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Sunday, September 5, 2010

How Jennifer Carroll proves the political history of Florida isn't quite what it used to be -and neither are the news media's memories, either


To the blog readers who were kind enough to email me and ask -perhaps tongue in cheek- if I noticed that "Correction" in the Miami Herald on Friday, I did.
Actually, I noticed the mistake in the original article on Thursday, below.

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http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/09/02/1803901/scotts-likely-no-2-navy-vet.html

Miami Herald

Rick Scott's likely No. 2: Navy vet
A Republican victory in November in the governor's race could produce Florida's first black lieutenant governor. Jennifer Carroll is likely to be Rick Scott's running mate
By Steve Bousquet, Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau
September 2, 2010

Rick Scott's running mate on the Republican ticket for governor is expected to be state Rep. Jennifer Carroll, a U.S. Navy veteran and mother of three who, if elected, would be Florida's first black lieutenant governor.

Scott will unveil his pick Thursday in a campaign fly-around beginning in Jacksonville, a major hub of Republican voters near Carroll's home in Fleming Island.

In choosing Carroll, Scott, himself a Navy veteran, would get a woman with a distinctive personal story who could neutralize the gender appeal of his Democratic opponent, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink:

In a state where one in every seven voters is black -- and nearly all are Democrats -- Carroll is a black Republican.

As a native of Trinidad, Carroll is an immigrant who could help soften Scott's hard-line image on an issue that cuts both ways in a state with a large immigrant population.

She packs a celebrity punch: Her son, Nolan II, is a rookie cornerback and kick returner for the Miami Dolphins, drafted out of the University of Maryland.

"She's an immigrant and she worked her way up and she did everything through hard work. That's very similar to Rick's background. There's a lot of similarities between the two of them,'' said Jen Baker, Scott's campaign spokesman.

Carroll, 51, made Gov. Charlie Crist's short list of possible running mates in 2006, and she was among those listed as possible successors to Mel Martinez, who resigned his U.S. Senate seat last year.

Scott's camp is aggressive in challenging what it considers off-base speculation on political blogs. When blogs named Carroll as his pick Wednesday, the campaign raised no objection.

Lieutenant governors in Florida share one common trait: obscurity. The office did not exist before 1968 and it is unique in that no job description for it exists in state law.

Strategists agree that the selection of a running mate is largely a media fixation that matters little to rank-and-file voters, unless the choice backfires.

"The first rule of a lieutenant governor candidate is to not get in trouble,'' said GOP strategist and lobbyist J.M. ``Mac'' Stipanovich. "As a candidate for governor your choice of a lieutenant governor does little for you, but this one is intriguing.''

'A GREAT MESH'

Leslie Dougher, county GOP chairwoman in Carroll's home of Clay County, praised the choice as "far-reaching.''

"It would be a great mesh,'' Dougher said. "Mr. Scott is from South Florida and Jennifer is from North Florida.''

Sink's running mate is Rod Smith, 60, a former state senator and elected state attorney from Alachua County who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006.

"I don't have time to speculate, really,'' Sink said in Miami Wednesday. ``I'm just waiting to see what his announcement is.''

BACKGROUND

Carroll moved to Florida in 1986. She and her husband, Nolan, have three children.

She became the first black Republican woman elected to the Legislature in a special election in 2003.

She retired after 20 years in the Navy, where she rose to the rank of lieutenant commander aviation maintenance officer.

She has a bachelor's degree from the University of New Mexico and a master's degree in business administration from St. Leo University in Pasco County.

Her official legislative biography notes that she is a life member of both the NAACP and the National Rifle Association.

Her record is not free of blemishes, however.

Six years ago, after news reports that she listed a degree from an online ``diploma mill,'' Kensington University in California, she dropped the reference from her official resume.

"This causes me great concern,'' Carroll told the Florida Times-Union in 2004. ``It's a lot of time, effort and money poured into a university I thought was a viable program.''

Last spring, Carroll filed a bill regulating certain electronic sweepstakes games. The Times-Union reported that Carroll confirmed that her public relations firm, 3 N. and J.C. Corp., represented Allied Veterans of the World Inc., a veterans' group that sought to legalize the slot-like machines.

Carroll quickly withdrew the bill (HB 1185) and said a staff member filed the legislation without her approval.

Carroll does not have a distinguished record as a lawmaker, but has compiled a solidly pro-business voting record and was unchallenged in a bid for a fourth term this fall.

At a campaign stop in Jacksonville on Tuesday, Scott told WOKV radio he had ``pretty much'' made up his mind but would not stoke speculation about his choice.

"This person's going to do a wonderful job,'' Scott said. ``Whoever it's going to be, you guys will all be proud of.''

Carroll would not be the first black woman to run for the state's No. 2 post.

In 1978, Claude Kirk, a former Republican governor seeking a comeback as a Democrat, chose Mary Singleton as his running mate, but the Kirk-Singleton ticket fared poorly.

Times/Herald staff writer John Frank and Miami Herald staff writer Beth Reinhard contributed to this report.

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The case of the missing adjective.

excerpted from:
Miami Herald

Corrections
September 3, 2010

In a story Thursday on Page 1B about Republican Rick Scott's selection of Jennifer Carroll as his running mate, it incorrectly noted that she was the first black female elected to the state Legislature.
Gwen Sawyer Cherry, a Democrat from Miami, was the first African American
woman ever to serve in the Legislature. She was elected in 1970.

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Carroll is the first Black female Republican elected to the State House, which is why I highlighted Republican in red in the original since it wasn't there, but added online after the edition went to print.

Hmm-m-m... Gwen Cherry was also the first Black woman to practice law in Dade County, a not insignificant fact. See: http://www.gscbwla.org/cherry.htm

Obviously, I'm long past believing that all the employee cuts at the Herald are starting to have their logical negative results for their dwindling number of readers, in that they have lost people who actually know which facts are important and which are not, and can say something
when words in an article are flat-out wrong -or missing.


It will come as no surprise to most of you readers who come here often that in my opinion, the reporters in this community who don't know anything about the political history of this area or why things are the way they are, greatly out-number the ones who do.

This Thursday article is a preview of the future of South Florida media, something I notice nearly every time Miami TV reporters show up at Hollywood City Commission meetings and seem to know nothing -or next-to-nothing- about what is on the meeting agenda and what its implications might be.
So many are strangely incurious.


I don't expect them to be experts, but... well, let's just say that the amount of time some of them need to be talked to by the city's official spokesperson
Raelin Story -who is always professional and accommodating- seems to be increasing, based on what I observe.
I'm sure she notices who does their homework and is prepared, and who doesn't and isn't.

I know I do.


Jennifer Carroll's web page at the Florida House of Representatives website:
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/SEctions/Representatives/details.aspx?MemberId=4331&SessionId=42

Campaign website: http://www.scottcarrollforflorida.com/

For more on her talented son...

Miami Herald

DOLPHINS
CB Carroll embraces discipline
By David J. Neal
May 5, 2010

Here's how you know Dolphins rookie cornerback Nolan Carroll didn't grow up acting foolish, or at least didn't do so twice: he's the son of a former Navy lieutenant commander who retired after 20 years with some medals, including an "expert pistol medal."

And that was Mom, state Rep. Jennifer Carroll, the first female black Republican state representative. Dad, Nolan Carroll Sr., was an Air Force senior master sergeant.

"Ever since I came out of my mom, it was, 'yes, sir,' 'no, sir,' 'yes, ma'am,' be on time, do this, do that when I say so," said Carroll, a fifth-round draft pick. "Up to now, and I'm 23 years old, I still say, 'yes, sir,' 'no, sir.' They expect me to say it. There was very strict discipline in my house. They were also cool. They weren't always telling me what to do. They treated me like I was a grown man, as well.'

Now, Carroll is a grown man out of the Jacksonville area with an exemplary off-the-field makeup. If not for the broken leg that aborted Carroll's senior season at Maryland after two games, NFL coaches wouldn't have been in favor of drafting him, but rather adopting him.

"When you talk with the young man, he's just an impressive guy; he really is," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "The first time I ever met him, I was really impressed with the way he came off. Never mind how he presented himself from a football standpoint, but he had all the other things that are important to us, too."

Such as a willingness to do exactly what he is told.

"The coaches are like my parents," Carroll said. "Same thing. I do what they tell me to do. I don't back talk."

And if he disagrees with a coaching decree?

"I look down and think, 'They know what's best for me, so I'm just going to listen to what they tell me to do,' " he said.

That's one reason Carroll tries to avoid even minor violations such as breaking curfew -- he figures rules were made for a reason. Also, he's used to being in situations where any bad behavior can reflect on others.

"If my friends wanted to go and do something and I thought it was bad, I wouldn't do it," he said. "I'd stay in the house just to make sure. I didn't want to give [his mother] a bad name.

"Same with this," he continued, looking past reporters to the Dolphins' logo facing the Davie practice fields. "I treat this like a family. I treat the Miami Dolphins like it's my mom, it's my family. I don't ever want to give them a bad name."

Now, if he can play nickel cornerback without embarrassing them on the field, he might have a job.

The Dolphins believe they have found their future outside cornerbacks in 2009 rookies Sean Smith and Vontae Davis. Will Allen, who turns 32 in August with nine seasons of mileage, will be back in that competition for starting spots this year after recovering from a season-ending knee injury. But for how long? Also, the Dolphins released last year's nickel cornerback, Nate Jones.

With three-wide receiver sets becoming the norm, it's a position defenses want settled.

"One of the things that I think I want to try to do with Nolan right away is to just get him in a position where he's going to be able to get himself settled down and play because he has missed so much time," Sparano said. "I think that we are going to kind of let him get his feet set at corner right now and then take a look at some of the players that we have in there and then worry about whether we get him inside."

Carroll, who ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at Maryland's pro day, played against slot receivers during his sophomore season in 2007. That was his first at cornerback after spending his freshman year as a wide receiver.

"[The Dolphins] like that I'm tough and aggressive," Carroll said "I need to work just getting used to the position some more. I've only been playing it a year and a half if you don't count my senior year that I missed."

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