Gov. Rick Scott of Florida allegedly said he would be the governor for all the people of the state. That’s assuming all the people are Republicans.
At a campaign-style event that banned some Democrats, Republican Gov. Rick Scott fashioned himself into Florida’s new veto king Thursday when he axed $615 million from the state budget before signing it.
The biggest target of the veto pen: $305 million targeted for environmental land buys. Scott also cut $169 million in college projects and vetoed scores of hometown spending lawmakers earmarked for their districts.
Scott blamed “special interests” for the “shortsighted, frivolous, wasteful spending” — thereby irking some of his fellow Republicans who control the Legislature. Some accused him of hypocrisy, others of inflating his veto amount with financial gimmickry.
Members of The Villages Democratic Club were barred from the budget signing by Scott staffers who said the outdoor event in The Villages town square was “private.” Other staffers and Republican operatives scoured the crowd and had Sumter County sheriff’s deputies remove those with anti-Scott signs or liberal-looking pins and buttons. They escorted more than a dozen people off the property.
Tea party groups and conservatives praised Scott for making good on his pledge to cut spending and reduce legislative earmarks, nicknamed “turkeys” in Tallahassee.
Scott called the bill signing a “celebration” of the “jobs budget.” He first used the term in February when he proposed his version of the budget at a Eustis tea party rally, an early indication that the political newcomer would use his office for partisan theatrics.
It may have been a Republicans-only event, but I will give him credit for one bipartisan thing: he managed to piss off just about everyone with his selective vetoes.
VETOED FROM THE BUDGET
Public Television and Radio Stations, $4.7 million
Dan Marino Foundation Vocational School, $500,000
National Veterans Homeless Support Group, $12 million
Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers of Dade County, $300,000
DeAllapattah Community Center Hot Meals Program, $430,000S
Senior Citizens Center grants, $1.4 million
University of Miami Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitus Project, $777,169
Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease Testing, Newborn Screening, $1.9 million
Biomedical research in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, $50,000
Statewide Brain and Tumor Registry Program at the McKnight Brain Institute, $500,000
Establish a Public Children’s Hospital in Southwest Florida, $1.5 million
Florida Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs, $1.7 million
Civil Legal Assistance, $1 million
Florida Horse Park, $500,000
Knowledge is Power school (KIPP), $400,000
Some of them are pet projects, but the environmental land veto just confirms that developers are blessed. And the last one — the funds for KIPP — is especially ironic, since it was at that charter school in Jacksonville where Mr. Scott held a
Tea Party campaign rally bill-signing of the merit pay for teachers bill.
It’s like he enjoys making people dislike him. Well, so far he’s got nothing to worry about.