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House Dems want Bondi, Atwater to seek more answers on Scott budget-signing

by John Kennedy | June 7th, 2011

Florida House Democrats urged a pair of Republican Cabinet members Tuesday to push for more answers and an apology from Republican Gov. Rick Scott for his office’s role in bullying a couple dozen Democratic protesters at last month’s budget-signing ceremony.

A Scott spokesman, Brian Burgess, last week acknowledged the governor’s office was wrong when a staffer apparently urged Sumter County Sheriff’s deputies to rein-in the protesters because the budget-signing was a private event.

Deputies confronted the protesters, keeping them out of the governor’s view and ordering them to discard their signs during the signing ceremony at The Villages in Central Florida.

Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, last week asked Scott to explain the actions. Scott later told reporters he’d look into it, and Burgess released his statement Friday evening, blaming the action on “confusion among event staff, including an employee of the governor’s office.”

House Democrats, however, want to learn more. They want Atwater and Bondi whether civil liberties were violated and whether the governor’s office should reimburse any public funds used to hold the signing ceremony, which was live webstreamed on the Florida Republican Party website.

The Democrats concluded by asking Scott’s fellow Republicans, “What recommendations can you provide to ensure all Floridians that such a ”mistake,’ will not happen again?”

Jennifer Meale, a Bondi spokeswoman, said the attorney general was traveling to Atlanta in advance of Wednesday’s court hearing on the lawsuit by Florida and a dozen other states challenging the federal health care law.  

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10 Responses to “House Dems want Bondi, Atwater to seek more answers on Scott budget-signing”

  1. Angry Citizen Says:

    While you are at it ask why the Democrats and Atwater made a deal with CSX that will cost our state hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Personally, for me this is over. I fail to see a purpose in pushing it any further.

  2. mmajors Says:

    Why does Bondi need to go to Atlanta? She hired a high priced DC lawyer to argue the case—since she’s not qualified to do so. Why not stay in Florida and worry about enforcing the law. It is clear the event was suppose to be a public event–the law was violated…as the lawyer of the state—she should (but won’t) do something about it.

  3. Right On Says:

    Thank you to those who wrote the letter.
    Angry Citizen, I’m concerned that you would find this “over.”
    If this was a public event (as a taxpayer-funded budget signing should be), then why were peaceful protestors removed? isn’t that a First Amendment violation? Shouldn’t our Governor’s restriction of free speech be punished in some way or at least result in some action or apology?
    If Rick Scott doesn’t like actually answering to somebody else, he shouldn’t have run for public office. He answers to the people of Florida, the same ones he kicked out of his budget signing. I want answers.

  4. Searcher Says:

    Slick Rick and Co., you are running a GOVERNMENT, not a company P/R event. Keep it up and you will barely make it through one term.

    Maybe you should pull a PALIN! Quit the job with years left to go. I’ll help raise the donations for you going away gift. How about a first class ticket out of Florida?

  5. nomore1 Says:

    Rick Scott wants to hold everyone else accountable so he needs to be held accountable. Hiding from the people of the state to conduct business is exactly what we don’t need. Man up Rick Scott.

  6. Pink Slip Rick Says:

    Rick Scott, you’re not a CEO. You’re a governor barely elected by less than half of Florida’s voters. Accordingly, don’t you or your sniveling cronies and toadies make such a “mistake” again – and this incident needs a hard, serious investigation for civil rights violations.

    Oh, by the way, Angry Citizen – given your response, I’m numbering you among the sniveling toadies for Scott, just like the other teabagger loonies.

  7. Ms Vicky Says:

    Rick Scott has so far done absolutely NOTHING to help Floridians; if anything, he has cost us thousands of jobs and instituted a new 3% tax on at least 665,000 middle class workers who belong to the FRS. (This was a violation to our agreement with the State of Florida.) This governor shows no repect or regard for our middle class, and no understanding of how to govern. We will vote out every GOP member in 2012 and make him a lame duck. There is almost no one left to defend his ruthless actions except for his mom, Esther, retirees at the Villages (all retired from OTHER states where they had great pensions). AND Angry Citizen. Angry, You screen name says it ALL!

  8. Florida Short Sales Says:

    In Florida, most will be sold in the short term.

  9. บ้านเดี่ยว Says:

    This governor shows no repect or regard for our middle class, and no understanding of how to govern.

  10. Ms Vicky Says:

    From the start this governor was chosen as a puppet for people more powerful and more lethal than he. They needed a tough SOB who could cut benefits for disabled children and needy elderly and still sleep at night. They got what they bargained for-but what they DIDN’T count on was the HUGE blowback from middle-class, decent Floridians, both Republicans + Democrats. We WILL send this bunch of thugs and hypocrites packing in 2012!

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