No, it's NOT working.
Another day, another scandal, resignation, and disaster from Rick Scott's office. Yesterday, Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll's resignation was only the latest episode to surface from the man who promised ethics reform upon taking office.
We're still waiting.
Less than 24 hours after Carroll's resignation, the Lt. Governor's web page was scrubbed from Scott's site, as seen above. Why, it's as if she were never there! There is no Lt. Governor page at all. It's reminiscent of those emails that disappeared after Scott took office, except that time he claimed it was an accident.
Not so this time. The absence of her web page is certainly no accident, nor was his choice to make Carroll his number two, but it was a question of poor judgment. On this trait, at least Rick Scott is consistent. Carroll wasn't the first person to leave his administration for "ethical" problems, and she probably won't be the last since he still has almost two years left in office. He campaigned as "the jobs Governor" but so far he's spent more time filling positions in his office due to an extremely fast turnover.
Scott was never a stranger to scandal and ethics problems. Before he was elected there was his former company that set a record for Medicare fraud, and a little lesser known problem of giving his campaign workers gift cards instead of actually paying them money. Then there was that pesky investment in the porn industry that even right wingers cried foul over. And that was all before he was elected.
After he settled into office, he went about killing jobs with the rejection of Florida's high-speed rail project that was years in the making, and all the stimulus money along with it, pursued not only killing the health care reform bill, but expressed his interest in privatizing Medicaid, which he's now one step closer to, thanks to the Florida Legislature, in spite of having to accept expansion himself. For both issues, Scott tried to pull a fast one with fake numbers in the case of Medicaid, and with a bogus report from a right wing think tank in the case against high-speed rail.
When the problems with the disappearing emails came to light, Scott came up with his "Project Sunburst" that was supposed to make email to and from his office open to the public. Except it wasn't. He and his staff got caught cherry-picking only the positive emails he received. Today if you look at the emails, you'll see they're rather sparse, with only a few choice days for their release. Not exactly government in the sunshine.
Of course who could forget that whole anti-democracy voting experiment thanks to Scott and Republicans in the legislature? Recall their "baffled" reaction when election day disaster did in fact ensue
Now Scott has tried to sweep his latest mess under the rug by scrubbing his web page of any trace of Jennifer Carroll. The problem of course is that this scandal, and its fallout to Scott are far from over, nor is it over for the rest of the Republicans in Florida, who as I write are combing campaign contribution records to see who got what from Allied Veterans Of The World, and of those already known, some plan to give them back. Before it's all over, there may be other elected officials who could go down along with Carroll. That shouldn't be too shocking though, as Florida was ranked number one in government corruption in a study done last year.
Yesterday when the latest scandal broke, many people asked me when will it be Scott's turn to go? With his record of disastrous decisions like those listed here, and many more I didn't mention, that's a good question. Unfortunately we may just have to wait until November of 2014 before we're rid of him.
In the meantime, rather than just crossing your fingers in hopes that Scott will actually embrace that ethics rewrite he promised long ago, you can start by signing this petition to urge the Florida legislature to demand real ethics reform.