Sunday, June 24, 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]

Comments
Why a small-town restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave - and would do it again

Why a small-town restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave - and would do it again

LEXINGTON, Va. - Stephanie Wilkinson was at home Friday evening - nearly 200 miles from the White House - when the choice presented itself.Her phone rang about 8 p.m. It was the chef at the Red Hen, the tiny farm-to-table restaurant that she co-owned...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six local candidates across Tampa Bay — all county commissioners and city council members — effectively won their elections Friday by default: No one qualified to run against them.The rest still have a fight.Some will square off in an Aug. 28 primary...
Published: 06/22/18
Former Tampa police corporal qualifies as Democrat to run for Hillsborough sheriff

Former Tampa police corporal qualifies as Democrat to run for Hillsborough sheriff

TAMPA — A Democrat has officially joined the race for Hillsborough County sheriff.Gary Pruitt, a 50-year-old former Tampa police corporal who now works as director of security at a local mall, qualified Friday to challenge Republican Sheriff Chad Chr...
Published: 06/22/18
Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

So Hillsborough County commissioners — most of them, anyway — want voters to consider dropping political parties from certain elections, making those races nonpartisan instead.This would mean when you go to vote in those elections, you won’t know if ...
Published: 06/22/18
Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

NEW PORT RICHEY — A seasoned historic hotel renovator and operator is going to take a crack at getting New Port Richey’s city-owned Hacienda Hotel back into action. New Port Richey City Council members, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, u...
Published: 06/20/18
Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stepped into a growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, criticizing the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border and saying that "populism" and "creating psychosis" are not t...
Published: 06/20/18
Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Well, that didn’t last long.U.S. Army veteran Michael Sean McCoy filed to run as the Republican candidate in the State House, District 57 race just hours after incumbent State Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, announced he was stepping down.McCoy, who live...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Published: 06/19/18
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Published: 06/19/18