Scott Turns from Slick Businessman to Secretive Politician

RickScott1Last week there was a three day education summit called by Governor Scott, and he failed to show up for the event. I don’t know the reason his schedule could not fit two hours to explain the significance of the summit, but he was a no-show. I could surmise from his behavior that the summit was not important to him, or maybe he does not care, because he is going to do what he wants to do.


Nevertheless I was disappointed, and I was not invited to be a guest at the summit. Last week I was excited about the summit and I wrote: “The summit is a great first step to initiate a dialogue with stakeholders, policymakers, lawmakers, and educational advocates. Florida parents and students are extremely proud of their schools and educational system, and this summit can help all the different groups get on the same page in the state.”

Instead of Governor Scott going to the summit, he held a private meeting Thursday night in Miami with former Gov. Jeb Bush, state Sen. John Thrasher, and state Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand. It is speculated that they discussed the future of Florida’s schools, and Thrasher is being considered to be Scott’s next lieutenant governor. Many of the education initiatives in the state must be discussed and agreed by Bush before they are implemented.

“This is how education reform gets done in Florida. The summit was a façade. The real decisions have always been made by Jeb Bush,” says Rita Solnet, founder of the advocacy group Parents Across America. The parents’ activists were upset, because they said Scott shouldn’t have called three dozen educational leaders to Clearwater if he intended to make decisions with a small group of advisors out of the public’s eye.

It appears that Governor Scott, the political outsider has discovered how to be a political insider. As a political insider our governor has learnt to look the other way, when the Senate President Don Gaetz’s right-hand man Chris Clark formed a company in 2009, and has made $400,000. Clark’s company CM Consensus has made money through three sources: Gaetz’s state Senate campaign, a political committee Gaetz controls, and the Republican Party of Florida.

At the start of this legislative session Gaetz bragged about the new ethics package passed by the Senate as “a bright line warning to those who would use public office for private gain.” Gaetz forgot to clean his own house before he implemented the ethics package. As this information is distributed to the media, it appears that our governor finds himself in hot water again.

The Republican Party of Florida and Governor Scott believes they can tell us anything and the media and Florida residents are suppose to trust them. When the governor calls an educational summit and he is a no-show, he can tell us anything and we are suppose to believe it. When the senate president tells us his focus is on ethics and his right-hand man is making hundreds of thousands dollars, we are supposed to believe him. Maybe there is no different from a slick businessman and a secretive politician, because they both are corrupt.