Wanted for Jack Latvala: A Memory and a Mirror

By Jim Bleyer


Gwen Graham                 Chris Latvala


Even for someone with a reputation for disparaging political opponents, belittling women, and consummate hypocrisy, State Sen. Jack Latvala sunk to a new low Friday.

Speaking at Cafe con Tampa, the weekly informal parley for Bay Area political junkies, the term-limited Latvala, while acknowledging Congresswoman Gwen Graham is the favorite for the Democrats in the 2018 governor’s race, ridiculed her credentials.

“It’s strictly because of her last name,” said Latvala referring to her pedigree as the daughter of Bob Graham, former governor and senator known for his statesmanship and ability to work across the aisle.

Latvala wasn’t sure if Graham has served one or two terms in Congress  but then sneered, “before that she was a government employee” apparently forgetting who has signed his paychecks for 16 years.

Graham received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law. After working for an international law firm, she was a key player in several political campaigns.

Latvala’s son, Chris who is a freshman legislator, graduated from the University of Central Florida and was employed as an aide in the Florida House.  He then worked at his father’s printing company before winning a House seat in 2014.  Of course, his last name could not have been a factor in obtaining the aide position or his 53-47 percent margin of victory in the House race.

Jack Latvala also exhibited selective amnesia about Florida’s present Governor, Rick Scott, who ran for office with no background in government but one in Medicare fraud.

But Scott is a male as were the two Democrats that drew praise from Latvala at the meeting: transit guru Ed Turanchik and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Here is the germane audio snippet:


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