Having a baby anytime soon?
If so, you can expect Rick Scott to be among the first to offer congratulations.
In a new program, the governor has teamed up with Hallmark and local hospitals to send cards to new moms with greetings and immunization advice.
One version features a baby mouse, snuggled in a leaf. "Delicate. Tiny. Precious. Yours. CONGRATULATIONS," says the card, which is then signed by both Scott and his wife, Ann.
So is this about politicking? Heavens no, says Scott's office. It's about health and literacy. The cards encourage reading and immunizations — and are also in Spanish.
Hallmark has teamed up with governors elsewhere to do the same, donating the cards, so that the only cost to taxpayers is about $10,000 for distribution.
Local hospitals say distribution will begin soon. So, if you want to send salutations to someone — and beat the governor to the delivery room — you'd better act fast.
Speaking of mail …
Scott, best column ever! [Texting – and "Textgate" – for dummies.] I laughed so hard I think my water broke. And I'm not even pregnant. Bobbe
Just to be safe, Bobbe, I think the governor has a card ready.
Scott, do you know how the city got the texts they gave you guys? I heard they just made screenshots of the ones they considered work-related. In other words, they policed themselves. What are the chances that they're going to send in an incriminating email? Zero to none, I would say. Terry
Terry, that's the reality with all public records — whether texts, emails, memos or anything else. We request. But it's up to them to divulge. The theoretical safeguard is that any public official who doesn't respond fully to a legal request could be subject to prosecution. And that's quite a risk when you consider that any text is on someone else's phone as well.
Scott, you nailed it in today's column ["High-crime" theme parks – a costly joke]. If Universal Studios really believes it's in a "high crime" area (to qualify for tax breaks, of course), they ought to put up signs warning guests of the danger they face every time they walk through the gates. Sam
Touche, Sam. Really, though, I blame lawmakers as much as Universal for this farcical system. After all, it was supposedly designed to help poor, blighted communities. In reality, it's enriching companies that aren't even in those communities.
Maybe the "high-crime" part is where they rob the taxpayers. Joanne
If so, legislators should be arrested for aiding and abetting.
Dear Mr. Maxwell, I usually agree with what you have to say. But I have problems with this one. We need jobs and businesses. And we need to encourage those businesses we have to stay and do more. Earle
I hear ya, Earle. But incentives — by definition — are supposed to spur new growth. Projects like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter don't require incentives. It was expected to be a boom. It was a boom. Harry Potter helped Universal's profits skyrocket six-fold...to $150 million. What fiscal conservative in their right mind would throw tax money at a project that was already going to happen?
Scott, I just wanted to let you know that we think you are a treasure. Mrs. Clark
How kind of you, Mrs. Clark. But not everyone feels the same way. In fact, some of my most loyal readers are those who hate my guts. So, in honor of them, we put together a video where I read some of the nastiest notes I've received. Folks who let me know how wrong I am, how dumb I am, and how simply seeing my face makes them want to puke. You can see my tribute to them in "Scott Maxwell Reads his Hate Mail" at orlandosentinel.com/takingnames.
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