A Heartwarming Update on Rick Scott's Dirtiest Deeds

Four months ago, we brought you a sobering catalog of Rick Scott's dirtiest deeds as chief executive of this fair state. There were a dozen items on the list --  gems like outsourcing prisons to political donors, slashing funding for public education, and mandating drug tests for state workers.

But a funny thing happened since the legislative session ended this spring. At least three of Rick Scott's most abhorrent accomplishments have become failures, stymied by... the law. Turns out Gov. Voldemort does not always get his way. Check it out:

1) Private Prisons. In September, a Florida circuit court judge squashed plans to outsource the prisons in the southern part of the state to private companies, saying the way

the legislation passed was unconstitutional. Shockingly, Scott declined to appeal the ruling. Attorney Pam Bondi is appealing on behalf of the Legislature, but for now, the privatization plan is on hold.

2) Voter suppression. Scott and his Republican lawmaker pals tried very hard to keep poor people from voting. They enacted new rules that would make it tougher for get-out-the-vote groups to register new voters, require folks to use a provisional ballot if they've moved from one county to another, and reduce the number of early voting days from 14 to eight. But alas, the ACLU contended the rules would violate the rights of minorities. So Florida's Secretary of State has taken the bizarre step of challenging the federal Voting Rights Act -- arguing that the rules should be approved in five Florida counties with a history of discrimination. No word yet on how that escapade will go.

3) Drug-testing the poor. Last week, a federal judge temporarily blocked Scott's plan to drug-test welfare applicants, saying the pee-test requirement violates the Fourth Amendment. Judge Mary Scriven also noted that the state failed to provide any "competent evidence" that testing would save Florida money. Nicely done, Governor.

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Lisa Rab
Contact: Lisa Rab