Jesus, take the wheel: Rick Scott resorting to sweepstakes, gimmicks, to boost Florida economy

Would you want to “share a little sunshine” with this face? If you’re answer is yes, you may be in luck, because apparently, in Rick Scott’s world, “let’s get to work” means “let’s get the governor a travel break and turn it into a game show!”

Now this really is from the in-box. I swear I didn’t make it up:

Florida Governor Scott to Help
‘Share a Little Sunshine’

Leads team of “Sunshine Ambassadors” on four-city tour to

invite winter-weary northerners to the Sunshine State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 28, 2011) – After a brutally harsh winter for many Americans, Florida Governor Rick Scott and VISIT FLORIDA®, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, have organized the “Share a Little Sunshine Tour” to invite those hit hardest by this year’s unseasonably cold weather to defrost in sunny Florida.  Governor Scott and the rest of the “Sunshine Ambassadors” will start their two-day tour March 1 in Orlando and make stops in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Chicago.  When the whirlwind tour ends in the Windy City, 120 lucky winners will board a chartered plane and return to Orlando with the Governor to take a much-needed break from the worst winter many have seen in decades.

“Jobs and economic development are two of the most important issues we face as a state and a nation,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott.  “Tourism is an important economic engine for Florida and employs nearly one million residents, I am proud to lead VISIT FLORIDA’s Share a Little Sunshine campaign to bring more visitors to the Sunshine State.  We know that every 85 visitors create one Florida job, so I urge all Floridians to join with me in supporting this effort to increase jobs and grow the state’s economy.”

Residents and fans can be part of the Share a Little Sunshine campaign by visitingShareALittleSunshine.org to send a personalized e-postcard inviting someone to Florida.  They can also post photos and comments, find ‘Sunshine Deals’ and share  Florida travel information by joining the nearly 25,000 followers of Share a Little Sunshine on Facebook atfacebook.com/FloridaSunshine.

As the No. 1 industry in the state, tourism is big business in Florida – there are more people visiting the Sunshine State on any given day than live in twelve U.S. states.  In fact, tourism is so significant that it generates more than one fifth of the state’s sales tax revenue.

“We are grateful that the Governor continues to acknowledge the importance of tourism to the state’s economy by participating in this fast-paced, fun-filled tour of several of Florida’s key visitor markets,” said Ed Fouché, Chairman of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors and Senior Vice President–Travel Industry Sales for Disney Destinations.

The tour begins on March 1 at 8:30 a.m. with a rally at the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management in Orlando.  The public is invited to attend the event where Governor Scott, VISIT FLORIDA, Visit Orlando, the Partnership for Florida’s Tourism and others will be encouraging residents to participate in VISIT FLORIDA’s “Share a Little Sunshine” program by sending personal invitations to their out-of-state friends and family to visit the Sunshine State. The rally will conclude with a send-off for Governor Scott, who will lead the charge as the team takes off for its first stop in Washington, D.C., speaking to potential visitors and awarding great Florida vacation prizes along the way.

“The Share a Little Sunshine campaign was created as a fun, easy way for residents to invite friends and family to Florida, and having Governor Scott take time to extend a personal invitation to everyone he meets on this tour to visit the Sunshine State takes the program to a whole new level,” said Chris Thompson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. “We know this has been an extremely difficult winter for many around the country, so we’re happy to be sharing a little sunshine with our neighbors to the north.”

Throughout the two-day tour, Governor Scott and the rest of the Sunshine State squad will be hosting special events and giving away Florida vacation packages to promotion winners.  The tour concludes on March 2 at Midway Airport in Chicago as the Governor escorts a plane full of prize winners who will depart that evening for a four-day stay in Orlando.  Southwest Airlines, Walt Disney World and dozens of other VISIT FLORIDA partners have come together to help create the vacation packages being given away to winners in each market.

“So many organizations have come together to help VISIT FLORIDA make this tour a reality,” said Will Seccombe, Chief Marketing Officer for VISIT FLORIDA.  “I would especially like to thank our Florida tourism industry partners and trade associations, without whose efforts this event would not have been possible.”

 

Now that you’ve had a second to digest that, let me break it down for you again…

Rick Scott — the guy who thinks high speed rail paid for 100 percent by the federal government is a waste of money, thinks he’s going to turn Florida’s economy around by getting a whole 120 people to visit the state that’s already the number one tourism destination in the U.S. Again, he doesn’t think it wisdom to connect the single most visited tourist attraction in the U.S. — Disney World — to Tampa or anywhere else via rail, but he thinks sending RICK SCOTT on a national tour, followed around by his FANS — fans??? — will do the trick.

Rick … Listen, honey. You are not Justin Bieber. You don’t HAVE any fans. None. Zip. Okay, maybe your mom. But other than that?

Next, let’s review this passage again:

Governor Scott and the rest of the “Sunshine Ambassadors” will start their two-day tour March 1 in Orlando and make stops in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Chicago.  When the whirlwind tour ends in the Windy City, 120 lucky winners will board a chartered plane and return to Orlando with the Governor to take a much-needed break from the worst winter many have seen in decades.

Who, pray tell, are these “sunshine ambassadors,” and why should Florida taxpayers foot the bill for them to take a “whirlwind tour” anywhere? Also, for a guy who just sold the state’s official planes, it’s intriguing that you think taxpayers should CHARTER ONE so you can go on vacation … I mean on a “world tour” with your “fans.” Given your history, can we assume the “ambassadors” will consist of your business cronies, people who donated big bucks to your inauguration, and some of the tea partiers you pass your plans by before deigning to tell the rest of us how you plan to turn this state into a Caribbean tax haven? Hm???

And what’s this “lucky winners” bit? Are you creating a new lottery? Is that even legal???

And since you said this:

We know that every 85 visitors create one Florida job, so I urge all Floridians to join with me in supporting this effort to increase jobs and grow the state’s economy

by that math, your little tour will generate a whopping 120 / 85 = 1.4 jobs. Now subtracting the 30,000 jobs you’re chucking down the bin by rejecting high speed rail, plus the nearly 10,000 state workers you plan to fire (to say nothing of the countless teachers who will probably leave this state after you and your friends are done trashing our public schools) and placing that against the 700,000 jobs you promised to create when you were in the process of buying the governorship, and dude, you’re about 739,998.6 jobs in the hole.

Two more:

The tour begins on March 1 at 8:30 a.m. with a rally at the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management in Orlando.  The public is invited to attend the event where Governor Scott, VISIT FLORIDA, Visit Orlando, the Partnership for Florida’s Tourism and others will be encouraging residents to participate in VISIT FLORIDA’s “Share a Little Sunshine” program by sending personal invitations to their out-of-state friends and family to visit the Sunshine State. The rally will conclude with a send-off for Governor Scott, who will lead the charge as the team takes off for its first stop in Washington, D.C., speaking to potential visitors and awarding great Florida vacation prizes along the way.

Well of course, it wouldn’t be right without a “send-off for Governor Scott,” now would it. After his inaugural bacchanal, I’m expecting he’ll have live elephants, tiny giraffes, and poor people being walked on leashes for this one…

Throughout the two-day tour, Governor Scott and the rest of the Sunshine State squad will be hosting special events and giving away Florida vacation packages to promotion winners.  The tour concludes on March 2 at Midway Airport in Chicago as the Governor escorts a plane full of prize winners who will depart that evening for a four-day stay in Orlando.  Southwest Airlines, Walt Disney World and dozens of other VISIT FLORIDA partners have come together to help create the vacation packages being given away to winners in each market.

Again, how much are we Florida taxpayers paying for this gimmick, including the “special events in every state?” Who supplied the prize packages, and did the state compensate those companies, since you are the governor who doesn’t think corporations actually have to pay for anything? And once we’ve flown your “prize winners” round trip to Florida on the public dime, and fetted them with parties and “special events,” explain to me how this is helping Florida’s economy again?

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3 Responses to Jesus, take the wheel: Rick Scott resorting to sweepstakes, gimmicks, to boost Florida economy

  1. THIS DUDE LOOKS LIKE A CHARACTER FROM THE MOVIE 'avatar ' stop playing with florida ricky.

  2. Flo says:

    Nice; “Sunshine Rick” wants to give stuff to snowbirds, while he’s taking away from Floridians. Sonds like a job for the Lt. Gov.

  3. What? says:

    Take the “winners” to some pill mills, get them hooked on narcotics, send them home with bags of pills, and they get all their friends and relatives hooked, they sell some to finance a return trip, the cycle continues, drug tourism boosts our economy, everything is great. Genius plan.

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