Stephen King vows to make Rick Scott the ‘star’ of his next horror novel.
King was kidding, of course, when he made the remark during a Tuesday evening “Awake the State” rally in Sarasota. But the horror meister wasn’t joking when he castigated Florida’s brash new governor for proposed budget cuts in education, veteran affairs and other social programs.
“I’m a snowbird, I’m going to go to Florida, things will be better in Florida,” King began to rousing calls of “Hell, no!” from the crowd of about 200 protesters.
A part-time resident of nearby Casey Key, King said that instead of cutting social spending, government should raise taxes on the rich to 50 percent.
“You might say ‘hey what are you doing up there, aren’t you rich?'” King said. “The answer is, ‘thank God, yes’ … And you know what, as a rich person I pay 28 percent tax. What I want to ask you is why am I not paying 50 [percent]. Why is everybody in my bracket not paying 50?
“The Republicans will say, from John Boehner to Mitch McConnell to Rick Scott, that we can’t do that because, if we tax guys like me, there won’t be any jobs. It’s bull! It’s total bull!”
The Sarasota rally was among more than 30 “Awake the State” events held from Key West to Pensacola to protest the new Republican governor’s policies, seen by some as catering to a far-right Tea Party constituency.
Among Scott’s most controversial moves so far: Turning down $2.4 billion in federal funding for a long-planned high-speed rail system linking Tampa and Orlando. Scott said the plan could leave the state on the hook for billions in cost overruns, although this was disputed in a new study by the Florida Department of Transportation yesterday, projecting a $10.2 million surplus in 2015, which would have been the first year of operation.
Now the federal funding will go to rail projects in other states.
King mocked Scott’s rejection of the railroad money, saying the project “was probably a bad idea, considering how low the price of gas is.”
One of the most successful authors of the past 40 years, King grew up poor in Maine but became wealthy off the popularity of horror novels such as Carrie, The Stand, The Shining, Salem’s Lot, Duma Key and many more.
But he let his liberal flag fly Tuesday, comparing Scott, new Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and “the Tea Party guy” from his own
home state, Gov. Paul LePage, to “Larry, Curly and Moe.”
King and the other protesters expressed concern about Scott’s budget proposals, saying government must protect education, unions and veterans. For a video of King’s entire speech, visit sarasotapatch.com.
Amusing as King’s joke about putting Scott in an upcoming horror novel may be, he’s not the first to liken the governor to a fictional villain. Tall, thin and strikingly bald, Scott has been compared to Gollum, Lord Voldemort, Lex Luthor, Hannibal Lektor, Freddy Krueger, Dr. Evil and Darth Maul, although he seems to me to most resemble Max Headroom, who is not a villainous character.
About 20 Scott supporters protested the protesters from across Marina Plaza, reports sarasotapatch.com, holding signs that read, “Florida is broke” and “Defend the Constitution.”