Friday, June 27, 2014

Rick Scott's Flip Flop Circus

Whether you plan to support Crist or Rich in the Democratic primary upcoming (as an "indie" I have to sit it out -- sorry!) you have to be less than tolerantly amused by how often Rick Scott's manic supporters make an issue of Crist "flip flopping". In the main, they get upset about his changeover from R to D, and it usually involves one or more slogans of this type:

"He doesn't even know what party he's in!"

"He's a traitor!"

"He's switched parties TWICE!"

On that last one, it's always fun to inform them that "Independent" is not a party. 

On the first one, I usually remind them of party switchers past, including Ronald Reagan (D to R, and one of their heroes). Others include Hillary Clinton (R to D, like Crist), Teddy Roosevelt (R to Bull Moose), and many more.

Then they might complain the Crist switched parties during an election. Again, not really, because Independent isn't a party. They also say that he switched because he was "loosing" (sic) and trying to win another way. That's only partly true, because as anyone with  the barest political knowledge knows, switching to "Indy" mid-race is about the same as trying to thread a needle with a sledgehammer. It has very little record of success, and the more likely reading, given Crist's impetuous nature, is that he felt the need to take a stand and made what was, politically, a rash decision.

The closest analogy to what Crist did is probably from the 1980 Presidential election, where John Anderson pulled out of the GOP to become an Independent. Like Crist, Anderson had a history of rethinking his beliefs over time. 

But anyway...for this entry, the theme is flip flops, and Rick Scott has plenty of his own. His followers like to use slogans of him like, "promises made, promises kept" as though he's never changed his mind in his life, much less while Governor. The record shows otherwise. Here's a version from my list, which I use on Scott's Facebook page.

 Rick Scott's Flip Flops

A lot of Scott supporters make a big deal about Charlie Crist as a "flip flopper." It's too bad they can't see the same circus act in their own candidate. Here's a list of issues Scott has flip-flopped on, which include things related to the core principles he ran on as a candidate in 2010.

1) Early voting

"Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill late Monday night that will allow supervisors of elections to restore the early voting days he and the Legislature cut just two years earlier.

"The 2011 law was partly to blame for the long lines last November that once again made Florida voting a national laughing stock.

"Throughout last year's election, Scott vigorously defended his decision to sign a bill that, among other things, cut early voting days from 14 to eight and eliminated early voting on the Sunday before Election Day. Then in January, after critics lambasted Florida's voting, Scott said he supported more early voting days and sites and shorter ballots.

"The Republican governor quietly signed the bill right before he left on a trade mission to Chile. His office didn't notify the media that the bill had been signed."

2) The pill mill database

"One way Florida is hoping to combat the over-prescribing of pain medications like oxycodone, Scott said, is by implementing a statewide drug database that will track prescriptions that pharmacists fill for patients. The hope is that law enforcement officials can spot doctors who are prescribing too many drugs, or patients who are hopping from doctor to doctor satisfy their fix.

"Scott initially opposed the database, saying he was concerned about the privacy rights of law-abiding patients -- and asked the Legislature to repeal a 2009 law that created the computer monitoring program.

"But his position put him at odds with leaders in the state Senate, whose support would have been required to nix the database. So the database is moving forward."

3) Campaign donations from big sugar

"Three years ago, when Big Sugar was financing the campaign of Rick Scott's GOP opponent, Scott called the sugar money "disgusting."

"He's owned by U.S. Sugar," Scott said of veteran Republican Bill McCollum. "They've given him nearly a million dollars for his campaign. And it's disgusting."

"Flash forward to last month — when U.S. Sugar gave Gov. Scott's re-election fund $100,000.

"After giving him another $100,000 back in June. And another $100,000 in March. And another $100,000 before that.

"Plus $150,000 from another sugar giant, Florida Crystals.

"Apparently the money is a lot less disgusting when it's coming your way."

4) E-Verify

"Back when he was running for governor, his campaign vowed: "Rick will require all Florida employers to use the free E-Verify system to ensure that their workers are legal."

"Now he says he won't. What's more, he now calls the idea of forced E-Verify "foolish."

"That's the word he used when he appeared before a bunch of agriculture interests — an industry reliant on cheap and illegal labor.

"It would be foolish to put Florida companies at a disadvantage," he said over lunch with the Florida Citrus Commission, according to The Ledger in Lakeland.

"Yes, he used the word "foolish" to describe his own promise — one he made two years ago."

5) Medicaid expansion

"Florida Gov. Rick Scott — a fierce foe of Obamacare who fought it all the way to the Supreme Court — on Wednesday announced that he would accept the Medicaid expansion under the health law.

"Scott had campaigned against the health legislation even before he began running for office, and Florida led the 26 states that fought it in court.

"On Wednesday, that changed as he agreed to take the federally financed expansion that would cover more than 1 million people — at least for the first three years."

6) Common Core

7) tuition hikes

"We owe it to the families in our state who are paying tuition today and those planning to pay tuition for the next generation of Floridians to be direct: Raising tuition is a tax increase," Scott wrote in the National Review Online. "And, unfortunately, it is a tax increase that directly affects whether Floridians can achieve the American dream of earning a higher-education diploma."

"If true, count Scott among the tax raisers.

"While Scott proudly vetoed a 3 percent tuition hike last month, his 2011 budget included an 8 percent hike for students, at a cost of roughly $50 million. Scott also approved a 5 percent tuition increase for state colleges in 2012, saying that "colleges remain best positioned to weigh the needs of their institutions against the burden of increased student costs."

When called down on this, he claimed the hike was part of a larger bill he didn’t want to veto. Apparently he forgot (just for that moment) that he had line-item veto power.

8) transportation spending

You think Scott is a guy who keeps his promises? You think Crist is a flip flopper? Compared to Crist, Scott is a circus acrobat!

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