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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A place where some don't recognize the 'new' Rick Scott



Two years ago, Gov. Rick Scott chose this out-of-the-way town to cement his bond with the tea party and showcase his first state budget as proof of his conservative credentials.

Tuesday, Scott will deliver a very different message to lawmakers gathered in Tallahassee for the start of the 2013 legislative session.

The reaction in Eustis this time is sure to be different, too.

The governor, who in 2011 proposed a 10 percent cut in education spending and matter-of-factly rejected more than $2 billion for a high-speed rail system, now wants the state budget to swell to $74 billion.

And Scott, who said the federal health care law "will be the biggest job-killer ever," now endorses the massive expansion of Medicaid the law allows.

In conservative Eustis, people can't reconcile the two Rick Scotts they see.

"This is a betrayal to the patriot movement," said Patricia Sullivan, the North Lake Tea Party president who invited Scott to Eustis two years ago. "Expanding government, and saying we'll take care of the problem down the road, is unacceptable."

Story here.

[Last modified: Monday, March 4, 2013 6:10pm]


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