Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rick Scott's Published Schedule is a Farce

Government in the Sunshine. Florida officials have prided themselves on transparency over the years.

At least outwardly.

Of late, however, there is a Corpservative movement to do away with it. Too cumbersome to have to ask who one can meet with, under what legal circumstances, and need the press be there?

RILAB people, your "run it like a business" crowd have been rapidly eroding one of our state's hallowed rules, both in legal practice, and in spirit.

Under the guise of "getting things done with greater efficiency" deals are being made, without the consent or oversight of the people. No democracy. Ram it through.

Governor Scott's move to do away with Florida's state aircraft, selling them cheap rather than even storing them until the market for executive jets improves, thus making a better deal for the taxpayers who bought them, is nothing short of a Sunshine Law work-around.

Notice how it was his first order of business. Get rid of the damned things before anyone could protest it; before a legal challenge could rise up forcing the governor to conduct his travel in a state vehicle, so that the public, by way of the media, could ride along from time to time.

Can't have that.

His schedule, his itinerary or whatever you want to call it, so too, is an example of his disdain for openness.

Printing a schedule "day of" he is thumbing his nose at the media charged with following him, and the voters of this state who might want to put up a sign or two protesting these drastic cuts to budgets. Not to mention those who want to have a word with him about his nixing a high speed rail deal that has been in the planning for years.

There is no question, we could use the work, use the money, we could use 24,000 jobs the project would bring, as in NOW.

Scott visited Embrear yesterday in Melbourne . Emraer is a Brazilian company that makes executive jets. They moved to Melbourne in 2009. By all indications are an excellent company that, according to Melbourne city officials brought at least 400 high paying jobs to the state, or will when they are built out.

The company enjoys the tight security provided by Melbourne International Airport. You see Northrup-Grumman make weapons drones, surveillance aircraft, remotely operated attack helicopters and so on, and they share the other side of the property. So any sort of protest can immediately be put down by the airport PD and the Department of Homeland Security. Even if someone knew the governor would be there, which was a tightly held secret apparently, good luck holding up your sign before the gang tackle.

The governor zipped in and then zipped out again, mumbling a few words on high speed rail, how it was too wasteful, and potentially debt heavy for the state. His mind, made up; despite assurances from our duly elected senator from Central Florida, Bill Nelson (D-Orlando) that the taxpayer would be off the hook for any massive debts, since cost overrruns have been assigned to the contractors.

There are many who would disagree with the governor. Twenty four thousand jobs and $2.4 billion stand to be lost to California by Friday, simply because Governor Scott and Senator Mike Haridopolos (R-Merritt Island) are busy campaigning against President Obama, and sidling up to the Koch brothers, who run their Tea-pawns through "Americans For Prosperity", Inc.

It is a political sham, a travesty. When he campaigned and promised 700,000 new jobs, did he mean he would select the type of jobs, specifically, or did he mean the balance of those new jobs would be "created" but would reside in Chinese labor camps, with only the managers, or top level engineers, residing in Florida?

Are 24,000 construction and engineering jobs not the sort of jobs he wants for Florida? Is there an issue of unions getting even one dime of that money, and that's the reason he is so dead set against them?

Jobs are jobs. Are they not?

We have no problem paying union labor to send shuttles into space since 1981. What gives?

If you want to talk to or protest your governor, good luck. It's "catch as catch can". Sure he complies with the letter of the law if not the spirit and intent. He has to publish as schedule. We should be thankful for the baby steps, I suppose.

Day-of, doesn't cut it, at all. Be sure to tell him so.

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