Rick Scott -- regulation killing governor and baseball historian
Times photo by James Borchuck
ST. PETERSBURG -- Gov. Rick Scott just wrapped up a 17-minute speech to the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce where he hit on all his regular themes -- getting rid of "job-killing" regulations, shrinking the state budget and cutting taxes, and expanding school choice.
Speaking from the outfield of Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, Scott said there is "no logical reason" the state has a 12 percent unemployment rate, and that Florida "should be the state that wins." Scott also reminded everyone to respect the work of the law enforcement officers in the wake of the shooting of two St. Petersburg police officers last week (He left out that he was proposing to essentially cut police officer pay by making them contribute to their retirement).
Scott said that the last time he was on a professional baseball field was 1997, when he threw out the first pitch of the first-ever Interleague baseball game between the San Francisco Giants the Texas Rangers. Scott said he bought something like 15,000 tickets for his Columbia/HCA employees so the Rangers let him dazzle the crowd from the pitching rubber. He said he remembers the pitch as a strike. (We're looking for a video -- which Scott says doesn't exist -- but he is right that the Rangers/Giants was the first Interleague baseball game ever).
In the crowd listening Thursday were U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, former U.S. Rep. Mike Bilirakis, state Sen. Jack Latvala, state Rep. Jeff Brandes and at least a dozen local elected officials.