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Steve MacNamara quits as Gov. Rick Scott's staff chief

From Gov. Rick Scott's embattled and now-former staff chief (we told ya so here) in a letter titled "FYI Friends and Family"

May 12, 2012

Dear Governor Scott,

Allow me to take this opportunity to tender my resignation as your Chief of Staff effective July 1, 2012.  It has been a pleasure and an honor serving you, but the recent media attention I have been receiving has begun to interfere with the day-to-day operations of this office.  I feel now is the time to plan for me to depart, for you to name my replacement and for us to work on a smooth transition.

Most observers, I believe, would agree that we have accomplished a great deal during my year of service here.  A successful session for education funding, job and tax initiatives as well as legislation that will help lower the cost of living for all Floridians was planned and accomplished.  In these hard times, when almost every Florida family is cutting back, you have delivered two successful sessions that will result in billions of dollars in savings to our citizens. 

You are fulfilling one of your major campaign pledges of openness and transparency in state government.  You have met with every major editorial board in the state, you have opened your office to the Capital Press Corps and you have begun the posting of emails on Project Sunburst. All are an effort to help citizens better understand the workings of government.  Your “Let’s Get to Work Days” have allowed you to labor alongside hardworking Floridians.  We both know there are more good things to come in this area.

Your bold efforts in reforming local Workforce Boards have resulted in dramatic changes in the laws which will make this boards more open and accountable and remove any ability for self-dealing, pushing the money out for serious reemployment efforts.  Under your leadership we have seen Florida’s jobless rate drop at a much faster rate than the national average, adding over 100,000 private sector jobs and cutting the cost of government at every level.  Our state has moved into second place among preferred states in which to do business, according to a poll of our nation’s chief executive officers.

These past months Florida, for the first time in decades, has begun to lower its debt service, and you have lead efforts toward the proper funding of our pension fund.  Your Government Efficiency Task Force is well on the way to finding billions of dollars in savings, and as you continue to cut government waste, those vendors of goods and services will work diligently to twist the story and bring about public pressure to stop these cost savings.  Good luck with that!

It is my belief that I have helped Floridians begin to know the real Rick Scott -- a man who listens to them, tries to understand their issues and concerns, and works diligently to help solve their problems.  To continue the good work you have begun, I look forward to working these next few weeks on a successful transition with your next Chief of Staff.  Thank you again for this great opportunity to get to know you, work with you and a wonderful, dedicated staff, and for allowing me to serve our state.  I know we will continue building on the friendship we have developed this past year.

Tallahassee has been very good to me and my family, and while my departure is six months earlier than you and I had originally planned, I believe it is coming at the right time for us.  I know Florida is the greatest state in the nation, but come on … Vermont in July with Liberty!


Stephen R. MacNamara