^
Keep New Times Free
4

Lake Worth's Cara Jennings Calls Rick Scott an Asshole to His Face

In a Gainesville Starbucks yesterday, former Lake Worth commissioner, activist, and all-around straight talker Cara Jennings took on Gov. Rick Scott.

"You are an asshole, Rick Scott," she said as Scott bared an uncomfortable smile. "Rich people like you don't know what to do when poor people like us need health services. You cut us. Shame on you. You are an embarrassment."

Jennings, age 39, said this morning that she had just sat down in the Starbucks around 5 p.m. when the governor and his entourage walked in. She was preparing to do some freelance work and hadn't even ordered her coffee. The encounter began in civil fashion when she questioned a recent bill he had signed that limited access to women's heath care and abortion.

Then she said — because she and her 2 1/2-year-old child fall into a gap whereby they don't qualify for Obamacare or Medicaid — that Scott doesn't understand some people's plight.

"He said, 'Go to the county health clinic,'" she recalled. "That was insulting. Things escalated from there."

Jennings was a Lake Worth commissioner for five years, from 2006 to 2011. She has also been an activist for immigrant rights. The meeting in the Starbucks was ironic, she says, because for months she had been back and forth from Lake Worth to Tallahassee trying to meet with the governor over bills that had hurt arrivals from other countries.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

"We made the eight-hour drive again and again," she says. "But they wouldn't see us."

Asked what drove her to take on the governor, she responded: "The better question is: Why don't more people stand up to politicians like Rick Scott who make horrible decisions. I implore my fellow Floridians to do the same when they see Rick Scott."

When Scott left, she turned around and discovered a clean-cut guy sitting behind her had filmed the whole thing. Then she walked to the counter and ordered her drink. It was a decaf latte. 

Follow Chuck Strouse on Twitter @chuckstrouse.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.