Photo Op Ethics

Maybe it really was a breakdown in communications. And maybe Rick Scott means well.

Gov. Scott’s three-city, “Let’s Keep Florida Safe” campaign swing included, of course, Tampa. The local stop featured a requisite photo op with uniformed police as a symbolically supportive backdrop. Standard operating procedure for politicians–and backdroppers.  Only some participants say they didn’t know the exact nature of the event. Oh.

Hillsborough Col. Jim Previtera, pinch-hitting for Sheriff David Gee, said he didn’t know it was a “campaign event.” Holmes Beach Police Chief William Tokajer apparently thought the event wasn’t political.

Here’s the bottom line. Nobody’s this naive.

The gubernatorial election is less than four months out. Rick Scott is criss-crossing the state on campaign auto-pilot taking credit for everything but gulf-front sunsets. He wants law enforcement support–and he wants its “proof.” And if there’s a black, female trooper among those standing behind him, it’s not by happenstance. Of course not.

Literally standing behind Rick Scott is a personal choice–but for the likes of law enforcement personnel and teachers–it’s also a symbolic message. Knowing what we do, it’s hard to stand for that.

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