Elected as Rick Scott's running mate, Jennifer Carroll became Florida first black female lieutenant governor ever. But to hear her tell it now it doesn't appear that Scott was particularly eager to have a woman serving as his number two.
In a candid interview yesterday with a Cocoa Beach AM radio station, the former Lt. Gov blasted Scott for creating a "good ol' boys" culture in the executive branch.
"I gave him 100 percent of my loyalty, even though we didn't know each other prior to running, and he had his issues with HCA and Medicaid fraud. I never asked him a question about that. Never," Carroll said. "I still followed their rules and so forth, and when it came time that I would have expected him to give me the common courtesy that he gave to his male counterparts there, his chief of staff, who had wrongdoing, he supported and defended them. Me, with no wrongdoing, (he) utilized an excuse and asked me to leave office for no reason."
In 2013, Carroll resigned from office after it came to light that through her PR company, 3N & JC, she had represented a group with ties to illegal internet cafe gambling while having previously served in the Florida house. She had also failed to report income from the arrangement. Carroll has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
She said Scott forced her out, but then a few months later, the governor stood by his chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth after it came to light that he had falsely claimed to have earned a degree from the University of Alabama. Hollingsworth continues to serve as chief of staff.
Carroll obviously thinks that's hypocritical.
"It's bad enough, particularly for minorities, when you are in the good old boy system, you're trying to walk that fine line because, you know, there are little whispers that they give," she continued. "You know, if you go off too much, then there's a B-I-T-C-H. If you don't do enough, you're a wimp."
She had made similar comments late last month in an interview with a Jacksonville TV station.
"Why didn't I get the same level of courtesy?" she asked. "Because I'm not one of the good ol' boys."
Carroll remains a Republican, but her comments play right into Scott's opponents' playbook. In April, a Democrat-aligned PAC released a web ad reminding people that one of Scott's previous companies settled suits out of courts that allege the company would not hire people with Hispanic accents, who were larger framed, or older women.
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Scott's likely Democrat opponent meanwhile said just last week that he left the Republican party in part because he felt the GOP was becoming too "anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-education, anti-environment."
Of course, Carroll criticizing Scott is nothing new. Carroll had originally supported Scott's 2010 primary opponent.
"We do not need that seat to be a seat where you're learning, to be a seat where it's for personal gain, to be a seat where the residents and the citizens of the state of Florida will be negatively impacted because of the lack of vision," said in remarks just days before the Republican primary.