Dan Gelber: Scott is trying to dupe voters about his supposed accomplishments

Gov. Rick Scott is in trouble. With his favorability rating in the tank and his re-election campaign just around the corner, Scott has promised to spend $100 million of special-interest money to convince Floridians he isn’t who they think he is.

The problem is Scott has done very little as governor to crow about. So lacking real victories, he’s tethered his re-election to an array of gimmicks intended to give himself credit for a supposed rebounding economy.

Scott’s favorite gimmick is letting the media know he is sending letters to businesses in other states urging them to move to Florida.

I guess this shows Floridians he is trying to bring new jobs here. Of course, no business is moving here because of a publicity stunt, which is why not even the governor’s office can identify a single company headed to Florida because of Scott’s trolling.

He and his minions also resorted to sending out tweets and e-mails to anyone without a spam filter in which Scott gives himself credit for America’s rebounding economy. And as you might expect, they also send tweets blaming potential 2014 opponents, former Gov. Charlie Crist and former CFO Alex Sink, for the recession that preceded the rebound.

How ironic. Scott seeks to blame Crist and Sink for a national recession created by the policies of President George W. Bush, who Scott supported, and he wants to take credit for an economic recovery jump-started and buoyed by the policies of President Obama, who Scott adamantly opposed.

Floridians know better. They know the last recession was global in scope and crippled Florida because our economy was so dependent upon housing and construction.

If Scott is going to blame Crist and Sink for that recession, he better be prepared to also blame the speaker of the Florida House at the time, Marco Rubio, and the majority whip of the Legislature, who Scott chose as his lieutenant governor.

Scott’s attempt to take credit for a jobs rebound is, likewise, silly.

That’s because while our unemployment rate has decreased, Florida’s job numbers always follow the national economy and even the global economy because so much of our tourism is indexed to the consumer confidence of our nearly 100 million annual visitors. When folks in Oklahoma or Berlin feel like they have money to spend on vacation, lines at Disney and Universal swell.

So who gets the credit? Are banks lending more because of Rick Scott’s campaign tweets or because the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy has kept interest rates low? Did his gimmicks stabilize the toxic mortgage crisis or was it the $1 trillion in mortgage-backed securities provided by the federal government?

Is Rick Scott actually taking credit for the stock market roaring back and the stability in the national housing market?

Frankly, all this credit-grubbing distracts from addressing some severe truths about Florida’s economic challenges.

The state’s own economists attribute a good portion of Florida’s declining jobless numbers to many Floridians giving up and permanently leaving the work force. These are people who need training not false claims that everything is great.

Further, Scott’s self-congratulatory claims of success simply don’t comport with the harsh facts that for the last decade, Floridians’ salaries have shrunk substantially while the cost of living has increased.

This is what a governor needs to focus on: Floridians are making less and too many are working part-time when they would rather have full-time jobs.

In his rush to take credit for things he had nothing to do with, Rick Scott has ignored the two things governors can actually do to generate more and better jobs: make available to citizens the education and training that helps attract high wage industries, and promote investment in infrastructure projects that bring new capital and jobs to the state.

Unfortunately, in these two areas Scott has been abysmal. He sought the largest reduction in public education funding by any governor in Florida history, permitted tuition increases, and actually rejected billions in high-speed rail money – a common sense deal that would have created thousands of new jobs.

So for now, Scott is left hoping that Floridians are impressed with his gimmicks and tweets rather than engaging in a constructive conversation about Florida’s actual economic challenges.

Dan Gelber

Author: Dan Gelber

Dan Gelber, a native Floridian, grew up in Miami and in Tallahassee. He attended Tufts University and the University of Florida College of Law as a Truman Scholar. Dan was appointed one of the nation’s youngest federal prosecutors when he joined the South Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office. For nearly a decade, Dan handled some of Florida’s most significant public corruption, civil rights and narcotics prosecutions. He rose to be head of the civil rights division ultimately becoming a top deputy where he managed hundreds of prosecutors and thousands of investigations. Dan was noticed by then U.S. Senator Sam Nunn who asked him to take the helm of the United State Senate’s investigations committee as its Chief Counsel and Staff Director. Dan led delegations around the world and throughout the former Soviet Union where he investigated terrorism and worked on ways to stop dangerous weapons and weapons technology from being smuggled to terrorist groups and rogue nations in the Middle East. He also led investigations and hearings, published reports and testified before the congress on a wide array of domestic security issues. In 2000, Dan was elected to the Florida House and ultimately unanimously selected by his Democratic colleagues as their Leader. In 2008, he was elected to the state Senate, and in 2010 he was his party’s nominee for Attorney General of Florida. Dan is considered one of the true “thought leaders” in Florida and his viewpoints are widely quoted in the media. Dan is an accomplished attorney, practicing in Miami, and has the highest rating (AV) from the Martindale Hubbell rating service and has been recognized in various peer–review publications including Best lawyers in America and Florida’s Legal Elite. - See more at: http://www.floridavoices.com/user/dan-gelber#sthash.0HPiZWy2.dpuf

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1 Comment

  1. Great post Dan, and lots of stone throwing by Florida Democrats, but where is any real opposition? I was a registered Republican my entire lifetime, I registered Republican and am one of those millions here in this state that wait, hopelessly, for any alternative. Why won’t any Democrats stand up and fight? Why is no one contesting statewide races? Are you just going to sit back and let Bondi cruise into a second term? The Repubs are disgustingly corrupt, but the inability of the Florida Dems to put any house at all together, much less put a house in any sort of order is even more disturbing. At what point in time do Florida’s Dem leaders wake up and realize that they have let this next election cycle slip away? And will anyone rise up to do anything about it?

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  1. Sunburn for 9/17 – A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics | SaintPetersBlog - […] Hepworth: “Last week Super Duper Dan Gelber attacked Governor Scott for trying to “dupe” voters with his record – a record …

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