‘Jalopy in the Daytona 500’: Ron DeSantis unloads, again, on Rick Scott’s unemployment website
Ron DeSantis is still dealing with unemployment headaches.

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An exasperated DeSantis wanted to change the topic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis brought the good news of reopening Florida to Jacksonville, but unemployment questions could not be avoided.

An exasperated Governor went so far to ask if any reporters actually wanted to talk about the reopening after questions centered on the state’s failed system instead of the latest developments.

“Does anyone have any questions about, kind of, Florida’s reopening?”

DeSantis, who has consistently messaged around improvements to a system he has described as a “jalopy” that was “designed to fail,” mostly hewed to that message in Jacksonville.

“We’ve paid out close to $2 billion in unemployment. The system was a disaster,” DeSantis said, “designed to have about 1,000 people at a time and surge to 5,000.”

“The system broke,” DeSantis said, “and we had to make a decision how to go forward.”

“In fact, the system was so bad it basically needed to be redesigned,” the Governor said, adding that in the last three weeks, nearly $1.5 billion has gone out.

“People are getting paid. I know it wasn’t an easy situation, but I think given the hand we were dealt, we made the decisions necessary to get going,” DeSantis said.

“There’s still going to be work that needs to be done on it,” DeSantis added, likening the CONNECT system to a “jalopy in the Daytona 500.”

Officials faced challenges checking against federal databases, with the Social Security database allowing at one point just 500 checks a day.

“The system was not designed for a voluntary cessation of the economy,” DeSantis said.

David Jones of First Coast News broke the story about a lack of training among call center workers the Governor touted as helping to solve the problem, and the Governor conceded his point Friday in response to questions.

“What happens is you have the majority of calls in late March, early April,” DeSantis said, which had to do with “pin resets.”

“The pin reset is actually a big part of this,” DeSantis said.

Jones noted that people he was corresponding with had been waiting since March for their checks.

“Who are these people,” DeSantis asked, “I would like to get their names.”

“99.999% of those folks have been paid,” DeSantis said, if they weren’t missing key information on applications and had qualified, with a “proactive” DEO following up.

After the press conference wrapped, the Governor’s team got with Jones to obtain information about those facing delayed checks.

However, most of Florida’s unemployed won’t be so lucky, and for DeSantis, it’s a race against time to fix the system left to him by the previous Governor.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


27 comments

  • Frankie M.

    May 15, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Methinks thou doth protest too much. Classic ostrich in the sand syndrome. Welcome to phase I 2.0!

  • John

    May 15, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Where does the “buck” stop? Between DeSantis and Trump, they don’t accept any responsibility instead looking for scapegoats.

  • Sam

    May 15, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    I wouldn’t mind if he offloads all responsibility for this mess on Scott, but just don’t be cutesy about it – call the Scott administration what it was, completely incompetent and corrupt. Show some balls, call it like it is. We understand that you have to work with this guy since he is a senator, but he already does zero for Floridians from his new perch anyway so who cares(?)

  • Frankie M.

    May 15, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Donnie & Ronnie are twins. They both seek validation and praise while bristling at any criticism. They should grow thicker skin or get a dog if they want unconditional love.

    • Paul Grimm

      May 17, 2020 at 11:39 am

      Well here’s my Name Desan
      this I Have Been waiting since 4 -27 still not even a dime my friends have been paid and I applied before them. What a crock this whole thing is still no stimulus either.

      • Sandra

        May 17, 2020 at 12:14 pm

        I too have been waiting since March for my unemployment. I first filled out a paper application and was kept trying to apply on line. Finally got through. I have heard nothing.

      • Paul Grimm

        May 17, 2020 at 1:09 pm

        Meant To Say 3 27 n not 4 27 either way nothing still pending lol

  • Esteban yu

    May 16, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    I still can’t believe what this man has said. Has 99.999% been paid? What state does this gentleman live in? If DeSantis does not know that thousands of people have not been paid, he must resign immediately. The state of Florida has paid me just one week of $ 600 and I have been receiving state unemployment since February so I am owed $ 3,600 of federal money. Governor -Check the numbers and stop making a fool of yourself.
    Also I don’t see any information yet about the benefits of the PEUC program. Or am I lying?I heard a senator saying that there is no rush to implement the PEUC program because only now people are beginning to exhaust the state benefits.Wrong – I recommend reading the federal law H.R.748 Cares Act :
    PROVISIONS OF AGREEMENT.—Any agreement under paragraph (1) shall provide that the State agency of the State will make payments of pandemic emergency unemployment compensation to individuals who—

    (A) have exhausted all rights to regular compensation under the State law or under Federal law with respect to a benefit year (excluding any benefit year that ended before July1, 2019);

    • Donna Cosgrove

      May 17, 2020 at 5:05 pm

      I havent received 600 Everytime I get a check , I know people who are getting the 600 Everytime they get there unenployment I think MrDesantis is doing the best he can the man is under a great deal of pressure , and so is Mr Trumph I waited over a month for my unenployment it’s stressful trying to pay bills not loose your home , food There doing one hell of a job better than Obama , Clinton they tried destroying this country Thank u That k God I love in the USA freedom of speech these leftist would love it we all sat home so they can control us not me I’m 57 worked hard my whikeife , and can’t wait to get back to work it’s unhealthy stating home everyday living off the government when w
      Almost a majority of us can be working we need to bring our businesses back here I’m tired if licking things up in the store that says made in China

      • Thomas

        May 18, 2020 at 9:25 pm

        You need to recheck your American history. You will see that it was republicans and President Nixon that wanted to normalize relations and open up trade with China over Taiwan proving that conservatives sold us out for temporary profits and out of balance trade consessions.

      • Paul

        May 18, 2020 at 9:29 pm

        Donna, I can’t wait to get back to work too but only if it is safe and I am not earning slave wages!

  • Frankie M.

    May 16, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Don’t try using logic on them. It will only encourage them. Kinda like feeding animals at the zoo. If you didn’t get that guvmint velveeta it’s probably because of something you did. (On a side note my kids asked me why it’s raining outside today. Instead of getting into a spiel about warm weather fronts & butterlies flapping their wings in Africa I told them God was crying. When they asked why God was crying I said how the hell should I know ask Ronnie Desantis.

  • David Sullivan

    May 16, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    I have no sympathy for any republican who is unemployed and not receiving benefits. They knowingly voted for a crook, rick space alien scott,twice. they never imagined being in this position of needing assistanc. As long as he was screwing the poor and other disadvantaged people they couldn’t care less. Well shut up and deal with wicked ways. After all, he’s a good boy.

  • Barry Cochran

    May 16, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Give the gov my name. BARRY COCHRAN. I WOULD LOVE TO BE PAID. I MUST BE ONE OF THOSE .01% WHO WERE NOT PAID!!!

    • Adam halstead

      May 17, 2020 at 8:16 pm

      I can’t believe people voted for Rick Scott..well reap what you sow yes? Scott and his smug comments about people getting too much unemployment..asshole

  • Mccoy

    May 17, 2020 at 9:09 am

    They are so full of it i haven’t received anything and can’t get anyone on the phone on top of that they took my tax return claiming i owed them a balance from 2014 which i know is untrue im disappointed in my home state liars and crooks

  • Tangella Smith

    May 17, 2020 at 9:19 am

    My name is Tangella Smith and I am one of those “people” who haven’t been paid since March 22. I actually was pending for 5 weeks only to be deemed ineligible on April 26. Now I had to resubmit another application on April 29. For what? I have sent multiple emails and phone calls to the Governor’s office for someone to please investigate my case. No answer, no money.

    • Joseph M Giffee

      May 17, 2020 at 10:29 am

      Resubmit your application so it can be processed in the revised system and $600 weekly benefits paid under the Cares act. You have to be denied first by the state, then reapply to be considered for the Federal payment.

    • Nancy Beaupre

      May 17, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      I haven’t got an answer since 4/6 so “me too”

  • Anthony Davenport

    May 17, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Here’s a stooge who had his daughter ranting some bullshit about “build that wall”. So really people, do you expect anything other than ass farts from this guy. Like his idol trump, he’s a total loser.

  • Anne Hennessy

    May 17, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Still have not been paid filed 2x. I will like anyone who curses Rick Scott he is a horrible criminal to Flirida and all humans.

  • Joey Giffee

    May 17, 2020 at 10:24 am

    The Governor wants names? It shouldn’t be too hard to compile a list of those who have not been paid or are still owed substantial back payments. Anyone know how to start a petition?

  • Tim Barker

    May 17, 2020 at 11:37 am

    I have been denied time and time again since March 14 because I don’t have my social security card. I provided drivers license and several other forms of id yet I still wait. They told me to go to the ss office to get a replacement card. Problem is the ss office isn’t open to the public for months. If they ever reopen and I get a card, I’m sure some other garbage will prevent me from getting help. They said to go home, help is on the way Florida. Where is it? Florida resident 18 years, 8 forms of ID no good. Gotta have that ss card that you can’t get. Makes sense.

  • JAMES A NEWMAN

    May 17, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Still waiting for unemployment do to someone on the job catching covid-19, sent both paper and filed online . That was may 5th. My mother (nurses aid) came down with covid-19 may 16th still waiting. The incompetence of Florida’s government has always been this way no news here other than now everyone knows what most have had to put up with for at least 10 yrs. The system was designed to discourage unemployment all together. Stop making excuses, send the funds and catch the liars and throw there ass in jail for fraud. Very “simple” something that completely escapes the scope of government functionality. Implement a functional system and hopefully take a lesson from this catastrophe. For crying out loud aren’t our governments getting paid to be prepared for these kinda Scenarios. Isn’t there a think tank that’s supposed to run simulations on this sorta thing? they talk about wasted tax dollars and and attack systems that people rely on instead of cutting the bloated salaries of The government and its employed. lack of doing its core functions protect and serve the people. The true welfare recipients are government run entities. Getting paid for lack luster performance. Incapable of towing the line as is done in the private sector, another glorious example of stright up waste is the DMV. Start paying the DMV per citizen served not by the hour see how efficient it gets then. Win win for everyone the government gets its money faster and people get in and out faster by putting more pep in the step.

    • D james

      May 17, 2020 at 4:11 pm

      You dont have a clue. Typical uninformed citizen of this backwater state. Blame the poorly paid, get what u pay for employees, and give a pass to the millionaire unethical politicians who are truly the ones who are responsible. Its fitting that Karma has co.e to bite many of u in the ass for voting for asshole rick scott. He intentionally had a system designed to discourage the paying of unemployment benefits while enriching the vendor and you want to blame someone making probably $23k a year. Shows how uninformed you are. Nobody cares what crooked politicians do until it affects them. Why dont you ask now senator scott to pay you benefits out of his medicaid/medicare millions his hospital company defrauded the government, you out of and stop blaming a peon govt worker.

  • Amanda Simons

    May 17, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    Sure, most of us have FINALLY been paid after waiting 2 MONTHS, but we certainly haven’t been PAID IN FULL. Is it legal to knowingly hold back paying federally MANDATED CARES act funds? Congress passed this bill because they understood the necessity of putting money in citizens hands expeditiously. Meanwhile our funds are sitting in an account collecting interest for the state while people are figuring out how to keep the lights on. Such a grave injustice shouldn’t be able to go unpunished!!

  • Christina Williams

    May 17, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Applied on March 23, one week after being laid off..saw nothing. Reapplied May 1 and I am still waiting for something, anything. People that applied after me have received money and some can’t stop the payments now that they are working again. Without a great support system I would be starving right now. I have never relied on anything but hard work to get by and I’m really fortunate for that work ethic but now that I need a little assistance I’ve realized not to rely on anyone else and to make my own way. Thanks for nothing!

Comments are closed.


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