While Rick Scott raises more money every day and tries to beef up a more centrist persona for his 2014 re-election bid, Florida Democrats have been relegated to the sidelines, as only state Sen. Nan Rich has officially declared her candidacy to challenge him next year. That's certainly one reason why the party seized on Scott's veto last week of a bill that would have allowed children of immigrants who are not U.S. citizens to use a new federal form to get temporary Florida driver's licenses.
"We're here to express our absolute outrage over Governor Scott's veto of HB 235," said Tampa House Democrat Janet Cruz, who kicked off a press conference in front of the West Tampa branch of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
"Where is Governor Ricardo Scott living?" Cruz continued, referring to the fact that the legislation received overwhelming support in the GOP-led Legislature (only two members of the House voted no, none in the Senate). "This is a state where there are Hispanics who contribute to this community every day. It's not hard to see that the governor is completely out of touch with our state and our diverse population, and that's a population that makes Florida great. This is a blatant slap in the face of all my constituents in District 62 and to all of our Latino families across the Tampa Bay area. This is a slap in the face that will sting long into the gubernatorial election, I promise you that."
Scott said he vetoed HB 235 because it would have benefited people who are covered by a change in federal policy instituted by President Barack Obama last year that wasn't approved by Congress.