A group of Republican Florida lawmakers, known as the “RV caucus,” has once again shunned conventional quarters and has settled into an RV park on the outskirts of Tallahassee.
According to a report in the St. Petersburg Times, members of the RV caucus include Reps. Charlie Dean, Larry Cretul, Gayle Harrell, Stan Jordan, Ralph Poppell, Ron Reagan and Dennis Ross. They are from all over the state, representing constituents in Ocala, Vero Beach, Bradenton, Stuart, Jacksonville and Lakeland.
Technically, it may be camping, but these lawmakers aren’t roughing it. Their rigs feature showers with hot water, cable television and working kitchens. Some cost as much as $250,000 or more.
Dean’s 38-foot Zanzibar is luxurious, with overstuffed beige leather chairs and wood paneling. The full-sized shower provides plenty of hot water, Dean says, and he can stretch out on the double bed.
In fact, he said he has trouble waking up on rainy mornings for those 8 a.m. committee meetings.
“The sound of those raindrops – it’s just like on a tin roof,” he said. “It’s so soothing that I have to force myself to get up.”
The leader of the legislative campers is Jordan, a 67-year-old retired Army colonel, who was first elected in 2000. He has a Monaco Camelot that he keeps near the entrance to the park.
Jordan organizes an annual gathering at the park, encouraging lawmakers to exchange suits for jeans and wingtips for boots. “Some people might hear “RV park’ and get the wrong idea,” Jordan said. “But everything out here is so clean and pretty.”