Election Day is a week away. I understand that millions of Floridians will vote for Gov. Rick Scott, but I’m begging you to vote for him for reasons other than these:
- His mother divorced an abusive husband. That gave me the creeps the first time he mentioned it in the Fangate debate but then he said it two more times. I noticed that he didn’t mention it in the CNN debate. His handlers must have decided that that factoid is not how you attract the female voter.
- He was an Eagle Scout. Be truthful. You want an Eagle Scout leading your platoon in Afghanistan, but do you really want one trying to cajole petulant legislators? You want Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan, don’t you?
- He told Pam Bondi it was OK to postpone an execution so she could attend a political fundraiser. That’s creepy too.
- He sticks to his script rather than answering questions. The examples are legion but his reply in the CNN debate to Charlie Crist’s question about whether he approved Bondi’s request to postpone the execution was a classic. “She’s apologized,” Scott said twice — but he never acknowledged that perhaps he too had made a mistake and should apologize.
- You want government run like a business. First, a good government should not be run like a business. That bromide is preposterous and dangerous. Second, Scott ran a company, Columbia/HCA, that defrauded Medicare and had to pay $1.7 billion in fines. The company’s board forced Scott out as CEO after the federal investigation began. He’s said he would have fixed the fraud if “somebody told me something was wrong.” Ah, I don’t want that guy running my business.
- You dislike Barack Obama so much you don’t want Florida to take billions of dollars of federal money for Medicaid expansion ($51 billion) and high-speed rail ($2.4 billion). Dear Floridians: you are losing benefits and jobs that come with that money — your tax money — because Scott is pandering to the fringe nuts in the Florida Republican Party.
- He met with Trayvon Martin’s parents. He went on about meeting with them during both debates. He ducked down this debate alley when CNN’s Jake Tapper asked him if young black men “get a fair shake in the criminal justice system.” I wonder what black viewers thought when he used Trayvon’s parents to avoid answering yet another direct question?
- You liked his answer to the “do-over” question during the CNN debate. Well, saying you wish you had “more time” does not answer the question: “What do you want a ‘do-over’ on from the voters of Florida?”
- He reads the Bible. Everyone running for office reads the Bible. I look forward to the day when some respected politician can say, “I haven’t opened a Bible in four decades.”
- He supports education. What he means is that he and his religious business buddies want to spend more of your tax dollars on charter school and vouchers to support religious schools. These folks should read the U.S. Constitution, not the Bible.
Tom O’Hara is a semi-retired newspaper editor who edits Context Florida and lives in Fort Lauderdale. Column courtesy of Context Florida.