Gov’s staff offers up incomplete timeline of prison cover-up; governor can’t find words to explain it

Miami Herald | Julie Brown and Marc Caputo | Friday, Sep. 26, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott’s office came to the defense of his chief inspector general Friday saying that the reason she couldn’t investigate claims of a suspicious inmate death brought to her by an anonymous letter nearly two years ago was because the case was under an open investigation.

But, according to a detailed timeline released by the media office in response to a Miami Herald report, there was no investigation pending in the gassing death of Randall Jordan-Aparo when Melinda Miguel received the letter.

The 27-year-old inmate died in September 2010 after being doused with chemical agents three times in 13 minutes while in a confinement cell. Florida prison officials and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement had closed the case in July 2012, concluding there was no relationship between the gassing and the inmate’s death.

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Rick Scott deserves an F on public education

Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board | Friday, September 26, 2014 3:52pm

As he campaigns for re-election, Gov. Rick Scott portrays himself as a champion of public education who has increased spending, befriended teachers and ensured Florida’s schoolchildren will be better prepared for to enter college or the job market. His record is at odds with his rhetoric. In 16 years since Republicans took over the Governor’s Mansion and began pushing major education policy changes, no governor has been so coldly calculating and cynical about what happens to Florida’s traditional public schools.

From his first year backing steep budget cuts and nonsensical teacher assessments to his repeated favoring of private interests, Scott has all but ignored the state’s constitutional duty to provide uniform, high-quality and free public schools. The state has its fourth education commissioner in four years. The governor’s Board of Education has pandered to the tea party’s misinformation campaign on the Common Core State Standards, and it has set the stage for a potentially disastrous standardized testing change this spring. This is not the work of a governor engaged in enhancing the state’s investment in children but of a former CEO who treats education like an expense line to be managed and squeezed.

In four years, Scott has done far more to undermine public education than to support it.

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Politics, not families, matter most matter to Scott

Sun Sentinel|September 27, 2014|By Randy Schultz, By Randy Schultz

Last week, Gov. Rick Scott campaigned at Capt. Anderson’s, the popular restaurant in Panama City Beach owned in part by State Rep. Jimmy Patronis. Two days later, Scott named Patronis one of Florida’s five utility regulators. It was another serving of smelly Florida politics.

Patronis has no background in energy and law, the best training for those on the Florida Public Service Commission, which Patronis joins on Jan. 1. Patronis does have experience in regulation when it comes to his time in the Florida Legislature, but that background should have disqualified him for a job in which he is supposed to balance the interests of utilities against the interests of customers.

When it comes to regulation, Patronis has tried to abolish it. Since 2009, he has become known for annually sponsoring terrible environmental bills that special interest lobbyists write. He has gutted wetlands protection and made it easier to open phosphate mines. He has tried to forbid local governments from requiring supermajority votes on large development projects. Last year, his bill again delayed the Everglades cleanup deadline, and gave sugar growers a chance to stop paying a share even if the water isn’t clean enough.

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