Ruth: Will the real Rick Scott please stand up?

 JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times
JAMES BORCHUCK | Times
Published November 7 2014
Updated November 9 2014

So, what might we expect from newly re-elected Gov. Rick Scott's administration over the next four years?

Given the governor's obsessive compulsive penchant for furtiveness — sheesh, he even made a "secret" visit to a black church in the waning days of the campaign — it is entirely possible we may not see him in public again after his January inauguration.

Would it shock anyone to see a Scott hologram filling in at all future gubernatorial appearances? And would we even know the difference?

Gone will be the halcyon glory days of transparency, when the Scott public relations juggernaut returned one out of every 350 press inquiries with a beautifully crafted "no comment."

By the time Scott and the Florida Legislature finish carving out exceptions to the state's open records laws, about the only public document available will be Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera's lunch menu.

In an effort to reduce cumbersome paperwork some scribbler might want to read, as well as an electronic record of phone and email exchanges, Scott will order (by way of hand signals) that all internal government communications be conducted by way of retired World War II Navajo code-talkers.

That's not to say the governor won't be burning the midnight oil to advance his second-term agenda that no one knows anything about.

It might begin with Scott once and for all dismantling the Department of Environmental Protection as a waste of time since it is a known fact that manatees are notorious Democrats living off the fat of the mangroves and irresponsibly getting in the way of cigarette boats attempting to navigate the Intracoastal Waterway.

Instead, the DEP will be reconstituted as the Florida Department of Money, relocated to a more accessible locale in Clewiston and staffed by a dedicated consortium drawn from U.S. Sugar, the Florida Cement Mixer Association, the Florida Association of Realtors and the American Bridge and Tollway Chamber.

First order of business: paving over those icky Everglades filled with humorless animals to make room for an expanded Pedro's Even Further South of the Border.

Of course, the health of all Floridians remains of paramount concern to Scott, who will move with the utmost haste to address concerns about his rejection of federal Medicaid expansion funding. Scott will announce the creation of Medi-whatever, a comprehensive 100 percent taxpayer-funded program that will provide a free Band-Aid at no expense to the patient and a gratis St. Joseph aspirin.

"That ought to stop all the Kumbaya carping from the ultra-liberal left that this a governor who doesn't care about whoever those people are. There, are you satisfied?" the governor's new spokesman, the late puppeteer Shari Lewis' Lambchop, will note in a prepared statement. "Other than that, we have no comment."

We can probably expect Scott to pick up the pace of executions, unless Attorney General Pam Bondi isn't flying off to some resort to meet with potential targets of state litigation for cocktails, dinner, a bit of sailing and a campaign contribution. Justice doesn't come on the cheap, you know.

One might think that now that he is a lame duck, Scott might be liberated enough to stop regarding nerdy scientists as merely a bunch of preening know-it-alls and admit that it is remotely possible global warming is a result of man's contributions to climate change, rather than merely an incredibly bad run of excessive dew. Hey, it could happen.

Still, as saltwater begins to lap at the front door of the governor's mansion in Naples, Scott will be politically savvy enough to call for a sales tax holiday on wading boots.

Some of the governor's detractors unfairly characterize the governor as a stiff, stolid, ungainly soul with all the personality of an Allen wrench.

And that is why in a legacy-building effort during his second term Scott will announce a series of public morale enhancing projects to demonstrate his sense of whimsy, his joie de vivre, his inner scamp.

First up will be the Sandhill Crane cookoff, followed by the Stand Your Hogfest.

But the pièce de résistance of excitement will be the First Annual (and probably last annual) Florida Panther Hunt & Barbecue, co-sponsored by the National Rifle Association.

At last Floridians will be able to see the real Rick Scott, all the way through him. What fun.

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