Mousing around the news of the day … click.

 

I see that Gov. Rick Scott has been making an apology tour of the state to say he’s sorry for his past budgetary sins. How else could it be interpreted?

When he first took office seven long, long years ago, he slashed budgets for public education, environmental protections and health care, among others.

Now that he’s entering, thankfully, his final year in office, he’s going to city after city in Florida promoting his proposed budget that the Legislature will take up when it convenes in January.

You might think that Scott is now a friend of public schools — not — since he’s proposing to spend more on the state’s classrooms as opposed to the 10 percent cut he wanted in his initial budget.

You also might think that Scott is now the greenest of greenies — not — now that he wants to spend $200 million on environmental programs next year.

You might also mistakenly think Scott is now a friend of public hospitals since he’s not proposing more cuts there.

What’s up? Has Scott seen the error of his previous ways?

No. He’s gearing up to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Bill Nelson, and he’s attempting to make voters, who happen to hold things like the environment, public schools and health care in high regard, forget about his past.

The song lyrics “it’s too late to say you’re sorry” come to mind.

The damage has been done.

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So you think I’m exaggerating? Consider the governing board of the St. Johns River Water Management District, which Scott has filled with appointees who toe his line.

One of them is John Miklos, who was elected chair of the board in 2013.

The Orlando Sentinel has done a good job of pointing out that Miklos has made a bundle of money since rising to that post through his Orlando consulting firm, Bio-Tech Consulting.

That company helps businesses get permits from the water management district to do things like destroy wetlands. Of course, Miklos says he recuses himself from decisions when his company is involved, but he sure has become popular with permit seekers since becoming chairman.

And the district’s staffers, who have witnessed a rash of their colleagues being shown the door in recent years, might just get a little nervous when the boss is pushing a project. That would only be natural.

Miklos was re-elected chairman in 2014, 2015, 2016 and, you guessed it, again this week. And our rivers and springs continue to suffer.

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Scott, of course, was elected when the tea party was all the rage and the marching orders were to dump career politicians and clear out the bureaucracy. It’s a funny world. Scott now wants to become a career politician.

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An investigative story by The Florida Times-Union in conjunction with ProPublica was published Thursday at jacksonville.com with the headline: “Walking While Black, Jacksonville’s enforcement of pedestrian violations raises concerns it’s another example of racial profiling.” It’s well worth reading online or when the print version is published in Sunday’s Times-Union.

The data presents a solid case that African-Americans in Jacksonville are singled out for pedestrian violations much like African-Americans were in New York with stop and frisk police practices.

As others have already pointed out, it’s interesting that when black NFL players refused to stand for the national anthem to protest what they perceive as unfair treatment of blacks by police, Mayor Lenny Curry had no problem speaking up and calling their actions “stupid.”

But when asked by the reporters who did this story about the strong evidence that blacks in Jacksonville are being targeted by police, Curry suddenly was in no rush to share his eloquent views with the public.

In fact, he had no comment at all.

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ron.littlepage@jacksonville.com • (904) 359-4284