Friday, October 31st, 2014

The Scott-O-Meter launches, and you let us hear it

The mail brings a fresh batch of criticism (and some praise, too!)
The mail brings a fresh batch of criticism (and some praise, too!)

The launch on Jan. 1, 2011, of our Scott-O-Meter certainly piqued the interest of many of our readers. The most overwhelming comment we heard -- why don't you track the promises of President Barack Obama?

Well, we do, and have been since January 2009, rating more than 500 of his promises. You can follow the promises of Obama by clicking here. If you want to check on the progress of Florida's new Gov. Rick Scott, this link will take you to the Scott-O-Meter page.

Here's a sampling of what's been on readers' minds. (Letters are edited both for length and style).

'Your liberal agenda'

"I have no problem with your tracking our new governor's promises/performance. Those of us who elected him will be looking for accountability as well, in addition to our newly elected Congress.

"What I DO have a problem with is this: Where is the full page Obam-A-Meter? Let's see PolitiFact's full page printed record of all the promises that have been broken by President Obama. While you're at it, why don't you line up all the regulations and laws shoved down our throats, often in the middle of the night, that are unconstitutional?

"Your liberal agenda and conservative 'targets' are so transparent I can't imagine anyone finds value in PolitiFact's information."

Track the past promises of Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush

"I found your article very interesting. In order to make sense out of the data I assume you will include the same details on Governors Crist and Bush during their first year. Both are Republicans. This will allow us to compare the last three governors. Are you going to review President Obama's promises? If not could you direct us to your O'Meter for Govs. Crist and Bush when they were published.

"Otherwise, it's just a cheap exercise by the mainstream media. I hope that that is not your intention."

Editor's Note: PolitiFact Florida, which launched in early 2010, decided not to reach back in history and track campaign promises of governors past. Neither we nor the voters can change any of that now. We felt it more important to fact-check today's discourse, and the promises shaping today's political climate.

Bring it to Illinois!

"I quite enjoyed and was interested in your story on the Scott-O-Meter. I am a political science professor at Illinois State University who recently purchased a condo in Dunedin. I also do some work with the media in central Illinois. I was sufficiently interested in your story that I proposed to the state government reporter for a local newspaper in central Illinois that he develop something similar for Pat Quinn, who is the newly elected Illinois governor, and then compare the two governors since they are both from Illinois and Scott was born in central Illinois.

"Both Florida and Illinois are facing similar challenges (economy, education, pensions, etc.), and the two governors should have substantially different approaches, since they are from different parties and one is from the public sector while the other is from the private sector. It would be interesting to assess periodically which of the two is more successful in addressing the challenges confronting their respective states."

Jobs, maybe, but what about health insurance

"Is there a way to track how many of the 700,000 jobs Rick Scott is trying to create will have health insurance? With single women paying about $6,000 a year for health insurance and families of four over $15,000 and more employers dropping health insurance, is there a way to track the number of employers that drop health insurance or raise the co-pay for employees?"

King Scott?

"He had all the answers during the campaign -- why not just put those answers into effect now? What's the problem, after all he won?

"Maybe just pay everyone off (Florida has proved that money can buy anything, everything and everybody) and dismiss the legislature -- KING or God, might be a good title for him.
 
"Scott will purchase your site and get the coverage he wants."

Too negative

"Dear Promise Keepers: Your Scott-O-Meter certainly accentuates the negative. From what I can see, Gov. Scott seems to be focusing on Florida's two major problems: We're getting dumber and poorer. His focus on innovation in public education, and economic development aimed at value-added jobs seems right on target. Let's hope as Floridians, he's successful."

Read you in the Fort Myers News Press

"My wife and I are newly fledged snowbirds from New Hampshire, spending our first winter in Fort Myers. We subscribe to the News Press and find it to be a pretty well-balanced, informative newspaper. We noticed your PolitiFact column early on, and have come to look forward to your comments. I think I may collect several of the columns and send them back to the editors of the Union Leader or Fosters Democrat in New Hampshire, with a suggestion that they consider publishing a similar column, which is very much needed in the Granite State!"