Rick Scott wasn't even sworn into office before his transition emails were deleted in spite of the fact that they fell under Florida's public record laws. At the time it was blamed on a technical glitch. Since then, similar glitches have mysteriously swallowed all sorts of records that should have been available to the public eye as Scott conducted state business. Almost every time Scott's office writes it off as an accident or a computer malfunction.
It's a pattern.
Before he was narrowly reelected last November, he even sued to keep other emails hidden from view until after Floridians had cast their ballots, and they did without ever seeing what information Scott was so desperate to hide from them.
Time after time Scott has ignored Sunshine Laws and kept the public in the dark about what he's doing in their interest in the face of mountains of evidence that he's acting against their interests. Never before has a Florida Governor had a blind trust, and never before has a Governor bragged so much about the so-called fantastic job he's doing, while claiming over and over again his office is somehow incapable of keeping records of what he's up to.
Call it incompetence if you buy the technical glitch argument. Again.
Call it political malpractice if you believe as many do that it's intentional.
Either way, the fact remains that Rick Scott is keeping Floridians and the media from gaining access to what they have every right to see, over and over again.
The latest incident revolving around the removal of FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey by Scott, at the time, with the Cabinet's blessing, is the most blatant yet, and in spite of the about face from Scott's cabinet members feigning sudden outrage they were in the dark too, they've stood by and given Scott their rubber stamp of approval on his actions for over four years now. They too want to claim ignorance.
Not so fast.
Cabinet aides also don't record minutes, we learned, when conducting state business.
Worse still, the man who should be investigating all this blatant secrecy, State Attorney Willie Meggs, says he has no interest in looking into it at all.
No one in power in the state will so much as lift a finger to hold Rick Scott and the Cabinet's feet to the fire, to even remotely hold them accountable for keeping Florida's citizens in the dark.
Floridians are fed up with it and 10,000 of them have now signed a petition from Progress Florida demanding an investigation that will be delivered Wednesday to the disinterested Meggs, along with U.S. Attorney Pamela Marsh.
From Progress Florida:
Because the FDLE is charged with investigating political corruption in our state and must remain free from political influence and meddling, but it appears Gov. Scott may have violated both state and federal law in his politically motivated firing of FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.
One of two things happened, either Rick Scott got approval from his fellow Cabinet members to fire Commissioner Bailey, or Rick Scott fired Bailey unilaterally.
“The former is a violation of Florida’s Sunshine Laws which require policy and personnel discussions among our governor and Cabinet to be in a public forum. The latter is a violation of our state Constitution which requires at least one other Cabinet member approve the firing of our state’s chief law enforcement officer,” said Progress Florida executive director Mark Ferrulo. “So where’s the investigation? That’s the question more than 10,000 concerned citizens want answered.”
Rick Scott may think he can sweep this incident under the rug along with everything else he's gotten away with for four years, but he may have finally gone too far for even his supporters, as few as he still has left.
Likewise, his Cabinet, Adam Putnam, Jeff Atwater, and Pam Bondi, may think they can point fingers at Scott, but they didn't point them until it became apparent they had no other choice in order to save themselves and their own future political ambitions. They too may think they can avoid scrutiny, but this isn't exactly new territory for them either.
Good luck with that.
Floridians are sick of all of them.