Friday, April 22, 2016

Thanks, Keith Schlegel for truth-telling about truth-telling

(Dr. Keith W. Schlegel's daily poetry reading is featured at noon, M-F, on WFCF, Flagler College Radio with a Reason, 88.5 FM)

Letter: Kudos for a little 'truth-telling'
Kudos for 'truth-telling'
St. Augustine Record
Posted: April 22, 2016 - 10:07pm

Kudos for ‘truth-telling’

Editor: When Florida politicians avoid answering for what they say and do, reporter Tia Mitchell holds them accountable, as she did when Congresswoman Corrine Brown refused to answer questions about her fundraising and spending, insisting instead on defending her previously gerrymandered and now redrawn district.

But Mitchell was relentless, until Brown’s staff ejected all reporters from the host restaurant scene. And in a recent The Record, Mitchell shows again her journalistic smarts, in the story of Cara Jennings confronting Gov. Rick Scott in a Starbuck’s about his record on Florida health care. Surrounded by his staff, Scott fled without his tea, although his political committee has since promulgated an attack ad against Ms. Jennings.

Mitchell positions this tempest among Scott’s repeated refusals to answer questions, or to be, in short, responsive and responsible. We who fear for the consequences of climate change on our water-surrounded state, do well to remember Scott’s oft-repeated response to the undeniable effect of sea rise: “I’m not a scientist.”

Well, we’ve seen that time and again. He ain’t much of a governor either. What is he, then? For one, he’s rich, as Jennings noted, and so doesn’t have to worry about health care for himself or his family — or even to pay much attention to those who cannot pay for medical insurance or medical care.

What she didn’t say was that Scott cashed out as CEO of the for-profit hospital chain HCA for $360 million, after being forced to resign just ahead of a record fraud settlement. Ultimately HCA pled guilty to 14 counts of fraud and paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, including millions to state Medicaid agencies.

Like Donald Trump, whom he has endorsed for President, Scott is also a bully. Witness the attack ad against Jennings which he prefers to answering her charges that his political decisions consistently harm the powerless — including, most obviously, women who will be denied the services of Planned Parenthood.

Hurrah for Tia Mitchell and for Cara Jennings for their truth-telling. And as Cara said, “Shame on you, Rick Scott.”

St. Augustine

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