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Is Rick Scott America's Worst Governor?

Rick Scott: Florida's Sith overlord.
Rick Scott: Florida's Sith overlord.

Clearly, Rick Scott is America's least popular governor. His numbers are so low that if he were a baseball player, his manager would have long ago slapped his ass and demoted him to AA. He's more politically radioactive than Anthony Weiner's twitter account. The man is loathed. But is he the country's worst governor?

New Times lays out the Eyelid-less Wonder's sins in this week's feature. But how does Scott compare to the rest of our loony state leaders?

Like some hideous Twilight Zone episode of America's (Not) Got Talent, we're pitting the worst governors in the US against one another. You decide.


Rick Scott (FL), AKA Voldemort:

In less than a year in office, Scott has already accumulated a long list of enemies -- and for good reason. From this week's feature:

He slashed funding for public schools, disabled people, and the unemployed; gave health-care companies control of Medicaid; and privatized nearly all of the prisons in the southern part of the state. Meanwhile, he enacted some of the most restrictive voting laws Florida has seen since the 2000 election debacle.

Add that to the record-breaking $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud that his health care company Columbia/HCA Medicare received (before he took office), his rejection of $2.4 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail, plus his unsuccessful push to drug test all state employees, and Rick Scott is already one hellaciously bad governor.


New Jersey's big, brash, and boisterous governor
New Jersey's big, brash, and boisterous governor
Luigi Novi via Wikimedia Commons

Chris Christie (NJ), AKA The Soprano or The Round Mound of Reaganomics:
Since his election in late 2009, Christie has been ticking items off his conservative agenda with the ruthless precision of a Garden State mob hit-man. First he whacked teachers unions. Then he took a snipe at the Obama administration by scuttling a $271 million tunnel under the Hudson. (Feds now say the state owes them their money back and may have to pay $2.71 million per year in fines until it does.)

Mooted as a possible presidential candidate, Christie just this week vetoed a bill restoring funding to Planned Parenthood because, God knows, birth control is out of the question in the Guido state.

Jan Brewer (AZ), AKA La Gobernadora Loca:
1. SB 1070
2. SB 1070
3. SB 1070
If you need another reason to dislike Brewer -- and you really don't -- there is her general incompetence, as evidenced by her attack on Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano last week for supposedly keeping her in the dark on border policy: "Every time I find out anything about our border, I read about it in the paper or I hear about it on television or I hear about it on the radio," she said last Thursday. "I wish they would notify me to let us know exactly what they're about to do." In fact, they did, her staff just didn't pass along the message.

Of course, Rick Scott pushed for his own Arizona-style immigration "reform" but, thankfully, fell short.

Scott Walker (WI), AKA Little Koch:
Rick Scott may be a smarmy, crypt-keeping, confrontational a-hole, but at least he didn't cause a legislative meltdown in Tallahassee. In February, Walker led a Republican push to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for state and many local employees and require them to pay more for pensions and health care. Ticked-off teachers went on strike, flooding the capital. And when Democratic legislators fled the state in a last ditch effort to stop the bill, Republicans passed it anyways. Walker signed the bill and, despite ongoing legal challenges, it has already begun screwing unions.

The bill was right out of the conservative playbook drawn up by billionaire Koch brothers, which is no surprise since they were among his biggest campaign contributors. Rick Scott was so impressed that he called his northern namesake earlier this year to talk evil, evil shop.

Blago goes to jail
Blago goes to jail

Dishonorable Mention:
Yes, Democrats can make awful governors too. How could we ever forget Rod "I've got this thing and it's fucking golden" Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor found guilty last month of trying to sell Barack Obama's empty Senate seat? But even among current Democratic governors, there are some clunkers. Minnesota governor Mark Dayton has led his state to a shutdown. And Christine Gregoire just axed Washington's tourism office to save money -- a move that is likely to cost her state a lot more money.

So which governor is the saddest of state parasites? Leave a comment with your vote.

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