State/National News

As Governor Scott’s Gatekeeper Exerts Control, Heads Roll



Miami Herald, May 5, 2012
By Mary Ellen Klas
Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

Steve MacNamara, the ultimate insider, is the man to see if you want the ear of Gov. Scott. Not all of Scott’s supporters are pleased with that.

TALLAHASSEE — Steve MacNamara has officially become Tallahassee’s Wizard of Oz.

The lawyer-lobbyist turned university professor is the brass knuckles gatekeeper and omnipotent advisor to Gov. Rick Scott.

Since becoming the governor’s chief of staff last July, MacNamara has controlled access to the governor and his schedule, assumed authority over appointments and dictated press releases and policy memos. He has directed the governor’s message and reached into the bowels of agencies to remove people he doesn’t like and install favorites.

“No one gets in to see the Wizard. Not no one, no how,” reads the sign on the way into MacNamara’s office, an excerpt from the famous movie.

He played the same role as chief of staff for former House Speaker John Thrasher and for Senate President Mike Haridopolos, each time temporarily stepping aside from his teaching, law firm and lobbying work.

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