Sounds like Floridians are in for a grand time with this guy:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Journalists who cover Florida’s capital complained to industry leaders Tuesday that the new administration of Gov. Rick Scott is skirting free-press traditions and attempting to control their work by limiting access to events and being slow to provide public records.
Speaking to the board of the Florida Society of News Editors, nine Tallahassee correspondents said Scott’s team is imposing an unprecedented level of control over access to Scott and to events that previously would have been considered open. The governor’s office also has tried to “cherry-pick” reporters to provide pooled reports to the rest of the press corps, instead of allowing the journalists to choose.
Bob Rathgeber, senior staff writer for The News-Press of Fort Myers, said Scott, a former health care executive, apparently wants to continue operating as if he were still in the private sector, not public office.
“He doesn’t care whether we have complaints or not,” Rathgeber said. “He’s from the private sector and he’s a private guy.”
The journalists pointed to several examples, including a post-inauguration reception held on the scenic 22nd-floor of the state Capitol, where Scott’s staff restricted access to only a select few.
The event was in a public building and the entire state Legislature had been invited, noted Mary Ellen Klas of The Miami Herald. “That, on its surface, struck me as a public meeting. … There’s no reason they should be shutting the public out.”
But Klas and others, including an AP reporter, were booted out. The reporters said Scott’s staff said a pooled report would be provided and argued that the journalists had accepted the arrangement. She and the other reporters speaking Tuesday said they’d never accepted such a deal. Pool reports typically are only agreed to when space is unavoidably limited, such as aboard an airplane, and the selection of the journalist is made by the participating media groups.
A voice message and an e-mail seeking reaction Tuesday from Scott’s communications director, Brian Burgess, were not immediately answered.