Sunday, April 22, 2018
Politics

Gov. Rick Scott's email in-box not for the timid

Gov. Rick Scott doesn't have time to read all the email he gets, and it's probably just as well.

His in-box overflows with raw emotion on all sides.

But this is progress. This is the "Project Sunburst" we've been expecting all along.

Sunburst is a Scott innovation where you get to peek into his in-box (www.flgov.com/sunburst).

It took a while for the governor's people to work out the kinks after newspapers reported that praise for the governor was getting to the Web a lot faster than the criticism.

Not anymore.

Now, Sunburst is just like the rest of the Internet. It's an electronic graffiti wall where people haul their grudges and fears — in this case, to vent to the governor of the nation's fourth-largest state.

It's always interesting to see what people have on their minds.

Colleen Riddle of Winter Haven ridiculed Scott's effort to eliminate voter fraud.

"The only case of 'voter fraud' occurred in 2000 with Jeb and George W.," Riddle wrote. "Stop embarrassing Florida!"

Another of Scott's less-than-impressed constituents likened him to a feminine hygiene product for reducing early voting days in a year when the ballot will be longer than ever.

"We'll have to take the day off to stand in line," wrote Anthony Maginness of Sarasota.

Scott has online fans, too.

Joseph Fanara of Lakewood Ranch wanted Scott to get President Barack Obama's name off the ballot.

"Rick, your (sic) doing a great job," Fanara wrote. "How can we get Obama off the ballot since we all know his birth certificate and SS (Social Security) number are a fake."

It's interesting to see who often gets cc'd on Scott's emails: "Beck, Glenn; O'Reilly, Bill; Cavuto, Neil," etc.

A family in Hernando County wants Scott's help getting their mobile home insured by Citizens Property Insurance.

A woman in Georgia who was born in Florida can't renew her driver's license because the state can't find her Florida birth certificate.

Others want to know why the state isn't spending more money to restore the damage to marine ecosystems done by the BP oil spill.

Several people, with fury flying from their keyboards, demanded Scott fire a community college teacher who was caught urging her students to vote for Obama in November.

The teacher, Sharon Sweet of Brevard Community College in Melbourne, is a math teacher with five years' experience at the school. She was placed on leave without pay at her request last week, the school said.

"She must be terminated," wrote David and Barbara Lautner of Pace, a tiny Panhandle town 500 miles from Melbourne.

The Lautners got a detailed explanation of Sweet's job status and contact information at the college.

People like taking their concerns straight to the top.

Rhonda VanValkenburgh of Tampa asked for Scott's help dealing with illegal dumping near Busch Gardens, where she said there are many foreclosed and abandoned homes.

In a response, the governor's office provided the phone number of the Hillsborough County solid waste division and showed her how to report illegal dumping online.

Steve Bousquet can be reached at [email protected]

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