On late Thursday, billionaire Mike Fernandez abruptly resigned his post as the finance co-chair of Governor Rick Scott’s (R-FL) reelection campaign. The prominent Cuban-American health care mogul’s departure has fueled rumors of racism among Scott’s campaign staff.
Tensions between Scott’s campaign staff and Fernandez had been building for weeks. And the last straw, according to people within the campaign who spoke with the Miami Herald this weekend, was an incident in which several of Scott’s campaign staffers allegedly began joking around in a cartoonish, over-the-top Mexican accent while on the way to a Mexican restaurant.
Florida Accidentally Banned All Computers, Smart Phones in the State Through Internet Cafe Ban: Lawsuit
When Florida lawmakers recently voted to ban all Internet cafes, they worded the bill so poorly that they effectively outlawed every computer in the state, according to a recent lawsuit.
In April Florida Governor Rick Scott approved a ban on slot machines and Internet cafes after a charity tied to Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll was shut down on suspicion of being an Internet gambling front — forcing Carroll, who had consulted with the charity, to resign.
Florida’s 1,000 Internet cafes were shut down immediately, including Miami-Dade’s Incredible Investments, LLC, a café that provides online services to migrant workers, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The owner, Consuelo Zapata, is now suing the state after her legal team found that the ban was so hastily worded that it can be applied to any computer or device connected to the Internet, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Miami Herald.
The ban defines illegal slot machines as any “system or network of devices” that may be used in a game of chance.
Along with the multitude of horrendous decisions of our crook governor, Rick Scott signed a bill into law to allow “inspirational messages” to be said during school events and rallies. Of course, this opens the door to prayer in school. I’m sure it was an unintentional consequence that the Satanists would get in on the game. Or, you know… maybe not!
The Satanic Temple is now thrilled that Satanist children will be able to praise the Devil in school.
“The Satanic Temple embraces the free expression of religion, and Satanists are happy to show their support of Rick Scott who — particularly with SB 98 — has reaffirmed our American freedom to practice our faith openly, allowing our Satanic children the freedom to pray in school,” said the group’s Neil Bricke in a statement.
The release also praises Scott’s “unwavering fortitude and progressive resolve in his defense of religious liberty.”
Be careful what you pray for. You just may get it.
Over the past year Voter Fraud has become an important issue in Florida. Governor Rick Scott has spearheaded the issue by creating new Voter ID laws to curb illegal voting. But the fear remains that it may be too little too late. Florida gun owners are uniting to bring a new law to the table called Protect the Polls. The logic behind Protect the Polls is simple. If you are a legal gun owner in the state of Florida and you suspect someone on Election Day is committing voter fraud you can shoot him or her with your licensed weapon and not be charged with a crime. Precedents have already been set allowing these rights, like the important Stand Your Ground law, and in this case, there is more at stake than just one person’s life; this is for the life of this great country.
Never mind that voter fraud is rarer than rare and that ID wouldn’t stop it. Now the extremists want to be judge, jury, and executioner. They’ll stop at nothing to scare away voters that may “look like” they’re foreigners. People who advocate things like this need to have their heads examined and their carry license taken away.
The only silver lining is that this is going to be so unpopular in Florida, I can’t see his chance for re-election, especially between his 31% rating and criticism from Florida Republicans.
Then again, I didn’t see his chance at ELECTION, so what the hell do I know.
Gov. Rick Scott says Florida will not begin implementing the federal health care law because he believes it is bad policy and too costly.
Scott told Fox News he believes the law should be repealed, hopefully by a new president elected in November. But even if that doesn’t happen, he said, Florida will not set up a health-insurance exchange or participate in an expansion of Medicaid. ‘We’re not going to implement Obamacare in Florida,’ Scott told Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren on Friday night. ‘We’re not going to expand Medicaid because we’re going to do the right thing. We’re not going to do the exchange.’ Scott’s announcement came hours after he told media that he was still considering his options in the wake of Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
State Rep. Mark Pafford, the ranking Democrat on the Florida House committee that handles health care funding, said he was not surprised. ‘This is a guy who was in the private sector. He created an organization to fight the Affordable Care Act,’ said Pafford, of West Palm Beach. ‘He then was so upset that he became governor using his own money. So it wouldn’t make sense that he would do anything else.’
Under the health care law, by 2014 states must implement a health insurance exchange, a Web-based marketplace where people can shop for insurance, or defer to a federal program. States need to submit plans to the federal government that demonstrate their readiness to launch health exchanges by Nov. 16. States also must decide whether to move forward with an expansion of Medicaid to reduce the number of uninsured residents. In Florida about 3.8 million people, or 21 percent, are uninsured.
The Supreme Court ruling made it clear that states can stick with the status quo without being financially penalized. The federal government has promised to shoulder nearly all of the burden of the Medicaid expansion in the early years so it will cost states relatively little to participate. But Scott said Medicaid is already too expensive and the expansion would put further strain on the state budget.
‘We care about having a health care safety net for the vulnerable Floridians,’ Scott said on Fox. ‘But this is an expansion that just doesn’t make any sense.’
Many aspects of the Affordable Care Act are already in effect and do not require state involvement. That includes popular provisions like prescription drug discounts for seniors, allowing young adults to remain on parents’ insurance plans and free preventative care. Scott’s spokesman said Saturday that if there are other aspects of the law that Florida is obligated to do, the state will comply. But the governor’s hope is that Republican Mitt Romney defeats President Barack Obama and makes good on his promise to roll back Obamacare. ‘Hopefully we won’t have to worry about it because by November we’re going to have a new president-elect who is going to repeal it,’ Scott press secretary Lane Wright said.
Nearly 1 out of 4 people could benefit from the expanded Medicaid coverage, but will have to pay for it themselves, rather than the State who could better afford it and is able to afford it.
Say goodbye to democracy - the latest on our crook governor.
TALLAHASSEE — A judge on Wednesday rejected the federal government’s attempt to block Florida’s voter purge of non-U.S. citizens, partly because the purge has been suspended.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said federal laws that prohibit the systematic removal of voters close to an election do not refer to noncitizens. He also accepted the state’s claim that its purging efforts are over for now.
The ruling came as part of a request by the U.S. Department of Justice, which sought a retraining order stopping the purge efforts.
The agency argued that the purge violates a federal law, the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which outlaws systematic removals of voters less than 90 days before a federal election. Florida’s primary is Aug. 14.
Hinkle interpreted the law to refer to people who were lawfully registered to vote before being removed, such as felons or the deceased. He said the law is silent as to noncitizens.
Please see my previous post on this. Of almost 3,000 names submitted by the State only 40 were ineligible voters, most of whom were non-citizens, 4 were felons and a few were dead.
Yes, we should do our best to see that people who are ineligible to vote do not vote, but should we keep 1000s of
[Democrats] names off the list to make sure 40 don’t vote?
Do Florida Republicans feel any obligation whatsoever to ensure that 2,660 people are GRANTED their RIGHT to vote?
What does the word Democracy mean?
Why is the rest of the world killing themselves, quite literally, for this?
First, there was his spectacularly failed plan to drug test the poor.
Next, his inability to do anything meaningful to fix Florida’s economy.
We have him pissing off Republican lawmakers (you heard that right) when he signed a bill that prohibits governments from contracting with companies that have business ties to Cuba and Syria, which is a good thing, but then immediately turned around and said it was unenforceable because it conflicted with federal law.
There was also that no-bid consulting contract worth $360,000 that he steered to a friend who now leads a task force rooting out state government waste.
He wouldn’t even pee in a cup when the Daily Show asked him so nicely.
But the latest on the list of our crook Governor’s agenda is a $5.5 million no-bid contract to put the Senate’s budget data online. The governor’s chief of staff, Steve MacNamara, used his Senate clout to sign a contract for a web-based budget system developed by the business partner of a friend.
TALLAHASSEE — When the Florida Senate was looking for someone to put its budget data online, it set aside $5.5 million and turned to the business partner of a close friend of the Senate’s chief of staff at the time, Steve MacNamara.
The developer of the program, Anna Jo Mattson, owns a software company with Tallahassee lawyer and lobbyist Jim Eaton, MacNamara’s long-time friend. She also owns Spider Data Services, the company that developed the software program licensed by the Senate. She said Tuesday the companies are not related.
MacNamara did not respond to requests for comment.
MacNamara negotiated the contract with Mattson in February when he worked for Senate President Mike Haridopolos. He left the Senate to become Gov. Rick Scott’s chief of staff in July. To date, Mattson has been paid $5 million for development of the no-bid project. Another $2.5 million has been set aside in the governor’s 2012-13 budget to pay for access to her patented program next year.
‘What we’ve got is state of the art in terms of budget transparency programs,” said Craig Meyer, who succeeded MacNamara as Senate chief of staff.
He said making the state’s budget process more openly accessible was Haridopolos’ priority after a grand jury accused former House Speaker Ray Sansom of misusing the process. He said the no-bid contract was needed because only Mattson had the patent to her unique program.
‘It didn’t come together as quick as we hoped so we could roll it out’ during Haridopolos’ term, he said.
When launched, the program will provide the public and budget analysts the ability to drill down into detailed levels of the budget and pull out employees, contracts and vendors associated with each line item, Meyer said.
The money came from the Senate’s $9.2 million Information Technology discretionary budget in 2010-11. That same pot of money allowed MacNamara to hire Abraham Uccello as a consultant for the Senate’s web-based technologies.
The two computer projects are not related, Meyer said.
Neither of the projects, however, were put out for bid and both were given to people closely associated with MacNamara.
federal judge in Miami has tossed out an executive order from Florida Governor Rick Scott requiring drug testing of state employees, saying it violated the constitutional prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.
The Republican governor last year ordered random drug tests for all state employees and new hires, regardless of whether they were suspected of drug use, arguing it was similar to the financial disclosures required for some workers.
In a ruling on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro described Scott’s reasoning as “hardly transparent and frankly obscure” and said it violated the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure protections.
“He offers no plausible rationale explaining why the fact that a state employee’s work product and financial status are publicly accessible leads to the conclusions that the employee’s expectation of privacy in his or her bodily functions and fluids are then diminished,” Ungaro wrote.
Scott, a former healthcare executive, said he would challenge Ungaro’s ruling.
I’m having a hard time finding any news on this item, but I found this on the Florida Senate site.
The law is a gross injustice to the constitutional rights of the poor and needy. Drug testing is usually only mandatory on jobs which focus on safety, security, or those working with children. That would be police, fire, truck drivers, teachers, etc. It’s simply not needed in most other professions.
It also puts forth the false assertion by Republicans that welfare recipients are just drug addicts looking for a handout to buy more drugs. DCF in Florida has already testified that a whopping 2.7% of welfare recipients are drug addicts. A small minority, not a large majority.
And, of course, as we all know, only those lying, cheating Democrats take part in welfare programs. Uh huh. Right.
Florida Governor Skeletor is a crook. I can’t say this enough. He should be in jail for bilking the public out of millions, but instead, he was elected to run one of the most politically influential states in the nation.
At any rate, Senator Joyner talks about the decision, its flawed premise and the lies spread by Republicans.
Senator Arthenia Joyner Applauds Drug Testing Injunction
Criticizes use by Attorney General of biased and flawed report to defend state’s position
Tallahassee — Senate Democratic Leader Pro Tem Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) on Monday hailed the issuance of a temporary federal court injunction against mandatory drug testing for needy families seeking emergency government help. And she called on Republican Governor Rick Scott and Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi to come clean on numbers and conclusions manufactured by a close ally of the governor, used to defend the controversial testing law.
‘I’m glad the judge saw through the smoke and mirrors,’ Sen. Joyner said. ‘Submitting this bogus report as credible documentation to bolster the perception that poor Floridians are more likely to use drugs is like inventing a supposed cure for a disease and then relying on your brother’s promises that it’s safe for everyone. The fix is in.’
At the crux of the court challenge is legislation supported by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed earlier this year by Governor Scott, requiring every applicant for modest cash benefits under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to submit to a drug test. A Navy veteran and single father who refused to submit to the test challenged the constitutionality of the new law.
To defend the state’s case, the Attorney General submitted evidence which included a flawed report authored by a controversial ally of the governor.
The report was written by Tarren Bragdon, CEO and president of a Naples-based right wing think tank recently launched to promote an ultra conservative agenda. Both Bragdon and Governor Scott have a long standing relationship stemming from their past attempts to defeat the President’s national health care reform initiative.
Bragdon’s assertions that first-time TANF applicants are deterred from completing the application process due to Florida’s new law, and that savings to the state were significant because ‘9.6 percent’ of the applicants were denied in July, were cited by the Attorney General as part of the court filings.
Those claims, however, were directly refuted by an official from the Department of Children and Families, who recently testified that only about 2.7 percent of applicants tested positive. The small number who ultimately never took the test was reflective of a general decrease in applicants over the past few years, he added.
In his report, Bragdon also claims that Florida’s TANF drug testing is not unique and that more states were similarly testing. Not true, said Senator Joyner, who has filed legislation repealing the testing law. Florida is the only state forcing every applicant to test, rather than limiting it to those suspected of illegal drug use, she said. In addition, the contested law requires taxpayers to reimburse those who pass the test, casting significant doubt on any claims of substantial savings.
‘Under federal provisions, Florida has had the ability all along to deny TANF help to any applicant convicted of a felony drug charge, but has refused to do so. Not only is the new law a punishment for being poor, it’s a waste of tax dollars; the overwhelmingly majority of TANF applicants test negative. Now, taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars to reimburse these families for a test that exclusively benefits the drug testing industry.’
With a final decision on the court challenge expected, Senator Joyner warned the governor and attorney general against any additional use of taxpayer dollars to protect the government’s trampling on constitutional rights.
‘It’s bad enough they’re actually defending this privacy-gutting law,’ she said. ‘But it’s especially troubling when they’re relying on the self-serving musings of the governor’s friend to justify it.’
Thank goodness for Senator Joyner.