Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
Florida Governor Rick Scott (R-Fla) may be changing his name to Rick “Scoot” after his rousing speech at The Villages Retirement Center Town Square in central Florida. Crowing over budget cuts to programs for homeless veterans, meals for poor seniors, a council for deafness, a children’s hospital, cancer research, public radio, whooping-cough vaccines for poor mothers, and aid for the paralyzed, the tea-party darling decided the public square was the perfect place to squelch any dissent. Ordering sheriff’s deputies and that endless coterie of blonde Republican fresh-faced staffers to comb the crowd for Democrats and any other persons sporting “liberal looking pins and buttons,” the Governor banned them contending the event discussing the public’s money and re-enacting the signing of Florida’s budget was a very “private” affair among friends.
Perhaps it was because Gov. “Scoot” didn’t want to hear from state Democrats that his job creation bill actually eliminates 4500 state workers, or that the Department of Children and Families will lose a record 500 employees at a time when those groups are in dire circumstances. Ne’er a catcall to be heard from the in-attendance business community — who are equally bearing the sacrifice — as the guardians of the public trust in the Sunshine State somehow managed to find $300 million in public funds to pay for tax cuts to keep ’em around. Alas, Gov. “Scoot” did not realize his dream of $2.4 billion in tax and fee cuts for business, but 300 large is a start.
Not all is sweetness and light however in this Potemkin Village in the sun — even among Republicans. Miami Republicans took to the airwaves to decry cutting meals for poor seniors. Others were not impressed with Scott’s professions of love for education. Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said Scott was “totally disingenuous” for calling for more education money when he initially wanted to cut more of it.
“It’s a bit hypocritical,” Fasano said. “Thank goodness we didn’t follow his lead because more teachers would have been laid off.” Fasano suggested Scott’s emphasis on education was a result of Wednesday’s news from Quinnipiac University, which released a poll that indicated he had the lowest approval rating of any governor, 29 percent. The poll also showed a majority of voters said the budget was “unfair.”
Ignoring the guarantee of “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” as Madison wrote. Cuts to funding for the poor, weak, infirmed, and the young to pay for the rich. Barbarians at the gate you may say; I say they have the keys.
Source: Miami Herald
~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger