Voters may recall the Rick Scott promise four years ago, when he campaigned on being "the 700,000 jobs governor". Then, the state's economy was staggering from the housing crash -- the result of policies born from the overstimulation of the banking and construction sectors by Bush administrations in Washington and Tallahassee.
Of jobs created in Florida during the Scott term, a significant percentage are low paying jobs in the service sector. Yes, there are bright spots (some, like coastal Miami's construction boom are tied to a new wave of speculation by foreign investors), but most Florida voters -- a subset of most most Floridians -- are still stuck in a torpid whirlpool.
Democrats talk about that whirlpool. How wages have dropped or stagnated at the lower end while wealth massively concentrates at the upper reaches. Republicans don't. Democrats talk about inequities. Republicans talk about outsiders who threaten the homeland. If your net worth is high enough, like that of Gov. Scott and former Gov. Jeb Bush, you can escape its centrifugal force. But the sense of not moving, economically speaking, is what should drive voters to the polls and ask for change.
Scott inherited a legacy of making facts fit predetermined outcomes. When he arrived in Tallahassee four years ago, he had never held public office. He had no network, especially among Republican insiders who mistrusted his self-funded campaign. Rick Scott brought to Tallahasee his luggage and business skills and not much else. The new governor had nowhere to turn except to the network of professionals and insiders that Jeb Bush had carefully assembled before Charlie Crist politely held them at bay.
The Tampa Bay Times published an excellent editorial on Gov. Rick Scott's dismal record, making the same points we have on this blog about trashing Florida's environment:
Scott has bulldozed a record of environmental protection that his Republican and Democratic predecessors spent decades building. He weakened the enforcement of environmental laws and cut support for clean water, conservation and other programs. He simultaneously made it easier for the biggest polluters and private industries to degrade the state's natural resources. While the first-term Republican attempts to transform himself into an environmentalist during his re-election campaign, his record reflects a callous disregard for the state's natural resources and no understanding of how deeply Floridians care about their state's beauty and treasures.
A vote for Charlie Crist is a vote against the cronyism that has state government in a vise-grip. Florida can't afford another four more years of Rick Scott.