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Democrats slam Rick Scott's handling of CONNECT

Compared to how Republicans reacted to the failings of the federal healthcare.gov website under Pres. Barack Obama’s administration, Florida Democrats have been relatively polite in their critiques of the state’s $63 million unemployment website, CONNECT.

That pretty much ended Thursday in a conference call with state political reporters in which Democratic leaders depicted Gov. Rick Scott as being out-of-touch with unemployed Floridians who have waited weeks to get claims delayed by ongoing problems with the website.

“This governor, he’s sitting there like a king, King Richard or something, and he’s not talking to the people,” said Florida House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale. “If these people were writing a $3,000 campaign check, I assure you that their needs would not be going unmet. But these are real people, real Floridians, hardworking Floridians, who want to work.”

Thurston, Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant and Rep. Lori Berman of Boynton Beach accused Scott of abdicating his role in fixing the system, hitting upon a theme of attack on worker issues such as minimum wage that they will continue to highlight during this year’s gubernatorial battle between Scott and Charlie Crist.

“Rick Scott has never suggested that the original website consultant (Deloitte Consulting) be fired, he has not announced the need for outside help,” said Tant. “He’s demanded no change. He’s taken no responsibility despite this endless fingerpointing at everyone else. It is very clear that Rick Scott’s only goal here is to point the finger and not fix the problem.”

Berman cited California, which paid jobless claims sooner after encountering similar problems, as an example of what Scott chose not to do.

“His inaction has hurt families who are struggling to survive,” Berman said.

What do Democrats propose to do? Their options are limited. In Tallahassee, they are outnumbered and have little influence over legislation. Even so, Thurston said he has heard of interest in revisiting a 2011 law that requires recipients to file online to receive claims and would support those efforts.

But they’re pretty much relegated to using the bully pulpit, as U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has effectively done so far.  

“The governor needs to take the lead,” Thurston said. “He needs to apologize, he needs to address the people, he needs to answer the question from the media about how long this will take to repair.”

The Florida Republican Party of Florida issued a statement from chairman Lenny Curry that changed the subject to flood insurance -- which is exactly what Scott did himself when he was asked about U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s criticism of CONNECT earlier this month.

“Instead of making specious attacks, Allison Tant and Perry Thurston should follow Gov. Scott’s lead and ask their own party’s president to use his executive authority to stop flood insurance rate hikes that are hurting Florida families,” Curry said in the statement.


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Tally Folly

ed jenkins is dumb.
That is all.


Hey you morons at the Herald. How many times do you have to write stories about some stupid website that no one cares about? Do you guys write your articles or do you just turn the whole thing over to the democratic party to write? Enough of this crap already.

ed jenkins

We see readers continuously complaining about duplication of stories such as this wise person known only as D with no action from this hometown paper which wonders why it losers subscribers every year.

As the citizens have noted many times they have no interest in a website to disburse funds confiscated from them and in this very compassionate state the citizens have donated large amounts of money to charities to help those truly in need. those truly in need do not include those that have poorly budgeted, spent large amounts of money on expensive meals, luxury autos and homes or even worse illegal drugs. It is not necessary in the citizens opinions for everyone to have expensive cable/satellite with many fancy multi-purpose phones, large tvs and other gadgets in order to not be in poverty and doing without these luxuries is not something that would cause the citizens to believe these people are in need.

Upset Floridian

I can barely afford food... these articles give me hope that atleast someone cares about us getting money due to us. I cant afford gas... im a young adult and my savings were minimal and ive ran through them. Who cares about the site??? We floridians that lost our job at no fault of our own CARE!


Give me a break you loser, even if I were to believe your situation which is probably made up your loser attitude shows when you say it wasn't your fault you lost your job. Typical of the wusses that are being raised now its never your fault, always someone else's. Why don't you take some responsibility and get off your ass find a job and do it well rather than thinking your employer is privileged just to have you.

Tally Folly

You dumb complainers don't even understand how unemployment works or is funded. Why don't D and ed look at their paycheck deductions next time they get one, that is assuming someone is stupid enough to employ them.

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