The race for governor in Florida is close. To say it’s ‘highly contested’ doesn’t come close to reality. Rick Scott is the incumbent and a Republican. Charlie Crist is the former governor and a Democrat; he was previously a Republican when he held Florida’s highest office. What voters want to know is Crist or Scott; who’s better for Florida.
Both candidates have waged war against each other, and both have spent record sums of money. The campaigns have been extremely vile, and therefore voters probably know little about Scott or Crist and their plans for the future of the ‘Sunshine State.’ Here’s where they stand on the issues.
Climate change: Mr. Scott refuses to acknowledge that it is caused by pollution created by human beings. Mr. Crist has been endorsed by the Sierra Club. He has also been instrumental in the elimination of plants which use coal as fuel.
Expanded Medicaid: Mr. Scott flip-flopped on the issue. Although he now says that he is for it, he has made no effort to encourage the State Legislature to take action. Mr. Crist said he would gladly accept the $51 million for the people of Florida.
Education: Increasing funding for education is at the center of Mr. Crist’s platform. After Mr. Scott took office he reduced funding for kindergarten through twelfth grade by 1.3 billion dollars. Some of it has been restored but $200 per child less than when Mr. Crist was in office.
Stand Your Ground Law: Mr. Scott believes it is ‘just fine’ as it now exists. Mr. Crist believes it needs to be refined; some changes are necessary.
Minimum wage: Mr. Scott continually avoided giving an answer, but finally admitted he is against an increase. Mr. Crist fully supports the President’s proposal of elevating the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
Medical Marijuana: Mr. Crist supports a current ballot measure which would allow it. Mr. Scott supports the opposition.
One problem Mr. Crist carries is an explanation to voters as to why he left the Republican Party and became a Democrat. Two others which will deter some voters are his defense of same-sex marriage, and his pro-choice belief.
Mr. Scott’s issues are all related to his TEA Party affiliation and its ideals. He signed laws into effect which required drug testing for welfare recipients, and a voting law discriminating against African Americans. He rejected government funding for both a high speed rail system in Central Florida, and funds to educate undocumented students.
Mr. Scott remains opposed to Obamacare. Mr. Crist cites the fact that Florida ranks high in the nation’s uninsured and if Obamacare did not exist the hundreds of thousands who have signed up for it would make the percentages even higher.
Polls show that the race remains close. A circumstance which may give Mr. Crist a slight edge is that he has been endorsed by both the Miami Herald and the Sun Sentinel.
Which candidate would best serve Florida? The Miami Herald reports that Mr. Crist remains a moderate, and that he has always had the interest of the citizens of the state of Florida as his primary concern.
By James Turnage