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Rick Scott's staff tries the ole Jedi mind trick on the media after booting Dems

Sorry to get all Star Wars, but sometimes relations with Rick Scott's shop can get galactically strange -- like when the gov's folks say something didn't happen even though it all unfolded right in front of reporters. They tried their latest Jedi mind trick today by saying the gov's office wasn't involved in booting Democrats from Scott's bill signing.

False.

Here's the report from Aaron Sharockman on the Buzz blog. (Video of a Jedi mind trick here and tight flow from R.A. the Rugged Man in this Jedi Mind Tricks track):

A spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott today told Politic365 today that the governor's office did not order anyone removed from Thursday's budget signing at The Villages, and that the event was meant to be public. Only, that's not true.

First, here's what Scott spokesman Lane Wright said, according to the political website. "Governor Scott did not have these individuals removed. This was a public event. It was brought to our attention that the local authorities had removed some. We don't know first-hand who was removed or why.

"We are only seeing what you're seeing in the news reports," Wright added. "It's disappointing to know that anyone who made the effort to be at such an important event wasn't allowed in."

Here's what actually happened -- the Buzz saw all of it firsthand. Sumter County sheriff's deputies were summoned by Scott staffers wearing suits and black earpieces. They told the deputies that the budget signing was a private event and that a group of Democrats standing or sitting in the last two rows had to leave.

Deputies went to tell the group -- more than a dozen people -- to leave. The deputies said the town square had been leased and that the organizers wanted the group of Democrats to leave. The group of Democrats said it was unfair.

"You all are preaching to the choir," a deputy told them. "I'm doing what I'm told."

The deputies were getting their orders from Russ Abrams, a $60,000 a year special assistant to Scott. Seeing this, the Buzz approached Abrams. He told us the budget signing was "a private event." When asked more questions, Abrams said: "I don't need to talk to the press," and then, "I don't have anything to say."

Abrams and other men wearing black earpieces then attempted to identify other people with anti-Scott intentions. They alerted deputies, who told them they had to leave the town square.

We've asked Wright if he wanted to clarify his comments, and are waiting to hear back.

UPDATE: Wright just told us he wasn't at the event, so he couldn't address what the Buzz saw or heard. He said decisions should have been made by the property owner.

Comments

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Scott is a Crook

Crooks AND Liars!

Jacob

This is typical Rick Scott handling. The irony is the tea smokers are backing a Rick Scott regime equivalent to a dictatorship. Everything Rick Scott does resembles a dictatorship from controlling crowds, staging props, and not giving the media access. This is so bad. Thanks a lot Flori-DUH

Jan B.

I was there and saw what happened as well. What was done was not unusual and when the property was rented by RPOF it becomes private during that time. It is common knowledge that when you go to an event to protest anyone, including Obama, there is a protest area for you to stand.

Why Lane Wright chose to make this statement is anyone's guess. However, I am quite sure that Gov. Scott did not tell him to do this. In fact, I would be surprised if Scott even knew about this.

Of course this is why reporters should not be press people for elected officials. Their lies are so obvious in the paper they just go with them in their new jobs.

First Amendment

Typical. Bullies.

Pauly D.

$60,000 a year? I thought state employees and their salaries took the ax.

Check all their salaries. If the rest of the state employees suffer, then the Governor's staff should too.

JP Knight

A low level staffer makes a boo-boo and the Herald attacks Scott himself, relentlessly and without mercy. Yet the Herald has not printed one word about Obama's pattern of working, on many occasions, to squelch and control the press at Obama events. http://michellemalkin.com/2011/05/18/obama-to-localmetro-papers-how-ya-like-me-now-chumps/

Frank White

JP: As much as I hate Obama, this is a state (and local) politics blog.

give me a break

This is not about Obama. This is about Rick Scott and something that should not have been a "private event" in the first place. How much tax money was spent for security at this private event that could have-and should have- been held in the capitol? These people had every right to be there and it is downright disgusting that people are still defending this slimeball. Even if his staffers had them removed- even if Scott himself didn't know about it (which he did- stop pretending he's a saint)- shouldn't he have more control over what his staff is doing? He didn't want dissenters there, period. If he did, he wouldn't have gone to the Villages in the first place. He has EVERYTHING to hide and that's why everything he does is secretive and private. When will the idiots in this state wake up and realize what a low-life this guy really is? How bad are things in this state going to get before voters stop electing morons to be in charge? Rick Scott cares about one person only, and that is Rick Scott.

Villager

Russ Abrams may be a low level staffer that brownoses Rick Scott.

It reflects upon the type that Rick Scott hires.

They also get marching orders from the disjointed Governor's Office.

This Governor's Office has no respect.

JP Knight

So it is not allowed to point out media bias? Golly Gee, Thanks for telling me. Please give me a list of the things I am allowed to write about.

V

Rick Scott overpays his staffers. Cut back their salaries now!

And he calls himself conservative yet he pays a blonde and others to follow him around. Pays them with taxpayers money.

This guy makes me sick. Investigate his staff.

GBense

JP---one of the first things discussed by the Governor and staff was whether or not this would be a public event. The Governor is a very hands-on CEO style executive...it is not credible to suggest that he is unaware of what goes on in his office....it is more accurate to say that he still does not understand the nuances of being Governor---he still has A LOT to learn.

Johnny Quest for Truth

What in the world was Aaron Shrockman doing disguised as an objective news reporter?

This entire story is an exaggerated hit job by an-out-of-control partisan storm-trooper. He's unfit to be called a "journalist" nonetheless reporting news from the field.

Get back to Death Star Shrockman. Or transport on over to the Daily Kos where you belong.

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