What happens when a criminal becomes governor

Florida’s wildly-unpopular far-right governor, Rick Scott (R), traveled to a retirement community in Central Florida yesterday known for being the most Republican retirement community in the state. Scott was there to sign his new state budget, which helps demonstrate his priorities and commitment to looking out for his most vulnerable constituents.

In his speech Thursday, Scott omitted many of the serious-sounding programs he cut: homeless veterans, meals for poor seniors, a council for deafness, a children’s hospital, cancer research, public radio, whooping-cough vaccines for poor mothers, or aid for the paralyzed.

These are cuts, by the way, he made from an already-austere budget approved by a Florida legislature dominated by larger Republican majorities. Scott thought they were too generous, so he made sweeping changes though line-item vetoes, which is legal in the state.

All told, Scott’s budget throws 4,500 Floridians out of work as a way to help lower unemployment. No, I don’t understand it, either.

The ridiculous governor might have heard from some of his less-supportive constituents had he not banned Democrats from the bill-signing ceremony.

Members of The Villages Democratic Club were barred from the budget signing by Scott staffers who said the outdoor event in The Villages town square was “private.” Other staffers and Republican operatives scoured the crowd and had Sumter County sheriff’s deputies remove those with anti-Scott signs or liberal-looking pins and buttons. They escorted more than a dozen people off the property.

As Tanya Somanader put it, “Many in the community would likely not be pleased with Scott’s cuts, but those voices remained unheard — mainly because they were banned.”

Atrios added the other day, “I normally resist the temptation to blame “stupid voters” for their leaders, but man, Floridians, what were you thinking….”