One week after he lost the Republican nomination for governor, Attorney General Bill McCollum asked Florida's ethics watchdogs whether he could lobby the Cabinet -- yes, a Cabinet that could include the man who defeated him, Rick Scott.
McCollum's Sept. 3 letter acknowledged the fact that under state law, he can't lobby his former agency, the attorney general's office, for two years after leaving. But he asked "what entities" are also included under the post-employment restriction. The advisory opinion, to be acted on at the ethics panel's Oct. 22 meeting, concludes that the lobbying ban applies to the governor and Cabinet as a group as well as the governor's office and each Cabinet member individually "for a period of two years after leaving office."
McCollum, who earned $400,000 a year as a lobbyist at Baker & Hostetler between two of his earlier statewide campaigns, asked that his name be withheld from any published opinion. But it wasn't. His letter appears in the agenda materials along with the opinion (File No. 2532) placed online earlier today by the Commission on Ethics.
-- Steve Bousquet