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Senate president, passing the time, literally

Haridop and JDSenate President Mike Haridopolos can't pass prison privatization. But he can toss a neat spiral pass.
The Merritt Island Republican has been blowing off steam this session by ditching his tie on  sunny Tallahassee afternoons and ducking out of his Capitol office to toss a football on the lawn outside the Senate Office Building. Last week the Senate president's catching partner was Chris Moya, who lobbbies for charter schools, the Seminole Tribe, and other clients. This week, the Senate president's been spotted doing it again.
As frenzied Senate staffers simultaneously answered phone calls and emails, checked the status of bills and amendments, greeted visitors, monitored House floor action and glanced at news blogs, Haridopolos was tossing spirals again on Wednesday to the Senate's budget chief (and his session roomate), Sen. JD Alexander. Haridopolos' football bears an autograph from Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino.
Haridopolos, who lettered in tennis while attending Stetson, is a bit undersized for a Division 1 quarterback. But his right-handed tosses had a smooth symmetry to them -- the kind of symmetry that's been conspicuously absent from the Senate floor in recent days.

-- Steve Bousquet