A Rough Week for the Attackers of Public Employees: GOP in Florida and Rick Scott Power Base

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August 7, 2013

By: Robert Asencio – Florida Public Employees Partnership

Public_CorruptionWithout doubt, it has been a rough week for the attackers of Public Employees: The GOP in Florida and Rick Scott power-base.

First: Hand picked by Rick Scott, Florida Department of Education Commissioner Tony Bennet resigns “Thursday, amid allegations that when he ran Indiana’s schools, he changed the state grade of a charter school founded by a prominent GOP donor.” 

Next: The “Miami Herald, using records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, disclosed” Florida GOP rising star – Speaker of the Florida House Will Weatherford –  “is a founding member and former director of a Texas company that since 2008 has received almost $830,000 from Florida’s state-run” Citizens insurance company. Click to read article

Yesterday:  The arrest by the FBI of the City of Sweetwater Mayor Manuel “Manny” Morono.  A former tow truck driver and close friend of Rick Scott, Morono is the current president of the Florida League of Cities. Arrested on Federal charges of extortion with Morono was City of Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi.  Like Morono Pizzi is also considered a power player in Northwest Miami-Dade by Florida GOP members.  

Rough_Week_For_GOPNow, lets connect the dots:
With major support from the League of Cities Rick Scott gets elected in 2011.  Scott Immediately champions the League of Cities agenda to reform the pensions of Public Employees across the State. The League of Cities in turn charges forward with an aggressive campaign to enact legislation that restricts the use of Public Employee unions dues for political efforts.  The League of Cities names this effort “Paycheck Protection”.  From the onset it is clear that “Paycheck Protection” is an effort to erode the political influence of unions, standing in the way of the GOP, League of CIties, and Big special interest agenda to repurpose the use of tax dollars – from the public to private sector.
Although “Paycheck Protection” fails, Rick Scott with the aide of the League of Cities gains the influence of the Republican legislative majority in passing the 3% FRS mandatory contributions – a Special Income Tax on FRS members.  From the contribution over a billion dollars is generated and used at the direction of Rick Scott to offset the 2011 State’s budget shortfall on the backs of Public Employees.  Over a billion dollars that no longer flows from Public Employees to local businesses communities across the state.
During the 2012 election year, fearing voter reprisal and shrinking public approval of the GOP, the League of Cities and Rick Scott ease up on their mission to generate added revenue through pension reform.
In 2013 Rick Scott with the assistance of the legislative majority, loyal to the League of Cities, enact legislation to increase the rate of contribution by employers into the FRS. Legislation that causes many cities and counties across the State of Florida to increase public taxation.  Thus, purposely fueling the argument that Public Employee pensions are causing economic hardship on taxpayers.
Get the picture?
All of which is further proof the new breed of self-serving elected officials in Florida if not stopped will continue to enrich themselves at the expense of you and I – the Florida Taxpayers.

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