McCollum v Scott: Florida's race for Governor is on!


There he was all set to waltz into the Republican nomination and possibly win the governor’s mansion, when bang! He gets socked by Rick Scott. Scott, who with the aid of a fortune estimated at over 220 million dollars, has spent at least 22 million of his own money to gain the Republican nomination for Governor. He seems to be succeeding.  

Scott has little in the way of government experience unless you count the fact that his corporation has dealt with the government before. While he was CEO, his company, Columbia/HCA, was accused by the government of committing massive Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Columbia/HCA settled with the government for the trifling sum of 1.7 billion dollars and Scott was ousted as its chairman. To date this is still the largest case of Medicare and Medicaid fraud on record. Now he wants to be Governor.  

The following is from an article that appeared in the Miami Herald of June 26 2010:  

“However, federal investigators found that Scott took part in business practices at Columbia/HCA that were later found to be illegal — specifically, that Scott and other executives offered financial incentives to doctors in exchange for patient referrals, in violation of federal law, according to lawsuits the Justice Department filed against the company in 2001. The doctor payments were among 10 different kinds of fraud identified by the Justice Department in its 10-year probe of the company, records show. Three years after Scott left Columbia/HCA, the company admitted wrongdoing, pleading guilty to 14 felonies — most committed during Scott’s tenure — in addition to paying two sets of fines totaling $1.7 billion.”  

The full article is at:  

In terms of my feelings about McCollum, Ronald Reagan explained that we shouldn’t let the perfect be an enemy of the good. Reagan was expressing the idea that I do not have to agree with a candidate or elected official on everything as long as I agree on enough things. This is how I feel about Bill McCollum and why I will vote for him in the Republican primary. McCollum is not the most exciting and dynamic figure in Florida politics but he has a good solid conservative record. As Attorney General he is one of the people leading state efforts to challenge the power of the federal government under President Obama to force people to purchase health insurance.  

Rick Scott has promised a great deal and I agree with a lot of what he has pledged to do. He has promised 700,000 jobs to Florida with tax cuts and other job promoting policies. The ideas about zero based budgeting to make government agencies more accountable for how they spend our money and justify their budgets is a good thing. However, making a promise and delivering it are obviously different things. The Governor is not a monarch. A Governor can help set an agenda but their proposals must pass the legislature which is a body with more differing agendas than members. Compromise in politics with people you do not agree with is an essential part of the process.  

Someone whose name I will not reveal is now an elected official. A long time ago this individual came to me and declared their intention of running for Governor. This person had an admirable record of achievement in their field but had never held or run for political office before. Since I was asked for my advice I gave it and said that I thought that it would be better to run for a lower position and prove their capabilities. This person did that and has now held a few elected offices and has now become a formidable figure.  

Not that he has asked for it, but I would say the same thing to Mr. Scott even if his record was not tainted by the fraud committed by his company while he was in charge. Before you run for Governor prove that you have what it takes by running for a lower office and build a record of achievement. It is true that Ronald Reagan became the Governor of California without having held or run for political office before. He became a successful Governor and later President, but he had been a national public figure and had laid out his ideas clearly. To borrow from the late Senator Bentsen, ‘Rick Scott you’re no Ronald Reagan.’ I fear Alex Sink, the likely Democratic candidate will destroy Mr. Scott if he is the Republican nominee.  

I plan on voting for McCollum.prma