Let’s Hope Florida – and America – gets off Scott-free this November.
Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott, a multi-millionaire former Healthcare CEO term-limited out of his current position, is running against Florida’s current US Senator Bill Nelson, a fifth generation Floridian, Vietnam Veteran and lifelong public servant who flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Scott is a proud and reliable ally to Republican efforts to end the Affordable Care Act, cut corporate taxes, and reduce environmental, health and safety protections. He is also quite possibly Florida’s least popular governor in state history.
For the few remaining undecided voters, here are the Top 10 Reasons Floridians Should Vote for a Scott-Free Senate:
- Stupid Is As Stupid Does. Rick Scott thinks Floridians are so dumb that we’ll believe his sudden election year epiphany that people with pre-existing conditions deserve access to healthcare, and forget he was elected in the Tea Party wave as one of the most vocal opponents to the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). Although his slick new ads claim he has always supported pre-existing condition protections, as a staunch opponent to the law providing those protections in the first place who oversees an Attorney General’s office currently fighting to end the healthcare law all together, Floridians aren’t buying it. Mama taught us all better than to fall for that kind of baloney!
- Actions Speak Louder Than Words. Before moving to Florida, Rick Scott made his millions as CEO at Columbia/HCA before being forced out shortly before it paid $1.7 billion in fines for Medicare fraud during his tenure. So, it wasn’t surprising that despite repeated promises to take Medicaid expansion before his re-election to a second term, once re-elected he instead blocked the insurance expansion to 750,000 Floridians, a decision that significantly increased the number of uninsured across the state with dire consequences to women. He then instead privatized Medicaid which became a cash cow for insurance companies. Maybe to a cutthroat businessman, desperate people look like easy marks, but a Senator should rise above greed to make good policy.
- You Just Can’t Trust a Bald Man With Two First Names. That’s a nonsensical and offensive statement, right? Kind of like when Rick Scott calls Bill Nelson, a lifelong moderate Democrat and Vietnam Veteran who served his country as a Captain in the US ARMY for 6 years, a “socialist” who has “never worked a real job”. It’s also just about as silly as expecting Floridians to believe VoteVets‘ (one of the largest veterans’ issue advocacy groups) ads about Scott’s record of defrauding TRICARE in the private sector were actually attacks on his two years of honorable service to the US NAVY.
- Because Good Job Growth Doesn’t Mean “Good Job” Growth. Rick Scott says he ran for Governor to bring private business sense to government. Unfortunately, like many CEOs accustomed to selective reporting, Scott touts job growth without context. Florida median household income is well below the national average with far too many at or near the poverty line. The Florida Chamber of Commerce economist noted the unevenness of recovery in North and Northwest Florida counties, as well as Miami-Dade, which now show current net job losses on the Florida Scorecard website. Even Florida’s three largest metro regions rank dead last among the nation’s Top 25 most populous metros for median income. Context is everything.
- He’s Got Red Tide All Over His Hands. Rick Scott truly does deserve blame for the twin ecological disasters Florida is experiencing. Red Tide is certainly a naturally occurring phenomena but the funding for scientists, experts and departments that would have helped prevent or battle the length and extent of this year’s mega-bloom was decimated by years of Scott’s misguided budget cuts, science denial and reorganization. The simultaneous toxic blue/green algae can even more clearly be traced back to Scott’s policies of defunding water management districts, ending septic tank inspections and courting big polluters. There is no hiding where Scott’s policies lead. They are too covered in slime.
- Senators Need Sense – Especially Gunsense. Rick Scott did nothing to reduce gun violence in the 612 days between the Pulse and Parkland mass shootings but speak at the NRA convention. He was scheduled to return as an NRA speaker in 2018 before throngs of grieving teenagers and their mothers arrived at his door. His 12th hour posturing following Parkland simply can’t erase the harm he had already caused. Scott earned his NRA A+ Rating signing bills to expand Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground Law, easing gun access and reducing penalties, expediting concealed carry applications and reducing fees (while not ensuring background checks were conducted on his watch). Scott even imposed harsh new penalties on individual local elected officials who vote for local gun measures. Thanks to Scott, Florida law now preempts Home Rule by imposing a $5,000 fine on officials who dare pass sensible public safety regulations.
- Education Shouldn’t Be An Afterthought. Apart from the shootings and the high stakes testing, the state of education in Florida is… actually still quite depressing. Years of experimental programs and budget cuts have left underfunded public schools and teacher pay far below national averages. But thanks to Rick Scott’s visionary leadership, Florida now ranks 40th in K-12 education & 43rd in high school graduations by US News & World Report, 42nd in Education by USA Today, and reading and math scores are declining according to the Florida Chamber. But, we’ve made up for all that by debating how much training teachers need to serve as armed guards since we cut taxes so much we can’t pay for real security and we sure don’t want to upset that little lady named Marion.
- You Don’t Replace an Astronaut with a Science Denier. Rick Scott is a climate change denier who banned the words “climate change” early in his administration. Despite Florida’s immediate threats from rising seas and the devastation from recent mega-hurricanes intensified by warming waters, Scott still sides with Big Oil, trying to trick voters about his stance on offshore drilling as the fossil fuel industry funds his campaign. The League of Conservation Voters even awarded Rick Scott the People’s Choice Award to their Dirty Dozen list of Anti-Environment Candidates because no one is fooled by his election year environmentalism.
- We Have Enough Crooks in D.C.. Can we all just admit now that Rick Scott’s finances are beyond shady? As the wealthiest governor in Florida history, Scott’s latest report showed his net worth rose by $83 million in a single year. We all know he used his hospital fortune to make big investments. But, from his rejection of high speed rail until he had a financial stake, to his financial link to rebuilding Puerto Rico’s power grid, to his ties to the botched SunPass Contractor, to questions about one specific $550 million windfall, there are some serious questions for Scott to answer because profiteering in public service is a big no-no.
- Money Can’t Buy You Love and Shouldn’t Buy You A Senate Seat. Rick Scott spent $90 million of his vast fortune to become Governor but declined the $130k/year salary. One might question the altruism of his motives though after learning he has still somehow increased his net worth by hundreds of millions over the past 8 years. His “blind trust” will likely continue raking in cash if he is elected to the Senate, which may explain why he has already again dumped $38million of his own money into the race for a $174,000/yr Senator’s salary. His millions have provided Scott a $29.5 million dollar lead over Bill Nelson despite the fact Nelson has actually raised $8 million more from actual supporters.
And one more Bonus Reason Why Floridians Should Vote for a Scott-Free Senate, as a truly Dishonorable Mention…
- Senators Should Respect Constituents. During Rick Scott’s infamous Campaign Bus/Private Jet Tour, Scott variably hid from algae sites and unhappy constituents. Upon learning some reliably conservative panhandle residents wanted to talk about HB631 (known by some as the Huckabee Private Beach Law), he simply didn’t show up to a scheduled stop leading one to say he was “scared of little old ladies in tennis shoes” after signing the law despite statewide 8-1 calls against it and later rushing a strangely irrelevant Executive Order as a PR stunt meant to confuse voters.
Floridians have an important choice to make on November 6th that will shape the future of the whole nation. You can vote for Bill Nelson, who has dedicated his life’s work to serving the people, or you can elect Rick Scott, the man who has unfortunately earned every obnoxious nickname the Internet has hurled his way (and then some).
Keep the Astronaut and let #RedTideRick retire to one of his estates in peace.
In other words, just say #NotScott