If you care about the environment, education, gun control or any progressive values, Rick Scott has been a disaster as governor of Florida. And now this right-wing former CEO accused of Medicare fraud wants to go to Washington in the U.S. Senate so he can promote even more of Donald Trump’s disastrous agenda.
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) April 8, 2018
Scott has allowed the Koch Brothers and other big corporate interests to destroy Florida’s water quality, but recently has started pretending to care about nature and the environment.
Scott became notorious when he banned the term “climate change” from Florida state government. As the Miami Herald reported in 2015:
“The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years. But you would not know that by talking to officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the state agency on the front lines of studying and planning for these changes.
DEP officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports, according to former DEP employees, consultants, volunteers and records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. The policy has affected reports, educational efforts and public policy in a department with about 3,200 employees and $1.4 billion budget.”
Scott and Trump also recently orchestrated a charade when Trump’s administration announced offshore drilling (which would despoil Florida’s beaches) then pretended to exclude Florida from the proposal as a way to make Scott look like an environmentalist.
Bill Nelson, Gov. Scott’s Democratic probable opponent in the Florida Senate race, is a strong environmentalist and recognized the charade from the beginning.
“I have spent my entire life fighting to keep oil rigs away from our coasts. But now, suddenly, Secretary Zinke announces plans to drill off Florida’s coast and four days later agrees to ‘take Florida off the table?’ I don’t believe it,” Nelson said in a statement. “This is a political stunt orchestrated by the Trump administration to help Rick Scott, who has wanted to drill off Florida’s coast his entire career. We shouldn’t be playing politics with the future of Florida.”
In a 2014 op-ed, the Tampa Bay Times called Scott’s environmental record in Florida a “disaster”:
“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.”
Rick Scott has been a disaster for Florida as governor and would be a disaster for the country as a U.S. Senator. He is beloved by Donald Trump and will support every part of his misguided agenda. People who care about our country can only hope that Scott will go down in defeat and be drowned in the coming Blue Wave of 2018.