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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rick Scott's lavish inauguration: out of touch with the people?




That's the question a couple of Tampa Bay residents raised in letters to the St. Petersburg Times published today. While there's no indication they reflect the general public's sentiment, it is rather striking to see the governor-elect touting more than $2 million in special interest contributions to celebrate his election when so many Floridians are struggling. Recall how Charlie Crist in 2006 canceled his own $2.5 million inaugural plans amid heavy criticism. The economy was a heck of a lot better in 2006 than today.

Michael Voris of Odessa: Gov.-elect Rick Scott is going to hold a $2 million-plus inauguration bash funded by lobbyist and corporate cronies while the state of Florida has near record unemployment and a budget in crisis. He's not in office yet, and he is already doing a great imitation of Nero fiddling while Rome burns. This guy is totally out of touch with the average Floridian.

Where is Scott's plan to get Floridians back to work? All we've seen are two less-than-encouraging things: first, a victory tour where he had closed-door sessions with corporate leaders looking to make a killing under the new administration; second, lots of talk about turning over the Florida school system to private businesses that will make a profit on a $5,500 per-child voucher, and giving wealthy parents a tax giveaway to subsidize their $12,000-plus private school tuition.


Patrick Bauer of Land O'Lakes: The governor-elect has so far raised $2 million for his inauguration bash and would welcome more. Would it not be a grand gesture if Rick Scott would say that he wants a low-key inauguration? He could either return all the money to his donors or take the $2 million and spend it on the people of Florida who really need it.

Does he know how many people are in shelters? How many rely on soup kitchens to get at least one meal a day? Does he know that there are thousands out there living in misery that need help?

[Last modified: Thursday, December 16, 2010 1:30pm]


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