Gov. Rick Scott Wants to Drug-Test Welfare Recipients, Including His Little Brother -- UPDATE: Scott still won't talk

Categories: Politics
rick_scott_neck_thing.jpg
Rick Scott: Family man?
When Gov. Rick Scott, a rising star of the Tea Party movement, signed into law a bill May 31 requiring that Florida's welfare recipients pass drug tests, he didn't mention how close to home the issue hits.

Scott has a brother in Texas who gets welfare -- and might also have a history of drug use.

That brother, 54-year-old Roger Scott, lives in Dallas. Public records indicate that a Roger Scott with the same date of birth -- and other identifying information -- has a criminal history that includes drug possession, assault, and resisting arrest.

Rick Scott's office wouldn't answer specifics about his brother. But a spokeswoman issued a statement to the Pulp that said: "The governor believes
that everyone who applies for welfare benefits should be drug-tested."

Roger Scott, though, did talk about his older sibling to two reporters from the Dallas Observer, a sister paper of New Times.

At his modest two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Dallas, Roger said that he's "very close to his brother" but doesn't get to spend a lot of time with him.

"He's very busy, and I don't see him as much as I'd like," Roger said. "Plus, because of my financial situation, I don't have a chance to visit him as much as I'd like."

Roger has lived in Dallas for more than 20 years. When asked whether he works near his apartment, he said: "I'm on social security."

Less than a month ago, Scott signed a law that requires welfare recipients to turn in blood, hair, or urine samples before getting cash from the state.

Scott told the media at the time that the law would "increase personal responsibility" and "personal accountability" by having 50,000 to 100,000 welfare recipients tested a year.

"The goal of this is to make sure we don't waste taxpayers' money," Scott said. "And hopefully, more people will focus on not using illegal drugs."

If a welfare applicant fails, he or she will be barred from receiving state benefits for six months. If that applicant fails a drug test a second time, he or she won't be able to get benefits for three years.

Critics of Scott's plan pointed out that the governor owned $62 million shares in Solantic, a walk-in clinic chain that performs drug tests for $35 each. In response, Scott transferred the shares to his wife, and when that didn't work to silence conflict-of-interest claims, he sold his stake in the company in April.

Scott also wanted to randomly drug-test state employees but has since backed down after receiving flak from civil liberties groups.

Rick Scott's political campaign touted his family values by using his mother, Esther, in campaign ads. Esther's videos also cast the onetime health-care magnate as a rags-to-riches Everyman, an all-American Midwesterner who rose from Illinois public housing to run the nation's largest private hospital corporation, Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.

Scott resigned from his position as CEO in 1997 after the company came under fire for Medicare fraud. Columbia/HCA has since been fined $1.7 billion for Medicare fraud, much of which took place during Scott's tenure.

Scott's wife, Ann, and other brothers, Steve and Bill, also spoke glowingly on Rick's behalf. The Scott family, however, did not have much to say about Roger.

"Why do you want to get a hold of Rick's brother?" Esther said from her home in Kansas City, Missouri. "I don't think that's really necessary."

Esther then listed her other children, saying that she'd be willing to provide their contact information rather than Roger's phone number, which she refused to share. Scott's other siblings did not return calls for comment. Esther, however, was willing to talk about Scott's early life -- about which little is still known.

"They were all down there for his inauguration and the primary and the general election," she said of his brothers. "All except Roger." 

Roger, she said, was a "good kid" until he developed bipolar disorder. Esther said that Roger's illness has been "very tough" for her.

"He goes in for treatments, but he doesn't take care of himself," she said. "My son Rick has tried to help Roger for years; the whole family has."

Esther soon ended the conversation about her estranged son.

"I really don't think that's anything that you need to put in the newspaper," she said. "If you want scandal on my son, then say you want scandal on my son."

At his Dallas apartment, Roger reads two newspapers daily and used to post every article about his brother on the walls. He recently stopped, he said, because there just wasn't enough space.

"I'll put it this way," he said. "I'm usually in a one bedroom, and this is a two bedroom. I thought this was a one bedroom. It looked like a small house. He's at least helping me with some of the utilities, which, I mean, how many brothers or how many family members would do that? He's followed me and helped me all my life. He's financed hospital visits that I've had to do."

Roger says that he "couldn't ask for a better brother."

"Rick, he used to keep a file on me to pay him back, and I'm talking about each hospital visit that he would finance," he said. "I'm telling you, he helped me way beyond the call of duty."

UPDATE:

At a Silver Alert bill signing at the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office around noon Friday, the Pulp asked Gov. Rick Scott again whether Roger had any impact on his policymaking.

Scott refused to answer any questions directly, choosing instead to speak generally about his fight for fiscal responsibility and drug regulation.

"Drugs are a real problem all around the country," he said. "That's why I put in the pill mill legislation."

Scott said that he wanted to make sure that welfare recipients use their cash to get themselves on their feet rather than spend the money on drugs.

When this Pulp reporter later asked Scott to answer on a personal, specific level, she was scooted out of the way by a Scott spokeswoman.

"We already answered all your questions," said the staffer, before she and the governor walked out of the Sheriff's Office.


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37 comments
Keystonebrotherb
Keystonebrotherb

drug testing for state employees, check.

drug testing for welfare recpients, check.mandatory ultra-sound before abortions, check.

value of Solantic testing facilities, priceless.

Inky
Inky

By making welfare recipients with children take drug tests, the only people that will hurt is the children whom have no control over their parents use of drugs. Then we will see more murders, crime and abuse of children due to the hardship of no money to feed these children. It is punishing children for the misdeeds of their parents that they have no control over.

RealConservative
RealConservative

A BILLIONAIRE REPUBLICAN THAT KEEPS TAPS ON HELP TO HIS DISABLED BROTHER?  WHAT AN A**'........  YOUR MEDICARE IS NEXT FLORIDA!!!!

Parklandman
Parklandman

Rick,send your brother a check 5 million and help him out.

DG778
DG778

Rick, how much money will your business and social relations that run the testing facilities make? Where will the poor get the money for the test. Will you have them sell their plasmas?  Will you start a program to have the poor euthanize or maybe sterilized? Will you be taking a drug and alcohol test?   . Jobs are the answers, bring them  back from China, Mexico, and the other countries that big business sent over seas so the rich would get richer and the poor will be committing suicide, Who would want to be homeless.  I believe Americans want to work. Who can live on minimal wage? You focus so much on drug use that you have forgotten the drunks! I will pray that God sends you a heart. Not all the people that are laid off or drug addicts ordrunks.

DG778
DG778

Rick, how much money will your business and social relations that run the testing facilities make? Where will the poor get the money for the test. Will you have them sell their plasmas?  Will you start a program to have the poor euthanize or maybe sterilized? Will you be taking a drug and alcohol test?   . Jobs are the answers, bring them  back from China, Mexico, and the other countries that big business sent over seas so the rich would get richer and the poor will be committing suicide, Who would want to be homeless.  I believe Americans want to work. Who can live on minimal wage? You focus so much on drug use that you have forgotten the drunks! I will pray that God sends you a heart. Not all the people that are laid off or drug addicts ordrunks.

Themugs
Themugs

Wow - this is a shameful piece on behalf of this paper. What does the Governor's brother - who seems to be bi-polar - have to do with this issue? He's on social security, for one, probably for his disability, and not welfare. Moreover, you don't really have solid evidence of drug use by the brother. In fact, this is probably actionable, because the brother is not a public figure. I'd consult my lawyers were I you.

MarC
MarC

@Katie "Drug addicts know how to beat drug tests!!" , that's your comeback...? Yeh lets continue to provide government assistance to drug addicts, to try to stop something like this would be of course more costly to the taxpayer, sweep it under the rug... press on right? Companies by the way should get rid of these tests too, since they can carry around hidden fluids to substitute for their own, no reason to obey any rules anymore.... Great Logic Einstein

JohnDoey
JohnDoey

He wouldn't have to borrow money from his bankster brother to get medical treatment if he lived in a country with a functioning government.

Anonymooseak
Anonymooseak

what kind of pathetic hit piece is this? 

Tudo
Tudo

Why hasn't medical marijuana become a reality in Florida? Is it because "compassionate" jail terms for Americans who choose to use a plant which will grow anywhere and has been used for thousands of years will keep us safe? It should be legal. But instead they push oxycodone.This is a messed up place. It doesn't have to be. Isn't anyone with integrity willing to run for office in Fla?

Facepalm
Facepalm

 "Scott resigned from his position as CEO in 1997 after the company came under fire for Medicare fraud. Columbia/HCA has since been fined $1.7 billion for Medicare fraud, much of which took place during Scott's tenure."

"Much of which" - nice, very slick.  I'd ask that the author quantify, in context, the word "much."  49%??  It certainly implies less than half, otherwise the word "most" would have been used, in earnest, by said author.

Further, during the "Medicare fraud" investigation, was Gov. Scott ever shown to have any known personal involvement with the activities that led to said investigation?  Were the other CEO(s) implicated in any way during the investigation?  Inquiring minds want to know.

The rest of the article is really not even worth addressing, there's no substance there, just a bunch of unflattering quotes taken out of context and is frankly some of the most yellow journalism I've read in quite a while.  If anything, once you cut through the nonsense, it seems to support Gov. Scott being consistent in his position, regardless of the individual involved.

Not a fan of Tea Party candidates at all, and I guess this thing did what it was supposed to do - generate page views and stir up the simple-minded, foaming-at-the-mouth retard HuffPo/Kos crowd.

James Hanes
James Hanes

Wow, every family seems to have one of those...I'm starting to like Rick Scott.  He has the guts and common sense to do what needs to be done in Florida and has looked after his brother, but not so much that he ran the guy's life.  Of course the public employee unions and the welfare advocates hate him.  Just look at the other posts.  Such vitriol.

Katierobfl
Katierobfl

Then Rick Scott should know that only the innocent will get caught up in this newly-created web that will add nothing but more cost to the already burdened taxpayers. Drug addicts know how to beat drug tests!!  Condoms full of someone elses urine hidden in various parts of the body or clothing is all it will take.  Is Rick Scott going to require strip searches of applicants next? 

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

"Rick, he used to keep a file on me to pay him back, and I'm talking about each hospital visit that he would finance. I'm telling you, he helped me way beyond the call of duty," he said. __________________________________________________________________

You mean to tell me that "Rick" didn't submit those bills to Medicare?

RayboyUSMC
RayboyUSMC

Type in Beaky Buzzard on  Google images.  This has to be Rick in another lifetime.

He hasn't created any new jobs yet.  He has destoryed public sector jobs and continues with his bullcrap republicrap mantra that tax cuts create jobs.  If so, why are we hurting so bad today when we are at the lowest tax rate in 50 years.

He wan't to privatize so that his friends can get the business and money.  You don't see any state official making a salary in the millions which you will see if they privatize.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

"he kept a file on me to pay him back"?????????????? So much for brotherly love...Scott is quickly transforming himself into a reptilian before our very eyes....

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Amen, brother. Even though it was unintentional, that was worth repeating.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

Just part of the price one pays when they become a public figure. Actionable? No.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Apparently you are also bi-polar.   Tell us, which way you swinging these days?

The Pulp Blog
The Pulp Blog

The gov'mint/papa pharm can't make as much money off weed as they can with the Rush Limbaugh candy.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

How's the weather up there on the top of the pyramid? Don't fall off.

krustythekozklown
krustythekozklown

"Much of which" does not in anyway imply less than half. It implies a great amount without saying how much as that well known fact about Gov. Scott is not the main thrust of the article. His transgressions (or ignorance) with his previous company have already been elucidated thoroughly. Every article doesn't need to completely re-play well known facts.

Double Facepalm
Double Facepalm

"Stirred up the simple-minded, foaming-at-the-mouth retard."

I'll take your quote out of context and describe you Facepalm.

Swanny1776
Swanny1776

http://www.youtube.com/wat​ch?... Two Hour Fraud Deposition.Rick Scott Two Hour Fraud Deposition, Never Before Viewed www.youtube.comUPDATE: Darrin McGillis is running for Mayor of Miami Dade County, support him b...See More

Dp34691
Dp34691

I think you'd better re-read the article brainiac!

Facepalm
Facepalm

Please, I'd love to hear what you took from the "article."

Remember, try and think logically.

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