"A Rodeo of Phonies and Pimps"

A fine Monday-morning quote comes from Carl Hiaasen:

"I once referred to a past Legislature as a festival of whores, which in retrospect was a vile insult to the world's oldest profession. Today's lackluster assemblage in Tallahassee is possibly the worst in modern times, and cannot fairly be compared to anything except a rodeo of phonies and pimps. It's impossible to remember a governor and lawmakers who were more virulently anti-consumer, and more slavishly submissive to big business."

That's quite a superlative for Rick Scott's Florida coming from Hiassen, who has been covering the pimp rodeo for more than 30 years now. More from his weekend column:

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The House is swiftly moving to deregulate 20 different types of business, including intrastate movers and telemarketers -- two occupations that aren't exactly famous for being scrupulous and undeceptive.

Deregulation is estimated to cost the state about $6 million in revenue (and who knows how much it will cost consumers in rip-offs), but just think of all the terrific new jobs it will create. That's what supporters claim. Seriously.

Just what Florida needs -- more telemarketers!

Bills are also sailing through the House and Senate that will allow Florida Power & Light to raise your

 

 

electric rates for the next five years while at the same time giving the utility a controlling grip on the state's future solar energy market.

GOP leaders who otherwise love to cheer free-market capitalism have already voiced support of the monopolistic bill, which gives FPL and four other major utilities exclusive rights to develop solar projects, eliminating pesky bids from smaller firms.

FPL achieved this coup the old-fashioned way, by hiring 30 lobbyists and donating about $4 million in campaign contributions to certain lawmakers and candidates for governor.

Renewable energy would be good for Florida, but competition among providers would actually hold down electric rates. Not happening.

More bad news: If your home is one of 1.3 million insured by Citizens -- the state-run pool that was established after Hurricane Andrew -- your premiums could soon rise by as much as 25 percent.

---------------------------------------------

He's just getting warmed up.

But to benefit themselves, lawmakers resurrected and decriminalized a scummy little gimmick called "leadership funds," which allow special interest groups to give gobs of money to special campaign accounts controlled by the leaders of both political parties, who can spread it around as they see fit.

Outlawed by a long-ago Legislature, leadership funds are simply a sanitized way of buying votes, slightly less sleazy than taking cash in a paper bag.

This time around, donors to the politicians will be listed by name, which is supposed to make us all feel not quite so betrayed.

Basically Hiaasen describes a full-court press by the robber barons with Scott, our esteemed fraudster-in-chief, at the point. Read the full column here.

-- Supt. Jim Notter had his obligatory puffball interview in the Sun-Sentinel this weekend, in which he pinned the problems at the School Board on... the teachers union.

Wait a minute -- I thought district staff was the bogeyman of the moment.

Oh, that's the one being used by Ann Murray and Jennifer Gottlieb. I guess Notter can't use that because he is staff.

The newspaper didn't make Notter account for the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars had been wasted, the overbuilding of classrooms prompted by campaign-financing lobbyists and contractors, or the $2 billion in debt he's leaving to taxpayers. Nah, it's all the Broward Teachers Union fault.

Notter backhandedly said discord with the union was his own biggest failure, but that discord, of course, was caused by BTU President Pat Santeramo, not himself.

So what about the massive corruption at the board that he enabled as superintendent?

On this point, Notter threw out the old "rotten apple" ploy. Here's what Notter said:

The arrest of two board members, the sentencing of one of them, the other still waiting to go to trial, the most recent 2011 grand jury report... absolutely has had a negative impact. It's very difficult to come through things like that because the public has a knack or an affinity or a view of things that if one person is doing it, then all nine are doing it... All of a sudden it became, "The whole board is corrupt" and "The whole district is corrupt" and it's typically not that way in our profession. We don't punish the whole class because one kid is disruptive. It's counterintuitive to us as a culture and it was very, very difficult, if not impossible, to overcome.

Notter is incapable of telling the truth, a trait that served him well as superintendent for the, yes, thoroughly corrupt School Board. He now says he's going to enjoy the sunset during his retirement and possibly become some sort of education advocate.

So long as he remains 2,000 feet from a Broward County school or the K.C Wright building, that's just fine.

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50 comments
Jgibson1620
Jgibson1620

So glad Carl Hiaasen agrees with me or I agree with him, whatever. I hope all the Tea Party people are happy as well as all the people that live in the Villages near Ocala because that's how he go elected. And, by only 05%.Only in Florida . . .When we all have to go back to the big 3 homeowner insurance companies who nonrenewed us after the hurricanes, we'll be thanking the governor and his minions again . . .Jane Gibson

Hammerhead
Hammerhead

The board and staff are hardly ready to face the reality that glares back at them. They have proven it with their meandering responses to the grand jury. The DOE, if not down here performing a full scale investigation within days, is a good as complicit in this fiasco.

There is just no excuse for the behaviors documented before, during and after the issuance of the grand jury report. The board and senior staff members want to try and neatly pin it on a few individuals or a department, but the problems are clearly deep and wide. HR is only finally being exposed with the Oliphant debacle. Don't think that this time is coincedental. There are and have been many employees disillusioned with the way that "friends" and "cronies" have been treated in the recent past...under Notter's watch.

The teachers have become disillusioned with the way things have gone under Notter's watch.

The un-necessary building boom happened under Notter's watch.

5 of 9 board members were all well aware of all of these issues before, during and after they were planned, executed and the benefits were enjoyed at the polls. It was only the fear of losing so much pension that chased Parks out. Kraft was less in control of her exit strategy, Hope was just too caught up in the Beverly deal to stay clean and Tynan was just not clever enough to survive...or did he not want to? Hmmm

Either way, the claim that this was all a bunch of really wiley and rogue staff is hogwash. The staff was doing as they were instructed...and the most they did on their own was to take advantage of the intentionally "loose controls" and "sloppy book-keeping". You know, the management lapses that Rupert is now selling. Paahleeeeeze.

See if for yourself. Tomorrow's board meeting will be loaded with angst and contempt. They are only slowly realizing that they have fooled nobody...but will complete their own Charlie Sheen cycle first. I'd say that the old board is self destructing as we speak. By the way, did anybody see the Michael Putney segment this past weekend? Please fill me in...I missed it.

unowho
unowho

Its great to see Bob Normans dysfunctional family "Hard At Work".......But seriously you have to give the Japs credit......How long would Floridians last under the same circumstances???Imagine 12,000 lawyers missing bulllll ya!!!

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Where is DF3? He always seems to disappear when the Pulp covers Rick Scott and the Repukelican/teabaggers.

Hey DeathFrog: DId you get the memo from your union leader yet? Guess what? You're one of us now.

Do you know what a liberal is? A conservative police officer who wakes up one day and realizes that he's been voting against his own interests, for decades. As Homer Simpson would say, "DOH".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

KennyPowersSays
KennyPowersSays

When the Florida civil war begins and it is time to pick a side, just remember that Rick Scott is a Tea Party elected Governor.

In Defense of the Pill Mills
In Defense of the Pill Mills

If I had to work near and look at Rick Scott's ugly face, I would need to swallow 10 oxycodone pills each day just to brave the situation.

If I had to work with and be privy to the willful raping of this state by Rick Scott and his republican cronies, I would need to shoot up oxycodone, hydrocodone and morpheine every day just to keep my conscience from driving me insane.

Rick Scott needs to take a 44, load it, point it at his head and pull the trigger. And that goes for others as well. The financial windfall that these bastards are setting themselves up to make is enormous.

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

Speaking about voting...PLEASE, let everyone that you know who votes by mail, (absentee), that ALL absentee ballot requests have EXPIRED. Everyone needs to RE-request to be put on the list to automatically receive absentee ballots. This was a sneaky little measure, (along with the non-restoration of civil rights), passed by the current legislators in order to REDUCE the Independent and Democratic voters. Don't let it happen.

Steve-O
Steve-O

Rick Scott is moving towards eliminating the North Broward Hospital District (among others). Why hasn't this been mentioned by Pulp?

unowho
unowho

Governor Rick Scott he is just getting warmed up ,the best is yet to come!!!PS Richard Millhouse Nixon ......"I am not a crook"

John
John

Rick Scott= P.T. Barnum

Model Citizen
Model Citizen

That's a great quote, Pulp, but nothing can top Matt Taibbi's assessment of Goldman Sachs:

"a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

Gefilte Fish
Gefilte Fish

Regarding the current political affairs. I laugh when I hear people especially the young ones talking about revolution this and that. It silly and amateurish considering the revolution was already fought and all we have to do it is get your lazy ass and vote.

When I read about 20% voter participation, I feel disgusted. When we have only the senior citizens, racist, and crazos voting this will be the result. The seniors will vote to cut education and just about anything that impacts the young but no one is to touch the exorbitant Medicaid cost and other self entitlement programs.

I shake my head in disbelief when I see an ignorant sheep talking about a Medicare for poor children cost and not about the seniors. How much times does a child visit a doctor if they were not born with an illness?

The fucking seniors live in a doctors office.

We talking a fraction of a penny for Medicare for the poor children compare to 95 cents to the dollar for senior corpses whom should expired long time ago but doctors making them swallow twenty expensive pills a day to keep the money flowing.

This is just one example out of many. The old and rich are winning why we the in betweens are stuck in the middle getting shafted.

Vote then if that does not work then we pick up the guns.

parkland man
parkland man

Hey you want to talk about phoines and pimps did you see 60 minutes,there you have it, i really knew lawyers were bad but never that bad wow they will be going to prison for ever phonies and pimps are lawyers and bankers take a look at 60 min last night its going to be a lawyer and banker tsunami master minded by lawyers,this time thousand of lawyers will be going to jail and some banks will be bankrupt lets see if boa goes down first. bull ya!

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Lets not forget how the criminal in the Governor's mansion is supporting legislation that will steer business to his own company, Solantic, which he placed in his wife's name in the form of a blind trust.

Only in Floriduh and a handful of other states would this not be an enormous conflict of interest.

I don't blame Scott because he is what he is, a fraudster and a corporate criminal. I blame the morons who voted for him, many of whom are good friends of mine. They'll be the first ones to complain about their increasing homeowner's insurance rates and FPL bills.

And they'll be stupid enough to think it's Obama's fault.

Gefilte Fish
Gefilte Fish

Just be careful Mr. Notter. Your old pal Garretson thought he was sailing to the sunset laughing his head off and enjoyment of his engorge pension courtesy of the taxpayers. Look what happen. Karma will catch up to you or your children or your children children. You may not experience it but someone in the Notter family may.

Keep the grin up you little troll. Karma may or may not be far behind.

Gator
Gator

For another view of the Florida Legislature, read Bob Graham's opinion piece in the St. Petersburg Times: http://www.tampabay.com/news/a...

Raise tuition and cut educational funding, but give a green light to scam artists. The race to the bottom is picking up speed.

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

Carl was right on, as usual. Unfortunately, I believe that Floridians are stuck until the 2012 election. Every protection that a normal citizen has in Florida is under the gun. FP&L and 1 or 2 other companies will be in charge of all solar powered energy programs. That will eliminate a lot of possible competition...which would reduce prices to us, the regular citizen. Homeowners' insurance, thru Citizens, will go up maybe 25 or 30%. Nothing will be done to protect us from texting, cell phone using drivers...who will continue to drive 45 miles per hour in the passing lane of every highway, interstate, & expressway in Florida, (as one legislator said, "...this is only one distraction, what about the cd player, changing radio stations, etc...." as if, why pick on my campaign supporting mobile phone industry???? Drug testing, sonograms for women seeking abortions, and "Special" cash for campaigns...this is what our legislators are spending their time on. When are THEY going to get to work getting Florida to work??????

TomPaine
TomPaine

Deregulation will "cost" $6 million in revenue, but it will save $100 million or more by downsizing or eliminating the overstaffed, unproductive, ineffective state agencies involved.

Randomthoughts101
Randomthoughts101

Hiaasen claims to be anti-establishment but his father and grandfather were lawyers and he was a member of the safety patrol at Peter's Pen!

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

First off my pension is in tact. I have been busy the last few days. I'm a little late to the party here.

I am not sure what cutting those two regulatory agencies will do in terms of scammers but the two most complained about industries in the state are Auto Sales and Construction. Both are heavily regulated... so regulation doesn't prevent scammers. Unfortunately, with state regulation generally violations are administrative in nature and don't rise to removal from the industry or criminal prosecution.

I dont care what the Party label is... quite frankly I wish that more people didn't care what the party label is. I know that good things come from both parties and bad things do too... I just want honest representatives not on the take from special interests on either side. People blast the republicans because GE got a tax rebate after posting a 14 Billion dollar profit. Most of that rebate was because of alternate energy.

International Paper is making more money on tax credits than selling paper. The power at the plant was provided by burning wood chips (by product of the paper manufacturing process) now they add diesel fuel and it is considered a bio fuel and they are expecting over 100 mil in tax credits.

So who's to blame for this scenario, The Reps for being whores to Corporate America or the Dems for putting money into alternate energy?

Either way us in the middle class are getting fucked!

unowho
unowho

Its funny his lovely wife of some 30 years has no complaints.....You are obviously another burnt out Charlie Sheen "Whinning"

Windsome Lad
Windsome Lad

Patti's right. It happened to me and a friend of mine. In arguendo, expiration might not be all that bad. I hear there were some good, dead folk voting from their graves in the last election in Broward's First City.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

I only "liked" it because it was so odiously repulsive ... and accurate.

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

I'm a senior, Gefilte Fish...and I support education. I think that Social Security should have a qualifying base income. Anyone with ANY type of income over $200,000 annually should not be getting Social Security. Those that are winning are those with money already, not necessarily all seniors....The Rick Scotts, Ron Books, Ilene Liebermans, Stacy Ritters, Russ Klenets, Neil Sterlings...They're winning because no one else is voting.

Billy Delions
Billy Delions

It's boo-ya, not bull ya, you dipshit.

Q: Do yo wake up drunk from the night before or do you start drinking as soon as you wake up.

Parkland man
Parkland man

Hey hot shot I was waiting for you let me know whats a better time and place for you thanks

EconomicProf
EconomicProf

What business and what facts do you have?

Bubba
Bubba

Do you really think there will be any reduction in state agency staff? They will just get shuffled around.

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

Really????? At what cost to the regular citizen from unlicensed scam artists? You are wrong on this one. PS Please don't use Thomas Paine's name this way...he did have Common Sense.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

I know attorneys who are anti-establishment. They were called "The Founding Fathers'.

Gov RickScott
Gov RickScott

There are going to difficult and drastic choices to be made to cover the $4 billion deficit. That's the way it is. People are going to suffer. Tough decisions will need to be made but we will get through this.

TK421
TK421

Well, obviously we're all exactly like our forebears, and would never dream of having an opinion different than that of our grandfather. And being on the safety patrol in elementary school is totally akin to being a cop. Brilliant!

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

That's better. See you at the protest. I'll always march for police officers. And by the way, they most certainly are after your pension.

Dr. Licky
Dr. Licky

Hey genius,

The reasons his wife of 30 years has no complaint that you've heard about is called Valium and Vodka. I have it on good source that since the Columbia/HCA fiasco, his wife can't stand to be around him sober for more than 10 minutes. That goes for his daughter too.

EconomicProf
EconomicProf

Patty baby, The deal was that if I paid into the system I would get money out. Now you want to change the promises that were made to me. What gives you that right. It was a contract. It's little communists like you that think that you can trample on other peoples rights. Just because you gqarner 51% of the vote doesn't make what you do right.It's not mob rule.

Parkland man
Parkland man

Hey go hug a lawyer if you like them so much just keep an eye on your wallet and children.

Parkland man
Parkland man

Hey jerkoff I call it bull ya because it's lawyers not boo ya for money it bull as in shit for lawyers only

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Please tell me the name of the university where you are an economics professor. I would very much like my sons to avoid such an inferior institution.

Hey, "professor", you have enough free time on your hands to know this story.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/b...

Jgibson1620
Jgibson1620

The Gov will be the only one not suffering! Once a thief always a thief ~ and this comes from a fed up republican!

unowho
unowho

These sacrifices are minor compared to Japan, quit complainin and "Get To Work"eh!!!

Randomthoughts101
Randomthoughts101

Peter's Penitntiary, AKA Peters Elemetary, he wore one of those white sashes with a Badge.

Parkland man
Parkland man

Hey ah why don't we get this straight today im in parkland at cafe Bellasara come by I will buy u a drink u in

Parkland man
Parkland man

Hey all you do is talk about school board go take a long walk off a building ah

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Hey, broken record:

Learn a new tune. All of the drunks I've ever known have memorized at least five.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Nice analogy canuck. Why don't you skate over to Japan? I heard radiation is good for you. Ann Coulter said so...

unowho
unowho

You do mean ex Guv Charlie (in the closet)Christ? LOL

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