Protesters send varying messages to the Governor; all agree, give him the pink slip listen07/05/11 Janelle Irwin
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On Friday Governor Rick Scott announced his approval of Orlando’s commuter rail project SunRail. That afternoon, he also spoke at the Florida Society of News Editor’s annual meeting in St. Petersburg, where he was greeted by concerned citizens who want to Pink Slip Rick.
If a group of 200 or so self proclaimed Rick Scott haters had their way, the Scott would get kicked right out of the Governor’s mansion. Pink Slip Rick was organized as a movement to accomplish just that. Awake the State’s Kofi Hunt was one of the organizers of Friday’s protest. He’s was one of the many gatherers that thinks the governor should be fired. Scott has an approval rating of 29%; the lowest in the country. That’s something Hunt wants more people to talk about.
An email from organizers of the protest claimed that there has been a swing toward the right concerning media coverage of political affairs. They want reporters to start asking tough questions, something they say has not been done since 9/11. Mark Ferrulo is the director of Progress Florida. He says increased means for the Governor and his staff to reach out to the public are hindering some grassroots movements.
But some media outlets do reach out for answers in the interest of fair journalism. The St. Petersburg Times recently analyzed statements made by the Pink Slip Rick moving regarding the number of jobs they claim the Governor has lost for the state of Florida. They rated the organization’s numbers, “Pants on Fire” because many of the numbers were misleading or sensationalized. Florida Watch Action’s Susannah Randolph defended the site’s claims. She said the bottom line is that Scott misrepresented himself as the job’s governor, but has consistently made decisions that cut jobs.
Scott’s policies even have some doctors worried. Larry Floriani is an orthopedic surgeon in Tarpon Springs. He is disappointed in Scott for turning down millions for what is called Money Follows the Person. That money, he says, would have helped many elderly patients move from nursing homes to independent living.
Concerns about the future of Medicaid were also raised. Kim Kelly is expecting her second child in September; a little girl she can’t wait to meet. Kelly is receiving excellent care because she has help from Medicaid. She wasn’t as lucky during her first pregnancy when she went without prenatal care only to give birth to her son 8 weeks prematurely. She hopes no other women have to go through what she went through.
Even representatives from the Sierra Club came out to protest the Governor. Frank Jackalone oversees Florida and Puerto Rico. He thinks instead of approving more oil drilling, Scott should be tapping the power of the sun.
Eleanor Cecil from the National Organization for Women is worried about just about everything the Governor has done.
There was at least one thing protestors were happy about. Unlike the ill-fated high speed rail Scott killed this year, the Orlando SunRail project did survive Scott’s wrath. That announcement was made during the protest.