Civil Justice & Florida’s 2010 Governor’s Race (Sink v. Scott)

The outcome of the 2010 Florida Governor’s race will have a profound impact on the rights of individuals to pursue remedies against big business. Alex Sink will preserve those rights. Rick Scott, of Medicare fraud fame, will work to curtail them.

When Jeb Bush became Florida’s Governor, in 1998, Florida politics took a radical (not to be confused with conservative) turn to the right. With Florida’s House and Senate chambers controlled by Republicans, draconian laws designed to limit the ability of individuals from obtaining relief through the court system were passed with little resistance. (It was not unusual for these laws to gain passage with little to no Democratic support.) This was the Golden-Period in Florida for big business, the dark days for fairness and justice.

After 8 years of Jeb Bush, Floridian’s elected Charlie Crist as its governor, in 2006. He proved to be Jeb-light. Beholden to the radical-right, but kinder than his predecessor, Governor Crist encouraged and signed into law many anti-consumer, anti-individual rights laws, but also vetoed some egregious bills that Jeb Bush would have gladly approved. Compared to Jeb Bush, Crist respected the the rights of individuals.

Emboldened by high approval ratings, when Republican Mel Martinez retired from the U.S. Senate, Governor Crist decided to run for the office. This opened the door to career politician Bill McCollum and political neophyte Rick Scott to seek the Republican nomination as his replacement.

In the year of the Tea Party, Rick Scott pulled off a mild upset in the primary election by defeating McCollum. On the Democratic side, Alex Sink handily won her party’s nomination. Hence, the battle lines are drawn: Sink/Individuals v. Scott/Big Business.

Who Floridians elect as their next Governor will determine the type of state Florida will be for generations to come. Will Florida be a state that values and respects the rights of individuals above all else, as in “of the people, by the people, and for the people” (The Gettysburg Address), or will it be a state that places profits over people?

Republicans remain firmly in control of both chambers of the The Florida Legislature. As a group, they are more radically-right than the body in power during Jeb Bush’s rule, more determined than ever to prevent big business from being accountable to individuals. If Rick Scott is elected, Florida’s legislature will be able to operate without restraint. Every draconian bill passed by the legislature will be rubber-stamped into law by a Governor Scott. Not so a Governor Sink.

One example of the sharp differences between the candidates concerns the duty owed by insurance companies to their policyholders. Candidate Sink believes that insurance companies have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their policyholders. This means that insurance companies must act in good faith to pay legitimate claims in a timely manner. This principle is supported by well-established Florida law. When an insurance company violates the principle, hence, acts in bad faith, it faces serious consequences. These consequences have done more than anything else to keep the insurance industry in line. Because Florida’s bad faith laws cut into insurance company profits, Rick Scott wants to eliminate them. (Do not believe the propaganda that payments made by insurance companies for acting in bad faith will be passed on to consumers. Bad faith payments are not allowed to be taken into consideration when determining rate premiums.)

Consider this: Even with strong bad faith laws, it is always a battle to resolve claims fairly with insurance companies. Imagine how much more difficult it will become if the bad faith hammer is taken away from the people. It is not a pretty picture.

Alex Sink, a successful yet compassionate businesswoman, will protect the rights of individuals by proposing positive and helpful legislation, while vetoing negative legislation which is surely to come from our Florida Legislature.

Please click here – ALEX SINK – to learn more about her.

(If Rick Scott’s policies aren’t enough to scare you, consider this segment: Rick Scott and the 5th Amendment.)

Contact us at 866-785-GALE or by email to learn your legal rights.

Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.

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