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Monday, April 9, 2018

Op-Ed: Rick Scott does not care about us

Posted By on Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 11:48 AM

  • Photo via Rick Scott/Facebook
This year’s worst kept secret is out and trust me, it’s a flop.

Florida’s completely ineffective governor, Rick Scott, has announced that he’s not done begging for our approval. He has officially entered the ring for a U.S. Senate seat.

Like everything else he has done in our state, Scott’s announcement shows just how out of touch with reality he is. Governor Scott has repeatedly slashed funding for mental health resources, pummeled the middle class with his egregious budget plans, and worked tirelessly to make life harder for those who need help the most.

Have Floridians forgotten that Rick Scott robbed seniors of their futures when he oversaw the largest Medicare fraud in history? That his company was fined $1.7 billion for stealing from patients to pad his pocketbook? And have we forgotten that despite pinning acts of violence in his state on “mental health issues,” he slashed funding for mental health resources repeatedly and left Floridians high and dry?

There is one crime I have not forgotten. On June 17, 2016, just five days after I survived the shooting at Pulse Nightclub and hours after burying my best friends, Governor Scott came to visit The Center, an LGBTQ resource center in Orlando. There, when asked if he would wear a ribbon to commemorate the 49 lives lost, he refused.

From that day forward, he lied time and time again to our community. He promised us he would sign an executive order protecting state employees for being fired for their sexual orientation. But that was a lie. Instead, his delays turned from days to months to years. And as a result, there remains no statewide protections for LGBTQ government employees.

He cut funding for mental health resources, making it harder for First Responders suffering from PTSD to get the help they need. He refused to allot money for a Pulse memorial site. Rejected the idea of holding an annual moment of silence for the victims. And he did nothing to prevent another attack. Instead, just as he has to so many before us, he turned his back on Orlando and refused to keep us safe.

My fellow Floridians, Rick Scott has failed us. On his watch, we are being stripped of our resources, gunned down in our streets and schools, and given second priority to his top donors. And once again, with his back against the wall, he has turned to the very constituents he hung out to dry and hopes we all have amnesia.

Governor Scott, you have lost touch with what it means to be a Floridian. And for that, you don’t deserve my support.

Brandon Wolf is a survivor of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, and Vice President of No NRA Money.

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