Thursday, April 03, 2014

In court, rich men behave badly, and in Tallahassee Gov. Rick Scott beats a hasty retreat from a female writer … by gimleteye

Oh, the events of the day. Here is a selective reading.

First, the ongoing spectacle of two of Miami's big millionaires -- Ugo Columbo and Craig Robins -- slugging it out over a private jet and a $2 million judgement Robbins contests because half the jurors had criminal records they did not disclose. A jury of their peers?

Second, Diane Roberts, the FSU professor and newspaper columnist for the Tampa Bay Times, who has valiantly chronicled the environmental decay of the state of Florida. Roberts was censored by the Scott administration when it cancelled her speech "at the state-run Mission San Luis on a favorite topic, the deterioration of Florida's lakes, rivers and springs."

Unlike the spectacle of two big millionaires simmering through court hearings, L'Affair Rick Scott quickly mushroomed when an $11 per hour staffer resigned to protest the state's decision to silence a critic. "Do you have a death wish?" Mission director Robert Blount III questioned the lowly staffer, Jessica Kindrick (who since announced her intention to move home to Texas!)

Too bad she doesn't have Craig Robins's lawyer on her side.

On Diane Roberts' Facebook page, one observer wrote -- hilariously -- of Ms. Roberts: "I think you've started an Occupy Movement in Rick Scott's head!" At a Wednesday morning press conference on an election-year gambit -- reducing the auto fee, hooray!, Gov. Scott slipped up by misidentifying an official standing nearby with the first name, Diane, as "Diane Roberts".

On a day (after the US Supreme Court decision further empowering billionaire campaign contributors) when Paul Revere ought to be riding through the Town Square shouting, "The Oligarchs Are Coming, The Oligarchs Are Coming!", take heart in two incandescent stories.

I don't know if Diane will embrace Rick's retreat from censorship (by the way, I endured the same, banished from the guest opinion space of the Orlando Sentinel because of pressure from the administration of Gov. Jeb! Bush on the same topics -- environmental decay), but nothing Diane could say in a speech would be as close to entertaining as the spectacle we've already watched.

You can't make this stuff up. Any of it.


Anonymous said...

posted on reedit by the Jessica Kindrick:

I have personal knowledge of an act of political censorship of an academic lecture by Rick Scott's Department of State for politically motivated reasons. I work at a museum in Tallahassee administered by the lower agencies of the Division of Historical Resources in the Department of State of Florida. We scheduled a lecture with a noted writer, scholar, and Florida State University Professor over an environmental topic/issue about a month ago and were contacted yesterday by someone in the DOS Communication office and told we needed to cancel the lecture because of its political nature due to it being campaign season. The topic had nothing to do directly with Rick Scott to my knowledge, my impression was that the mere enviromentalist nature of the talk was the issue. I heard Secretary of State Ken Detzner's name, we were told that we could not even say "No comment" if contacted by the press and that we were to ONLY direct any inquiries to Brittany Lesser in the Department of State Communications office. I know the Tallahassee Democrat is already working the story, I wouldn't be surprised if it made it in Sunday's paper. As a museum professional I am appalled and disgusted by this blatant political maneuvering at the expense of my, and my institution's, integrity and desire nothing more than to see this come to light.

Anonymous said...

Hey, hey GOP! Proud of what you've done to Florida?

Anonymous said...

My goodness! We can't clean these people out fast enough!