Updated: May 11
Post # 114, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
Our Junior Senator Rick Scott brought a rather tarnished record into office as our Florida Governor in 2010. He had to defeat favored Attorney General Bill McCullom to win the race and did that using millions of his own money taken from the Federal Government for media advertising. McCullom was known as looking like a deer frozen in a car's flood lights, so the upset election was only a mild surprise. Scott was the past CEO of Hospital Corporation of America ("HCA") when the U.S. Government charged it with the greatest theft ever of taxpayer funds through the Medicare Program. HCA, after insisting on Scott's resignation, agreed to pay the Federal Government back $840 Million, including fines and penalities. Scott said 75 times under oath, that he declined to comment because it might implicate him. He was in charge of the entire HCA operation at the time of the crime.
Once in office, Scott became the first Florida Governor to ignore the press and their inquiries. One of his first acts was to ask the Legislature to cut billions from public education. Although he had a background in health care, Scott was one of the first governors to refuse the offer of the Federal Government to share the cost of expanding Medicare for the elderly under Obama Care. But probably his most controversial action was to look the other way when polluters sought to use Lake Okeechobee for dumping waste. The result was the massive pollution of the Lake and all it's tributaries into the Florida Peninsula. Scott deservedly earning the nick name "Red Tide Rick." Once again, Scott used the millions he had of government funds to mount a slick advertising campaign to squeak out election to the U.S. Senate.
But wait. There is more. This weekend USA Today reported that the same Rick Scott destroyed the public health unit in the state of Florida, our best detection against pandemics like the current Coronavirus. It had already been reported by his fellow Republican, current Governor Ron DeSantis, that Scott left the state unemployment program--designed to help the poor--in shambles.
Now we learn that the great state of Florida, home of Governors Collins, Askew, Graham, Chiles and Bush, is going to submit a new candidate for President in 2024. Red Tide Rick.