Image From My Collection (Bill)
So... did we all forget this happened?
Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered deep cuts Thursday to programs that serve tens of thousands of residents with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and other developmental disabilities.
Though a range of state services face cuts from this year's Legislature, the governor invoked his emergency powers to order the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities to immediately roll back payments to group homes and social workers by 15 percent — an amount providers say could put them out of business and threaten their clients' safety.
The cuts went into effect immediately. No provider was given notice. As the article says they learned from the headline the next morning.
I remember the picture of the young disabled child that accompanied the story. She depended on the aides for basic tasks, like eating and bathing. The workers made minimum wage working around the clock--their pay literally couldn't be cut any less. No health insurance, no sick leave, no retirement, but tons and tons of love and patience. Florida's budget for the disabled was already at the bottom in the nation, but it wasn't enough for Rick Scott. He kicked them to the curb like his rescue puppy.
Rick Scott didn't show an ounce of heart or soul. After all, disabled kids could be dumped into adult nursing homes. Which they were. Pam Bondi would defend it. Evil.
Oh... and in case you think he just hates disabled, helpless children, that's not true. He showed that he hated disabled, helpless seniors that year as well.
Did he at least save any money? Nope. Their small budget was cut by a whopping 15%, which was only a few million. But Rick Scott combined this with 1.3 Billion in cuts to education. (This was, mind you, after he swore he wouldn't cut education, but as usual, no one calls him on this.) At least, you would think, that would go a long way helping somebody in Florida.
And it did.
2.5 BILLION IN TAX BREAKS FOR BIG, POWERFUL, WELL-CONNECTED CORPORATIONS.
Rick Scott's donors and friends weren't the only ones to cash in. So did Rick Scott.
Remember in 2010, when Rick Scott spent $75 million to get the governorship? Remember in 2013 when he introduced a state law that allowed elected officials to keep assets in a so-called "blind trust" instead of disclosing investments as required by Florida's Constitution? There is a reason Rick Scott failed to disclose how much he has made the past few years. He is now the wealthiest governor in history, raking in almost half a billion dollars: and "forgetting" to claim $340 million of it.
This original post was quite long documenting and linking travesty after travesty, and each time Rick Scott has profited off of our misery. But you know what, I'm TIRED OF IT! This post is ONE FREAKING EXAMPLE out of many.
I remember the outrage when it happened. Now it's never mentioned. NONE of these are. My state party is treating me to the same tired Medicaid scandal as back in 2010, even though Rick Scott's Medicaid privatization district scheme makes that scandal look like a Sunday drive. Rick Scott isn't just a horrible politician, he is a horrible person. Lest you think that I would say that about any GOP governor, I wouldn't--and haven't. I didn't say that about "JEB" (John Ellis Bush) or Tom Corbett or Rick Perry or whathaveyou. But I will say that about Rick Scott.
When the hell did this state become an abused spouse that tries to convince itself things weren't so bad?
You know what Florida, THIS IS AN INTERVENTION! Kick him out, or we're through here.
ORIGINALLY POSTED TO SEMDEM ON TUE OCT 21, 2014 AT 06:31 AM PDT.
BY MARY ELLEN KLAS
HERALD/TIMES TALLAHASSEE BUREAU
10/08/2014 7:00 AM
TALLAHASSEE Gov. Rick Scott has failed to report more than $200 million in assets on his state financial disclosure form in violation of the Florida Constitution, Democratic attorney general candidate George Sheldon alleged in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
Sheldon, a former deputy attorney general under Bob Butterworth, is running against Republican Pam Bondi. His lawsuit, filed in Leon County just weeks before Election Day, accuses the governor of relying on a “web of complex financial arrangements” to shift investments and hide his “financial interests from public view.”
Sheldon is asking a judge to order Scott, Florida’s wealthiest governor, to “immediately and accurately disclose all assets he owns or controls,” and to declare the governor’s “blind trust” in violation of the blind trust law he signed.
“The lawsuit asks the court to remove the blindfold that Rick Scott has put on the people of Florida so that they cannot see what is going on with his personal assets,’’ Sheldon said during a press conference. “The governor likes to talk about how much he has disclosed. The lawsuit is about how much he has not disclosed.”
The Florida Constitution requires elected officials every year to make a “full and public disclosure” of their assets and liabilities “in excess of $1,000” so that the public can monitor any potential conflicts of interest.
Scott was asked about the lawsuit while campaigning in Miami and defended his disclosure. He blamed the controversy on Charlie Crist who, unlike Scott, has released his tax returns for 2013, but has not released his wife’s returns, who files separately. Scott and his wife have released their joint tax returns for 2010, 2011 and 2012.
“This is just pure Charlie Crist,’’ Scott said. “That's what he does; he just attacks people.”
Scott said he put his assets in a blind trust, as was done by former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and former Gov. Jeb Bush, and also released his tax returns. But, unlike Sink and Bush’s reports, Scott’s 2014 blind trust did not disclose the value of the individual assets listed.
The complaint follows a Herald/Times story published last weekend that raised questions about the completeness of the governor’s financial disclosure in light of the blind trust he created, numerous trust accounts he has established, and the differences in which he reports his finances to the federal government and the public.
The Herald/Times and the investigative Broward Bulldog site have previously reported that the governor’s investments in companies that have benefited from his policies have raised questions about the overlapping nature of his role as private investor and public servant.
Earlier this week, Scott’s campaign manager Melissa Sellers defended the governor. In a prepared statement, she said the governor is “in full compliance with both federal and state reporting requirements, which are different.”
Sheldon disagrees. “Rick Scott has under-reported his financial interests; the assets that he owns and controls,’’ he states in the 20-page complaint. “He reports one set of facts to the State of Florida and another set of facts to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Both cannot be true.’’
Sheldon claims that Scott used more than $300 million in proceeds from his severance package from Columbia/HCA to form Richard L. Scott Investments. Scott is the former CEO of Columbia/HCA, a national hospital chain.
Scott then created “a complex web of investment vehicles which appears to include at least six trusts, numerous partnerships, investment funds and accounts” that are worth “at least $340 million,” the lawsuit claims. Scott reported on his 2014 financial disclosure report that his net worth was closer to $132.7 million.
“Funds appear to be moved seamlessly between the entities and they are all financial interests of the Defendant Scott,” the complaint states. “Because he does not include these entities on his financial disclosure, they enable Scott to hide some of his assets and financial interests from public view.”
In her statement on Tuesday, Sellers said the governor has gone “above and beyond what the law requires” by disclosing the assets of his blind trust and releasing his tax returns for 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Unlike his campaign opponent, Democrat Charlie Crist, Scott has not released his 2013 tax return and has not committed to do so.
The case is being handled pro bono by Tallahassee attorney Don Hinkle, a Crist campaign contributor.
It it is the second lawsuit filed to force the governor to provide Floridians a more complete picture of his personal wealth. Jim Apthorp, a longtime aide to former Gov. Reubin Askew, has sued to force Scott to adhere to the letter of a Florida constitutional requirement that elected officials make a “full and public disclosure.” A judge sided with Scott, but Apthorp has filed an appeal.
Sheldon’s suit argues that a lawsuit is necessary because the Florida Ethics Commission, which oversees the financial disclosure law, does not have the power to compel the governor to file a complete return, only to fine him after the fact. By contrast, he notes, failure to accurately report financial information to the federal SEC or IRS could result in jail time.
“The policing of ethics in the state has no teeth,’’ he said.
Miami Herald reporter Joey Flechas contributed to this report.
Link to complaint filed against Rick Scott (PDF)
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article2569079.html#storylink=cpy