Alarmed at Republican Rick Scott's plan to trim $1 billion from the state prison budget, the Florida Police Benevolent Association announced it's running a 30-second spot that makes the gubernatorial candidate look soft on crime. At the heart of the ad is this Herald/Times story on what experts say is an "unrealistic" plan by Scott. Equally unrealistic: That Scott's plan would lead to the mass release of prisoners. The Legislature and the public wouldn't allow it.
So the union (which recently backed away from a misleading chain email against Scott) is fighting an unrealistic plan with an unrealistic ad, which strongly features a beefy African-American inmate wringing his hands in delight as a guy wearing a Rick Scott shirt releases him and his buddies. It's not as if it's overtly racist imagery, though; behind him, a mix of white and black guys high-five at the chance to commit mayhem. (Speaking of race and prisons, about half of the state's 100,000 prison population is black. But African Americans make up about 14 of the general Florida population. No one seems to want to talk about that. One nation, under surveillance and incarceration.....)
Featuring the de rigueur low minor chords of an attack ad, the spot closes on a darkly funny note when a gold-grilled Hispanic inmate uses Rick Scott's slogan against him: Let's get to work. Ouch