parse words, phrases and spin my responses to fit their agendas. If they continue to spin our written responses, they will be ignored in the future." It further instructed that campaign staffers record and track all interactions with blacklisted reporters on a spreadsheet. The memo did not provide specific examples for the biased reporting that led to Craver's and the others' shunning by the campaign.
Heading into the 2013 election, all three state executive offices up for election this year in Virginia are occupied by Republicans, and none are seeking re-election to their current posts. Term-limited Governor Bob McDonnell cannot run, and Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli is vying to replace to him. Cuccinelli secured the GOP nomination for governor, being the only member of his party to file by the convention’s Jan. 13th deadline.
Lieutenant governor Bill Bolling (R) had also been in the race, but he suspended his campaign on November 28, 2012, citing his slim chances beating Cuccinelli, the tea party favorite, in the newly instated closed primary convention setting. The Republican party of Virginia switched their method for selecting certain statewide office nominees. Effective in 2013, the party nominates its gubernatorial, lt. gubernatorial, and attorney general candidates via convention (that is, delegate vote) rather than statewide primary election.
Although Bolling was explicit about ending his pursuit of a place on the Republican ticket last November, he waited until March 12, 2013 before completely ruling out the possibility of running as an Independent candidate instead.
Following his initial withdrawal from the Republican gubernatorial race, Bolling commented about the alternative of seeking re-election to his current post as lt. governor, stating that, “Under normal circumstances, I would be open to the possibility of running for another term as lieutenant governor, but I would not be interested in running on a statewide ticket with Mr. Cuccinelli.” Bolling made a formal announcement on his decision to end his campaign altogether on his official campaign website on March 12, 2013.
Incumbent Gov. McDonnell, who once again is term-limited and cannot seek re-election in 2013, had previously pledged his support for Bolling's candidacy- in part because Bolling refrained from challenging McDonnell for governor in 2009.
Seven Republican candidates filed for Bolling’s lt. governor seat, while two entered the race to replace Cuccinelli as attorney general.
Democratic primary candidates have until March 28 to file their nominating petitions with the state board of elections. They will be elected at the taxpayer funded primary election on June 11, and the Republican nominee will be voted on by delegates of the Virginia Republican Party at the party-funded statewide primary convention on May 18. The following list of Republican primary convention candidates is official as of January 13, 2013:
Lieutenant Governor candidates
- Corey Stewart - Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors
- Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis (former State Senator)
Attorney General candidates
One by one, names of potential Democratic candidates for New Jersey Governor have defected to a new list of names- supporters of presumptive nominee Barbara Buono, a state Senator and currently the only individual from her party to formalize a gubernatorial bid for the upcoming election. On February 2, 2013, Buono’s campaign reported that it had surpassed the fundraising threshold to qualify for the public funding program whereby candidates who raise at least $380,000 can accept campaign funds from the state--controlled by the state election law enforcement commission--in amount proportionate to what the campaign receives directly from the public. The purpose of the program is to lessen the influence of corporate contributions in elections; candidates who choose to accept public funds may not spend more than $12.2 million on their gubernatorial campaigns, and the maximum amount of public (tax-generated) funds that any candidate may receive is $8.2 million. New Jersey employs a two-to-one matching program for qualified contributions.
By the time Buono reached the qualifying mark, incumbent Chris Christie (R) had already raised $2 million for his re-election campaign. Unlike in 2009, Christie stated that he will not accept matching funds in the 2013 primary. Despite Buono’s expanding campaign coffer and list of endorsements, which now includes the Democratic Governors’ Association, she faces what appears to be an uphill battle. The incumbency advantage aside, Christie’s fundraising prowess and popularity--especially since Hurricane Sandy--among heavyweights from both major parties shield him against an upset in November.
Indeed, a Quinnipiac University Poll released February 20, 2013 reaffirmed Christie’s popularity with New Jersey voters post-Hurricane Sandy. At 74% job approval - "the highest of any New Jersey governor in 17 years of Quinnipiac University surveys" - and 71-23% believing that Christie deserves to win re-election in 2013, the governor is the clear favorite for the 2013 gubernatorial race. According to the poll, Christie's strength is just one of Buono’s weaknesses heading into the primary election season. In a head-to-head match-up, respondents preferred Christie to Buono 62-25, a wide margin that the poll summary suggests is related to her anonymity: 83% of respondents said they did not know enough to form an opinion about Buono. Somewhat ominously for the Buono campaign, this figure indicates that her name recognition has diminished slightly since voters were last asked about her back in Jan. 2013.
Texas Workforce Commission
Former Republican secretary of state of Texas Hope Andrade was appointed to the Texas Workforce Commission by Governor Rick Perry in March 2013 to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of commissioner Tom Pauken. The commission is a nonpartisan state agency charged with overseeing and providing workforce development services to employers and job seekers of Texas.
Andrade had served as Texas Secretary of State from July 2012 until her resignation Nov. 2012. Her appointment is subject to approval by the State Senate. If she is confirmed, Andrade's term as commissioner will expire February 1, 2015.
Washington Director of Agriculture
On March 12, 2013, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced a slew of new cabinet appointments, tapping Donald "Bud" Hover as the next state Director of Agriculture. The director of agriculture is responsible for promoting and protecting agriculture and its dependent rural community in Washington state.
Hover will assume the office on April 1, 2013, succeeding Dan Newhouse, whom Inslee commended for his four years of service but declined to reappoint this year. Newhouse was first appointed to the post by Inslee's predecessor, Christine Gregoire, in 2009.
“Agriculture is one of Washington’s most significant cultural and economic cornerstones...Bud’s experience as a rancher and his work on issues from water to wildlife will be invaluable in further growing this vital industry,” Inslee stated in defense of his choice to replace Newhouse.
Prior to his appointment, Hover served as Okanogan County Commissioner. He and his family run a hay and cattle ranch in Winthrop, Washington. Although Hover will begin his work as director April 1, his appointment is still subject to confirmation by the State Senate.
- Governor: Rick Perry (R) of Texas is the longest serving current governor. He first assumed the office in December 2000 when then-Governor George W. Bush resigned to prepare for his inauguration as President of the United States. Perry was subsequently elected to full terms in 2002, 2006, and 2010. He intends to seek re-election as in the 2014 election.
- Lieutenant Governor: Brad Owen (D) has served as Lieutenant Governor of Washington since January 15, 1997. He was first elected in 1996 and has subsequently been re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. A long time state politician, Owen previously served in the state legislature from 1977 to 1997.
- Secretary of State: When it comes to longevity among current state executive officials, New Hampshire’s SOS William M. Gardner (D) takes the cake. First elected by the state legislature in 1976, Gardner has been re-elected every two years since, giving him a current running total of 37 years in office.
- Attorney General: Iowa’s Thomas John Miller (D) gets the award for longest stint among attorneys general, holding office since winning election in 1994. He won won re-election in 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2010, for a total of 18 years in office. However, Miller previously served in the role from 1979 to 1991, giving him a grand total of 30 years as Attorney General.
Recent news articles
- Maine Gov. LePage may reconsider his opposition to Medicaid expansion March 14
- Liquor privatization bill makes headway in Pennsylvania House March 14
- South Dakota lawmakers approve measure extending wait time for abortions March 14
- Former Kentucky department head crushes ethics violations record March 19
- Tia Mitchell, Miami Herald, "Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns from post," March 13, 2013
- Bill summary for Florida House Bill 1185, accessed March 13, 2013
- Text of Florida House Bill 1185, accessed March 13, 2013
- Abel Harding, Florida Times-Union, "Controversial internet cafe legislation dropped days after introduction," May 8, 2010 (with later correction)
- Florida.gov, "Meet Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll," accessed August 22, 2012
- The Tampa Bay Times, "Florida Lt. Gov Jennifer Carroll resigns," March 13, 2013
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Florida lieutenant governor resigns amid gambling investigation," March 13, 2013
- Florida Statutes, "14.055," accessed August 23, 2011.
- Miami Herald, "Who might be Rick Scott’s next lieutenant governor?," March 20, 2013
- The Wall Street Journal, "Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Resigns," February 2, 2013
- The Commercial Appeal, "Top two officials in Tennessee Department of Labor resign," March 18, 2013
- Times Free Press, "Karla Davis quits Tennessee labor post," March 19, 2013
- The Tennessean, "TN Labor chief Karla Davis, two others step down," March 19, 2013
- The Library of Congress, "Bill Text 113th Congress (2013-2014) S.528.IS," March 12, 2013
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- The Boston Globe, "Attorney generals to Congress: Don’t let for-profit colleges use federal grants and loans for advertising," March 17, 2013
- Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, "Letter to Congress," March 11, 2013
- Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Candidate List-Spring 2013 Elections," accessed January 2, 2013
- Green Bay Press Gazette “State Superintendent Supreme Court Justice will face challenges” Accessed January 8, 2013
- WTAQ “State public school superintendent candidates take jabs at each other” Accessed January 8, 2013
- Walworth County Today, "Wisconsin superintendent candidates to debate," March 12, 2013
- Twin Cities, "Wisconsin: Evers, Pridemore clash in education superintendent debate," March 13, 2013
- WXOW, "Evers, Pridemore clash in superintendent debate," March 13, 2013
- Wisconsin Radio Network, "Stark contrast in state superintendent race," March 13, 2013
- The Republic, "GOP education superintendent candidate's campaign blacklists 5 Wisconsin reporters," March 17, 2013
- The Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Bolling says major announcement set for March 14," February 7, 2013
- The Washington Post, "GOP Fratricide in Virginia," December 1, 2012
- Washington Post, "Bill Bolling decides not to seek GOP nomination for VA governor," November 28, 2012
- The Roanoke Times, "Could Bolling run for governor as an independent?," November 28, 2102
- The Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Bolling says major announcement set for March 14," February 7, 2013
- The Collegian, "Obama victory could cost Democrats Virginia governorship," November 15, 2012
- The Washington Post, "Snyder raises $450,000 for lieutenant governor bid," January 15, 2013
- Washington Post, "Scott Lingamfelter announces run for lieutenant governor," June 28, 2012
- Washington Post, "Virginia Sen. Stephen Martin plans to run for lt. governor," June 20, 2012
- Village News Online, "State Senator Martin decides to run for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia," June 27, 2012
- Washington Post, "Jeannemarie Devolites-David running for lieutenant governor," September 24, 2012
- Washington Post, "Del. Bell to run for Virginia attorney general," December 5, 2011
- NJ.com, "Sen. Buono raises almost $250K in first month of campaigning," January 2, 2013
- The Star-Ledger, "Buono qualifies for public matching funds in N.J. governor's race," February 4, 2013
- New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, "Press Release," June 19, 2012
- Quinnipiac University Poll, "NEW JERSEY GOV FLIES HIGH, BURIES UNKNOWN DEM, QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL FINDS;CHRISTIE CLOSE TO CLINTON, LEADS CUOMO IN ’16 PRES RACE," released February 20, 2013
- The Anahuac Progress, "March 14, 2013
- My San Antonio, "Andrade appointed to Texas Workforce Commission," March 7, 2013
- Washington Governor Jay Inslee, "News releases: Agriculture, early learning and health: Governor Inslee announces new cabinet appointments," March 12, 2013
- Yakima Herald-Republic, "Inslee appoints Okanogan County farmer as state’s new ag director," March 13, 2013
- Washington State Code, "RCW 43.23.002," accessed December 28, 2012
- Associated Press, "Dad: George P. Bush eyeing Texas land commissioner," November 14, 2012
- Office of the Washington Lieutenant Governor, "Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen," accessed March 20, 2013
- Concordiensis, "In Bill Gardner, New Hampshire trusts," Winter 2011
- Office of the Iowa Attorney General, "Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller," accessed March 20, 2013