Rick Scott Met by Protesters at GEO Group Fundraiser (Video)

Categories: Politics

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Rick Scott attended the fundraiser held in his honor by GEO Group CEO George Zoley on Monday evening, but not before being met by a bevy of protesters.

People from Florida for All, the Dream Defenders and Dreamers Moms, as well as other protesters unaffiliated with the group, gathered outside the fundraiser carrying signs calling Scott out on his relationship with the CEO of one of the worst private prisons in the U.S.

Zoley, a longtime Scott supporter and campaign contributor, hosted a $10,000 gala in his Boca home.

See also: Rick Scott Fundraiser Being Hosted by GEO Group CEO

As news of the fundraiser broke, Florida for All, a grassroots organization that fights for protecting the rights and interests of Florida's middle class and working families, put out a call for protesters to come out and show their displeasure.

The gathering wasn't big, but Florida for All spokesperson Ana Tinsly tells New Times that Scott has seemed to master the art of dodging protests such as these.

"There were a little over 20 people," Tinsly says. "But considering a lot of these events are really last minute, that's a good turnout. Governor Scott has done a good job of insulating himself from these protests, and his administration is very careful to release info on these types of events at the very last minute."

Those who did turn out, however, showed a passion for their message.

"There's a motivated group of people," Tinsly says, "people who demand rights of immigrants and the undocumented detainees held in these prisons. I think that Zoley is the CEO of a prison that is seemingly getting away with egregious practices speaks to people's sense of right and wrong. I think people are very upset to find that Rick Scott has such a cordial relationship with this CEO."

A member from American Bridge, an organization that monitors public appearances of elected officials and candidates, caught Scott on video speaking at a campaign event earlier in the day Monday where someone asked the governor about his relationship with Zoley.

"George Zoley is holding a fundraiser for you tonight," the person tells Scott off camera in the video. "How do you know him, and what are your concerns about GEO's record running private prisons?"

"I'm very appreciative of George's support," Scott answers. "He supports me because he believes in what we're doing. He likes jobs creation; he likes the fact that I believe in the American Dream. The fact that people like me can live the American dream, get a great education and a great job, build companies, and become governor of a great state."

GEO Group is famously notorious for, among other things, having had federal inspectors discover too few guards on duty at one particular facility with reports of guards being stabbed, bitten, punched, and kicked by inmates and GEO doing little about it. GEO also owns a facility in Broward that has been the site of a hunger-strike protest over poor treatment of immigrants who are held there.

"Rick Scott has been an advocate of privatizing prisons, as well as privatizing prison health care," Tinsly tells New Times. "He has been criticized for giving contracts to companies that, like the Geo Group, have a record of alleged malpractice in regards to the inmates and detainees that they are charged with. Corizon, for example was awarded a $1.2 billion contract to provide medical care for Florida inmates, even though it has been sued at least 660 times in the past five years. The point I think to make is that Rick Scott does not seem to mind awarding contracts to or accepting contributions from extremely questionable corporations."

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publiccoruption
publiccoruption

It’s Official: Gov. Rick Scott Has Destroyed Florida’s Economy

SPREAD THE WORD!10509260

So, in addition to making some of the strangest, most uncomfortable faces of any current politician, Governor Rick Scott claims to have another crowning talent, one often cited and not backed up other politicians- creating jobs. The question at hand is of course, can Scott walk the walk, or does he just talk the talk?

During his 2010 campaign bid for Governor of Florida, which he later won, Scott made an extremely ostentatious promise- the creation of 700,000 new jobs for Florida’s private sector economy over a 10 year period. While that’s an admirable goal, it’s also extremely lofty, and would take a feat of superhuman gubernatorial effort, the tactical mind of a chess computer, and a healthy portion of luck to achieve- Rick Scott just isn’t measuring up.

The hard numbers of the situation aren’t too grand- thus far, Scott has pledged over $266,000,000.00 in tax breaks and related incentives for the promise of 45,258 jobs, (1,253 of which are not yet verified, more on that further on.) Averaged out, this comes to $5,877.41 per job. While this wouldn’t be a terrible deal on it’s own, 96% of the currently placed deals have seen no returns thus far- worded more accurately, he’s only had a 4% success rate. Going further, that means out of the $266,000,000.00 spent or reserved for these deals, the state of Florida has only gotten it’s money’s worth on $10,640,000.00 of what was spent, a large portion of which went to low or minimum wage jobs, with annual salaries which don’t break the poverty line.

Over the same period of time, Florida has lost an astounding 49,163 jobs under Scott’s poor leadership, for a net loss of 3,905 jobs thus far. It isn’t a surprise that Scott is cherry-picking his numbers, considering he already goes on a public relations stunt nearly once a day, to groundbreaking ceremonies for things like Denny’s diners and Walmarts. In actuality he really needs to do this, in order to avoid being thrown out by a mob carrying pitchforks and torches- considering his other favorite numbers, the drop in Florida’s unemployment rate from 11.1 percent to 6.7 percent is primarily due to people losing hope and giving up, due to how badly this buffoon is wrecking the state and local economy(s).

Worsening the prospect is the 6 month, “confidentiality period” associated with Scott’s deals- something Good Jobs First has understandably taken offence to, seeing as it all but completely eliminates transparency and accountability for what happens, and takes residents out of the democratic decision-making process, instead letting ultra-corporatist Reaganomics and trickle-down go into play off of secret deals and corporate welfare. All of these reserved and sometimes wasted state funds are money that could otherwise go to helping Floridians on the local level, something that has been sorely lacking, especially in the areas that need it most, like South Florida, where people need real, tangible help- not the largest news studio ever built by Miami airport for Univision, or the refurbishing of warehouses that -still- remain empty of companies that may have decided to take the money and run after filing bankruptcy.

Speaking of bankruptcy, it’s only appropriate to at least briefly touch on the kind Rick Scott possesses- moral bankruptcy. Back on the topic of shady secret deals, and questionable proceedings comes a fully articulated skeleton from the Governor’s closet, namely, Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation. Scott was asked to resign by the board of directors, (Read as: Forced out.) from his position as CEO following an ethics investigation by the FBI, IRS, and Department of Health and Human Services on charges of grand larceny and fraud.

Mindtree executive Scott Staples, (A corporatist deal beneficiary.) sums up things nicely, “What I really like about Gov. Scott is that he was a businessman.”

We need less businessmen, and more human beings.

Watch Mike Papantonio discuss why Rick Scott is an incompetent leader, a liar, a swindler, a sheister, and an inexcusable criminal BELOW:



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chadjlewis topcommenter

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winsomelosesome
winsomelosesome topcommenter

WOW! 20 people showed up.  A regular ground swell of protest.  Funny how Scott is blamed for the poor turn out.  If he would be more clear about his schedule we could really get a crowd together. Such stupidness.

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