Once again, voters will get to pick from the lesser of two evils. Which one is it?
By Scott Factor
The 2010 primary races are over in Florida, and the Republican primary nominee for Governor is Rick Scott. The race wasn’t even close, with Scott winning in 53 of 67 counties. A win this big for a virtual political outsider should send a strong message to those who control the Republican Party of Florida. Unfortunately, that message isn’t resonating with quite a few people.
For the record, I am not a Scott supporter. I have issues with a guy who wants a job so bad that he’s willing to spend $50 plus million on his own campaign for a job that pays a low six figure salary, a salary he has reportedly vowed not to accept should he win. It all just doesn’t make sense, and just reeks of the escapades of an egotist.
However, I believe that for any party to survive, it cannot make a habit of eating its own members. This view is shared by Republican Party leaders, who after showing strong support for McCollum, have since come out and issued strong statements supporting Scott. These leaders recognize the importance of unity within the party.
Although registered as a Republican, I consider myself an independent thinker and voter. The Republican Party of Florida has done much to anger me and a lot of other voters in the past few years, so I find it difficult to support the G.O.P. sometimes. I frequently must reexamine my core beliefs and talk myself into voting for the lesser of two evils – that lesser often being Republican.
In the case of Scott vs. Sink, I find that lesser to be Rick Scott. Unfortunately, anger is clouding the judgment of some very influential leaders, and there are rumblings of a mutiny in the Florida Republican Party as it relates to the governor’s race. There are many McCollum supporters who are angry enough to already be making noises about supporting the Democrat’s nominee, Alex Sink. To those who are thinking this, please stop and use some reason and logic for a moment.
While it’s true that Rick Scott was involved in the largest Medicare fraud case in history, to his credit he never denied his involvement and was never criminally charged. Since he has never been politically connected, he would have been one big fish for the United States Attorney to cook, clean, and fry without hesitation. However, he was never charged because there was no evidence of his direct involvement in any crime.
Alex Sink was never charged with a crime, either. However, that doesn’t make her actions morally superior to Rick Scott. If you’re wondering what I am talking about, follow along closely here.
Remember Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis? He was forced to resign due to some “oversights” involved with taking over Merrill Lynch, almost causing the bank to fail? You know, asking for government bailouts on one hand while holding the other out for large bonuses? Guess who he mentored? Alex Sink, when she was President of the Florida division of Bank of America. She learned well.
She learned how to pad her pockets on the backs of hard working Floridians. When she was in charge, Bank of America crafted a merger with what was then Barnett Bank. Her first move? Lay-off (fire) 6,000 people (Orlando Sentinel, 01/01/98). Why on earth would she do that, you ask? Well, when you do a lay-off, it causes the short term profits to rise and hence a rise in stock price.
It just so happens that Alex Sink owned stock and stock options…lots of them. According to the Associated Press (2002), Alex Sink earned more than $2.8 million in stock options and compensation in 2001, shortly after the lay-offs. That was a bit lower than the $3.4 plus million she made in year 2000.
That Alex Sink, she’s something else…at least, that’s what Ken Lewis said of her, shortly before he was indicted in New York. Said Lewis, “She’s bright. She’s a good communicator. She’s a winner. She’s driven to do all she can to succeed.” (Orlando Sentinel, 02/05/10) Including the firing of 6,000 people?
Rick Scott’s company over-billed Medicare. Medicare billing is so complicated, that many people have made entire careers out of manipulating the billing system for large companies and small, earning the respect of their peers for the profits they reap. When the government decided to make an example of someone, they went for the biggest fish. That fish was HCA, the company Rick Scott founded.
However, Alex Sink fired people. Firing people is so difficult, some people have made a career out of it, as demonstrated in the George Clooney movie “Up In The Air.” Clooney played the part of a corporate downsizer, a hired gun if you will. His job was to fire people, one at a time. Alex Sink fired 6,000 at one time, and never blinked. No hired gun was necessary. After all, her stock options were at stake.
Is that who you really want as your governor?
A Floridian, Scott Factor is a graduate of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. and earned his M.B.A. at St. Leo University. He writes conservative rants focusing on the national political landscape. E-mail him at: email@example.com.
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