When one arm of the government fails to speak to another, bizarre things occur. For example, a reporter might write a lengthy critique of Florida's governor and his legislative accomplishments, including a cover illustration of him as the evil emperor from Star Wars. For weeks before the story is published, the governor's spokesman will repeatedly dodge interview requests.
Yet one week after the article hits newsstands, that very same governor will send a personalized -- albeit grammatically challenged -- thank-you note to the reporter.
Thank you for attending what was an important day in recognizing the need to preserve
the dignity and wellbeing [sic] of Florida seniors," the note begins. "This legislation provides protection for this valuable generation by issuing alerts that aid in the search for those with cognitive impairments. Please remember that we must not stop here in our dedication to provide a safeguard for all Floridians. Sincerely, Rick Scott."
Yeah, I was confused too.
Presumably, the letter was written by an unsuspecting underling who never got the memo about Scott's hatred of the media. It refers to a July news conference in Palm Beach, during which Scott signed legislation streamlining the Silver Alert system for finding missing senior citizens.
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I covered the news conference for this blog, and the resulting article was not a glowing endorsement of the governor. Neither was the feature story I wrote a month later, titled "A Tour of Rick Scott's Dirtiest Deeds."
Yet somehow, someone in his office saw fit to thank me. Isn't bureaucracy grand?