Today’s Herald column: Rick Scott, Carlos Alvarez and ‘recall fever’

At left: Florida governor Rick Scott; at right, ousted Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Alvarez

I’ll bet Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez never thought he’d be leaving his job like this – on the business end of the biggest recall in the U.S. since Californians dumped Gray Davis (and wound up with the Governator.) But could there be even bigger ticket recalls in Florida’s future? 

Move over, Wisconsin — South Florida’s got the “recall fever, too…”

From today’s Herald column:

What can Rick Scott learn from Carlos Alvarez?

Both are Republican politicians with a salty way of dealing with the media. Both see no contradiction in cutting government workers’ pay, and simultaneously growing the size or salaries of their own staffs. And Alvarez favored a cushy stadium deal for the multimillionaire Florida Marlins at local taxpayers’ risk, while Rick Scott favors cushy deals for multimillionaires in all fields of endeavor, including letting utilities’ rate payers foot the cost of lower electric bills for big business.

That’s pretty much where the similarities end, unless you count the “hair thing.”

But Alvarez, who got booted big time by the nine in 10 Miami-Dade voters who no longer want him as their mayor, could yet teach Tricky Ricky a few things.

Sure, Alvarez fell on the outs for raising the property-tax rate, while Scott wants to set them at Third World tax-haven levels for corporations and rich homeowners.

Yes, Alvarez, the former cop, sought to protect police and fire pensions, while Governor Gollum (of Lord of the Rings fame) wants to flip all state pensions into Wall Street-hitched 401ks.

And Alvarez didn’t run his policies by the tea party overlords before letting the rest of the public in on his plans.
Still, in the end, the people’s wrath (and Norman Braman’s) proved to be the mayor’s undoing.

Democrats are salivating over the prospect of doing to Rick Scott what Miami-Dade voters just did to the county mayor. There are even a couple of bills pending in Tallahassee that would amend Florida’s constitution to subject state legislators and the four statewide officials — the CFO, agricultural commissioner, attorney general and governor — to citizen recalls.

Read the rest here.

And while my “bill of particulars” on Slick Rick didn’t get to it (the old “700 word limit thing” gets me every time… Scott is also, right now, flouting the two constitutional amendments passed by voters last year to end partisan redistricting. As Dan Gelber, who curiously, is NOT running for Miami-Dade mayor (nor is any big ticket Democrat that I know of…) pointed out earlier in the week, Scott has a duty to uphold the Florida constitution, which the Fair Districts amendments are now a codified part of. And if he continues to refuse to certify the amendments, our boy Gollum will find himself in direct dereliction of that constitutional duty.


Oh, and by the way? Sorry, Facebookers. Unless he commits a crime (and actually gets caught this time, rather than wriggling out of it by taking the Fifth 75 times the way he did with Columbia/HCA) …

… Florida’s constitution does NOT allow Rick Scott to be impeached. Here’s the skinny.


  • 100,000 Floridians Against Rick Scott (Facebook)
  • Recall Rick Scott (Facebook)
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