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. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.