Florida Governor Rick Scott gets booed at Tampa Bay Rays home opener

04/04/11 Janelle Irwin
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The increasingly common public outcry against Governor Rick Scott continued on Friday. This time at a baseball game. Hundreds of protesters gathered both in and around Tropicana Field to protest Scott as he threw out the first pitch at the Tampa Bay Rays’ home opener.

Friday was April Fool’s Day, and several hundred Rick Scott opponents celebrated with a chorus of boos at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. As news of Rick Scott’s throwing of the first pitch at the season opener for the Tampa Bay Rays spread, so too did the bad taste that is already in the mouths of so many Floridians. Despite speculation from Scott’s supporters that “booing” him was both rude and immature, crowds of loathing opponents carried on with their plan both inside and outside the dome. Michael Long didn’t seem to care what people thought of his booing. Unless, of course, it wasn’t loud enough.

"I think, you know, the governor is worth about $500 million, spent most of his life traveling around the corporate '...' he made his fortune stealing from Medicare. If the worst thing that's happened to him is that people boo him at a baseball game, his life has been pretty good lately and it's been a lot better than most of the people who his policies are affecting."

Signs emblazoned with Anti-Scott sentiments lined the main entrance to the Trop. The messages varied from generic pleas to impeach Scott to specific references to educational and mental health budget cuts. Aaron Carmella’s sign asked the question, “where are our jobs?”

"That was his campaign promise, it's 'let's get back to work'. Where are these jobs that he's promised? He's cut the high speed rail which was going to deliver instant jobs to this area and we've already seen what he's doing there. And what he's doing with the teachers and how the teacher quality bill is really going to affect how they're able to do their jobs, too."

Carmella works for the Central Labor Union. He protested among the others because he thinks Scott isn’t holding up his promise to be a jobs ambassador for the state. But Carmella isn’t happy about much of anything that has come of the three months of Scott’s administration.

"People need to start to... to help get their voices heard so hopefully we can usher in some change up in Tallahassee because right now they're just railroading bill after bill through without listening to what the public opinion is on it."

Scott’s first bill signing resurrected what began as Senate Bill 6, legislation that was vetoed by former Governor Crist. Tweaked here and there and re-named Senate Bill 736, Scott eagerly moved forward with the plan to tie teacher pay to student test performance and eliminate tenure for new teachers. Not surprisingly, countless supporters of public educators lined up in protest.

"Well, I can't imagine anybody would ever want to go into education after this. They want to start getting new teachers, people are just going get rid of the '...' Older people are going to...they're being forced out. We're going to take major cuts and of course health care is going to rise. We're basically not going to have a union next year because we don't have 50 percent of the people signed up. Then we can't have a union and he took away our right to have it taken out of our paychecks so it's going to be hard to get '...'. "

Curt is a Pinellas County elementary school teacher. He asked that his full name not be used because his school frowns on public protest. It’s a freedom these protesters were grateful that Scott couldn’t take away from them. Niece Jochims exercised that right too. She came on behalf of workers that help over 30,000 of the state’s mentally disabled, workers that just found out about Scott’s executive order to slash their pay by at least 15%.

"These clients are not going to have any homes to go to because providers are going to be closing because they're not able to provide service because they can't afford it. They've got to pay staff, take good care of the clients or what's worse that's going to happen is that service is going to become so bad because providers can't pay appropriately to take care of the clients. It's really, really bad. He's talking about losing jobs for hundreds and thousands of people."

Lori Moffitt is a client of a mental health agency and came to the protest with a worker at that agency who helps Moffitt find jobs. But the job coach’s employment could be in jeopardy because of state funding cuts. Moffit just lost her job at Goodwill and needs the extra help now more than ever. She is worried that help might not available much longer.

"Our people need the services. Our service for to keep our jobs for everything and all. And if we cannot keep our jobs we're protesting this."

The first protester we heard from, Michael Long helped organize the protest. He said he was happy with the turnout and glad that so many causes were represented.

"I hope that the governor and that the legislators and people who are in public office can see what's going on today. See how the people, a wide range of people from a wide range of lifestyles and political affiliations stand united against what the governor's policies and what the governor is doing and that if they hope to continue to serve in public office they should represent the people they're supposed to represent and not the corporate interests."

As it came closer to game time, some protesters took their signs inside to continue their boo-ing from the stands. Others stayed outside and continued sending their varying messages. One protester even broke away from chant long enough to say, thanks to Rick Scott, she couldn’t afford a ticket.

Previous WMNF news coverage of Rick Scott

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I think people are being too judgemental. Rick Scott is doing what he promised he would do. It's tough out there right now - for everyone! It really stinks that the teachers have to go through this, it really does. HOWEVER, my husband works JUST as hard and his (private) company pulled any contributions to pensions 3+ years ago. I also worked at a (private) company and received 2 pay DEcreases in 3 years after receiving outstanding reviews. The reason: the economy. They were company wide decreases. I really feel sorry for the teachers. It stinks. I know some really fine teachers. But, I'm sorry. We all have to tighten our belts.

open your eyes Mandy.

It's not all that tough out there for the corporate fatcats and company executives that our pal Rick (ugh!) is selling our state to! These thieves have excessively padded their own bank accounts with bigger and bigger profits and bonuses each year, while simultaneously cutting back and/or eliminating workers salaries and benefits! Why don't you get it??? You and your husband continue to work harder for less compensation while "they" get richer and richer, and just keep on buying up the government, paying off the crooked politicians and robbing the citizens of this state and nation. You're trying to tighten our belts so much that we won't even need to worry about increased food prices, because nobody will be able to swallow! Unfortunately, you are part of the problem rather than the solution. Let us hope for all of our sakes, that your kids (and their generation) will grow up smarter and will not allow their minds to be warped and poisoned by corporate capitalist thugs . . . . oh wait, that ain't gonna happen cause the teachers ain't gonna be teaching any smarts to these kids!

Eyes wide shut...

Jarvis... the teachers don’t teach “smarts” now… they teach FCAT!!! That’s why private and home schooled students do so well…

That was rude

That was inexcusably rude. I didn't vote for him but I can see that he's making the unpopular, hard decisions. grow up, Jarvis


You need to grow up, TOM. Or more like it, get a clue. This individual is a self-serving fraud who bought the election with his own fortunes, and is now pandering to the big business special interess who support him, at the expense of the common working folks and disadvantaged of this state. The only thing that's inexusably rude is what this POS is doing to this state. Wake up and educate yourself.


Rick Scott didn't give much in the way of details when he was running, he didn't say he was going to bust unions, hinder basic services to the poor, or cut aid to the handicapped. He's just following the same national agenda that every other teaparty wolf in sheep's clothing have been doing across the country. He hasn't created job one because he's too busy creating a corporate first government that is shaking the foundations of what we believe government should be able to do.

I Like Rick

I don't care what you say. Those people showed themselves to be classless, immature, and rude. So far I agree with everything he's done. It's common sense cuts. Keep it up, Rick. Don't let these bottom-of-the-barrel, want something for nothing jerks get you down.

Bite the bullet.

As a 21 year old, employed full time, and attending full time college, many of the actions Rick Scott is taking and supporting doesn't directly effect me in the short term, but I know plenty of individuals who are being impacted, as we all are. It's immature to say that all politicians are crooked and bent, but it's extremely naieve to believe that they're angels either, as its blatantly apparent the majority of politicians succeed VIA their pocket books and also by other means, which have nothing to do with actually showing what they HAVE done, but what they are GOING to do. I feel Rick Scott, and most other politicians are NO exception to this trend. I didn't vote for the man, I question many of his actions, my major gripe being the rail project to connect TPA to ORL. But even with that temporarily shot down, you have to realize, the man IS making the calls..... any sane person only enjoys change that benefits that persons interest. The needs of the many almost always out weighs the needs of the few. This might be the largest controversial "Cut", but there have been many other cuts, state, and nation wide. Someone will always be impacted. Unfortunately, these changes, such as teachers tenure, happens to be effecting those who are VERY used to a permanent position, and who are going to go from feeling SAFE, to having to prove that much harder that they can do what they say they can do. As a student for the last 2 years in community college, I've had my share of ridiculous instructors. I feel that, to a degree, I understand the pressures of good teachers and instructors. Even though I've had many good instructors, that I feel would never need to worry loosing their jobs due to poor assessments based upon student success. I mean, I do understand you put your pants on the same way I do, I understand that taking tenure, in a nutshell, means that you loose job security, which is scary, and that it becomes easier to be terminated, and held in a more deeper account in terms of your success rate of students. For someone that, in most cases, chooses a career not known for its lucrative financial gain, but for a career that fulfills the want to help and watch an individual gain a greater knowledge... I get that this adds just one more negative to the growing list that comes along with choosing to enter into an academic career. I understand you have bills like everyone else in american (most people that don't mooch the government, but this is another topic), and I understand this could mean loosing your job has become a deeper reality if performance is not met. The bottom line is. If you're performing well, and you do your JOB, theoretically, you have nothing to worry about. As one of my instructors put it, "Why should a students success dictate whether I stay or not, it's your responsibility to learn." Why?? Well lets just ask the question, "Why should an airline pilot go through routine training and re-certs?" Pretty asinine right? Obviously so everyone knows he or she is capable of flying you to grandmas christmas dinner, and not parking the plane up a line of trees in the middle of no where. Nevermind unruly, or disruptive kids, or people who are afraid of academic responsibility. There are safeguards, and policies in affect to weed those individuals out, and i'm sure MORE will be put into play with teachers tenure ceased, so that it does remain fair that unfavorable students do not greatly impact an instructor/teachers overall rating. We all have to bite the bullet, that includes you too teachers. As Americans, we'll get through it, or we'll rot, and watch formerly third world countries like China rise above the united states in its splendor and greatness, as we sit and squabble with our thumbs up our rears, and continue to sink ourselves into an even deeper economic decline while pointing blame vehemently in any direction. And if all fails, atleast at the end of the day, we still have pecan pie....which is by no argument what so ever, the best pie ever, and deserves every single americans respect. :D

Go tell it on the mountain…

Though I prefer nanna puddin with nilla wafers… BROTHER… you have hit the nail on the head!!!

we're already rotting . .

. . (and sinking). In fact we've been rotting for decades (with no apparent end in sight). Seek the truth, people (and definitely ignore pendergrass).

Not rotting... composting.

Hay Roscoe… I just spoke to April… she and James are looking for you. Something about escaping to a “Brave New World”…

I love PeCAN pie!

pecan pie is the culmination of civilization!

I love nanna puddin!!!

Nanna puddin with nilla wafers is the culmination of granny's love!!!

Rick Scott Stinks!!!

Can't stand this man, he even looks weird w/those wild eyes! Now he is cutting all mental health & substance abuse programs that have helped so many people. Boy do I miss Jeb Bush!

What an ingrate

What a thankless job. And to think he used his own money to get it in order to help you ingrates.

calling all super heros!

I WISH I had a pecan pie in one hand and a gravel pie in the other, and I'd go to the ball game and SMASH them BOTH in Rick Scotts stupid looking face! He and his mother are EVIL and don't care about the public (that's YOU Floridians!). He's already proven that he can lie and steal his way to power and wealth like some crazed lunatic comic book madman - and he even LOOKS the part! Now we the people need to rise up against this 'man who would be king' and put an end to this fraud of a government.

Holy hate speech, Batman…

My… My… what hate filled political rhetoric!!! Let’s not forget what Rep. Caster said… “We've got to improve the civil discourse throughout this great country and in our communities." I love the left… they are so “do as I say, not as I do”… INSANE!!!


Where are the job proposals, Glenn? So far he's offered to cut teacher positions, he rejected an instant job starter in high-speed rail, and he's focused on the Tea Party agenda which he avoided talking about during his campaign, and he hasn't done a damn thing about creating jobs, has he?

Where’s my abacus…

Hay… I don’t like what he did with high-speed rail either. But… when Gov. Dumass was elected in Nov. 2010, the US Bureau of Statistics had Florida’s unemployment rate at 12.1%... at the end of Feb. 2011 the USBS had Florida at 11.0%. So… somebody’s working somewhere. Dude… if he keeps knocking the unemployment rate down 1 point every 4 months… by the time his first term is over, we’re looking at an unemployment rate of… like… negative 4%!!! That means… every Floridian will have a job and 4% of the working population will have 2 jobs. WOW… just imagine if he were reelected… 16% of us could be working… like… 2 jobs!!! As for his focus on the Tea Party agenda… it could be a lot worse... at least he’s not in bed with the communist party!!!