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Annals of Hackery

4:00 PM, Dec 17, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
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A blogger at the Center for American Progress is outraged (outraged!) over the $2 million cost of Republican governor-elect Rick Scott's inauguration ball:

The economic picture in Florida is not pretty: there were 1.1 million Floridians unemployed last month, and 55 of Florida’s 67 counties reported double-digit unemployment. It has the fifth-highest foreclosure rate in the country, and the state is facing a $3 billion budget shortfall, including a $1.5 billion shortfall for pressing needs like schools and courts.

Former health care executive and multi-millionaire Rick Scott (R) won the governorship this fall by claiming to be a “businessman with no ties to special interests” that would revitalize the state and spur job growth. Before he’s even taken office, however, some Floridians are criticizing Scott for planning an extravagant inauguration ceremony in the midst of the state’s economic turmoil. The Governor’s Inaugural Ball will take place in Tallahassee on Jan. 4, and any Floridian that can scrape together $95 can attend. So far, Scott — who won by the narrowest margin in 134 years in a Florida gubernatorial race — has raised $2 million for the ball, primarily from large corporations that conduct business in the state.

So folks in good faith have donated to the celebration of Scott becoming governor of Florida, and we're supposed to be outraged? I don't remember this sort of reaction to, say, Barack Obama's inaugural festivities. As ABC reported at the time:

The country is in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which isn't stopping rich donors and the government from spending $170 million, or more, on the inauguration of Barack Obama....

The federal government estimates that it will spend roughly $49 million on the inaugural weekend. Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland have requested another $75 million from the federal government to help pay for their share of police, fire and medical services.

I guess when your boss, John Podesta, is heading the president's transition, and when the One has just been elected, it's kind of worth a big celebration. A Republican governor in Florida? Forget about it.

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