Monday, July 21, 2014

Michael Putney rips Rick Scott for disrespecting Florida voters

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During a brief phone conversation today, veteran Miami Herald political reporter Marc Caputo told me that many voters usually wait until two or three weeks before an important election before deciding who to vote for.

If you're in that undecided category when it comes to choosing between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist in the upcoming gubernatorial race, here are a few things to consider.

Last March, a Tampa Bay Times editorial said this of Scott: "In three years Scott has done more harm [to Florida] than any modern governor."

Not convinced?

How about this? During Scott's 2010 campaign, he got a dog. After he won the election, he gave the dog away! We all know what good judges of character dogs are, and "Reagan" - that was the dog's name - apparently couldn't stand to live in the same house with Scott.

This time around Scott is showing his "human" side by Tweeting lots of pictures of his grandson.

Hopefully he won't put the little tyke up for adoption if he's re-elected.

And here's one more thing to consider:

Imagine you're stopped at a red light in a sketchy part of town at 11:30 at night.

You're a bit distracted because you're shuffling through some papers in your briefcase which is sitting on the passenger seat.

Suddenly you hear a tap on the window. You look over and see the guy on the left, peering through the window and holding up a sign: "Got Any Spare Change?"

What would you do? You'd hit the gas, of course.

So why would we want to hand over the keys to the Governor's Mansion for another four years to a guy who looks like that?

But on a more serious note, why would Floridians vote for a candidate who disrespects them every chance he gets?

Over the weekend, Local 10's Michael Putney closed out his Sunday show by talking about the many ways in which Scott disrespects the people whose votes he seeks.
Before we leave you this morning, a personal perspective about our Governor Rick Scott, and his refusal to answer direct and legitimate questions.

He just doesn't do it, and that is troubling.
Now let's be clear. We're not talking about inconsequential, or questions that are too personal. Any politician can ignore those with impunity. The questions Rick Scott ignores, or simply refuses to answer, are legitimate.

For example, on Friday, one day after a judge in the Keys ruled that Florida's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, I asked the governor about a statement that his office had issued. Take a listen. 
Putney: "Aren't gay people, people of the same sex when they try to get a marriage license, and can't, is that not discrimination? Scott: "I'm against any discrimination. But in 2008 the voters decided this would be a traditional marriage state." 
Well, he is against discrimination and for traditional marriage....that's his story and he is sticking to it. 

[Read the full transcript of Putney's exchange with Gov. Scott below via the Miami Herald's Naked Politics blog.]

You ask Rick Scott a question, he will fix you with a big smile and recite a prepared response that usually is evasive and off point. Ask him again, he says virtually the same thing word for word.

He repeats his talking points to the point of stupefaction. And this week, [CNN's] Anderson Cooper ridiculed the governor for doing that. He says Scott's repetitive canned answers "insult our intelligence."

And he is right. They certainly do. One reason the governor can get away with this is because reporters are held in slightly lower esteem than politicians. 
We understand that. But what you should remember is that we are your surrogates. We are asking these questions because that's our job, that's what you want to know. And when the governor doesn't answer, he's really refusing to answer you. 
I will keep asking Governor Scott questions that matter on your behalf. And when he refuses to answer just understand, it is not me he is disrespecting, it's you.
One last thought: If Scott is this evasive and vague during an election campaign, just imagine the bullshit that awaits us if he gets re-elected.

From the Herald's Naked Politics blog, by Marc Caputo:
What used to be well-known only to political print reporters in Florida is now seeping into local TV news across the state: Rick Scott won’t directly answer questions about most topics of the day.

The most-recent example: Gay marriage and the decision Thursday by a Florida Keys judge to declare the 2008 voter-approved same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. On Friday at two events, the governor wouldn’t really say what he thought of the ruling or Florida Attorney Pam Bondi's appeal.

“Nobody wants discrimination in our state,” Scott said in Bonita Springs, adding that he believes “in traditional marriage” and citizens’ access to the courts.

Gay-rights groups say the same-sex marriage ban discriminates against them, but the ban’s backers say their votes are being discriminated against by judicial activism.

So what discrimination is Scott against? Scott won’t say.

“Aren’t you trying to have it both ways?” WPLG’s Michael Putney asked Scott Friday in Miami. “People have different view about it in our state,” Scott replied. “But in 2008, the voters decided that this state would be a traditional marriage state. It’s going through the court system. But what’s important to me is I don’t want anybody discriminated against.”

Putney: "Aren’t gays being discriminated against?"

Scott: “I’m against any discrimination. But in 2008, the voters decided this would be a traditional marriage state.”

Putney: “Are you…”

Scott (cutting him off): “Let’s talk about jobs – 37,000 jobs in a month! It’s the biggest jump! Michael! Michael! This is our biggest month since I got elected,” Scott said. “We’re over 620,000 jobs [created]. When I ran in 2010, I said seven steps to 700,000 jobs over seven years. And a lot of people questioned whether we could do that…. We’re at 620,000. What’s so exciting is 37,000 a month. I mean I just still think about my dad, watching his face when the only car we had got repossessed. That’s what I want to help with.”

Putney: “Well, congratulations on these numbers.”

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