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Wrong For Florida: Rick Scott Doubles Down on Misguided Agenda with Carlos Lopez-Cantera

Today, Rick Scott officially doubles down on the toxic Tallahassee politics that put wealthy special interests ahead of Florida’s middle class. As Carlos Lopez-Cantera takes office as Lieutenant Governor, it is clearer than ever how out of touch the Scott administration truly is.

Rick Scott and Carlos Lopez-Cantera have the same misguided priorities: cutting funding from public schools, raising college tuition, and putting the middle class last.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant said, “Today, Rick Scott is doubling down on a misguided agenda that is focused on what helps the wealthiest special interests, not middle class Floridians. Scott is making it clear to Florida families that taxpayer giveaways to well-connected corporations matter more than improving public education and health care.”

“Quite simply, Carlos Lopez-Cantera’s wrong priorities make him the wrong choice for Florida,” Chair Tant added.

Background: Timeline of a Partnership

As the ultra-partisan enforcer of the state legislature’s GOP majority, Carlos Lopez-Cantera stood with Rick Scott in opposing adequate funding for public education and preventing access to higher-education. He supported the Arizona-style immigration restrictions that Rick Scott campaigned on in 2010, and supported making the process of voting more difficult — while purging voters from voting rolls. Rather than expand opportunity for Florida’s middle class, Rick Scott and Carlos Lopez-Cantera would rather send taxpayer handouts to some of Florida’s biggest corporations instead of helping Florida’s families get ahead.

2013: Scott vetoes the Dreamers’ Driver’s License bill that would have improved the everyday lives of thousands of undocumented immigrants.

2012: Scott tries to purge over 180,000 Floridians from the voter rolls, nearly 60% of whom were Hispanic.

2011: Scott supported $1.3 billion in cuts to education. In 2011, Lopez-Cantera voted to cut $1.3 billion from Florida’s public schools. Thousands of teachers were fired, class sizes increased, and classes were cut from public schools across Florida.

2011: HB 7089 Contains “Provisions Similar to Arizona’s Racial Profiling Law.”

2011: Cantera said that HB 7089 is “Common Sense” and “Reasonable.” In a press release, Lopez-Cantera stated his support for HB 7089, calling the bill “common sense” and stating, “I look forward to watching this reasonable and effective approach to immigration reform work its way through the legislative process.” 

2011: Hispanic Groups Attack Lopez-Cantera for “Betraying Florida’s Hispanics.” Three organizations — Democracia Inc., SEIU Florida and America’s Voice Education Fund — will begin airing Spanish-language radio advertisements calling out two Miami Republicans…The House bill, headed to a full chamber hearing, would require police to check the immigration status of a person who is subject of a criminal investigation if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person might be undocumented. 

2011: Republican Sen. René García, Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus Chair, Condemned HB 7089. In a press release, Rep. García said, “We cannot sit idly by and allow local law enforcement officers to act as federal immigration officers. This would lead to distrust, animosity, and increased tension between residents and local law enforcement.”

2011: Scott signs the Voter Suppression Act into law, and Carlos Lopez-Cantera voted with him. In 2012, the law causes lines at the polls five and six hours long on Election Day — with some of the longest waits in Hispanic precincts.

2010: While campaigning for governor, Rick Scott voiced enthusiastic support for Arizona-style immigration laws.

2010: Carlos Lopez-Cantera whipped votes for mandatory invasive ultrasounds. In 2010, acting as House Majority Whip, Lopez-Cantera advocated for forcing women to undergo an invasive and expensive medical procedure before they could access a legal abortion.

2009: Lopez-Cantera supported near-shore drilling. In 2009, Lopez-Cantera voted to allow oil drilling right off Florida’s coast  — wiping out decades of bipartisan agreement that Florida’s shores are the economic engine of our state.

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