Rick Scott Watch managed, through daring and so on, to eat a shrimp coctail and thus, slide by the defenses of the GOP and whatever security detail was on duty, to penetrate all the way into the ballroom, while dinner was being eaten.
Governor Rick was not to be seen. He seemed to know we were on the case.
The crashing 1.(5:30)
Blending in. 2.(5:32)
Watching protesters (6:00) No Rick Scott. One notes the laughter of the party attendees. (Of course, Rick Scott Watch was blending, so idle chatter was necessary). It is amazing to see people so above it all that teachers pleading with their governor to listen and not cut quite so much from education, seems lightheartedly amusing to them.
Watching protesters again (6:30) Still no governor. There is talk that he is in the building but refuses to show himself or come out of hiding. Whatever could the problem be? One gentleman said the governor had been at the hotel for hours, was bathing at the pool, etc. Which was rubbish since Rick Scott Watch had been at the pool since 3:00 at the poolside bar, scoping the place out. Nonsense. Note again, strange indifferent observation of the upper crust at the spectacle of teachers fighting for their rights. Note: we begin to question here whether our presence is actually preventing the governor from showing his face. In that we are wearing a guayabera and not the standard issue GOP blue blazer. Also, we admit some nervous laugher here. Harsh apprehension could have happened at any instant.
At this point we go for broke. We wait until all the campers are in their seats and then walk boldly by security.
We decide that our presence indeed is keeping the governor from showing his face. Everyone else is sat. He and his party are not. Police are nearby. One can feel harsh apprehension approaching. It's time to call it.
Outside the protest continues into the night.
When we are driving out of town there is whoosh of a Gulfstream jet overhead in the rain. The governor has come and gone.
By the time we get home, there is this offending news story in the Palm Beach Post. He apparently said these words between gulps.
STUART — With hundreds of union protesters outside blasting his proposed budget cuts, Gov. Rick Scott told a Republican dinner tonight that he and other conservatives need support for daily battles in the legislative session that begins Tuesday.
Scott got applause from the Martin County GOP Lincoln Day dinner audience of about 300 when he said he has spoken to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose push to limit collective bargaining for public employees has drawn thousands of angry protesters to the state capitol in Madison.
"Scott's a good guy. He's going to stand strong. Hopefully his senate will stand strong," the Florida governor said of his Wisconsin counterpart.
Scott said he expects protests in Tallahassee, where he wants the GOP-controlled legislature to cut per-student education spending by about 10 percent and compel public employees to begin contributing 5 percent of their pay for their pension plans.
"This is a fight every day. It's not every two years. And every elected official will tell you the same thing, because the special interests are fighting every day," Scott said.
"They're going to be up there (in Tallahassee) and they're going to complain about everything we're doing. So if you don't stay active, then what's going to happen is they will win. Because they're going to be up there every day. So we need your support. Every elected official that believes in the conservative principles of the Republican Party needs your support."