Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Romano: No offense Gov. Scott, but they're making you look like a wimp

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [AP, left; SCOTT KEELER | Times, right]

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [AP, left; SCOTT KEELER | Times, right]

Dear Governor,

Can't help noticing you've been a little peeved lately. Honestly, I can't blame you.

You've been in office long enough to know you're not going to please everyone, and the critics will come at you from every direction. There should be no surprises or complaints there.

Still, it's gotta sting to be knee-capped by your own cohorts.

Worse yet, they did it in full view of the world. You argued, you threatened, you practically groveled in the public square, and Florida legislators still treated you like some empty-suited stooge.

Things you hold dear were basically ignored in the new budget, and now House Speaker Richard Corcoran is practically daring you to veto it. And while that may be tempting, you run the risk of allowing lawmakers to return to Tallahassee and embarrass you again.

So where do you go from here? I would suggest 2010.

Go back and revisit the candidate you were before your first term. That Rick Scott railed against "career politicians'' and "Tallahassee insiders.'' That Rick Scott declared "dealmakers'' were crying in their cocktails the night you won the Republican primary.

You may not have been the most charming candidate, and you seemed more conservative than the average voter, but your anti-establishment posture connected.

That's what's got to be so galling for you today.

Corcoran's attacks on Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida have left people with the impression that you're the dealmaker working corporate angles. That you're the insider wasting taxpayer money.

Even more laughable is Corcoran's hijacking the role of a populist. And that is where you should call bull.

No matter what anyone thinks about jobs incentives being used at Enterprise Florida or reckless spending at Visit Florida, those were not the key issues in the minds of most voters six months ago.

Corcoran used them to grab headlines and make you look out of touch. Meanwhile, he was pulling off one of the most grotesque examples of insider politics Tallahassee has seen in ages.

Not only was the budget crafted entirely in private, but an education bill (HB 7069) was thrown together at the last minute that continues Tallahassee's micromanagement of public schools and furthers the state's zeal to hand over education funds to corporate interests.

If you want to fight back, that's where you should start.

Corcoran dressed up HB 7069 with a lot of other ideas — some entirely worthwhile — but he mostly wanted $140 million for his Schools of Hope plan.

He plays with the numbers to make it look like the state is spending more than ever on education, but the reality is the Legislature has burdened school districts with unnecessary edicts that create financial hardships and make it harder to do their jobs. Meanwhile, Corcoran's cherished charter schools get more money and more freedom.

Vetoing HB 7069 should be a no-brainer for you.

First, it would be good for the state. School boards, superintendents, teachers, parent groups and editorial boards have all come out strongly against the legislation. Next, it would give you the chance to again blast power brokers and their legislative tricks.

And, finally, it reminds everyone who is supposed to be in charge.

Romano: No offense Gov. Scott, but they're making you look like a wimp 05/16/17 [Last modified: Monday, May 15, 2017 6:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Avalos gets life in prison for killing Bradenton neighbor, pastor

    Crime

    BRADENTON — A Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor and a local pastor.

    Andres "Andy" Avalos has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor and a local pastor. 

[File photo from Manatee County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Manchester police hunt for accomplices; Islamic State group claims responsibility for blast

    Public Safety

    MANCHESTER, England — Investigators hunted Tuesday for possible accomplices of the suicide bomber who attacked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 people and sparking a stampede of young concertgoers, some still wearing the American pop star's trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.

    Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured.  [Peter Byrne | PA via AP]
  3. Why's Pam Bondi raising money? Not to run for office, she says.

    Blogs

    Term-limited Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi may have restarted her political fundraising, but she says she's not considering a run for another public office.

    Attorney General Pam Bondi
  4. Roommates in Tampa Palms slaying case never outgrew Nazi sympathies, friend says

    Crime

    TAMPA — Like most people, Watson Fincher was shocked to hear that a neo-Nazi turned jihadi stands accused of killing his two Tampa Palms roommates — and that a fourth roommate told federal agents he, too, was a neo-Nazi, had bomb materials and was planning to target infrastructure.

    Authorities investigating a double murder Friday in the Hampton at Tampa Palms complex found explosives and bomb-manking materials in an apartment there. [ANASTASIA DAWSON   |   Times]
  5. The new 'Baywatch' movie is basically about hot people in swimsuits

    Movies

    Baywatch is a running gag in slow motion, a thong-in-cheek TV retread swapping wholesome jiggles for dirty giggles. There are places for such humor but beaches don't have gutters.

    Kelly Rohrbach as CJ Parker, Alexandra Daddario as Summer, Ilfenesh Hadera as Stephanie Holden, Dwayne Johnson as Mitch Buchannon, Zac Efron as Matt Brody and Jon Bass as Ronnie in the film, "Baywatch."