Dirty business, dirty politics are Scott’s hallmarks

FROM THE LEFT

Voters need to recognize where Rick Scott’s loyalties are as governor of Florida.

Work history: Scott’s work history includes: receiving $9.88 million and $350 million in stock when he was forced to resign as chairman/CEO of Columbia/HCA, while under investigation for the largest Medicare/Medicaid fraud at that time and subsequently fined $1.7 billion.

Campaign finance: Rick Scott used $75 million of his own funds to get elected governor. No special interests could buy Scott — until after the election, when he started taking money from political donors like Walt Disney Company, big sugar, major utilities and smaller corporations that benefited from his slush funds of millions in tax dollars for tourism promotion and economic development.

Jobs: Gov. Scott promised to create over 700,000 jobs plus the million that would have been created anyway, in 7 years. He’s still short 145,000. Had Scott believed in science, the Sunshine State could have been investing in higher paying renewable energy jobs, as many other states have done successfully.

Taxes: Scott cut corporate taxes while raising regressive fees; auto registration, tag, etc. that hurt lower income individuals.

Emergency Management: Before Hurricane Irma struck Florida, there were emergency debris removal contracts in place. Gov. Scott ignored those contracts, with limited bids, chose MCM (contributors to Scott’s campaign), with higher rates, which cost taxpayers an estimated $30 million more for cleanup.

Schools: Scott has expanded the school choice/voucher program. Nearly a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money is now being taken from Florida’s underfunded public schools and underpaid teachers and is being spent on private, for-profit and religious schools. These schools aren’t required to meet teacher standards or curriculum requirements

Voting laws: Gov. Scott signed the omnibus election bill in 2011, making it more difficult to register voters and allowing fewer days and shorter hours for early voting. He ended ‘Souls to polls Sunday’. Vote by mail ballot requests now have an expiration date. There is no early voting on college campuses. Scott, by executive order, changed how nonviolent felons could restore their voting rights, allowing the governor and his cabinet to issue restrictive requirements for voter rights restoration.

Gerrymandering: Voters passed the anti-gerrymandering bill (Fair Redistricting Amendment) in 2010. Gov. Scott and the Republican Legislature lost their battle to continue gerrymandering congressional and legislative districts in 2016 when the Florida Supreme Court validated a map presented by a coalition led by the League of Women Voters.

Environmental issues: In 2010 Scott favored off-shore oil drilling and Trump’s executive order to expand off-shore drilling in Florida water. It remains part of his energy policy. Scott and the Republican Legislature have continually taken funds from the 2014 voter-approved Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative meant to preserve property and protect drinking water. Florida is now suffering with green globs of toxic algae since the governor purged environmentalists from our water management districts and Environmental Protection Agency and replaced them with people who exploit rather than protect our environment.

Gun Safety: Gov. Scott is rated A+ by the NRA. He passed a law restricting ‘home rule’ gun control for Florida cities, expanded the self-defense law “stand your ground,” opposed stricter background checks, cut the cost of getting a concealed weapons license and didn’t support banning AR-15s after the mass murder of students from Parkland.

Child Migrant Center: Scott’s administration gave a $600,000 tax incentive package to Comprehensive Health (large donor to Chairman Scott’s-New Republican PAC) that house immigrant children. This company had just paid $3.8 million to settle a federal medical fraud claim.

Transportation: When federal funds ($2.4 billion) were available for high speed rail in Florida, Gov. Scott turned it down. So Florida continues to build more roads, adding to the death toll and air pollution.

Healthcare: Gov. Scott refused to take expanded Medicaid healthcare that would have covered 800,000 working Floridians.

Why should Florida voters believe Scott will represent them well as senator when he hasn’t as governor? Voters should make sure Governor Scott doesn’t become a career politician. Hand him a pink slip in November.

Kathy Weaver

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