From the February 15 Palm Beach Post:
Gov. Rick Scott's appointment Monday of a St. Lucie County judge to the Fourth District Court of Appeals is causing concern among judges.
The issue is not about the appointee. Longtime Circuit Judge Burton Conner of Fort Pierce is very well qualified, they say. But they see politics injected into the selection process.
In announcing the appointment, Scott said in a press release: "Judge Conner represents the values and judicial conservatism I am looking for in our judges. He has a great reputation in the community and a great law-and-order demeanor."
Retired Fourth DCA Judge Gary Farmer, who seat will be filled by Conner, said Tuesday he has never seen such overt political philosophy expressed in a judicial selection.
"What it says to me is, the governor has an agenda with judges. It's unsettling," Farmer said.
Farmer said he recommended Conner to fill the vacancy created by his retirement. He had no sense of Conner's politics "until he read the governor's statement," he said.
Palm Beach County Senior Judge Roger Colton said he too was surprised by the political language.
Colton, a 9-year FBI agent who considers himself a law-and-order kind of judge, said he doesn't want to see politics injected into a judicial selection.
"The governor should be saying 'I picked the most knowledgeable, fair, just, equitable candidate," Colton said.
Scott's two-day inaugural bash was funded by private donations. The ceremonies cost about $3 million, and are largely funded by business interests in Florida that, as the St. Petersburg Times writes, have “the most at stake in his administration.” From tobacco companies trying to avoid taxes, to drug companies and HMOs hoping to benefit from Medicaid changes, Scott’s lavish ceremony is being paid for by those who want to be a part of the real party: Florida is the world’s twentieth-largest economy and Scott will enjoy almost unchecked control of the state’s business, as his party holds super-majorities in both legislative chambers.
Florida "Bought and Paid for". Thanks Rick Scott!