Gelber slams Scott in blog post
Former Democratic state Sen. Dan Gelber lashed out at Gov. Rick Scott in a blog post published earlier today. In the post, titled “I miss Jeb Bush,” Gelber writes that Scott’s only interest is “pandering to a narrow swath of tea party supporters by nationalizing Florida politics” and that he ”doesn’t seem to care about Florida.”
From Gelber’s post:
Four words I never expected to say: I miss Jeb Bush.
Don’t misunderstand, I fought Jeb (and, I suspect, will again). But no matter how much I opposed his policies, I always believed Jeb possessed the requisite respect for our state and its people.
Sadly, I can’t say that about Rick Scott.
I have watched him carefully his first 6 months in office. At first I thought Governor Scott’s reptilian detachment from Florida was simply the product of being unaccustomed to the harsh glare of public life. But it became quickly apparent that it comes from something far more unsettling.
Rick Scott doesn’t seem to care about Florida.
Gelber says Scott was only elected because of the strong backlash against Democrats during the 2010 midterm election. But according to Gelber, the man who was “barely elected” by Floridians is now ruining the state:
Now, like a bad sequel to the movie The Hangover, Floridians are retracing their steps to figure out how they woke up with a tiger in their bathroom and Lex Luther as governor. His approval rating is 29% and frankly that’s too generous.
In just 6 months Rick Scott has dismantled our growth management laws and eliminated Florida Forever (the land conservation program) to allow developers to completely pave over our state; he successfully convinced the legislature to gut education spending in order to provide special interest tax breaks; he’s shown utter contempt for Florida’s open government traditions by operating more secretively than any other administration; he gave property insurance companies the green light to raise rates as they see fit; and advanced policies that will make our state’s oldest and poorest nothing more than profit centers for health insurers. And that’s just the beginning.
Scott is treating Florida much like the companies he bought and sold in his business life. Buy a company, reengineer it so it can be sold for a quick profit and let it’s defects become someone else’s problems down the road.
Gelber unsuccessfully ran for Florida attorney general in 2010, on a platform of protecting Florida’s environment and harsher restrictions to protect against fraud.
In signing the recent state budget, Scott slashed at least $350 million for environmentally protected lands. In the 1990s, during his time as CEO of hospital chain Columbia/ HCA, Scott was immersed in one of the largest Medicare fraud cases in history. Though he was never charged, Columbia/HCA ended up paying $1.7 billion in fines and penalties. Scott resigned as CEO in 1997, only four months after federal agents announced their investigation into the hospitals.