IN DEFENSE OF RICK SCOTT
The letter in the April 16 Folio Weekly regarding Rick Scott [“Diversions,” Ted Mikalsen] is strictly speculation. If Gov. Scott was believed to be guilty of committing Medicare fraud to the tune of $1.6 billion, federal prosecutors would certainly have brought charges against him. The fact that the government accepted a fine for the amount of the upcoding would suggest that there was no intent. One must not forget that at the time there were more than 7,000 Medicare codes (it is reported that this number has now grown to 90,000-plus). Regarding Scott taking the Fifth, most attorneys would probably recommend this, as prosecutors will charge people with perjury even for misspeaking to investigators.
Regarding the state of the state: Do we really want to bring Crist back? Florida had among the worst economies of any state when he left office. Over Scott’s first three years, Florida’s gross state product (GSP) has grown by more than 10 percent versus less than 7 percent for the national gross domestic product (GDP). The number of chronically unemployed and underemployed has decreased from more than 19 percent to just over 13 percent. This insidious type of unemployment has decreased under Scott at twice the national rate. This past year, Florida has had the second-best job creation rate of any state. Do not allow innuendo to unseat the governor who has brought Florida’s economy back from the brink. It would appear that the other option is going to be the man who drove the economy into the ditch.
Bruce A. Fouraker