Once he was elected, his transition team made the unabashedly prodevelopment suggestion of merging community affairs with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation, forming a new entity called the Department of Growth Leadership.

That plan never materialized, but the Legislature did follow Scott's lead and start gutting programs. In May, the state Senate quietly passed a bill that killed the Department of Community Affairs, farming out its various duties to other government agencies. The Legislature also agreed with Scott's proposal to chop property tax funding for local water management districts — including a 30 percent, $128 million budget cut for the South Florida Water Management District, the agency charged with restoring the Everglades.

Scott was also determined to end funding for the state's Florida Forever program, which buys land to conserve for parks and forests. State lawmakers proposed a way to rescue the program by selling off surplus land in order to buy more. But in May, Scott used his line-item veto power to ax that plan from the budget.

Lied About High-Speed Rail Money

A proposed high-speed bullet train between Tampa and Orlando wasn't a politically sexy idea. Some critics questioned how many people in this gas-guzzling, highway-loving state would ride a train to Disney World.

But Florida's own transportation department predicted the train would make money from the start, and the federal government was willing to pony up $2.4 billion of the estimated $2.6 billion in construction costs. As gas prices reached $4 a gallon, the train looked more and more like sound public policy.

But Scott chose to believe a study by the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank partially funded by oil companies, that called into question the number of people who would ride the train. He feared taxpayers would be on the hook for future costs. His general counsel, attorney Charles Trippe, had told the Florida Supreme Court that $110 million in state funds had already been spent on the proposed rail project.

So Scott sent the money back to Washington.

Only later did the citizens of Florida learn that Scott was fudging the numbers. Turns out the state had spent only $31 million. Trippe apologized to the court, but the money was already gone by then.

About $400 million of Florida's train funds were rescinded by Congress and used to solve the federal budget crisis. The other $2 billion was redistributed to rail projects in the Northeast, Midwest, and California. So our friends in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are benefiting now from Scott's creative accounting.

Meanwhile, Scott managed to anger his Tea Party backers by approving the $1.3 billion SunRail, a slower, commuter rail line in the Orlando area. Scott said he feared he'd lose a legal battle if he axed the project.

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16 comments
Donna Bird
Donna Bird

You got to read this Article again, oh my goodness, I am become even more speechless- Why in the world did any one voted for these group of idioits. They used FEAR, and this FEAR, should be sued for Bulley people to believe a felon, he is a felon even though he is not convicted.

huweiwei
huweiwei

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WakeUp
WakeUp

Wow, surprised at the morons supporting the worst governor in the county.  I guess there are plenty of tea party rednecks that don't know what's good for them.  The uber-wealthy are using your ignorance to further their self interests.  If you're making under $200,000 a year, they aren't on your side...

Harv
Harv

Eric is really taking this paper down. What a rag it's become. It's amazing he can find someone willing to write this crap.

Jhop052
Jhop052

Ha ha... Go gov. Scott! Keep taking down these communist scum lib-tards!!!! Gotta love dumb-ass lisas' comment about sending the $400 million back to congress to solve???, the fed. Budget crisis...I guess that didn't work either??? Hey lib-tard Lisa.....we still have a budget crisis you stupid bitch!!! Go to hell you commie moron!!!

PROUD_TEXAN
PROUD_TEXAN

Whaaaa! Whaaaa! Whaaaa!

Nice socialist propaganda hit piece Lisa.

Burt Scholl
Burt Scholl

This gives some small idea of the extent to which the people of Florida have been afflicted by this vicious regime

Theresa Reynolds
Theresa Reynolds

Great article Lisa!   Scott is a slime ball...and those who voted for him - should accept responsibility for the deplorable condition our state is in.   Think before you vote you idiots!

Glen in Glendale
Glen in Glendale

You're right, Brickell, he's terrific, and the 71% of people who would vote for a ham sandwich over Rick Scott are all idiots. We should have just interviewed you for the article.

Voiceless in Brickell
Voiceless in Brickell

I posted a comment an hour ago that was critical of the level of bias and lack of objectivity in the article above. There was nothing inappropriate but it was nonetheless removed. The article was written provocatively was it not? If not, the refusal to acknowledge bias is a feat deserving of applause.

Middle Class Floridian
Middle Class Floridian

Lisa, I commend you on such a brave article...you are my hero.  Finally, someone is not afraid to speak out about our beloved governor.  I loved every bit of it.  I only hope the next great article you publish will be about this Ricktatorship falling apart and impeachment has been enacted or maybe the chance to recall this governor has finally been approved.It is a sad time when the horrible things that Dick Scott does to the middle class Floridians is no longer a surprise; yet when he does something nice “for the people,” I find myself wondering what’s in it for him.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

Singling out Florida may not be fair. There is a fairly proportionate array of dumb ass voters  nationwide. i.e. Wisconsin, Arizona, Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, et al are some prime examples. Check out those governors. I will grant you that Ricky boy has done more damage to the most residents in the shortest time span possible. Now the same voters base that gave him 54 % has decided they don't like him to the tune of a mid 20 % approval rate. WTF happened? Morons is the best I can label them.

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Judy Lau

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Aalan
Aalan

What's to be proud of PROUD_TEXAN? Rick Perry? Another idiot governor.

 
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