In 2010, OD had high hopes for Gov. Rick Scott who defeated GOP establishment candidate Bill McCollum in the Republican primary by promising voters that he would bring an Arizona-style immigration law to Florida.
After Scott won the GOP primary, he all but abandoned calls for an Arizona-style immigration law and did little to push the law through the Florida legislature when he had the chance to do so in 2011 and 2012. HB 7089 was killed off in the Republican-controlled Florida state legislature in May 2011.
Among other things, Rick Scott promised Florida voters when he was running for governor that he was going to “require all Florida employers to use the free E-Verify system to ensure that their workers are legal.” So what happened to all that tough talk about immigration after Rick Scott was elected governor of Florida?
“Back when he was running for governor, his campaign vowed: “Rick will require all Florida employers to use the free E-Verify system to ensure that their workers are legal.”
Now he says he won’t. What’s more, he now calls the idea of forced E-Verify “foolish.”
That’s the word he used when he appeared before a bunch of agriculture interests — an industry reliant on cheap and illegal labor.
“It would be foolish to put Florida companies at a disadvantage,” he said over lunch with the Florida Citrus Commission, according to The Ledger in Lakeland.
Yes, he used the word “foolish” to describe his own promise — one he made two years ago.
So what happened? Money did. Lots of it.
Right after Scott made it through the primary — where he won over GOP voters by vowing to implement mandatory E-Verify — Big Sugar gave his campaign committee $100,000.
Florida Crystals executive Pepe Fanjul personally hosted a fundraiser for Scott.
Another $100,000 from sugar interests followed.
Then came more agribusiness donations: $25,000 from Managed Citrus Inc., $20,000 from Sun Corn Inc., $10,000 from Okeechobee Farm Lands and on and on.
A total of 19 different checks went to Scott’s “Let’s Get to Work” political committee, totaling more than $440,000.
But that was just small potatoes. Companies such as U.S. Sugar gave millions to the Republican Party of Florida after Scott became the nominee.
Suddenly, Scott toned down his immigration talk.
In the following session, the E-Verify bill died, with the Tampa Bay Times explaining that US. Sugar had been “an aggressive back-room player in stopping the conservative Republican push to pass e-verify for migrant workers.”
And now Scott has completed the full flop — not just backing off his promise to institute E-Verify, but actually calling it “foolish” to comply with the laws of this country.
If you voted for Scott because you liked his tough immigration talk, you got played for a fool. …”
Played for a fool.
That’s what happened to everyone who voted for Gov. Rick Scott, who promised to bring E-Verify to Florida, or John McCain, who promised to “build the dang fence,” or Rand Paul, who opposed birthright citizenship, or Marco Rubio, who told everyone in Florida he opposed amnesty, or Paul Ryan for Vice President, who waited until he lost the 2012 election to go work with Luis Guiterrez on amnesty for illegal aliens.
What’s the point of having democratic elections when a Sheldon Adelson or a Pepe Fanjul can stuff a few million dollars into your political action committee and defeat the collective will of millions of American voters? It is to get you to squander all your time, energy, and money on working through a system that is incapable of being reformed.