Gov. Rick Scott's drastic changes to Florida education could be making it difficult for the state to attract a top-tier candidate for education commissioner. (Photo courtesy of Rick Scott.)

By Ralph De La Cruz
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

As we like to tell adolescents, there are repercussions to having a bad rep.

Rick Scott has become known for being the most unpopular governor in the country as a result of running the state like “Chainsaw Al” Dunlap.

Scott has cut thousands of state jobs and slashed public education funding by almost 10 percent. His office has become known for being so far out of the sunshine that they use private e-mails to communicate so they can avoid being exposed to public records laws. And when he was confronted by poor poll numbers in April — they’ve cratered even further since then — he responded: “I didn’t come here to be the most popular.

His management style was on display when Scott signed the state budget at The Villages, a conservative community in Central Florida.

During the signing, appropriately billed a “public event,” his office had the few Democrats there kicked out. His public relations folks later denied they had tossed out anyone, but here’s video of the expulsions:

So, some folks may say, he’s a little unpolished, a bit rough. What’s the big deal?

The big deal is that when you develop a reputation as someone who runs roughshod over voters and employees, it has repercussions.

The latest consequence is that the state is now having trouble finding a nationally recognized education commissioner.


And consequences are why Rep. Rick Kriseman has re-filed legislation allowing for the recall of state officials. And why a nascent group on Facebook is working on a petition to put recall on the ballot.