Stephen Goldstein: What will Florida GOP contributors expect for their millions?

And now the corruption begins. There’s no other honest word for it. For average Floridians, the November election is over, whether they voted or not. Most didn’t bother.

But for those major contributors who bought it, it’s payback time. The political game is played between elections when the public isn’t looking. It’s all about the money, honey. And there’s nothing pretty to say about it.

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, Americans now accept the absurdity that “money is speech,” even obscene amounts of it. (In real speech there are obscene limits, not so in the phony kind.) But, deep down, we all know that the real effect of equating money and speech is to turn our republic into a plutocracy and open the door to state-sanctioned bribery on an unprecedented scale — nationwide, and especially in Tallahassee, much of it coming from out of state. The Florida State Motto should be: “Money talks. For enough of it, nobody walks.”

Remember candidates’ recent campaign promises to help average Florida families? Forgetaboutit! Those were written on the wind to begin with. Once in office, elected officials know they are immune from living up to their word, except to those who paid their freight. And their overall goals are well known, if never publicly stated: Redistributing as much taxpayer money from the state Treasury into private, for-profit hands as possible and passing legislation that benefits crony capitalists or keeping harmful stuff from happening.

Specifically, what does Sheldon Adelson, the Nevada multi-billionaire casino owner, expect in return for the $5 million he pumped into Florida to defeat the constitutional amendment that would have legalized medical marijuana? Greased legislative wheels so he can build a resort casino in Florida, or stopping online gambling, which would cut into his profit? Or was it some perverse, unfathomable satisfaction in keeping something that relieves pain and suffering from the seriously ill, even after his own medical foundation issued a report in 2013 that said marijuana helps patients with multiple sclerosis? Really! Ask yourself, “What’s he smoking — or worse?”

And what do the Koch Brothers want — and will they surely get — in return for the millions they continue to funnel through a maze of shadowy Florida front-groups to candidates and elected officials? Killing Obamacare? No Medicaid expansion? Ending the minimum wage? Eliminating corporate taxes? Curbs on workers’ rights? Denying global warming and climate change? Killing alternative fuel initiatives?

And from whom will Pam Bondi take her cues — the plutocrats or “the people”? Even after revelations of her too-cozy relationship with lobbyists, Florida’s attorney general was handily re-elected and elected chair of the Republican Attorney Generals Association, a money-bag outfit for conservatives.

And, last but not least, what payback does Gov. Rick Scott expect to be able to engineer for his total estimated $90 million investment in becoming Florida’s governor, as well as the mega-bucks his supporters contributed? Chances are “the people” will never know — or know when it’s too late to do anything about it. Scott keeps secret his travel on his private jet and much communication about state business. In or out of elected office, the bottom line is that he’s driven by the bottom line — his.

Some people may think it’s over the top to call business-as-usual in Tallahassee corrupt. But a skunk by any other name is still a skunk. And a rose, forgetaboutit!#

Stephen L. Goldstein is the author of “The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit” and “Atlas Drugged: Ayn Rand Be Damned.” He lives in Fort Lauderdale. Column courtesy of Context Florida

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