Florida’s Governor Can’t Count, Even When Shafting State Employees

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rickscotthead.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


For several weeks now, since billionaire Rick Scott was inaugurated as governor of Florida, I’ve been wanting to spotlight some of the Sunshine State’s political insanity. We here at MoJo are busy putting together the next print issue, however, so you’ll have to wait just a bit longer for in-depth reporting on sketchy political appointments, criminal investigations of Republicans, misadventures in deregulation, and gruesome soft-money trails. In the meantime, though, one tipster told MoJo today of a new low in Scott’s tenure: his inability to appear marginally competent, even when bringing the hurt to state employees.

According to the source, Scott held a video conference with selected state employees today, including career law-enforcement officers. Its purpose: Scott wanted to personally inform state workers that they’d have to cut back to 13 paid holidays per year. This news was apparently met with total silence from the state employees. The reason? They currently only take nine paid holidays, a fact that’s easily discernible from the state’s own website. After the conference, state employees reportedly emailed and called each other furiously, laughing over the miscalculation: “Did he really say that? Does he really not know?”

Mind you, Mother Jones‘ source for this information—who deigned to work yesterday, a federal and Florida state holiday—is no big-government-loving pinko. “Rick Scott is such a fumbling idiot,” the source said. “He thinks he’s running the federal government!”

We don’t know about that, but we do know this isn’t the first time Scott’s had no idea what he was talking about as the state’s chief executive. (Direct quote from a press conference: “It has to go through the Legislature, is my understanding…That’s not my understanding. I’m not sure. I have to check into that, but that’s not my understanding. It’s not my understanding right now.”) And he also has plans to slash more benefits for state employees, including a retirement pension system that was already pared down by then-governor Jeb Bush.

Perhaps that’s why he’s limited media access to government officials in an unprecedented manner, in a state that has one of the nation’s most expansive sunshine laws. Be that as it may, rest assured, dear reader, MJ will bring much, much more on the sordid state of affairs in this politically vital appendage of the union.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate