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Chan Lowe: Rick Scott's drug testing


It isn’t like our state bureaucracy hasn’t been running smoothly since as long as anyone can remember. It has continued to thrive and--with the exception of some minor setbacks--expand, and as a self-sustaining organism, it is practically unparalleled in survivability.

So why would Gov. Rick Scott want to impose random drug testing on Florida’s state employee workforce? Has there been a drastic, worrisome reduction in red tape? Has it become unnecessarily easier for the public to interact with government? Are state workers suddenly showing suspicious signs of courtesy and helpfulness on the job?

It’s easy to understand why people in hazardous jobs need to be regularly and randomly tested. The unpredictability of randomness keeps, say, airline pilots from gaming the system.

When a state bureaucrat, on the other hand, commits an egregious human error, chances are it amounts to no more than an incorrectly filled-out form, one that gets lost in a mountain of hundreds of millions of similar documents. No lives are lost. In the leaky pipe that is state government “efficiency,” it is but a drop of water. Why go to the expense⎯the taxpayer expense, mind you⎯of administering drug tests when a state worker’s error is more likely to be the result of corruption or some other malfeasance?

I thought Rick Scott was going to redesign government and save us money. Not only will this scheme add a needless burden to the budget, it will wreak havoc with that intangible factor, morale. When that goes into the toilet, Scott and his wonderful experiment in streamlining will begin to look more like a kid who just blew up his chemistry set.

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Rick Scott very probably expects some economy advantage from the tests. Is the wife's business in any way related to drug testing labs?

I wonder how much the Felon CEO the Christianists put into the Gov's office has invested in Drug Testing Companies --- you know they are FOR PROFIT.

OK, let me see if I've got this straight. He's OPPOSED to the prescription drug tracking database--even though that was to be paid for with no state funds whatsoever, ostensibly because it's a privacy issue--but he's IN FAVOR OF random drug testing for state employees. Have the Tea Partiers finally woken up and seen they were played for fools? This man is not out to protect your interests--he's out to protect the interests of those who bought the election.

Gov. Scott divested his interest in Solantic (walk-in clinics that do drug testing) in Jan. & the controlling shares went into a trust in his wife's name...


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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