With a wave of his new gubernatorial wand as if he were casting off an evil spell over Florida's economy, Rick Scott's first move was to freeze all pending state business regulations.
It marked the beginning of the new governor's mission to potentially rid Florida of rules that govern everything from the types of professions that need licenses to environmental protections and urban sprawl.
What a boon for business, right?
Don't tell that to Rick Wallace, president of the Florida Association of Beauty Professionals, who promptly sent out a message to his members warning of the perils of deregulation.
"If we do nothing, we will be looking at a dramatically different landscape that will be devastating to our industry," he wrote.
What? Fewer rules could actually hurt businesses?
Indeed, wholesale deregulation is not being met with wholesale enthusiasm.
Even some in the developer crowd, the would-be beneficiaries of some of the changes recommended by Scott's transition team, are not all enamored with the idea.
It's no secret that Pugh supported Scott's opponent Alex Sink and is known as a fundraising powerhouse for Democrats. Still, he's made his fortune building apartment complexes and navigating the very growth rules that Scott says have made Florida a difficult place to do business.
"His [Scott's] concept of making Florida all about business is somewhat commendable," Pugh said. "I'm not unsupportive of the governor. I think he has to temper his pro-business ideas with protections for the environment and others."
And certainly many of the regulations that Scott's advisers are targeting today were in place just a few years ago when growth and real estate in Florida was booming.
There are plenty of rules that business would rather have in place because they keep the competitive playing field level and provide a level of quality assurance for consumers.
Wallace, who leads the group of barbers and salon owners, says for example that the state could probably combine its separate boards of barbering and cosmetology.
But privatizing inspections or removing the need for certain licensed professionals to also obtain a license for their business — as some Scott advisors have recommended — is "kind of scary," he said.
"We support streamlining," he said. "We just want to make sure we don't throw the baby out with the bath water."
And one of the key reasons for rules and regulations in the first place — consumer trust and quality control — are vital to businesses.
Imagine major tourist destinations such Orlando, Fort Lauderdale or the Keys without sanitation standards at hotels or restaurant inspections.
The new governor's hunt for bad regulations is not a new idea. Nor is it a partisan one.
Gov. Lawton Chiles, a Democrat, asked Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay to eliminate 50 percent of regulations in the state in the mid-1990s. Chiles theory, like Scott's, was that too many rules impeded business.
"It was exactly the same thing," MacKay told me.
He said he accomplished Chiles' goal and rid the state of some bad rules, but it didn't necessarily lead to an economic boom.
"Most regulations are not there because of something in the Old Testament; they're there because somebody thought it was important," he said.
Beth Kassab can be reached at email@example.com or 407-420-5448. Read her blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/thebottomline.