An important story today on the ongoing public records litigation.
What every Floridian needs to know is that we all have an obligation to hold government accountable. This state is not a corporation run by a CEO, who is free to do whatever he wants.
The state of Florida is a sovereign land owned by the people. Here’s what others have to say:
Withholding evidence. Government business carried out in secret. Potential criminal investigations.I’m not talking about the allegations surrounding former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, who resigned on Friday. In Florida, a similar cloud has formed around Gov. Rick Scott, who faces three separate lawsuits alleging violations of a number of state laws.
In any normal political environment, the charges would lead to calls for resignation or impeachment proceedings. But Scott appears insulated by the very expectation of his corruption. In idealistic Oregon, Democrats controlled every level of government, and forced out a member of their own party. In Florida, the governor is supposed to be a scoundrel. But even if Scott survives, Republicans seeking the White House in 2016 might have a problem associating themselves with the leader of the biggest swing state, especially if more of his Nixonian tactics are revealed.
“This governor has completely evaded all public records on everything,” said Matt Weidner, a St. Petersburg attorney who filed one of the three lawsuits against Scott. His complaint involves the sudden firing of Gerald Bailey, former executive director of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and a respected public official.
Scott initially argued that Bailey simply resigned. But Bailey has since spoken publicly, accusing the governor of lying about his ouster (an email from Scott’s general counsel demanded that Bailey “retire or resign”) and attempting to politicize the independent FDLE. According to Bailey, Scott’s office pressured him to hire political cronies and forced FLDE officers to chauffeur Scott campaign staffers.