Our worst worries about Florida Gov. Rick Scott were well-founded.
The bombshell of BS he unintentionally dropped in a press conference early last week has exploded in his face, revealing just what a bloody mess his governorship really is.
By repeatedly pressuring highly esteemed, veteran Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Commissioner Gerald Bailey to put his personal ethics and public duty aside and engage in assorted political improprieties, the governor confirmed fears that he’s ethically and psychologically unfit to lead our state.
For more than a year, the Scott administration was consumed by its reelection grudge match against Charlie Crist, and intent on making a mockery of anything approaching government “transparency.”
In fact, the press and public have grown accustomed to the governor and his minions consistently evading questions and twisting the truth to fit their desired story lines.
This, while the most pressing problems and concerns of working poor, middle-class and retired Floridians remained largely unaddressed and unsolved. This, while one study after another suggested that the economic “recovery” Scott takes credit for was engineered to benefit big corporations and the wealthiest among us, leaving the rest of us behind.
Perhaps the best example of the governor’s neglect, and the worst of his public policy failures, is on health care reform. Rather than force the hand of anti-Obamacare Republicans in the Florida House still blocking health care expansion — which if allowed to proceed would save thousands of lives, billions of dollars and create tens of thousands of genuinely good new jobs — Scott has duplicitously pretended to support expansion while doing nothing whatsoever to facilitate it.
Back in 2010 when the arch-conservative multimillionaire was being more of his true self, he spent $75 million on TV ads tearing apart the notion of federally funded health care expansion. He got rich running a health care company convicted of massive fraud on his watch, leading to a record $1.7 billion fine by the feds. But he escaped prosecution, “pleading the Fifth” 75 times during an FBI deposition.
Based on that version of Rick Scott, many of us in Florida already had grave concerns about the damage he would do after taking office in January 2011.
Four years later, we’re left with a mountain of evidence indicating we had ample cause for concern.
It’s time for all citizens and legislators to put partisan politics and allegiances aside and concentrate on returning our governorship to the statesmanlike, ethical office it ought to be.
We need our Florida Legislature to appoint an independent counsel (special prosecutor) to investigate and sort out the FDLE scandal and growing list of ugly allegations against Scott and his administration.
From liberal Democrats who’ve opposed Gov. Scott from Day One, to conservative Republicans who’ve voted him into office twice; we the people of Florida deserve and must demand better than this.
Daniel Tilson has a Boca Raton-based communications firm called Full Cup Media, specializing in online video and written content for non-profits, political candidates and organizations, and small businesses. Column courtesy of Context Florida.