Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rick Scott claims he "didn't have anything to do" with voter suppression law that he signed!

In 2011, the worst election law in modern history since the Jim Crow era was passed right here in Florida.

Getting fined thousands of dollars for turning in voter registration forms late. Early voting cut (which led to lines as long as 9 fucking hours in South Florida). Provisional ballots for women who changed their names or college students (in other words, likely Democrats). Voter caging. Forbidding video to catch said caging, and so on and so on.

It was disgusting and rushed through the State Legislature. Floridians called on Governor Scott to veto the bill.

Scott told the critics to go fuck themselves:

Ignoring the objections of critics, Gov. Rick Scott signed into law on Thursday a contentious elections bill almost certainly headed to court.


And it did head to Court. And Rick Scott used OUR taxpayer money to vigorously defend this monstrosity. His administration spent more than $500,000 in legal fees to defend these anti-voting measures.

Oh yeah... and we later learned from the former state GOP chairman Jim Greer that whole purpose of the law was in fact to discourage minority voters.

So Scott got the law he wanted. Only, for 2012, it backfired. Big time.

People were willing to stand in lines until the wee hours of the morning. Elections officials in South Florida were so overwhelmed they shut down leaving people screaming "LET US VOTE"! (That still gets me that that happened right here in America.)

But ass-head Rick Scott STILL wouldn't allow one fucking hour of extension despite the pleas from election officials--prompting Dems to file an emergency lawsuit to circumvent him.

My point here is that this WAS Rick Scott's law. He called for it. He signed it. He defended it. And even when it was clear that it was hurting Florida citizens, he STILL fought for it. After the election, he said the law was "the right thing to do!"

Until last week. Suddenly realizing that he has to win re-election to continue to be governor, and simultaneously thinking we are all fucking idiots, he tried something new.

NO, he didn't apologize and promise to make it all right. He now claims he had absolutely nothing to do with his signature law.

Scott met with a group of black legislators last week. (At least he managed to not insult them this time.) They were furious with him for many reasons, but mostly for his infamous voter suppression law. Scott, being the masterful diplomat (snark), responded:
Scott agreed with black lawmakers that the 2011 election law contributed to the chaos at the polls in November, including long lines all over the state and up to seven-hour waits in Miami-Dade. But Scott, who is seeking re-election in 2014, said it was largely a decision of the Legislature. "It was not my bill," Scott said. "We've got to make changes, I agree. … The Legislature passed it. I didn't have anything to do with passing it."
Yeah. He said that. He had nothing to do with passing it. I'm still trying to comprehend why stories like this don't make waves. Try to imagine Obama telling a group of Republicans that he agrees with them that the Affordable Care Act is really bad and that he had absolutely nothing to do with passing it. Would he still have any credibility left as a politician? How is it that Rick Scott gets away with this crap!? So OK. Scott was just a helpless bystander to this travesty. Nothing could have been done. Got it. So naturally, he is going to push to reverse it - right? Nope. He steadfastly REFUSES to restore the number of days for early voting. In fact, he is now proposing a scheme to give "flexibility" to elections supervisors, meaning they would be allowed to limit early voting to EVEN LESS time than we have now! During the meeting he wouldn't even agree to revisit his harshest restrictions in the nation regarding the voting rights of citizens who have already served their time in prison:
Once you're out as a felon, you should spend time making sure you're doing the right thing before you get those rights back.
Scott went on to say that restricting their voting rights is somehow why Florida's crime rate has dropped. So everything is good, except for when everything isn't, and Rick Scott is blameless regardless. I guess I should be happy for some measure of progress. At least he didn't blame Obama this time.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

GOP Rigging the Presidential Election to Guarantee Victory in 2016

The infamous voter suppression tactics of 2012 didn't work out for the GOP that well, although it did keep over 200,000 people from voting here in the Sunshine State.

So why not double down on the cheating?

The national Republican party has officially endorsed a scheme to make it all but impossible for a Democrat to win the White House by changing the rules in legislatures they control. The plan is to divide up a state's electoral votes by GERRYMANDERED DISTRICTS in key swing states that vote blue in Presidential elections but currently are under the GOP grip on the state level: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida.

They have GOP majorities in both state houses and the governor's mansion, thanks to the tea party wave of 2010. Unfortunately, that year was a critical year for redrawing Congressional and Legislative districts, which means the GOP really went nuts to consolidate their power and dilute the will of the people.

In PA, for example, the GOP drew crazy districts that cram minorities into giant megadistricts to allowed a comfortable majority of GOP districts. A legislative bill was just introduced that would divide that state's EVs by these districts--so even though you vote Democrat in a Presidential election, if you are in a GOP district (which is likely) your votes will go to the GOP candidate.

It sucks real bad. At least here in Florida we have a citizen ballot initiative, (although our current legislature has put up a lot of barriers to this process), but PA has none. Soon their presidential votes will count about as much as my vote against my tea party legislative rep here in FL--his district was gerrymandered around his own damn house.

We can try to fight this in the courts, and by citizen initiative. One activist asked for my help in trying to push for the 270 plan for the popular vote. (It is an ingenious plan that has gained traction in recent years, where states promise to allocate their EVs by the national popular vote--but will only take effect when enough states sign on to reach the critical 270 electoral votes needed to win.)

States controlled by Dems should jump at this, but states like ours can bypass the right-wing controlled legislatures by citizen ballot initiative. I am hoping that will be something that Dems will push for this year here in Florida.

Otherwise, we essentially lose our right to vote.

Read more about it here.

Mental Health/School Safety Funding CUT to Pay for Gun Maker Tax Subsidies (Thanks Rick)

The rest of the nation may be looking for ways to stop gun violence. Here in Florida, our GOP overlords pride themselves in doing the opposite.

Florida now ranks 49th in mental health care funding, mostly due to multi-million dollar line-item cuts last year that targeted the mentally ill. (For cripes sakes, even though we are the fourth largest state, Mississippi now spends three times as much in mental health than we do!)

But we rank #1 in gun ownership! Yay us!

I have mentioned in previous posts how the NRA writes legislation and gets an average of one new gun-friendly law passed every year. The laws get wackier and wackier as it gets easier and easier to buy weapons; but it has gotten damn near impossible to get any help obtaining mental health care in Florida.

Well done, Rick Scott:

In 2012, a tough budget year when the Legislature cut funding for school safety by $1.8 million and Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $5.7 million for mental health programs, lawmakers were able to find more than $10 million for economic incentives that went to violent film productions, bloody video games and gun manufacturers.


Our Central Florida Recovery House and Mental Health Center were cut by $1.6 million-- but that same amount went to subsidize gun manufacturer Colt to bring us 63 jobs. (At that rate, since Rick Scott promised us 7 million jobs when elected, I guess we can expect to pony up $182 billion?)

Then we gave taxpayer money to a gun parts maker and to Kel Tec (which manufactured the gun used to kill Trayvon along with several assault rifles used in recent mass shootings). We also generously ensured they had plenty of customers due to the dozens of gun-friendly laws passed, which allowed us to become the first state in the nation to pass 1 million concealed weapons users. (Yay us!)

Adam Putnam, our Agriculture Commissioner, was beaming with pride about that statistic and even held a press conference when we hit the millionth concealed weapons' permit holder.

He'd still be talking about that if a certain incident didn't overshadow that two days later on December 14th.

The GOP legislators who are desperately trying to shield guns from any responsibility in gun violence are trying to lay blame on video game and film manufacturers. Since tens of millions of Florida taxpayer incentive money went to entertainment companies that make violent films and games, that rings hollow as well. At the very least, since Rick Scott has no trouble handing our money over to these characters, he could at least expand Medicaid coverage and give desperately needed help to thousands of Floridians suffering mental health disorders under his regime. But don't expect that anytime soon. Our GOP lawmakers can just retreat to their gated communities and let everyone else deal with their consequences. Oh, we are number one in gated communities as well.

Yay us!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Cruel Tale of Rick Scott's Rescue Puppy

I've said this before, I'll say it again.

Rick Scott is a fucking ASS-HOLE!

Asked last week what had happened to [Rick Scott's adopted rescue dog], Scott's current and former communications director refused to answer...

But he wouldn't say where the dog was and accused reporters of "surfing some old Facebook or website pages.'' At one point an exasperated reporter asked Burgess if he had killed the dog, and Burgess denied ever killing a dog, but still wouldn't say where Reagan was.


Backing up....

Right after Rick Scott defeated perennial loser Bill McCollum to win the GOP nomination for governor in 2010, apparently some highly-paid consultant said he needed to look a lot less like the evil man that he truly is and adopt a rescue pet.

So it came to be. Rick Scott made a HUGE deal on his candidate Facebook page that he had rescued a puppy Labrador Retriever. Bastard even scarred it by naming it Reagan (after holding a "fun" contest): "The Scott family is proud to announce that the name (chosen by you) for their newly adopted pup is Reagan! Thanks to everyone who participated in the fun contest".

YAY! What fun!

Florida teabag wingnuts took to the comments page praising him for naming him after their conserva-demigod. Others took the mandatory practice of slamming Obama for some crap like Bo being an elitist puppy. (Yeah! That fucking Obama and his dog that everyone still knows is alive, safe and cared for!)

The puppy was in the newspapers up till the day before Scott's swearing-in ceremony.

That was the last time people saw him.

He then disappeared.

When the Tampa Bay Times dared to ask where the dog was, they got dodge after dodge. Burgess first said he was desperately "working on an answer". OH...not because they gave a shit about what happened to the dog but because of the "potential PR nightmare if the Tampa Bay Times doesn't receive a photo of Reagan next to the today's copy of the Tampa Bay Times."

Yes. He wrote that. I don't know what's worse. That he expects us to believe he had to "research" that he was missing? Or that he was less worried about the poor dog being gone than he was about this turning into "Seamus II". (Or Pam Bondi's "puppygate" all over again. Our rightwing AG was in hot water for stealing a dog from a Katrina family.)

Burgess tried and tried but just couldn't determine if the dog was really missing or just playing a 2 year-long game of hide and seek or had somehow buried himself after accidentally murdering himself. Failing any good spin, he referred all questions to a new comm director, Melissa Sellers.

She brilliantly answered that she was "far too busy" to answer any questions about some dumb dog. (After which she assuredly must have said something like "And that's the end of that chapter!").

Then another spokesman took the prize by pretending Rick Scott had only ever had the one dog, Tallee.

Fed up with the embarrassing fiasco that is Scott's communications team, the Tampa Bay Times bypassed them all and just decided to ask the fucking governor himself, whom none of these redstate geniuses ever bothered to brief with their spin.

Essentially, Rick Scott said the dog was a terror (he liked to bark a lot) and that he just had to get rid of him.

Another GOP politician treating a dog the same way he treats people.

SO to sum up, Scott needed a campaign prop. He didn't need it after the election. Almost immediately after he was elected, he got rid of him. And everyone on his team thought everyone was too dumb to notice. (They have a point... we did elect this asshat to our highest office.)

It's a sad story in many ways, but don't feel too bad. At least the poor thing isn't with Rick Scott anymore.

2:56 PM PT: So where is the dog now? Depends on who you believe. According to Fox News, Rick Scott gave the dog to back to his former owner. The Raw Story says he went back to the rescue shelter. The Times article reports he went to a private business in Naples called All Pets Grooming and Boarding. And the Jacksonville paper just admitted they don't know where the hell the dog is. No one does. I just hope he's okay.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Satan Worshippers Hold Rally for Rick Scott

Just in case you had any doubts about Rick Scott, Here you go