Scott's lawyer admits he misled Fla. Supreme Court in high-speed rail argument
Gov. Rick Scott’s legal counsel Thursday told the Florida Supreme Court that he made an inaccurate representation on the amount of money already spent on the state’s high-speed rail project — a key detail that may have helped cinch the governor’s victory in a constitutional tug-of-war...
...it looks like the ruling may have hinged on a misstatement by a top Scott official.
While Bill Nelson and other Democrats were fighting to actually bring jobs to Florida, Rick Scott used taxpayer money to fight tooth and nail against a fully-funded federal project that would have brought tens of thousands of jobs to our suffering state. Jobs that are now going somewhere else.
His lacky lawyer, Charles Trippe, argued in court that that $110 million of the $130 million authorized by the FL Legislature had already been spent.
In fact, it was only $31 million, not $110 million. Meaning we had 99 million dollars left--quite a difference.
I guess Trippe has the same trouble with rounding numbers as Sen. Jon Kyl does. (Are you SURE you want to cut 3 billion in our education, governor??)
The Justices responded positively to that claim:
"So the issue (as) to whether his actions affect the $130 million, you would argue - and of course we have very limited to no factual record here - but that is de minimis right now?" [Justice] Pariente asked.
Trippe agreed, suggesting lawmakers were arguing over a trifling amount of cash.
"It is not only de minimis, but the statute itself provides for a carryover of it by the end of the year if the money hasn't been spent. So he is not in violation of this appropriation," Trippe told the court.
This "misstatement" was absolutely critical to the case. The two state senators who brought the case against Rick Scott, one Democrat and one Republican, were justifiably outraged:
"We were approaching the end of the fiscal year. And if he spent $110 million out of the $131 million, how do you allege he's not implementing the law? He spent a vast majority of the money," Altman said. "But if it's only $30 million, and there are only four months left in the fiscal year, it's a stronger case."...
"There was a big misrepresentation of the facts. Would this be a legitimate reason to reopen this case and reassert that the governor misused his authority? Certainly, clearly it shows either his office didn't know what was going on or they misrepresented the facts," Altman said. "What is the bigger and more important question is the misuse of executive authority and not faithfully implementing the law. That applies not only to rail, but many other things."
WHO could have guessed that dishonesty would be a hallmark of our governor's office??
Our governor, who can't even admit his own signature, just can't stop the lying.
He is now, incredibly, trying to take credit for helping stop the federal govenrment shutdown by saying it happened because he said "Thanks, but NO THANKS" to the HSR project.
Even though that money is just going to other states...
Even though it was an entirely different budget...
And even though he never said he wanted the money to go back to Washington...Sick Rott forgot his own reasons for saying he didn't want rail, which included asking LaHood to use that money for other pet projects such dredging ports and widening the interstate...
At least his slimy lawyer came clean, even if it was after the fact. But that's more than I can say for his boss.