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Rick Scott’s confusing jobs message

Governor's 'cringe' at minimum-wage increase doesn't match the $100 million he hopes to throw at creating more low-wage jobs

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But, what’s this? Scott is already balking at the inherently symbolic bill, kowtowing to the giant tourism interests that oil his rickety joints, and basically contradicting himself.

The thought of raising the minimum wage makes him “cringe,” he said just two days before his tourism jet-set jaunt, because nobody wants those low-paying jobs, and we should have better jobs in the STEM sector, because Florida is a thing of genius, or somesuch. Meanwhile, he’s issuing statements – and a boatload of industry circle-jerk testimonials – talking about how selling more giant turkey legs at Disney (while sick, likely) is going to save Florida’s families from Florida’s disastrous governance. “A stronger economy,” indeed.

You know who believes him? Let’s see: Tammy Gustafson (who chairs VISIT Florida and runs national and group sales with Universal Orlando), Ed Fouché (who twice chaired VISIT Florida and is senior vice president of sales for Disney), Carol Dover (who sits on the VISIT Florida board and leads the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association) and every other person of industry import the governor’s press office could grab a blurb from. Wrap that in the gushing spittle of lower-rent tourism agencies and lapdog legislative Republicans and you have an argument that simply cannot be challenged (until you’re challenging it yourself).

“The hospitality industry has led the state in job creation for 44 straight months now and employs nearly 1.1 million Floridians,” Florida Attractions Association president and CEO Bill Lupfer stated in the organized press flooding. Um, yeah. So much wrong with that. What about the 1.1 million who won’t be getting health care because of your governor, or the fact that these hospitality jobs often require government assistance? Somebody, bring us some sanity!

“Gov. Rick Scott is saying to Disney, Universal and SeaWorld what we all already knew,” says Organize Now director Stephanie Porta, who fought many of the organizations cited in last year’s earned sick time battle. “Our taxpayer dollars are corporate welfare designed to keep the rest of us all poor. He’s saying ‘it’s your money’ to the corporations.”

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