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Six Months of Gov. Rick Scott

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, Florida - 7-5 -

The Fourth of July not only marked our country's independence, but also the six month anniversary of Rick Scott's term as governor of Florida.

The former health care executive campaigned on a pledge to shake up state government.

But, even Scott's own supporters could hardly have imagined just how much shaking he'd do.

It was a moment 80-million dollars in the making.
All of it coming directly from Rick Scott's personal fortune to help win one of the closest gubernatorial contests in Florida history.

And today, even the governor will admit, it's been a rocky six months.

"Hopefully there's not going to...is there going to be a six-month story?!"

Given the governor's controversial agenda, how could there not be!
Just over a month after taking office, he rejected a two-and-a-half billion dollar federal grant.

"No high-speed rail!"

Killing what would have been a supersonic link between Tampa and Orlando.

Democrats and republicans alike lashed out.

"This is not a monarchy, he's not a king!"

But, Scott continued on un-phased, cutting 300-million worth of what he called 'special interest' funding in the state budget.

"Not all of those line items made it past this veto pen!"

He's also laid off thousands of state workers and required those who still have a job to contribute to their pensions.

Barney Bishop heads up Florida's leading business lobby. Half a year into the governor's term, he gives Scott high marks.

"He's going to do what he inherently thinks is his philosophy of life and what's gotten him to where he is now, which is making very tough decisions in a difficult set of circumstances, where you've got groups on both sides going at it."

Just days ago, the governor uncharacteristically bucked his tea party base on another planned train: sunrail.

It may be an indication he's moving toward the political middle.

"A lot of politicians, Republican and Democrat, tend to misread elections."

Democratic strategist Steve Schale says Scott could have his eye on polls indicating he's America's least-popular governor.

They're as strong a sign as ever the tea party wave of 2010 is beginning to ebb.

Schale says:

"The question for Governor Scott, who at this point has not shown a lot of proclivity towards moving towards the middle and being more inclusive is that, if he continues down this road he's going to find 2014 is a pretty tough road."

A road that could include a republican primary challenge - almost unheard of for an incumbent governor.


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