Filed under: Uncategorized
Gov. Rick Scott will sign into law today a $69.7 billion state budget for 2011-12 that he boasts is all about creating jobs and reducing Florida’s high unemployment. In fact, it is a job-killing budget that threatens the state’s anemic recovery and makes the state less attractive to new residents and businesses.
Filed under: Corruption, Education, Florida, Government, Politics, Rick Scott, Teachers, Testing | Tags: cheating, education, Florida, fraud, Michelle Rhee, Rick Scott, scandal, teachers
These days, everything seems to be coming apart for Gov. Rick Scott.
Even his once-vaunted appointment of Michelle Rhee as his education adviser seems … well … unfortunate. Rhee, one of the stars of the film Waiting for Superman is a proponent of the corporatization of education — you know, the movement to fire and financially squeeze teachers, tie pay to test scores, and move schools toward privatization.
Today, Rhee’s very integrity is in question. Something to do with … how to put it? Cheating.
Filed under: Florida, Government, Politics, Protests, Rick Scott | Tags: drug testing, pissed, state employees, urine
By Todd Wright
When people in the Keys say they are pissed off at Gov. Rick Scott, they really mean it.
A new political action group started to combat Scott’s new drug testing policy for government employees plans on sending the new governor a jar full of urine to save officials the trouble of traveling south.
Read the rest of Keys Group Pissed at Scott, Sends Him Urine.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Search “Rick Scott” on the popular petition website Change.org and you’ll be greeted by several disjointed petitions ranging from a plea to stop trading with Japan for the dolphins’ sake (545 signatures), to a somewhat vague effort by the Innocence Project “to support federal forensic standards to help prevent wrongful convictions” with a mere 85 signatures.
There are a few relevant petitions, including demands for a recall, a simple statement that “IT’S NOT JUST THE GULF THAT REEKS!!” which states (in all caps and with several parenthetical ‘gag me’s) that its purpose is to “demand that the Federal government IMMEDIATELY INITIATE A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION INTO THE FL DEPT OF CHILDREN & FAMILIES AND AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION, AND IMMEDIATELY TAKE MEDICAID ADMINISTRATION OUT OF THEIR HANDS,” and the “Impeach Rick Scott” petition, which garnered the attention of Steve Bousquet of the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau.
The organizer of the impeach-Scott effort is Laura Strickland, a political activist in Neptune Beach, near Jacksonville. Among the signers is Jim Patrick, 73, of Tampa, a retired Marine electrician and a Democrat.
“I didn’t vote for the man,” Patrick said.
None of the petitions has more than 1,000 signers, and that could be because several of the efforts are nearly redundant. Consolidating the votes under one heading would carry more weight and subsequently garner more attention from the State Legislature, members of which are unimpressed by the impeachment effort.
“Absolutely not,” said Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, when asked if Scott deserved to be thrown out of office. He had received at least 67 petition letters as of Monday.
“It’s silly,” said Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who also received several dozen letters. “The governor hasn’t broken any laws,” Fasano said. “Some of us disagree with him, but those are not impeachable offenses.”
The impeachment petition is a great idea, and something many of us would like to see happen, but given state law, impeachment of Scott is highly unlikely:
Only the state House has the power to impeach a governor — by a two-thirds vote — and more than two-thirds of House members are Republicans like Scott. If he were impeached, he would be tried by the Senate, where 28 of the 40 members are Republicans.
But according to Bousquet, there’s still a ray of hope in the fight to rid Florida of its gubernatorial albatross.
Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, has filed two bills, HJR 785 and HB 787, to allow recalls either through petition or through statute. “Tallahassee always tends to make it difficult on everybody but themselves,” Kriseman said.
The proposals allow for a petition to recall a statewide official, requiring signatures be collected from each of the 67 counties, and the signatures must equal 15 percent of the total votes cast in the last election for the office. A petition to recall a member of the Florida Legislature would require signatures from 20 percent of the total votes cast in the last election for the office.
A statewide recall mechanism, which exists in 18 states, would itself require approval by 60 percent of voters in the 2012 election to become effective, but to even make the ballot, it would need to pass both chambers by a three-fifths vote.
And the “Urge FL Legislators to Pass House Joint Resolution 785 and House Bill 787” seeks to do just that; get the attention of our representatives who do have the power to put the ball in motion. It’s a much more realistic goal considering the current laws and attitudes of our elected officials.
The petition is currently only 168 signatures strong, the weakest support of any of the efforts, which may be because angry Floridians don’t see the effort as directly punitive enough to warrant attention. I think they’re wrong. We stand a better chance of getting our local and state representatives’ attention by telling them, “Hey, I won’t vote for you next election unless you support these bills” than by demanding action for which there is no legal framework and little leverage.
It’s all about leverage folks, and voters should direct theirs where it can have the most impact. Sign the petition to push through the bills that would give us the right to recall our Governor, then we can ramp up efforts to actually recall him. We can keep Florida Scott-free if we attack the issue logically, lawfully, and with a unified voice.
One step at a time, people. One step at a time.
Read Bousquet’s article in its entirety at tampabay.com.
By SEAN KINNEY
Saturday, April 02, 2011 08:30 AM EDT
In a symbolic sign of protest, two Keys residents on Wednesday returned their honorary Conch certificates to Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers’ office the day after she presented one to Gov. Rick Scott during the annual Florida Keys Day in Tallahassee.
Conch certificates say, among other things, that the holder of one is a “clear-thinking kindred soul eminently worthy to be an honorary Conch and citizen of the fabulous Florida Keys.”
Robert Reich, © 2011 Robert Reich
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been telling this whopper over and over again, in one form or another: “Cutting the federal deficit will create jobs.”
It’s not true. Cutting the deficit will create fewer jobs. Less government spending reduces overall demand.
This is particularly worrisome when, as now, consumers and businesses are still holding back. Fewer government workers have paychecks to buy stuff from other Americans, some of whom in turn will lose their jobs without enough customers.
But truth doesn’t seem to matter. Republicans apparently believe that if big lies like this are repeated often enough, people start to believe them. Unless, that is, those big lies are repudiated – and big truths are told in their place.
Read more of Robert Reich’s article at the SFGate website.
Filed under: Budget cuts, Corruption, Florida, Government, Greed, Politics, Rick Scott | Tags: Deregulation, election, election promises, Florida, special interests
Drug Testing State Employees is a Big-Government Boondoggle
Published Sunday, April 3, 2011 3:00 am
by Dennis Maley, The Bradenton Times
I have been very fair to Rick Scott thus far, in reminding readers that most of his actions were exactly what the governor promised on the campaign trail, so unless they were part of the minority of Floridians who did not vote for him (or among the nearly half of eligible voters who didn’t bother to vote, and in my book have little room to complain), they are getting their product as advertised.
Rick Scott the candidate told you he was going to deregulate every industry he could. Rick Scott the governor has followed through. Ditto for land development, Medicaid privatization and education. We’re getting what was sold to us. However, it didn’t take long for the governor to start pushing the sort of hypocrisy-ridden policies that advance special interests, while going against his purported ideological beliefs. This is where all Floridians have a right to call him on it.
There is no evidence of ramped drug use among people on public assistance in our state. In fact, more than a decade ago Florida embarked on a costly program to drug test public assistance recipients, spending millions of dollars to learn that the epidemic of the drug-using welfare check casher didn’t exist.