April 3, 2011- You need a scorecard to keep track of the dizzying number of anti-worker bills in the agendas of Gov. Rick Scott and statehouse Republicans. The goal is to weaken the voice of ordinary Florida families while strengthening the hand of Scott and his fellow millionaires. The anti-union agenda makes Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s program pale by comparison.
What’s the plan for the Sunshine State? Eliminate dues checkoff for union workers; shut workers out of politics; cancel tenure for teachers; cut workers’ pensions; and force public-sector unions out of existence unless a union can show more than 50 percent membership in a workplace, each and every year.
On that last point, a question for Gov Scott: You only won 48.8 percent of the vote in last year’s election, more than a full percentage point below the 50 percent threshold you and your partisan cronies are demanding from public-sector unions. Does that mean you shouldn’t be governor anymore?
We’ve heard a lot about restricting, and even eliminating, labor unions out of Tallahassee. But we haven’t heard a word about any corresponding new regulations on corporations.
In Rick Scott’s Florida, working people — including members of my union who work for Miami-Dade Transit — will not be permitted to contribute freely to their own unions, or to candidates and causes of their choosing. But businesses will still be able to deduct money from employees’ paychecks for corporate political action committees, which can then donate funds to candidates hand-picked by company executives.
This unbalanced approach is what you would expect when a disgraced former corporate executive becomes governor.
After winning the most closely contested governor’s race in more than 100 years, you’d think that Scott might reach across the aisle to seek bi-partisan solutions to Florida’s double-digit unemployment. Not a chance. Shortly after taking office, Scott turned down billions in federal aid for a high-speed rail project that would have put tens of thousands of Floridians to work.