The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll of Fl. Issues Apologies to Equality Florida
Nadine Smith, Equality Florida’s Executive Director, received a letter of apology yesterday from the current Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll. The only black to hold this office, Carroll had defended her position against the allegations that she and “Bibi” Ramos, a female aide, were found in a “compromising position” in her office. Carroll told a reporter that “black women who look like me don’t engage in relationships like that.” Carroll, a former Trinidadian and U.S. Navy veteran, has raised her profile over the last few months chairing the governor’s Task Force on Public Policy, resulting from the Rayvon Martin slaying in Florida. Her profile is even more pronounced now with the sex scandal; she is married with three children and holds the second highest elected office in Florida since 2010. The plot thickens.
While Nadine Smith , a black lesbian, accepted Carroll’s apology, she states, “instead of simply denying the claims, she stereotyped black lesbians in order to deflect her own charges. With that one quick statement, Lt. Governor Carroll appealed to racial and homophobic stereotypes that do real harm.” Carroll’s statement was also indicative of her naivete. Has she never heard of “lipstick lesbians?”
Smear Campaign or Truth?
Is Carroll the victim of a smear campaign by a disgruntled former spokeswoman for her, Carletha Cole, who was fired last year? Supporters believe she is. Cole allegedly taped a conversation between Carroll and her chief of staff John Konkus with a “smart pen.” (In Florida, all recordings must be made with the consent of those being recorded). In those conversations, the former chief of staff was allegedly critical of Gov. Rick Scott. The recording was turned over to a reporter. Cole was arrested in October and could face up to 5 years in prison if found guilty.
A minister and grandmother, Cole had been fired after going public with inter-office squabbles within Carroll’s office. Gov. Scott refuses to comment on the accusations by Cole of his second-in-command.
Cole’s Side of The Story
Cole, who arranged travel plans for Carroll said that at one point, she was told by Beatriz “Bibi” Ramos to find adjoining hotel rooms whenever Ramos and Carroll traveled together. When Carroll and her husband travelled together, Cole was chastised for booking simultaneously an adjoining room for Ramos. Cole claimed she was never given a reason for the change. According to Cole, Ramos was also living in the lieutenant governor’s house.
Was Jennifer’s Sex Scandal Fabricated?
Is Cole a “glory-seeking woman and an unapologetic Obama supporter” as The Florida Federation of Republican Woman painted her? Is she seeking revenge on this “shining model for all women and a true example of the American dream” as the FFRW label Carroll as they come to her defense?
The lie detector test that Cole took, which is not permissible in court, appeared to be truthful, according to the News Service of Florida, and reflected what she saw between Carroll and Ramos. Some information in the case is kept confidential according to the State’s wishes.
Carroll May Be A Lesbian Who Feels Ashamed
It’s hard to tell if Cole is just pissed for being fired. So what, if Carroll, is a lesbian? As one respondent Ernie Kruse, wrote to The Miami Herald, “ I don’t care if she slept with Donkeys as long as she does her job and I feel she does, so nip it now.”
Obviously, Carroll cares. Women in power hate to admit being gay. According to The Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2012, “A Silence Hangs Over Gay CEOs,” among the country’s 1,000 largest companies, Zero CEOs have publicly revealed themselves as being gay.”