Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s Wednesday proposal to give Florida’s public school teachers a $2,500 raise has been panned by critics as a political ploy or even a bribe ahead of his 2014 re-election campaign. The Orlando Sentinel churtled, “We’re surprised he didn’t throw in a promise of dark chocolate, red wine and foot massages.”
It’s amusing when people feign surprise that politicians make political calculations. We have little doubt Scott’s flagging popularity — his approval rating is a dismal 36 percent in recent polls — is cause for concern in the governor’s mansion, but our sense of the still-fledgling politician is that popularity is not a guiding force in his decision-making. If it were, would he be pushing for the state-run Citizen’s Property Insurance to raise rates and reduce the number of policy holders? Risking the wrath of more than 1.4 million policy holders strikes us as a more risky political move than currying favor with 168,000 teachers.
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