It has now been six months for Rick Scott as Governor of Florida, and he stands at a low point in public opinion polls, recently 29 percent, but now down to 27 percent, the lowest of all Governors of the 50 states!
Scott, who came from a corrupt background of Medicare fraud into politics, and spent over $70 million of his own fortune to win the Governorship by about 50,000 votes statewide and less than a majority of all votes cast, has set a horrific record as Governor, but is arrogant enough to claim he does not care about his public opinion ratings!
As a recent Miami Times article outlined, Rick Scott has been responsible for the following tragic developments in the Sunshine state:
1. Mandated drug testing for state workers and welfare recipients, although there are law suits in process against these tests, and he seems to have backed off on state workers taking such tests.
2. Enacted Jim Crow style voting laws, creating new restrictions on voting, and undermining the Voting Rights Act of 1965, while bringing back memories of the voting restrictions that existed before that federal law went into effect under Lyndon B. Johnson’s Presidency.
3. Fought a Prescription Drug Database, even though Florida is the state with the most drug abuse, but finally backed away after a lot of pressure was brought, even by his own Attorney General.
4. Privatized Medicaid, causing confusion and loss of services and funding for severely disabled Florida citizens, with cases now in court against this, and appeals by individual families in process.
5. Outsourced prisons to his political supporters, who want to privatize them, despite fact that Florida already has more prisoners than any other state except Texas, and has made no prison reforms which are badly needed, so instead prisons are being made a profit industry.
6. Cut jobless benefits to 23 weeks in a state with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
7. Gave tax breaks to large corporations while not being concerned about the survival of unemployed people.
8. Slashed public education funding dramatically in a state which ranks among the worst in educational standards, but at same time took away tenure from teachers, and required ALL public workers to pay three percent of their income for their pension plans, a pay cut in difficult times, and undermining morale.
9. Worked aggressively against environmental protection programs statewide, ignoring the significance of the Everglades and other environmentally sensitive lands, instead promoting development. by private corporations.
10. Rejected high speed rail development funds from the federal government for expansion in the high traffic area of Central Florida.
11.Refused to be interviewed by the news media, comments only in Twitter style, and set up signing of bills to include only friends and supporters of what he is doing.
Governor Scott has shown the height of arrogance and insensitivity to groups that are being victimized by his policies, and Florida must, somehow, bear three and a half more years of this, unless Scott can be found to have done something illegal, leading to impeachment, or IF a recall movement can be brought about, but unlikely since it is not provided for in the state constitution.
This is the result of citizens NOT paying attention, and either not voting, or not understanding the issues when they do vote!
It is a good lesson in the importance of citizens paying attention to politics and public issues in the future, so as to avoid the nightmare Florida is going through right now!