Opinions Archives - Page 3 of 229 - Florida Politics

Jennifer Sullivan, Aaron Bean: Foster care program for teen drivers deserves support

As young people transition to adulthood, earning their driver’s license provides a certain level of independence and economic mobility — a vehicle, if you will, to go places in life.

Whether heading to school or work, the doctor’s office or the grocery store, having the ability to drive is a necessity most Floridians take for granted.

Until recently, however, getting a license — not to mention paying for car insurance — was nearly impossible for teens in the state’s foster care system. Three years ago, in fact, only 20 youth ages 15 to 18 in the foster care system anywhere in Florida received their driver’s license before the age of 18.

In response, Florida legislators unanimously passed the Keys to Independence Act, an innovative three-year pilot program funded by the Florida Department of Children and Families and managed by Community Based Care of Central Florida.

The program, which launched in 2014, helps children as young as 15 get a learner’s permit by enrolling them in driver’s education courses and monitoring their progress until they earn a license. In addition to covering fees associated with the licensure process, it also reimburses the expenses for each licensed driver’s car insurance, which averages about $200 a month.

Keys to Independence has been a resounding success. In just a short time, the number of teens in foster care who have a driver’s license has almost tripled, and 1,035 participants are currently enrolled, including more than 330 in Tampa and Sarasota.

The program is impacting lives across Florida, providing newfound opportunity for young people just like Jake Whitmeyer, an 18-year-old from Cocoa.

Thanks to Keys to Independence, Jake passed his driver’s test on his first try and can afford the monthly insurance premiums. Now he drives to church, extracurricular school activities and his part-time job at a restaurant. Soon, Jake will drive to Eastern Florida State College for classes over summer break.

Simply put, Keys to Independence is opening doors for thousands of children who, through no fault of their own, must overcome a wide range of disadvantages.

That’s why we are sponsoring a companion bill during the upcoming legislative session to make this program a permanent fixture for Florida’s youth.

We urge our fellow lawmakers to once again give Keys to Independence their full support. We have seen how it has improved lives, and we look forward to its continued success far into the future.

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Florida state Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, a Mount Dora Republican, is sponsoring House Bill 217. Jacksonville Republican state Sen. Aaron Bean, is sponsoring Senate Bill 60. For more information on the Keys to Independence program visit www.KeystoIndependenceFl.org.

 

Joe Henderson: Aramis Ayala should follow law in death penalty case, not try to make it

I’m not a big fan of the death penalty.

I think having condemned inmates spend 20 years or more on death row while their appeals play out thwarts the argument that is a deterrent. Inmate Douglas R. Meeks, for example, has been awaiting execution since March 21, 1975.

He is one of 16 inmates who have been on Florida’s death row since the 1970s.

And keeping inmates locked up 23 ½ a day in a cramped cell with no air conditioning for the entire time they’re awaiting execution is borderline inhumane.

By the way, I’ll concede that the people on death row committed inhumane acts in the first place.

Having said that, State Attorney Aramis Ayala in Orlando was wrong on multiple levels when she announced she wouldn’t seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd, who is accused of killing Police Lt. Debra Clayton and his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Gov. Rick Scott did the right thing Thursday with his order that took the case away from Ayala and gave it another state attorney who will pursue the death penalty if Loyd is found guilty.

In a statement, Scott said: “I want to be very clear, Lt. Debra Clayton was executed while she was laying on the ground fighting for her life. She was killed by an evil murderer who did not think twice about senselessly ending her life.”

Ayala referenced several of the factors I mentioned as a reason for not seeking the death penalty in this emotionally charged case. The trouble is, it is her job to follow the law — not make it. If this were a 50-50 decision under existing law, then yes, she could decide not to go for death. But it’s not even close.

If we’re going to have the death penalty, then cop killers go to the head of the list. It is the duty of people in Ayala’s position to prosecute those offenses to the full extent of the law.

There are valid reasons lawmakers should consider abolishing the death penalty, but that’s their call. Death penalty opponents praised Ayala, but that missed the point. What they should be doing is bringing public pressure on legislators.

Just so we’re clear, they also should pick a better case to make their point than one involving the murder of a police officer.

Ayala made history in January when she was sworn in as Florida’s first African-American State Attorney. She made history this time for a different reason. She may not like the death penalty, but it’s part of the job.

Darryl Paulson: Do universities discriminate in hiring?

Universities are touted as bastions of diversity whose prime role is to encourage students to engage in critical thinking, ask tough questions and expose themselves to a diversity of ideas and opinions.

If that is the mission of the university, they have dismally failed. Diversity is respected, up to a point, as long as it doesn’t include ideological diversity.

As liberal commentator Nicholas Kristof observed in a recent New York Times op-ed, “We progressives believe in diversity, and we want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table — er, so long as they aren’t conservative.”

Welcome to the modern American university, where almost every type of diversity is encouraged, except for ideological diversity. Try challenging liberal dogma as a student or professor, and you will likely find yourself facing counseling and academic discipline.

Where are all the conservative faculty?

How many conservative faculty did you, your children or grandchildren encounter as part of their university education? If you are like most, the answer is very few. In fact, two scholars recently found that there were twice as many Marxists in the humanities and social sciences than Republicans.

Most university will have their token conservative professor. Harvard has Harvey Mansfield, Princeton has Robert George, and Yale has Donald Kagan.

I was one of the few conservative professors at the University of South Florida, and doubt that I would have been hired if my conservative views were known. I believe I was hired because I had spent the prior year as a National Teaching Fellow at Florida A & M University.

Anyone who taught at a historically black university had to be a liberal.

In addition, my doctoral dissertation was on the emergence of the black mayor in America in the aftermath of the civil rights movement. Only a liberal would be interested in writing about African-American politicians.

John Hasnas, a Georgetown University professor recently explained the faculty recruitment process to the Wall Street Journal. Every recruitment meeting, wrote Hasnas, begins with a strong exhortation from the administration about diversity and the need for more woman and minority faculty.

No recruitment committee has ever been instructed about the need to have a more ideologically diverse faculty.

How rare are conservative professors? Where the nation is fairly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, a recent study found that only 13 percent of law school faculty are Republicans. A similar study by the Georgetown Law Journal found that 81 percent of law professors at the top 21 law schools donated money to Democrats and 15 percent to Republican candidates.

Daniel Klein, an economist at George Mason University, studied 1,000 professors around the nation and found Democrats outnumbered Republicans seven to one in the humanities and social sciences. In anthropology and sociology, the margin was 30 to 1.

Johnathan Haidt, a renowned social psychiatrist at New York University, was so startled by the lack of conservative academics that he started a website, Heterodox, to foster more ideological diversity. In his own profession, 96 percent of social psychiatrists were left of center, 3.7 percent were centrist, and 0.03% were right of center. How would you like to be that sole right-of-center social psychiatrist?

In one of the largest studies of ideological diversity on college campuses, the North American Academic Study Survey (NAASS) examined 1,643 faculty from 183 universities in 1999. 72 percent of faculty described themselves as liberals and 15 percent as conservatives.

The same year as the NAASS study, the Harris Poll found that 18 percent of Americans described themselves as liberals and 37 percent called themselves conservative.

Clearly, academia does not mirror the nation.

Even in supposedly conservative academic enclaves, liberals outnumbered conservatives by 51 to 19 percent in engineering and 49 to 39 percent in business.

Why are there so few conservative faculty on college campuses?

Alan Kors, a conservative professor at Penn, argues that conservatives face a “hostile and discriminatory” environment. Conservatives seeking academic jobs are “outed” by their group associations, major professors, or dissertation topic.

Not long ago, Harvard University found that only two of its doctoral students in the Government Department failed to get an academic placement. Harvey Mansfield advised both students, widely recognized for his conservative views.

Liberals argue that there is no discrimination against conservatives. George Lakoff, a liberal linguistics professor at Berkeley, argues that liberals seek academic careers because “unlike conservatives, they believe in working for the public good and social justice.” In other words, conservatives are simply out for the money while liberals seek the betterment of society.

Lakoff is proof positive of why we need more conservatives in academia.

Look for Part II: Do universities discriminate? – The attack on free speech

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Darryl Paulson is Professor Emeritus of Government at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg.

Spotted at the Governors Club: The last troubadour of Real Florida

Jeff Klinkenberg is not the kind of guy who does “luncheons,” but there he was at the Governors Club Tuesday, entertaining Friends of the First Amendment — some real, some fake — at the First Amendment Foundation’s annual fundraiser.

He looked a lot more comfortable later that day at Sally Bradshaw’s bookstore, telling true tales about things that “make Florida unique” to an appreciative audience of people who like to choose their reading material in a venue that does not sell toilet paper and tampons.

Klinkenberg coined the term Real Florida and cornered the knowledge market on everything worth knowing about people who do not need Disney to fire their imaginations or casinos to pump their adrenaline. To people genuinely committed to Florida, Klinkenberg is the Scheherazade of storytelling, revered by regular folks and by fellow A-list writers.

One of them, FSU professor and National Book Award winner Bob Shacochis showed up at Klinkenberg’s book signing to pay his respects. It was like watching Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page trade licks.

“Did you ever skinny dip with Jane Wood Reno?” Sachochis asked Klinkenberg. It was a question that could have come only from an author and journalist who knew and loved Florida long before the state became an international punchline.

Skinny dipping with Jane Wood Reno is one of the few Real Florida experiences Klinkenberg has not had. But she and her famous offspring have been in his database since 1966, when Klinkenberg was a 16-year-old stringer for The Miami News, where Reno was an esteemed reporter in an era when newspapers didn’t even have to pretend to take women seriously.

As a kid in Miami, Klinkenberg developed a passion for fishing, playing with snakes, and reading the inspired “About Florida” columns of the Miami Herald’s Al Burt. “I wanted to grow up to be Al Burt,” Klinkenberg said. “Back then, every paper had a person who wrote about Florida” so it seemed like a reasonable career goal, and a pretty good way to pay for the bait and tackle.

Great editors like the late Gene Patterson and Mike Wilson, now with The Dallas Morning News, saw the Al Burt potential in the young Jeff Klinkenberg, and turned him loose to travel the state in search of stories to inform, inspire, delight and dazzle readers of the St. Petersburg Times. Klinkenberg faithfully delivered for 37 years.

Telling real stories of real people was never just a job to Klinkenberg. It’s a calling, and he’ll be pursuing it until his last breath, or until they pave over the last square inch of Real Florida, whichever comes first.

Matt Gaetz: Keep working to repeal and replace Obamacare

President Trump has endorsed a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. His plan, called the American Health Care Act, is described as the first of three immediate steps occurring to end this nightmare. Remember, Obamacare was implemented over several bills, with tons of executive overreach. Administrative corrections and legislation clearing the 60-vote Senate threshold must follow.

For this bill, we need 51.

I’ll be frank — I’m not crazy about it. I wanted to like it, especially after hearing from Obamacare’s victims: prices skyrocketing, premiums rising, plans closing, coverage decreasing. I wanted to like it because the thought of government forcing people to buy anything — much less health insurance — disgusts me.

We know Obamacare is a wet blanket over our economy, smothering the job-creating ambition of small businesses. I wanted to love it; I just didn’t.

We should be going bolder. We should get the federal government out of health care completely, not just diminish its role.

Then I remembered Tom. I met him at Waffle House. His hash browns were smothered and covered; his question was direct: “How will you decide which way to vote on stuff?” he asked while wiping ketchup from his mustache.

I told him I’d vote for bills that got power out of Washington — and against ones that didn’t. He grumbled on the way out, “Don’t lie to me” — and took a bumper sticker.

There is no debate that the American Health Care Act means less power for Washington. Specifically, under Trump’s plan, the federal government cannot provide taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood; enroll illegal aliens in health care entitlements — only to check their status later; tax people for not buying government-mandated health insurance; stop associations or groups from forming their own risk pools; punish businesses for hiring more employees; or force you away from your doctor or plan.

It also reduces the deficit by $337 Billion over 10 years and constitutes $1 trillion in tax cuts by repealing 14 Obamacare taxes. These are big conservative wins.

With several key changes, this bill would be much bolder. It wouldn’t be perfect — but better.

First, there should be a work requirement.

Able-bodied, childless adults who can work and choose not to should not expect America to borrow money from China to pay for their health care. Everyone can contribute to society — if not through a job or skills enhancement, by volunteering. This will help curb costs and engage all Americans in productivity.

Second, Medicaid can’t keep expanding.

The bill currently takes the position that Medicaid can expand for two-and-a-half more years before it is ultimately contracted. Already, 1 in 4 Americans is on Medicaid. This is like hoping to lose weight by planning to diet in two-and-a-half years — and eating everything in sight until then.

Finally, states should be totally in charge of Medicaid.

The federal government has proved an incompetent operator of the Medicaid program. We need 50 laboratories of democracy, totally unconstrained, innovating for better health care and lower costs. Some states will get it right; others will copy.

It’s easy to vote “no” and just blame others for not bending to my will. It’s harder to persuade others that the conservative way is the Better Way.

I serve on the Budget Committee. Earlier this week, my conservative colleagues and I offered Budgetary “Motions of Instruction” to address these issues. Thankfully, they passed, meaning the Rules Committee can accept our amendments to drain this swamp even lower.

I voted in favor of President Trump’s plan to keep the conversation going — to keep the legislative process focused on free-market, patient-centered health care. Giving up or accepting failure simply because the initial version of this bill underwhelms is not an option.

The American people won’t give us unlimited bites at the apple — it’s time to get health care reform right, or be stuck with the disaster that is Obamacare forever.

I owe Tom a strong fight to make President Trump’s bill far better. I also owe him whatever vote gives him more power, and Washington less.

Let’s keep working.

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Matt Gaetz is the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 1st Congressional District, stretching from Pensacola to Holmes County.

 

Joe Henderson: Miami trial shines light on smuggling Cuban baseball players to U.S.

It is not unusual when a Major League Baseball team signs a Cuban defector. There is a lengthy list of players who fled that island nation so they could barter their skills for the considerable cash that comes with playing in the United States.

Usually, those stories have been treated as valiant escapes from a repressive government and the search for a better life.

A trial that concluded Wednesday in a Miami courtroom though painted a different story. Instead of something heroic, the way some players escaped was judged to be a felony.

The trial pulled back the curtain on how that process works — or at least worked in the case of agent Bart Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada. Both men face five years in prison after being found guilty of smuggling Cuban players to this country in return for receiving a big chunk of their contracts that could total in the millions of dollars.

The Miami Herald reported that Hernandez and Estrada deceived the U.S. government into granting visas to two dozen Cuban players. The players were transported by what the Herald called “an underground pipeline” that included Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Testimony showed Hernandez and Estrada paid off boat captains and falsified immigration documents. In return, they charged players up to 30 percent of their contracts.

Players include Leonys Martin, who signed a $4.8 million contract this season with Seattle, and Jose Abreu, who signed a $68 million deal with the Chicago White Sox in 2013. Abreu testified that he ate pages from his fake passport and washed it down with a Heineken beer while on a flight from Haiti to the United States.

He admitted he was traveling illegally because, he told jurors, “If I had not been there on that particular day, the deadline, then the contract would not be executed and would no longer be valid. We had to be in Chicago to sign the contract.”

By contrast, defense attorney Jeffrey Marcus told jurors players in Cuba might receive as little as $20 per month.

In addition to showing what risks players are willing to take to achieve their baseball aspirations, it highlights the still-thorny relationship between the United States and Cuba.

Immigration hawks have been pushing to roll back attempts by President Obama to normalize relations with Cuba. Last spring, the Tampa Bay Rays became the first MLB team to play a game on that island when they defeated the Cuban national team.

That move generally was hailed as a breakthrough in relations between the two nations. This trial showed that reality remains something different.

Pat Neal: Prosperity for our families and future

Pat Neal

Thanks to the efforts of Governor Rick Scott and the state’s committed business leaders, Florida has one of the strongest economies in the country. With our unemployment rate under 5 percent, Florida continues to exceed the nation’s annual job growth rate and tourism, one of the state’s economic drivers remains strong, with just under 113 million visitors in 2016, an increase from just 86 million visitors just three years ago.

Much of this success has been a result of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.

Their contributions are critical to our state’s recovery and continue to be important drivers in Florida’s economic well-being. The two organizations are responsible for helping create thousands of jobs in conjunction with private businesses, and the organizations allow us to compete with other states for businesses and visitors, many of whom have significantly increased their business and tourism marketing programs to entice companies and visitors.

It is important to have a business climate that allows companies to flourish, people to be able to find high-paying jobs and to ensure that we are economically competitive on a national level.

Political differences in the Capitol are putting the success of the Sunshine State at risk. Members in the Florida House have filed numerous pieces of legislation taking aim at Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. The bills call for drastic cuts or the complete elimination of the two public-private partnerships, outcomes that would undoubtedly slow down or even reverse the good economic fortune of Florida.

As an employer of hundreds, I hear every day how important it is for Florida families to have good jobs that pay well and build a more prosperous future for our children.

Research from Florida TaxWatch shows that Florida’s targeted economic development incentives have generated positive return on state investment by enticing qualifying businesses to bring high-wage jobs to the state and diversifying the state’s industry portfolio. Incentive programs also have numerous protections, such as sanctions and clawbacks, in order to ensure that the hard-earned dollars of Florida taxpayers are not spent unwisely.

We must compete with the millions each year of incentives paid by other states, counties and municipalities.

The data also backs up the power of tourism marketing in attracting visitors to the Sunshine State. Continuing to fund Visit Florida will bring hundreds of millions of people to the state.

Every 76 visitors to Florida support one job. This investment is diversifying the Florida economy, creating jobs and improving the income of Floridians.

If the legislature were to make significant cuts to, or eliminate, Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida, it will put Florida at an economic disadvantage versus the rest of the nation, stifling job creation and slowing economic development and extinguish the hopes of hundreds of thousands of Florida workers who seek a more prosperous future. We must continue to fund our incentive and tourism marketing programs. We must remain a state open for business.

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Pat Neal, former state senator and the former chair of the Christian Coalition of Florida, currently serves as chairman-elect for the board of directors of Florida TaxWatch, the state’s independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research institute and government watchdog, and the president of Neal Communities.

Glenn Burhans, Jr.: #CashMeOutside – Another Florida pol tripped up by campaign finance laws

Glenn Burhans, Jr.

Another Florida politician has been nicked by the feds.

Former Florida State Rep. Dwayne Taylor was recently indicted on nine counts of wire fraud stemming from the alleged embezzlement of campaign funds. He is accused of taking more than $62,000 in campaign funds via ATM withdrawals, checks and petty cash, and depositing them into his personal bank account or using them for personal expenses. Taylor is also accused of submitting fraudulent campaign expenditure reports to cover up the alleged embezzlement.

While not readily apparent from the expenditure reports, one red flag the feds seem to have focused on is a number of ATM withdrawals by Taylor from his campaign account. Candidates for state office in Florida would be well advised to avoid using campaign debit cards for cash withdrawals and personal purchases. Using campaign checks made out to “cash” can also be problematic because the use of petty cash is tightly restricted. While misusing campaign cash or violating the petty cash limits could lead to an election law violation, it was the alleged use of ATMs and computers networked to servers located outside of Florida (“wire communication in interstate commerce” in fed-speak) that led to Taylor’s federal indictment even though he was a state candidate at the time.

If convicted, he faces a harsh penalty: up to 20 years in federal prison for each count, plus forfeiture of the funds (or property he purchased with those funds).

Do we see a pattern?

This past September, then State Rep. Reggie Fullwood pleaded guilty to two federal counts related to the alleged misuse of campaign contributions. He was similarly charged with diverting the money into the account of a limited liability company that he owned, and then using it for personal use. He was also accused of submitting fraudulent campaign expenditure reports. Fullwood, like Taylor, acted as his own campaign treasurer.

We all know the old adage about a lawyer who represents himself …; while candidates are allowed to serve as their own campaign treasurer that could lead to trouble or at least inadvertent mistakes. Regardless, many candidates do so, believing it will save them money by not having to pay a professional. Leaving aside the criminal aspects of the Taylor and Fullwood incidents, using a professional accountant is just good policy as both Federal and State campaign finance laws are complex; candidates intending to comply can unwittingly violate the law.

Here a few tips to avoid some common miscues:

– Contributions and expenditures can only be made for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election – do not use them for any other purpose.

– Campaign funds cannot be used for personal expenses, except for costs incurred by a candidate or family member for transportation, meals and lodging during campaign travel. When in doubt, ask your campaign attorney.

– Candidates should not serve as their own campaign treasurer; instead, appoint someone that is independent and experienced in campaign accounting, preferably a CPA.

– Keep campaign and personal accounts segregated.

– Expenditures must be made by check drawn on the campaign account; only campaigns for statewide office can obtain and use campaign credit cards for travel related expenses.

– Track and report the amount, date, payee and purpose of each expenditure.

– Petty cash may only be used in amounts of less than $100 and only for office supplies, transportation expenses, and other small dollar campaign necessities.

– Individual petty cash expenditures need not be reported, but the total amount of petty cash withdrawn and spent must be reported; retain all petty cash receipts.

– Deposit cash contributions into the campaign bank account; never commingle cash contributions with petty cash.

The law is complex and the cost of non-compliance can be significant. When in doubt, consult your friendly neighborhood campaign finance professional to avoid costly consequences.

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Glenn Burhans, Jr. is a shareholder in the Stearns Weaver Miller law firm. Based in Tallahassee, he specializes in complex litigation, governmental investigations and election/political activity law.

Joe Henderson: ‘Shy’ Rick Scott needs to pipe up on Medicaid expansion

Gov. Rick Scott hasn’t been shy about sharing his feelings on the Affordable Care Act. Like any good Republican, he hates it. He wants it to go away.

Now that Republicans have a legitimate proposal on the table to replace Obamacare, though, Scott has gone into stealth mode on the subject. In an Associated Press story, the governor did the Rick Scott Shuffle when asked for his reaction to the plan now being debated intensely in Washington.

Scott said he was glad there is “good conversation” happening on the subject. Not exactly a stop-the-presses comment.

He even met recently with House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is pushing a plan that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said could leave up to 24 million Americans without health insurance.

Would the governor like to let us mere mortals in on what was discussed? People in Florida will be greatly affected by whatever finally becomes law, especially if it has a significant impact on Medicaid.

Florida depends heavily on federal money for Medicaid funding, and under the plan being discussed more than 4 million residents here would see their benefits reduced. That probably suits budget hawks in the state House just fine, but wouldn’t be good for many of the state’s elderly and low-income residents.

That’s where Scott needs to pipe up on this subject. In 2014, remember, he went to war (and lost) with the House over Medicaid expansion. Scott pushed for it; now-Speaker Richard Corcoran was intractably against.

Given his background as a hospital administrator before he went into politics, there are few people in the state better versed on health insurance than Scott. He could help frame the debate if he chose.

He certainly hasn’t been shy about making his opinions known recently on other subjects. He has been outspoken about his trying to save Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. But now that the health care debate has intensified, we get crickets from the governor.

Curious.

Florence Snyder: Ain’t no Sunshine where Scott’s gone

Just in time for Sunshine Week, Tampa Bay Times environmental reporter Craig Pittman reminds us how focused, how ruthless, how relentless Gov. Rick Scott’s flacks are in their taxpayer-financed efforts to keep information out of the hands of taxpayers.

Florida’s Ministries of Disinformation have been around since the Chiles administration, but “paranoia about the press” has ramped up significantly on Scott’s watch. Here’s how Connie Bersok, who devoted 30 years of her life to protecting Florida’s fragile wetlands, described current events at Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to Pittman and Times researcher Caryn Baird:

“When I first started, if the press called, you could talk to the press, you just had to document it for your boss. Then it became: You had to get permission first, but you could still talk.

“Then it became: The press office would approve of anyone talking with a reporter, but they had to be on the line.

“And now that’s changed to: ‘You do not talk to the press.’ As a result, a lot of the information that’s expressed to the press wasn’t much information at all.”

Bersok’s now retired and able to exercise her First Amendment rights on behalf of former colleagues who don’t dare violate the government gag order for fear of joining the hundreds of DEP employees who have been disappeared since Scott took office.

Purges are always drenched in lies, especially when the purges are aimed at nationally respected professionals with decades of dedicated public service. It’s an uphill battle keeping the air fresh and the water clean in the face of relentless pressure to build high-rises and strip malls in places that God did not mean for people to live.

It’s impossible when the scientists and planners are subject to being fired with no notice and for no reason, and no amount of Florida sunshine and DEP spin will take the stench out of Scott’s campaign to make it easier for rich people to get richer creating more and more and more minimum wage, dead end jobs! jobs! jobs!

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