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Rick Scott bashes Obama's stimulus -- but allows c. $370m to stay in state budget

Gov. Rick Scott campaigned against President Obama’s “failed stimulus” program – yet the freshman politician kept almost $370 million of the federal cash in the Florida budget he signed last week.

Scott’s decision to keep the stimulus money stands out in a year when the governor touted record budget vetoes of up to $615 million. He emphasized the vetoes of “wasteful” spending at a Thursday event that featured a campaign-style “Promises Made, Promises Kept” banner.

But as he ran for office last summer, Scott said he “would fight all the stimulus money.” He also told reporters “I would have figured out how to balance the budget without it.”

When asked Tuesday why he appeared to reverse himself by keeping stimulus money, Scott didn’t specifically answer.

“I think the stimulus was not good for our state, made us more dependent on the federal government,” he said, echoing a budget-signing letter he issued last week. “I think that we’ve got to watch how we spend money. As you know, in the budget, I focused very much on how we spend our money, stopping the growth of debt in our state and making our state less dependent on the federal government.”

The stimulus money Scott and Republican legislators approved touch every corner of the state: $290 million to improve electronic medical records, $4.2 million to aid disadvantaged children, $3.2 million for fighting wildfires, $12.5 million for drug courts, $8.6 million for county health departments, $1 million to fight infectious diseases, and $4.4 million to help public defenders and prosecutors.

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Anti-Tallahassee

The Tallahassee Repugnants have taken about $1 Billion dollars in stimulus money from the Obama administration. So the record of the Repugnants is that they take debt building money from Washington, they rape the state's trust funds, and they pay for 25% of the state's budget deficit by taxing public employees. For this we get a 10% cut in an education budget that was already one of the lowest in the country. We abandon efforts to save the environmental jewels of the state for future generations. We suffer from one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. We watch property values stagnate or fall under one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country. And the Governor thinks his bad poll numbers are due to poor communication.

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