The Huffington Post wants Gov. Rick Scott to share his ideas on what’s working in Florida as a guest blogger. (Good luck with that).
A Burn Notice supporter wants the “let’s get to work” governor to intercede with Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff to keep the TV show filming in the Coconut Grove Convention Center. (It’s a local matter, dear).
An analyst in Scott’s office, sends him a translation of what’s said about him in the Spanish media. (Not so good; it’s tough to fool some people).
Those were some of the emails received Tuesday by the governor and available on the “open-government” mockery Scott calls “Project Sunburst,” as if conjuring the image of a juicy Florida orange bursting with information will make up for truth and real access.
The website is more of Scott’s smoke-and-mirrors style of governance.
The Republican governor, who early on erased his emails and that of his transition team in flagrant violation of the state’s Sunshine Law, has little respect for the intelligence of his constituency.
At the time, he blamed neophyte ignorance and the desire to clean up email accounts for destroying public records the law requires be kept, but there’s no excuse for his latest bait-and-switch.
He tried to fool Floridians into thinking he’s open and magnanimous, launching a website, www.flgov.com/sunburst, to make public his emails and those of his executive staff.
He was championing “transparency,” he boasted in a press conference. But what Scott posted on the site was not his official state email, but that of an address that has been posted in tea party websites — so what the public viewed for months was filled with glowing reviews for Scott and his policies from his supporters.
Only after reporter Toluse Olorunnipa of The Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times Tallahassee bureau revealed the scam did the governor begin posting his real email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s where I found those emails, among 189 posted Tuesday, the one time the system made them available to me. When I signed back on later in the day, the site told me there was “Nothing to view.”
When I signed on Wednesday, the same old emails were there, plus a whole lot of old junk email, a total of 1,017, mostly rants from supporters.
Old trick: When journalists want information, flood them with superfluous material.
But here’s one nugget of truth, tallied by the state’s Brechner Center for Freedom of Information: Florida lawmakers have passed 17 new exemptions to the state’s open-government laws in the past two sessions.
Under Scott, the public has less access, not more, no matter how many oranges and suns Scott pins on his website wall.
Eighteen months in office should have taught him he can’t get away with misrepresentations without the media getting wind of it. But with all those liberal-haters egging him on, he must feel he has all the support he needs to steamroll the public-records law. But he underestimates Floridians.
“We don’t support you,” a Fernandina Beach man wrote in a one-line email to the governor, “and will work and vote against you next time out.”