Florida Legislature

Tea Party takes on Florida's capital - Wisconsin again?


Emails are flying inviting Tea Party supporters to travel to Tallahassee to fight for pension reform and less government spending.

Everett Wilkinson of the South Florida Tea Party is telling "dear patriots" that, "if you thought we were going to take our country back without a fight, you were wrong."

 He continues:  Like many of you I watched this past week as "union thugs" try to terrorize Wisconsin Legislators into giving way to immoral plunder of future generations’ prosperity. There are many teachers and union members who are in the tea party or agree with us. The Liberals are doing all they can to use them against us. The reality is that our country is broke and have to cut spending.

...Today the battle is Wisconsin, however in just a few weeks the battle will be here in Florida.

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Rick Scott derails a woman's dream.


 A woman called eager to chat. She was starting a new business that would be tied to Florida's new High Speed Rail train that would run from Tampa to Orlando and she wanted some advice.

My next message from her was she couldn't talk. She was distraught. Florida Gov. Rick Scott had just announced that the Sunshine State was bailing out of the rail business.

A day later, the woman called again. She still hopes the high speed rail will happen. She still plans to go ahead with a business plan. Only this time with far less certainty.

The fact is that if Scott believes building a high speed rail in Florida is bad for the state than he is right to do what he did. But an awful lot of folks think he is wrong - and not all of them have a financial stake in the outcome.

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Even Jeb Bush wonders what Rick Scott is doing

Demgoplo096 Well that didn't take long.

One day after tossing out plans for a Tampa-to-Orlando high speed rail train, a veto-proof majority of Florida senators - Democrats and Republicans - sent Scott a message that basically asked - "are you nuts?"

At the same time, according to PolitiJax, former Gov. Jeb Bush was left scratching his head about Scott's decision.

"I'm surprised he didn't let the process go to a conclusion...before pulling the plug," Bush said, saying he was somewhat taken aback by Scott's timing.

This morning, Crowley Political Report warned that Gov. Rick Scott that he would do serious damage to his relationship with the Florida Legislature - not just because of his decision about the train but because he didn't bother to tell legislative leaders about his decision.

Keep in mind - we're talking about a House and Senate controlled by his own party. And with the GOP holding veto-proof majorities in both chambers it appeared that Democrats would attend the legislative session as mere spectators.

Now, Scott has succeeded in building a veto-proof coalition of Republican and Democratic senators.

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Rick Scott snubs Florida legislature

GOP HATCHETT Really, truly, who in the world is giving Florida Rick Scott legislative advice.

Dear governor, you do not toss out a pet legislative project - like the high speed rail - and then either let lawmakers read about it on Twitter or in a text message.

Scott notified the Obama administration that Florida will not be accepting $2.4 billion in stimulus funds to build a high speed rail between Tampa and Orlando.

Then he had a press conference.

Meanwhile, Florida Senate budget chief learned about the decision from text messages. Other Republican leaders found out from other online sources but not the governor's office.

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Rick Scott is the third GOP governor to reject high speed rail money

Florida joined Ohio and Wisconsin in rejecting the Obama administrations six-year plan to build a national high speed rail system.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott made his announcement this morning. He is third new Republican governor to reject the cash.  Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin had previously said "no thanks."

Not everyone in Florida is happy with Scott's descision to turn down more than $2 billion in federal dollars.

According the the Orlando Sentinel, Florda Senate budget chairman J.D. Alexander learned about the move from a text message. Not the best way to treat a top a lawmaker.

Scott can expect a lot of heat from House and Senate members whose districts would have benefited from the Tampa to Orlando train.

This could get ugly.

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Rick Scott, the Lord Voldemort of Florida

Voldemort You have to give Florida's new governor credit - no one has scared the hell out of state workers more than Rick Scott.

With his promises to cut thousands of government jobs - and eliminate some agencies - Scott has become the dark lord to those who fear the spell of unemployment.

And Scott is not hiding.

He met with workers at the Department of Community Affairs - an agency that Scott wants to largely eliminate, costing hundreds of jobs.

Clearly, they were not thrilled to see him. Reports from the Buzz and AP suggest that Scott pulled no punches. He told the workers that his first priority is creating private sector jobs not protecting government jobs.

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Are some of Rick Scott's budget cuts make-believe?

Did Gov. Rick Scott fib to the Tea Party and the rest of us?

It sure looks that way, according to a report this morning by Lloyd Dunkelberger, the long-time Tallahassee reporter for the Sarasota Herald Tribune, Lakeland Ledger and Gainesville Sun.

Apparently,  Scott's $5.2 billion in budget cuts is really only $3.5 billion.  Why? Because Scott wants to shift the $1.3 billion for university tuition and $453 million for county clerks of courts out of the state budget.

As Dunkelberger points out, the money is still collected but from Floridians but it is taken out of the state budget.

When Senate  budget chairman J.D. Alexander of Lake Wales asked the Scott's budget director, Jerry McDaniel, if the real reduction was only $3.5 billion, McDaniel said - "that's correct."

Who in the world thought it was a good idea for Gov. Scott to tell folks he was cutting the budget by more than $5.2 billion when in fact he is not?

 Art by Patrick Crowley