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Richard Corcoran: The Legislature's most interesting man is also it's most contradictory

Richard Corcoran end of session If he were being cast for a television commercial, House Speaker Richard Corcoran would likely win the part this year as “the most interesting man in Tallahassee.”

He behaves like a street fighter but operates like an Army general, marshaling a small platoon of loyalists to corner the adversary until concessions are inevitable.

The proof came in a daylong victory tour with Gov. Rick Scott, whom Corcoran spent the last year accusing of being a crony capitalist in charge of an “absolute cesspool” known as Enterprise Florida, the state’s corporate recruitment agency.

Rather than punishing Corcoran for the blasphemous rhetoric, Scott rewarded him, inviting him along for the five-city “Victory Tour” and signing Corcoran’s coveted education bill.

Corcoran, a former Republican political operative with more than 25 years of legislative experience, says he is motivated by “principle, always principle.” He told the Herald/Times that, from his unique perspective, this session “was the most transformative and transparent in the Legislature’s history.”

His signature effort, a controversial education reform known as HB 7069, and the governor’s priority, the $160 million in economic development programs, will be viewed “as the model for the rest of the nation, the world,” he proclaimed.

But attached to the superlatives is a trail of contradictions that has raised questions about whether the “disrupter” image Corcoran tried to carefully craft really fits the man. Read more here. 

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