Showing posts with label rick scott. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rick scott. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Crist concedes Florida gubernatorial election to Scott

Charlie Crist conceded the 2014 gubernatorial election race to incumbent Gov. Rick Scott late Tuesday night.

 “I called Governor Scott and I congratulated him,” Crist said in a quote published by CNN. “And I wish him the best.”

The latest Associated Press numbers have Scott with 48.21 percent of the vote (2,858,119) to Crist’s 47 percent (2,786,643).

According to the AP, “Crist appealed to blacks, Hispanics, moderates and younger voters. Around 85 percent of African-Americans supported Crist over Scott. Crist split the vote with Scott among Cuban voters, typically a GOP-leaning group. Overall, Scott lost 12 points in support among Hispanics compared with the 2010 gubernatorial race. Voters in South Florida and central Florida preferred Crist over Scott, as did voters in cities.”

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Charlie Crist victory will end current gubernatorial attack on FAMU

Carole Crist, Ramon Alexander, Charlie Crist, and Daryl Parks
Over the past four years, FAMU has been under constant attack from a gubernatorial administration that is hostile to the university. Today is Rattler Country’s chance to strike back and put a big injection of venom in Gov. Rick Scott’s reelection campaign.

Gov. Rick Scott has jeopardized FAMU’s accreditation, attempted to bully the Board of Trustees, and shown disrespect to FAMU students.

Scott has also used his veto power to take away three line items that the Florida Legislature voted to give FAMU. He vetoed $2M for Infrastructure/Capital Renewal and $500,000 that would have saved the John A. Mulrennan, Sr. Public Health Entomology Research and Education Center in Panama City in 2011. He also vetoed $1.5M for the Crestview Education Center in 2012.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Carroll: “I gave [Rick Scott] 100 percent of my loyalty” only to be “betrayed”

FAMU honors Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll for keynoting its 2012 Black History Month Convocation
Last year, a Rattler Nation editorial remarked that Jennifer Carroll’s resignation as lieutenant governor was “just another example of how [Gov. Rick Scott] requires 100 percent loyalty from his appointees while demanding that they expect none in return.”

The editorial added that: “She defended his integrity when questions were raised about his embarrassing financial past as the head of Columbia/HCA. Scott rewarded Carroll’s loyalty by kicking her to the curb in the wake of an alleged scam that pales in comparison to the one that led to his exit from the health care company he ran years ago.”

It looks like there’s someone else who shares this view: Jennifer Carroll.

Carroll opened up about her years as lieutenant governor in a May radio interview.

“I gave him 100 percent of my loyalty, even though we didn’t know each other prior to running, and he had his issues with HCA and Medicaid fraud,” she said. “I never asked him a question about that. Never.”

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Tampa Bay Times editorial: Scott tosses scraps at public universities that are still starving

From the editorial “Scott's budget vetoes reflect re-election campaign, not conservative values” by the Tampa Bay Times:

Turns out that in an election year, Gov. Rick Scott doesn't mind spending taxpayer money. The governor on Monday signed into law the largest state budget ever while vetoing the smallest amount of spending since taking office. That leaves in place hundreds of millions in legislative special projects, many of which never received a full public vetting. This is a budget grounded more in Scott's re-election campaign than in his professed fiscal conservatism.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Scott signs biggest FAMU budget of his term, spares all the university’s line items

Senate Pres. Don Gaetz (left), Gov. Rick Scott (center), and House Speaker Will Weatherford (right)
On Monday, FAMU received its best budgetary news since Gov. Rick Scott took office. The governor signed the biggest FAMU budget of his term and spared all of the university’s line items.

FAMU received $84,817,515 in General Revenue and $14,834,223 from the Education Enhancement Trust Fund, the largest respective amounts in four years.

The budget also includes a critical $10,000,000 that will help FAMU complete the Phase II building for the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Possible Thrasher presidency at FSU expands threat against tenure in SUS

Ever since Gov. Rick Scott came to Tallahassee, FAMU and the University of Florida have been the two biggest battle sites in the war over the future of tenure in the State University System of Florida (SUS). But now, John E. Thrasher’s candidacy for the Florida State University presidency has brought the anti-tenure threat to that school’s doorstep.

Thrasher, chairman of Scott’s reelection campaign, is a state senator who championed the governor’s bill to get rid of tenure in the state’s K-12 schools. Jennifer Proffitt, president of the FSU chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, explained why that is problem.

“Proffitt said faculty are concerned about Thrasher’s lack of experience within higher education administration and might be wary of him since he pushed for a state bill to eliminate tenure for new public school teachers in favor of a merit-based system,” the Florida Times-Union reported.

Those who want to eliminate tenure in higher education often claim that it isn’t “merit-based.” But the website of FSU’s own provost takes that point to task.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Alston no longer a member of FAMU Foundation Board of Directors

Gov. Rick Scott's reelection campaign says it won't use this footage of Corey Alston in future ads
The latest list of the FAMU Foundation Board of Directors members on famu.edu no longer includes Corey Alston’s name.

Alston, a former member of the FAMU Board of Trustees, stepped down as the chairman of the FAMU Foundation last year in the wake of a grand theft charge against him. But his name remained on the list of board members for months afterward.

According to the Tampa Bay Times’ The Buzz blog: “Corey Alson, 35 of Lauderhill, pleaded not guilty in March to charges of grand theft, corrupt misuse of [an] official position and misuse of public office or employment. Prosecutors accused him of coordinating a deal to be compensated $25,139 for 498 hours in unused sick time and he resigned in February. He was later indicted on four additional counts of grand theft, one count of grand theft over $20,000 and one count of aggravated white-collar crime. After the incident, the governor suspended the three city officials who approved the payout to Alston.”

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mangum: FAMU would need $100M for new E-College building and $15M in recurring funds

The design for the Phase III building of the current FAMU-FSU College of Engineering
Back when T.K. Wetherell tried to push FAMU out of the joint College of Engineering in 2008, then-Sen. Al Lawson estimated that it would take around $100M to provide FAMU with an independent engineering school that’s comparable to the one in Innovation Park. That estimate did not include the recurring revenue that would be required to hire new faculty members, since the majority of the current E-College’s professors are on Florida State University’s payroll.

New FAMU President Elmira Mangum reminded the State of Florida of that price tag on Wednesday in a letter that she sent to Gov. Rick Scott.

She began the letter by explaining that FAMU opposes the legislative proposal to split the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. That proposed change was introduced into the Florida Senate budget by Sen. John E. Thrasher.  

Thrasher wants to give FSU its own independent College of Engineering. He says that FAMU can keep the current facility in Innovation Park and the annual operational budget of $10.9M.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Mangum should insist on having a super-majority clause in her contract

No one could blame Elmira Mangum if she has started having second thoughts about the FAMU presidency after the way the university’s Board of Trustees treated her last week.

Attorneys for Mangum and FAMU came to a mutual agreement over a proposed contract. But on Friday, board members shot down the joint recommendation and demanded that the president-designate agree to changes in areas such as compensation.

The trustees also took a disrespectful “our way or the highway” tone toward Mangum by effectively giving her one week to concede to less generous employment terms.

At this rate, it would not be shocking to see Mangum just  say “no thanks” and stay in her comfortable job at Cornell University.

But if Mangum does decide to give the FAMU Board of Trustees a second chance (which is what a large number of students, faculty, and alumni are hoping), she should not put her signature on any employment agreement that lacks a “super-majority clause.”

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

FAMU trustees try to save face after dirty, dysfunctional presidential search process

Had the behind-the-scenes deal-making at FAMU gone as planned, Elmira Mangum would have never become one of the two finalists for the university presidency.

Ahead of the application deadline, Rattler Nation learned that certain FAMU-associated individuals who were eager to please Gov. Rick Scott had passed an unofficial short list of presidential candidates up the ranks. That list had a Washington, DC candidate, a Georgia candidate, and a Texas candidate.

It was said that the DC candidate was former Howard University President Patrick Swygert and that the Georgia candidate was Morehouse School of Medicine President John E. Maupin, Jr.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ava Parker isn’t qualified to be FAMU’s president

The push to promote an Ava Parker presidency at FAMU is already old news in Tallahassee. But Parker’s decision to pass on applying for the State University System of Florida (SUS) chancellorship has renewed talk that she has her eye on Lee Hall.

Back in July of 2012, a number of FAMU trustees were told that Parker, then a member of the Florida Board of Governors (BOG), was interested in becoming the university’s interim president. There were also attempts to pressure them with claims that Gov. Rick Scott would welcome Parker’s selection, but would but unhappy if then-Provost Larry Robinson were selected for the position.

Even after FAMU trustees bucked political pressure and appointed Robinson to the interim presidency, there was still lobbying aimed at gathering support for Parker as a permanent FAMU president. Those efforts temporarily calmed when she was tapped to become the chief operating officer of Florida Polytechnic University, one of Scott’s pet projects, back in November of 2012. But word has spread that she’s anxious to nab a higher paying job in the SUS.

Parker currently makes more than $200,000 at Florida Polytech. The SUS chancellorship, which she declined to apply for after months of speculation, is expected to pay at least $357,000 (the amount that ex-Chancellor Frank Brogan made). FAMU paid its previous president a base salary of $341,000.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Scott defends chief of staff who lied about college degree

Gov. Rick Scott and Chief of Staff Adam Hollingsworth
Gov. Rick Scott has another chief of staff scandal on his hands.

Last week, the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times confronted Adam Hollingsworth, the top-ranked aide in the Executive Office of the Governor, with evidence that lied for years about possessing a college degree. After learning that he’d been discovered, Hollingsworth finally admitted to what he had done.

“For many years, I publicly stated that I was a graduate of the University of Alabama, however, I did not complete my degree until 2009,’’ Hollingsworth told the Herald/Times. “I am not proud of this and I deeply apologize for this misrepresentation. I have learned from this failure in judgment and know that, over the last several years, my life and character have and will continue to grow from this.”

Scott was full of excuses when the press asked him for a comment on the issue.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Scott extends another pre-election olive branch to UF with chancellor pick

Back when Frank Brogan was the chancellor for Florida’s public universities, Rick Scott ran over him like a second-hand doormat. Brogan’s bosses on the Board of Governors, who were just as scared of Scott as he was, joined him in sitting down and shutting up as Scott effectively became the real chancellor of the State University System of Florida (SUS).

Even though it took a little time, the BOG has finally accepted its place under the governor’s thumb.

Earlier this year, Brogan decided to hold on to a few pieces of his dignity by getting the hell out of dodge. He took a $29,500 pay cut to leave Florida and escape to Pennsylvania, where he is now the new public university CEO. But the headlines from last week are full of signs that Scott is still calling the shots at the BOG offices and extending another pre-election olive branch to the University of Florida.

The search committee for the new chancellor unanimously voted to offer the name of Marshall Criser, III, president of AT&T Florida, as its one and only recommendation for Brogan’s replacement.  

Friday, October 04, 2013

Badger must avoid same mistake Art Collins made during 2001 presidential search


Back in 2001, Art Collins defied Gov. Jeb Bush by winning the first FAMU trustees chairmanship race despite being pressured to let R.B. Holmes have the position. Collins seemed to think his election victory meant it would be easy for him to build enough support to seat a highly-qualified successor to President Frederick S. Humphries. But he underestimated R.B.’s desire for revenge.

On the night before the final vote in the selection process, the majority of trustees still supported Collins. There were more than enough votes for Charlie Nelms, the only candidate who had been the top executive of two universities, to become the ninth president of FAMU. Nelms had served as chancellor of Indiana University East and the University of Michigan at Flint before being selected to serve as vice-president for student development and diversity for the entire Indiana University system.

But the 11th hour shadiness that is still typical of FAMU Board of Trustees processes turned the presidential search into a train wreck. A lie that claimed there weren’t enough votes to seat Nelms was spread throughout that evening. By the end of the shenanigans on that night, Nelms had withdrawn his application.

When the board met for the presidential vote the next morning, the anti-Collins trustees smiled and laughed when the chairman had to announce that Nelms was out-of-the-running. A group of trustees that included R.B., Castell Bryant, and Jim Corbin then worked to fast track the selection of Fred Gainous to run FAMU.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dream Defenders serve Scott with an eviction notice, move to voter registration

On Thursday, legendary civil rights leader Julian Bond stood with the Dream Defenders as they announced their decision to end their sit-in and move on to the next phase of their justice campaign.

“I say to the young people here, you’re ending a protest because you started a movement,” said Bond, a co-founder of the former Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. “That movement is going to reverberate across the state of Florida and eventually to the adjoining states, until all of America knows something about the strength and the power that was demonstrated here.”

Following the press conference with Bond, the Dream Defenders marched to the Florida Governor’s Mansion to serve Gov. Rick Scott with an eviction notice. They plan to register 65,000 new voters, which represents the margin of victory that Scott carried in 2010. Scott is running for reelection in 2014.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Badger reelected chairman, Scott gets consolation prize with Rufus as vice-chairman

A nasty behind-the-scenes process is finally over.

Rufus Montgomery, the go-to trustee for Gov. Rick Scott, failed to secure enough votes to win the FAMU chairmanship in the hours leading up to the official beginning of today’s Board of Trustees meeting. The majority of the trustees rebuffed Rufus and reelected Solomon L. “Chuck” Badger, III to another two-year term in the chairman’s seat. Scott did ultimately receive an olive branch from the board members as Montgomery was given the vice-chairmanship.

For the second time, there was heavy outside political pressure for the trustees to replace Badger with Montgomery. The first time was back in March after Badger suspended the presidential search.

Trustees shouldn’t give Scott control of FAMU chairmanship, presidential search

Rufus Montgomery and Bill Jennings, or the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion
If FAMU was the Land of Oz, Rufus Montgomery would be the Scarecrow. There isn’t much inside his head except what comes from the governor’s office.

The push to give Scott control over the FAMU Board of Trustees by putting Rufus in the chairman’s seat is already old news on campus. Back when the presidential search process was suspended in March, Rattler Nation learned about behind-the-scenes plans to call for a special meeting to remove the incumbent chairman and hand the gavel to Rufus.

That attempted coup fell flat due to the lack of the super-majority required to remove a board officer. Section 3.2 of the board’s operating procedures states: “Officers may be removed after reasonable notice by an affirmative vote of no less than two-thirds of the members of the Board.”

There were not nine votes (out of the 13) to dump the sitting chairman and appoint Rufus in his place. But when the board votes for new officers on August 8, only seven votes will be needed to elect a new leader.

Rufus is the last person who should be running board meetings as FAMU determines who will serve as its 11th president. He has shown no independence from Gov. Rick Scott.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Brogan leaves Florida after being run over by Scott

Gov. Rick Scott has already made it clear that he, and not Frank Brogan, is really calling the shots in the State University System of Florida (SUS). Brogan never showed any backbone against the governor. But it now looks like he has finally had enough of being pushed around and is saying goodbye.

Brogan will become the new chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) on October 1st.

When he became governor in 2011, Scott began running over Brogan in order to take control of the SUS.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Efforts to discredit, harass Dream Defenders kick into high gear

Back when the Dream Defenders began their sit-in at the Florida capitol a week ago, few state officials took them seriously. Gov. Rick Scott and his subordinates seemed to think that they were just a disorganized group of shouting kids who would give up easily and go home.

But now that the protesters led by former FAMU Student Body President Phillip Agnew have shown that they have the discipline and passion to go the distance, Scott’s political operatives and other opponents are taking the gloves off.

Blaming the protesters for creating a bigger security bill at the Florida capitol for taxpayers

On Tuesday, July 23 the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), which reports to Scott, released a memo entitled “Estimated Costs and Incident Reports for Capitol Protests.” It says that the seven-day sit-in has cost the state a total of $97,970.88.

“We are paying, or will be paying overtime because of the protests. And yes officers are working longer hours to make sure we have proper coverage,” said FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger.

Plessinger added that the Capitol Police force (a division of the FDLE) has doubled the number officers it regularly has in each of its shifts.

State Rep. Alan Williams, a FAMU alumnus and chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, responded by saying that the Dream Defenders pay taxes, too.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Williams, other lawmakers come to aid of Dream Defenders

Today, the Dream Defenders are heading into the seventh consecutive day of their sit-in at Gov. Rick Scott’s office. Bailey Myers, a reporter at WCTV-6 in Tallahassee, asked how the protesters led by former FAMU Student Body President Phillip Agnew were obtaining supplies.

“Night and day the members have been sitting in the Capitol lobby without things like air-conditioning or showers,” Myers said. “That’s because the second they walk out the Capitol doors, they're not supposed to be able to get back in. We were curious to find out how exactly they were feeding themselves without having true access to the outside world, and found out they are getting a little bit of extra help. Florida Legislators have access to the Capitol at all times so they have been supplying these activists with the essentials.”