Now that everyone’s favorite Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat has announced he is prepared to go Total Obama from Day 1 if he’s restored to the governor’s mansion, voters can’t be blamed for wondering whether Charlie Crist really wants the job. Maybe he’s already moved on to the Next Big Thing.
After all, the most recent polls indicate thorough dissatisfaction with President Obama. Not only is he upside-down on virtually every measurable facet of his job performance, CNN recently and famously found if we took an election mulligan, the golfer-in-chief would lose to Republican Mitt Romney in a landslide.
Nonetheless, here comes Crist, within shouting distance of primary election day and miles ahead in the polls, clawing his way to the left of Nan Rich, his virtually unknown Democrat rival from Weston, and hoping to get there by imitating Obama’s notorious pen-and-phone gambit.
On his first day, says Crist, he’d sign executive orders boosting the minimum wage for employees of state contractors to $10.10 an hour; requiring equal pay for women working for agencies that report to the governor’s office; ordering executive agencies to contract with in-state companies “whenever possible and legal”; defending lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of agencies reporting to the governor and their contractors against discrimination based on orientation or identity.
Well. Never mind that the minimum-wage boost already is a demonstrated job-loser at the federal level, forcing fast-food restaurants off some military bases in what one industry source called “the tip of the iceberg.” Crist’s other feel-good orders are rife with the usual mischief – Just for openers, what exactly are “equal” jobs in separate departments, anyway? – that will lead, inevitably, to lawsuits.
So, when state Sen. John Thrasher, onetime state Speaker of the House and chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s reelection campaign, complains about the absence of plans to increase employment in Crist’s Day 1 schedule, he couldn’t be more wrong.
With the potential for lawsuits flying the moment the ink is dry on each order, the once-and-would-be-future governor’s agenda calls for full employment of the tort bar.