Joyner blasts Scott, GOP for 'grand abdications of public trust'
The first Democrat to speak at the annual AP seminar Wednesday has a different perspective on the reality of Tallahassee from her Republican predecessors.
Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, gave a withering indictment of Gov. Rick Scott and GOP legislative leaders for unconstitutional gerrymandering of Senate districts, "corporate welfare" to private companies, failure to protect abused and neglected children, blocking an expansion of Medicaid and refusing to allow so much as a public hearing on a bill to increase the minimum wage. In Tallahassee, she said, "grand abdications of the public trust have become commonplace."
"This kind of leadership knows no shame," said Joyner, the voice of the 14-member Senate Democratic caucus. Her fiery remarks came five days before the start of the fourth legislative session of the year to redesign Senate districts so that they can comply with constitutional anti-gerrymandering requirements.
She blasted Scott for an "absurd" witch hunt directed at Planned Parenthood clinics, yet the governor remained silent when 14-year-old Andre Sheffield died of neglect while in state custody.
Her speech repeatedly invoked the phrase, "just another day in Tallahassee," and she said: "If we were in any other state, it would be shocking. But here in Tallahassee, this is what's expected."