Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin has requested that Gov. Rick Scott appear at an upcoming hearing on Florida's new election laws which make it harder for some to vote.
Scott's response? Crickets.
In a letter to Scott, Durbin questions why Scott and the Florida Legislature reduced early voting from 14 days to 8 (the law also says county election supervisors can hold up to 96 hours of early voting, as before). Durbin asks Scott for "a prompt response (to) identify the steps that your administration will take to ensure that all Floridians who wish to do so can cast their votes during the early voting period."
Durbin questions why the state would prohibit early voting on the Sunday before the election, but as Secretary of State Kurt Browning has pointed out, most counties didn't open their early voting centers on the Sunday before the election even when they could.
The law's most controversial provisions dealing with early voting, provisional ballots and voter registration have not been approved or "pre-cleared" in five counties under federal jurisdiction, including Hillsborough and Monroe.
Why is Scott ignoring the letter and the request to appear at the hearing? He's busy, and besides, he didn't write the law. Really:
Gov. Rick Scott will not respond to a request from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin that he promptly explain how his administration will ensure "that all Floridians who wish to do so can cast their votes during the early voting period" under the new voting law.
Why not? He's tied up with session, and he didn't write the law.
"Governor Scott won’t be responding to the senator’s letter. He’s focused on passing meaningful jobs legislation, education and PIP reform and respectfully declines to further explain a law he didn’t write," spokesmanLane Wright said in an email.
The same goes for a public hearing about the law in Tampa, which Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, invited Scott to attend.
So much for that "new and improved" slogan "Let's Get To Work....Together" and that new and improved image we're told he's pursuing.
If he won't get involved merely because "he didn't write the election law" reasoning that he's busy with "jobs legislation, education and PIP reform," does that mean he is writing legislation for the above three things, or is the legislature doing that? Strange how governing works in Florida these days with Scott at the helm.
Scott has a habit of ignoring things he doesn't agree with, and the people of Florida's right to vote apparently doesn't even show up on his radar.
Question for Rick Scott: From your State Of The State Speech earlier in the week, is this supposed to demonstrate the "arrogance of government," you spoke of, or is this the "government getting out of the way part?"
Guess we shouldn't hold our breath waiting for an answer.
Or a ballot.