Rick Scott and Alex Sink are frightened bullies who are running from a fair fight. Unfortunately in our corrupt system, that’s how politics is played, and as a result, we are all the losers. Alex Sink, in collusion with the Florida Democratic Party, blatantly rigged the primary to prevent all but the barest hint of an election. Almost a quarter of the registered Democrats who did not sit out the primary in disgust saw through the charade and, in protest, voted for the only candidate still left in the primary, an unknown socialist.
Rick Scott, giving me an answer worthy of Sarah Palin
If the U.S. were ranked number one in terms of governance, instead of 18th (after Hong Kong) on the Worldwide Governance Indicator and first in equality, instead of 91st (after Mexico) Rick Scott would be in jail, if indeed he could have ever gotten as far as he got. Scott personally took $300 million for overcharging for health care after being fired, and the company he founded was fined $1.7 billion for fraud. Self-serving thieves like this run many of our most rapacious corporations, which in turn run our country. Sometimes, as in Scott’s case, he intends to buy government influence more directly by becoming governor. The greediest of these people, like billionaires David and Charles Koch of Koch Industries, endow propaganda mills, like Americans for Prosperity, which in turn fund the Tea Party and the hate mongers it attracts. Their aim is to cut their own taxes and escape various regulations designed to protect the public, so they can become even richer. Rupert Murdock and other media moguls own the media, which dumbs down and polarizes what little debate is left, and encourages elections to be bought with advertising and emotional appeals. With a system based on money and skewered toward those who have excess income, the 1% who own 90% of the wealth in this county have control over public policy through various forms of influence buying.
Scott was able to buy himself the Republican primary without having to subject himself to any serious public debate, and he ducked the third of three short debates with McCollum to get ambushed by me instead. Alex Sink, who got her own multi-million dollar golden parachute from B of A, has challenged Scott to five debates, and he has thus far ignored her. Sink knows that, even in a mud slinging fest, she will probably edge out Scott as the lesser of two evils. However, Sink is also nervous because the biggest skeleton in her closet has thus far stayed deep, dark and dusty because it equally implicates both Republicans and Democrats. For ignoring 19 audits that contributed to a near meltdown of Florida’s $138 billion public nest egg, the Florida State Board of Administration, Sink and the other trustees (Crist and McCollum) can only be accused of incompetence and not outright theft. While not giving the public even the slightest whisper of an explanation of why she made risky investments against the advice of the auditors, that lost billions of dollars, she brags about how she saved 402,419 paper clips.
Alex Sink ducking yet another debate challenge
But their character and competence aside, the most important questions that concern us should be the issues. Neither one of these two corporatist candidates, who are being forced down the throats of a docile electorate, have any serious plan for dealing with the corrupt electoral system, the economy, employment, poverty, crime, the drug war, homelessness, health care, energy, the environment, the cities, transportation, education, or the looming challenges of the Information Age. Instead the candidates are busy dialing for dollars, working on campaign strategies, and trying to avoid public scrutiny, like virtually all politicians.
Alex Sink has refused to attend scheduled debates with me twice and has evaded the question numerous other times, including recently when I asked her face-to-face. I’ve asked Rick Scott twice, and I had to engage in subterfuge just to ask him one single question, which he danced around in a manner worthy of Sarah Palin. The media and the public should demand that we all appear side-by-side so that we can engage each other on the real issues in a series of live, televised debates. There should be a drumbeat to require public debates among all candidates as a condition for running for public office, and to partially offset the fact that our elections are rigged in various other ways. Candidates who refuse to participate should be disqualified from running. This would be a small but important step toward creating a representative democracy.
Go to the Facebook pages of Alex Sink and Rick Scott, and to other public forums, and demand they show themselves and be held accountable in a live debate with the only candidate who will ask the hard questions, Michael E. Arth.